Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and the highest in Europe west of the Caucasus peaks of Russia and Georgia. It is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence; the mountain stands in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta Valley and Savoie and Haute-Savoie, France. The location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the valleys of Montjoie, Arve in France, on the border between the two countries; the Mont Blanc massif is popular for outdoor activities like hiking, trail running and winter sports like skiing, snowboarding. The three towns and their communes which surround Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Italy; the latter town was the site of the first Winter Olympics. A cable car ascends and crosses the mountain range from Courmayeur to Chamonix, through the Col du Géant; the 11.6 km Mont Blanc Tunnel, constructed between 1957 and 1965, runs beneath the mountain and is a major trans-Alpine transport route.

Since 1760 Swiss naturalist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure began to go to Chamonix to observe Mont Blanc. He tried with the Courmayeur mountain guide Jean-Laurent Jordaney, native of Pré-Saint-Didier, who accompanied De Saussure since 1774 on the Miage Glacier and on mont Crammont; the first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc was on 8 August 1786 by Jacques Balmat and the doctor Michel Paccard. This climb, initiated by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, who gave a reward for the successful ascent, traditionally marks the start of modern mountaineering; the first woman to reach the summit was Marie Paradis in 1808. Nowadays the summit is ascended by an average of 20,000 mountaineer-tourists each year, it could be considered a technically easy, yet arduous, ascent for someone, well-trained and acclimatized to the altitude. From l'Aiguille du Midi, Mont Blanc seems quite close, but while the peak seems deceptively close, La Voie des 3 Monts route requires much ascent over two other 4,000 m mountains, Mont Blanc du Tacul and Mont Maudit, before the final section of the climb is reached and the last 1,000 m push to the summit is undertaken.

Each year climbing deaths occur on Mont Blanc, on the busiest weekends around August, the local rescue service performs an average of 12 missions directed to aid people in trouble on one of the normal routes of the mountain. Some routes require knowledge of high-altitude mountaineering, a guide, all require proper equipment. All routes are long and arduous, involving delicate passages and the hazard of rock-fall or avalanche. Climbers may suffer altitude sickness life threatening if they do not acclimatize to it; the border between Italy and France passes through the summit of Mont Blanc, making it both French and Italian. Since the French Revolution, the issue of the ownership of the summit has been debated. From 1416 to 1792, the entire mountain was within the Duchy of Savoy. In 1723, the Duke of Savoy, Victor Amadeus II, acquired the Kingdom of Sardinia; the resulting state of Sardinia was to become preeminent in the Italian unification. In September 1792, the French revolutionary Army of the Alps under Anne-Pierre de Montesquiou-Fézensac seized Savoy without much resistance and created a department of the Mont-Blanc.

In a treaty of 15 May 1796, Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia was forced to cede Savoy and Nice to France. In article 4 of this treaty it says: "The border between the Sardinian kingdom and the departments of the French Republic will be established on a line determined by the most advanced points on the Piedmont side, of the summits, peaks of mountains and other locations subsequently mentioned, as well as the intermediary peaks, knowing: starting from the point where the borders of Faucigny, the Duchy of Aoust and the Valais, to the extremity of the glaciers or Monts-Maudits: first the peaks or plateaus of the Alps, to the rising edge of the Col-Mayor"; this act further states that the border should be visible from the town of Courmayeur. However, neither is the peak of the Mont Blanc visible from Courmayeur nor is the peak of the Mont Blanc de Courmayeur visible from Chamonix because part of the mountains lower down obscure them. After the Napoleonic Wars, the Congress of Vienna restored the King of Sardinia in Savoy and Piedmont, his traditional territories, overruling the 1796 Treaty of Paris.

Forty-five years after the Second Italian War of Independence, it was replaced by a new legal act. This act was signed in Turin on 24 March 1860 by Napoleon III and Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, deals with the annexation of Savoy. A demarcation agreement, signed on 7 March 1861, defined the new border. With the formation of Italy, for the first time Mont Blanc was located on the border of France and Italy; the 1860 act and attached maps are still valid for both the French and Italian governments. One of the prints from the 1823 Sarde Atlas positions the border on the summit edge of the mountain; the convention of 7 March 1861 recognises this through an attached map, taking into consideration the limits of the massif, drawing the border on the icecap of Mont Blanc, making it both French and


Fighter Squadron 7 or VF-7 was an aviation unit of the U. S. Navy established on 3 January 1944, it was disestablished on 8 June 1946, it was the second US Navy squadron to be designated VF-7. VF-7 equipped with the F6F-3 Hellcat was deployed as part of Carrier Air Group 7 aboard the USS Hancock in the Atlantic Fleet. VF-7 reequipped with the F6F-5 Hellcat at NAS Quonset in July 1944 and reembarked on USS Hancock. By September 1944 USS Hancock and CVG-7 had joined the Pacific Fleet. From February–September 1945 CVG-7 was shore-based at Naval Station Puget Sound and NAS Astoria. NAS Quonset Naval Station Puget Sound NAS Astoria F6F-3/5 Hellcat List of inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons History of the United States Navy

