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  • Could a potential conflict over the island of Taiwan spill over onto islands that are part of Japan?

  • That is the question we're exploring first on today's show.

  • I'm Carl Azuz; thank you for watching.

  • Taiwan is located about 100 miles east of mainland China, and the governments of those two places have been at odds for decades.

  • When China's Communist Party won a civil war in the 1940s, the nation's previous government was forced to flee to Taiwan.

  • Today, the island sees itself as an independent democracy.

  • China sees it as part of the mainland, and therefore, subject to China's communist government.

  • So the two sides have an ongoing dispute; they are not at war at this point.

  • But after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, some experts have said China might be considering a similar operation in Taiwan.

  • No one knows for sure if that's going to happen, but there has been a lot of political and military activity around the island.

  • A group of US lawmakers recently visited Taiwan for a show of support for it.

  • China called that trip "provocative" and responded by holding military drills near the island with ships, bombers, and fighter planes.

  • So, what does this have to do with Japan?

  • Well, like the US, Japan supports Taiwan; it does not want China's government to take over the island, and Japan doesn't like what it sees when it comes to Chinese military patrols.

  • 20 years ago, the Japanese government says it counted fewer than 20 Chinese warships sailing near Japanese islands.

  • Last year, that number jumped to more than 70, and the Japanese who live on their country's westernmost islands are much closer to Taiwan than Tokyo, the Japanese capital.

  • So, they're deeply concerned about what could happen if China makes a move against Taiwan.

  • For the past 25 years, Kazushi Kinjo has made a living fishing in the water surrounding Japan's Nansei Islands.

  • That includes the uninhabited group of islands known as the Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

  • When he started, Kinjo says he never saw Chinese ships, but in the last few years...

  • [Japanese] You could see it in the video; the bow of one of their ships was pointed straight at us, and they were chasing us.

  • Dangerous encounters, specifically around the contested Senkaku Islands, that Kinjo says are guaranteed.

  • [Japanese] I don't know for sure, but I also saw what looked like cannons.

  • [Japanese] Looking back, they definitely could have shot at us if they wanted to.

  • [Japanese] I felt that fear.

  • In response to CNN, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it's carrying out law enforcement duties in its territory.

  • But it's not just the Chinese coast guard trolling these contested waters.

  • Japanese and senior US defense officials say Chinese warships are routinely patrolling Japanese territorial waters and the waters near Taiwan.

  • And according to one of the men in charge with defending Japan, that increased activity isn't limited to the sea.

  • From where I'm walking on the shores of Japan's Yonaguni Island, the east coast of Taiwan is only 110 kilometers away.

  • It's so close that, on a clear day, you can actually see it.

  • It's this stretch of waterit's been viewed as a potential battleground if China invades Taiwan.

  • It's that close proximity that has Japanese officials claiming Taiwan's peace and stability is directly connected to Japan's.

  • A security threat amplified by the ongoing nuclear threat posed by North Korea and a growing fear that China may try to take control of land that the Japanese government claims is inherently theirs.

  • [Japanese] Japan's territorial sovereignty extends to the Nansei Islands, and I'm afraid that may be infringed in the future.

  • It's for those reasons that General Yoshihide Yoshida says defending the Nansei islands is a top priority.

  • The Nansei Islands consist of these 198 islands.

  • Since 2016, in a clear departure from Japan's post-World War Two pacifism, Japan's self-defense force has increased its footprint, building bases on Amami Oshima, Miyakojima, and Yonaguni.

  • Ishigaki is next.

  • How confident are you in Japan's ability to defend itself?

  • [Japanese] We are enhancing our capabilities, but our competitors are also enhancing their capabilities at an extremely fast pace.

  • [Japanese] It will be very difficult to maintain our deterrence and response capabilities unless we further increase our military capacity.

  • Back on Yonaguni, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is sparking fears that China could be emboldened to act off Japan's shores.

  • [Japanese] The people are terrified of the situation that's happening.

