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Hokkaido, Japan

18th October - 2nd November 2000

 

Sapporo

Traditional Japanese Wedding

Lake Kutcharo

 

 

Chiraibetsu Port

 

 

On the coast road to Wakkanai

Daikon drying in the sun

Cape Soya, Japan's most northerly point

 

Korean Airlines Flight 007 memorial

 

Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Seoul via Anchorage, Alaska. On September 1, 1983, the airliner serving the flight was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor, near Moneron Island west of Sakhalin in the Sea of Japan. The interceptor's pilot was Major Gennadi Osipovich. All 269 passengers and crew aboard were killed, including Larry McDonald, a Representative from Georgia in the United States House of Representatives. The aircraft flew through Soviet prohibited airspace around the time of a U.S. aerial reconnaissance mission.

The Soviet Union initially denied knowledge of the incident, but later admitted shooting down the aircraft, claiming that it was on a MASINT spy mission. The Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union said it was a deliberate provocation by the United States to test the Soviet Union's military preparedness, or even to provoke a war. The White House accused the Soviet Union of obstructing search and rescue operations. The Soviet Armed Forces suppressed evidence sought by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) investigation, such as the flight data recorders, which were released eight years later after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The incident was one of the most tense moments of the Cold War and resulted in an escalation of anti-Soviet sentiment, particularly in the United States. The opposing points of view on the incident were never fully resolved; consequently, several groups continue to dispute official reports and offer alternative theories of the event. The subsequent release of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 transcripts and flight recorders by the Russian Federation has clarified some details.

As a result of the incident the United States altered tracking procedures for aircraft departing from Alaska. The interface of the autopilot used on airliners was redesigned to make it more ergonomic. In addition, the event was one of the most important single events that prompted the Reagan administration to allow worldwide access to the United States military satellite navigation system DNSS, which was classified at the time. Today this system, and others like it, are known as GPS.

 

 

 

 

 

Old grain silos near Hamatonbetsu

Lake Kussharo, Akan National Park

 

Lake Mashu, Akan National Park

 

Lake Onneto

 

The Kushiro Marshlands, home of the Tancho crane