Australia–Japan relations

Australia–Japan relations are foreign relations between Australia and Japan. The relationships are warm and have since continued to grow strong over the years, both nations being close and driven by mutual interests, with both nations having close ties with the Western world. Japan is one of Australia's major economic partners: it is Australia's second "largest trading partner and an important source of capital investment". In recent times the relations have expanded beyond strong economic and commercial links to other spheres, including culture, tourism and scientific cooperation. There was some tension in the early stage of the relationship, such as World War II, Japan's perceived economic domination during the 1980s and early 1990s. However, the Australian government and business leaders see Japan as a vital export market and an essential element in Australia's future growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan on its part regards Australia as an important partner, a reliable source of energy and other primary products, a popular tourist destination, a useful conduit to the West and the only other middle-ranking economic power in the Asia-Pacific.

Australia's former Prime-Minister Tony Abbott hailed Japan as Australia's closest friend in Asia and proceeded on creating a Free Trade Agreement between the two nations in the coming year. Australia and Japan both acknowledges each other as key strategic partners within the Asia-Pacific. With both being prosperous liberal democracies and key allies of the United States. With former Defence Minister Marise Payne described Japan as a "key partner" in the region, former Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida describing the relationship as the linchpin of security in the Asia-Pacific. Australia maintains an embassy in Tokyo, consulate-generals in Osaka and Fukuoka, along with a consulate in Sapporo. Japan maintains an embassy in Canberra, consulate-generals in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, along with a consulate in Cairns; the first recorded import of Australian coal by Japan occurred in 1865, the first recorded Japanese imports of Australian wool occurred in 1888. The first Japanese person known to have settled in Australia was a merchant who migrated to Queensland in 1871.

By the start of the Australian Federation in 1901, it was estimated that Australia had 4000 Japanese immigrants based around Townsville where the Japanese government had established its first consulate in 1896. The immigrants worked in the sugar cane and maritime industries including turtle, trochus and pearl harvesting. Further Japanese migration to Australia was terminated with the Australian Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, with the imposition of a "dictation test" in a European language on prospective immigrants, with the White Australia policy. Due to this the Townsville consulate closed in 1908. In 1930–31, Japan was "Australia's third most important trading partner". However, economic relations continued to flourish, by the mid-1930s, Japan had become Australia's second largest export market after the United Kingdom. However, in 1936, Britain applied political pressure on Australia to curb the import of Japanese textiles, which were damaging the British textile market in Australia.

Japan reacted to the new tariffs with trade barriers of its own. After both sides realized that the trade war was unproductive, an agreement was reached in 1937 to relax restrictions. In recognition of the importance of Japanese ties, Tokyo was the second capital where Australia established a legation separate from the British embassy. During World War II, Australian territory was directly threatened by Japanese invasion, Japanese forces attacked Darwin in Northern Australia and Sydney Harbour. In 1941, the ethnic Japanese population in Australia was interned, most were deported to Japan at the end of the war. Australian forces played an active combat role in battles throughout the Southeast Asia and South West Pacific theater of World War II, a significant role in the post-war Occupation of Japan; the first time a large number of Australians were in Japan was during the postwar Occupation of Japan. Australians were part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. Around 16,000 Australians served in the force.

For the entire length of its history the BCOF had an Australian officer. The Australian contribution to the force was 4,700 infantry, 5,300 base personnel, 2,200 from the Royal Australian Air Force, 130 from the Australian General Hospital; the Royal Australian Navy was present as part of the British Pacific Fleet. For two-thirds of the period of occupation the Commonwealth was represented by Australians. Australia played a minor role in the Japan campaign in the last months of the war and was preparing to participate in the invasion of Japan at the time the war ended. Several Australian warships operated with the British Pacific Fleet during the Battle of Okinawa and Australian destroyers escorted British aircraft carriers and battleships during attacks on targets in the Japanese home islands. Despite its distance from Japan, Australia was the BPF's main base and a large number of facilities were built to support the fleet. Australia's participation in the planned invasion of Japan would have involved elements of all three services fighting as part of Commonwealth forces.

It was planned to form a new 10th Division from existing AIF personnel which would form part of the Commonwealth Corps with British and New Zealand units. The corps' organisation was to be identical to that of a US Army corps, it would have participated in the invasion of the Japanese home island of Honshū, scheduled for March 1946. Australian ships wou