  • [Japanese] I think that the Senkaku issue and the Taiwan contingency are similar to the Ukrainian issue.

  • [Japanese] I have a strong sense of crisis that this island will eventually cease to be Japan.

  • But in the face of geopolitical concerns well out of his control, Kinjo and his crew do what they know: they prepare for another day at sea.

  • Blake Essig, CNN, Yonaguni, Japan.

  • 10-second trivia: Which of these airlines was founded first?

  • Southwest, Spirit, Frontier, or JetBlue.

  • Dating back to 1967, Southwest is by far the oldest airline on this list.

  • As demand for airline travel increases this summer along with ticket prices, one challenge airlines are facing is pilot fatigue.

  • An airline pilots association says that's the number one safety threat for Southwest Airlines, but that's not the only company whose employees say they're exhausted.

  • Airline travel hasn't completely recovered from the COVID pandemic, but it's getting there.

  • US government data shows that this month, there were about 90 percent of the travelers there were in 2019, but there's an ongoing shortage of pilots.

  • Thousands of them retired during the pandemic, others have complained of not enough pay, long and expensive training, being put on leave without pay, and COVID vaccine requirements.

  • The federal government has rules about how much airline pilots can fly.

  • Those are set at 30 hours max in the air each week and at least 9 hours of rest in between shifts.

  • But pilots say changes because of weather, delays, and other issues are taking their toll.

  • It is the latest challenge to your next tripunderstaffed airlines and overworked flight crews causing carriers to cancel flights.

  • After hundreds of cancellations last weekend, JetBlue announced it is cutting 8 to 10 percent of its summer schedule, citing a "challenging staffing situation".

  • The latest numbers show that airlines are still shy, more than 30,000 workers compared to before the pandemic.

  • There's a lot of burnout and...and especially amongst some workgroups; I'm hearing from folks saying, "I just can't take it anymore."

  • Crew shortages are hitting airlines, large and small.

  • Alaska Airlines is canceling 2 percent of its flights through June; Delta pilots say they are being pushed to the limit on a regular basis.

  • Longer days with shorter nights at home, shorter layovers, and our pilots are tired and fatigued.

  • Pilot reports of fatigue spiked at Southwest Airlines last month.

  • Their union says the company is struggling to retain its newest hires.

  • This is going to be a...a critical issue, um, em, every month and every year that we move forward.

  • Help comes in the form of sky-high hiring goals.

  • Delta wants to hire 200 new pilots each month.

  • JetBlue has already hired 3,000 new crew this year alone.

  • United Airlines came up with a different solution: opening up its own flight school, a first for any major airline in the United States.

  • The pilot shortage is real.

  • We can hire pilots at United Airlines, but the regional airlines and smaller airlines all have a real pilot shortage and are having real challenges.

  • For 10 out of 10, Toby Keith is the oldest dog in the world.

  • That's not a knock on the country singer; Toby Keith is also the name of a chihuahua.

  • This chihuahua, which Guinness World Record says is the oldest canine alive.

  • He was adopted from a shelter a few months after he was born on January 9, 2001, which means Toby Keith recently celebrated his 21st birthday, and he's said to be in good health, though he spends a lot of time sleeping.

  • When that dog growls at the door, you better "Let the Old Man In".

  • He's probably thinking, "How Do You Like Me Now?"

  • "Every Dog Has Its Day", I'm "Unleashed", and "I Wanna Talk About Me"; don't "Pull My Chain".

  • I was "Made in America" longer ago than any other and I never thought I "Should've Been A Cowboy".

  • I'm Carl Azuz; today's shout-out goes out to Mancelona High School.

  • It is great to see you watching from Mancelona, Michigan.

  • Our YouTube channel at youtube.com/CNN10 is the only place we look for shout-out schools.

Could a potential conflict over the island of Taiwan spill over onto islands that are part of Japan?

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A Conflict Over An Island | April 19, 2020

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/04/25
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