Pacific News Minute

mashleymorgan / Flickr
mashleymorgan / Flickr

Last week Japan's parliament, the Diet, prompted considerable controversy when the lower house approved legislation that reinterprets the country's pacifist constitution to widen the circumstances under which the country could go to war.  With less notice, Japan also purchased five V-22 Ospreys...military aircraft that have been controversial for any number of reasons.  Details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Brian Glass / Flickr
Brian Glass / Flickr

This past weekend, a summit of Polynesian leaders issued a declaration on the threat of climate change and agreed on a set of demands to be presented to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris at the end of the year.  More from Neal Conan, in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Official U.S. Navy Page / Flickr
Official U.S. Navy Page / Flickr

This summer, as we mark the 70th Anniversary of the events that led up to the end of the Second World War, the Government of Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to loosen restrictions imposed in the Post War constitution on Military Operations and as we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute on foreign military sales.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A moment of transition for the United States Navy this week, as the frigate USS Kaufman returned from her final patrol.  That ends almost forty years of service for a class of small, tough warships that did everything from escorting aircraft carrier battle groups in the Pacific to battling pirates off Somalia and drug runners in the Caribbean.  In today’s Pacific News Minute, Neal Conan remembers two weeks aboard the frigate USS Rentz during what was known as the Tanker War.

Cyr0z / Flickr
Cyr0z / Flickr

Environmental activists hope that the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior can help prompt a revival of anti- nuclear activism across the Pacific.  On July 10, 1985, the Greenpeace ship was mined by French secret agents in Auckland Harbor, New Zealand as it was on its way to protest French nuclear tests at Moraroa Atoll.  A photographer was killed in the explosion.  More on the legacy of the Rainbow Warrior from Neal Conan, in our latest Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Foreign ministers from the Pacific Islands Forum nations gather in Sydney Australia this week. The meeting's primary focus is disaster management.  A timely subject as Cyclone Nangka threatens the Northern Marianas and after Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu earlier this year.  But politics will also come up, amid concerns over basic rights in two Pacific Island democracies.  More from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Mikhail Kamarov / Flickr
Mikhail Kamarov / Flickr

Russia's Pacific Fleet has steadily dwindled since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but that's about to change with the deployment of a new ballistic missile submarine that's been dubbed Putin's Red October. More from Neal Conan, in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr

President Anote Tong reminded the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week that whatever action the world decides to take on climate change will come too late for his country. The President of Kiribati delivered the keynote address to one of a series of meetings to prepare for the Conference on Climate change in Paris this fall.  Neal Conan has more in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Malaysia Stylo / Flickr
Malaysia Stylo / Flickr

The Wall Street Journal reports today that more than 900 Million Dollars was wired to the personal account of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The money allegedly came from banks, government agencies and companies connected to a debt ridden sovereign investment company.  Prime Minister Najib dismissed the charge as "political sabotage", but, as we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, this is just the latest development in a widening scandal.

Bob Hall / Flickr
Bob Hall / Flickr

As of tomorrow, tiny Norfolk Island loses the political autonomy it's enjoyed since 1979. Despite a referendum that appealed to Australia to allow the islanders some say in their political future, self-government will be replaced by a local council. Details from Neal Conan, in the latest Pacific News Minute.

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