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Archive | September, 2012

YOU CALL IT DOKDO, THEY CALL IT TAKESHIMA: Putting Asia Stability at Risk- Playing the Wrong Game Risks Playing Into the Wrong Hands

Look before you leap. This is a venerable American saying. Look carefully before you leap emotionally. So if I were one of the good people of the Republic of Korea, for whom my admiration is deep, long-standing and well known (as my Japanese friends understand well), I would be prudent about my next step regarding […]

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Openly Gay HK Legislator Comes Out Swinging on the Fast Beat!

In a move sure to leave Beijing squirming, media outlets and LGBT activists (for, of course, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) have praised Raymond Chan Chi-chuen as the first Hong Kong legislator to come out of the closet. Chan, a former disc jockey and CEO of the Internet radio station Hong Kong Reporter, was elected September […]

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PHILIPPINES: Filipino Radicals Try to Play Nice

Surprise, surprise! The Philippines’ largest Muslim insurgent group, the pro-violence Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), rejected the call from Al-Qaeda to attack US targets over an anti-Islam film that originated in the states. Is this a new extremist morality? No, just a temporary tactic in the extremist war, it seems. The film in question of […]

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China: Defending His Country

There are a few islands on the northeast side of Taiwan called the Diaoyu Islands, if you’re Chinese. But if you’re Japanese, you call it the Senkaku Islands. Both China and Japan claim the sovereignty of these islands, not only for national dignity but also the rich deposits of natural resources. Last month, Chinese entrepreneur […]

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JAPAN: It’s Upsetting the Country’s Constitution

How much tension could a chain of uninhabited islands create? Quite a bit, apparently, as many Chinese take to the streets in outrage following Japan’s decision to nationalize three of the Senkaku islands. Concurrently, some Japanese have voiced a desire to revise the current constitution. The Mainichi Daily, a leading national daily, has been keenly […]

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INDIA: A Techno Solution forTouchy India/Pakistan?

The recent blowup of the Innocence of Islam and the detrimental effects that the provocative video (or is it a mere trailer?) is forcing many to question the power of technology. However, a new program in India may redeem hope that technology, the media, and entertainment can also be a proactive force in world politics […]

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SINGAPORE: Singapore Says “Told You So”

The US often criticizes Singapore for restricting freedom of the press, especially on visceral topics. But after speculation that the assassination of Christopher Stephens, US Ambassador to Libya, was a result of the “Innocence of Muslims” trailer, based on a longer video made by radical (so-called) Christians to denigrate the Muslim religion and their prophet […]

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CHINA: The Man Who ‘Disappeared’… Re-Appears!

For the past two weeks, Xi Jinping’s disappearance and reappearance in public view have occupied the front pages of newspapers all over the world. When the high-profile meeting between Xi and Hillary Clinton was suddenly cancelled on September 5th, major western media started to mention the unexpected disappearance as if it was yet another case […]

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SOUTH KOREA: Forgive But Never Forget

Until recently, the stage seemed set for South Korea and Japan to sign the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, but South Korea suddenly decided to back down from the agreement. The GSOMIA would have been the first agreement to permit the exchange of military intelligence between South Korea and Japan. It could […]

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SOUTH KOREA: KBS’ ‘XY That Girl’ Gets ‘OUTed’!

A new talk show targeting the transgender community, which invited transgender individuals to discuss their experiences, was cut from programming after viewers strongly voiced their objections. After premiering last week on a midnight time slot on KBS Joy, a subsidiary of Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), the show titled “XY That Girl” ignited an uproar from […]

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BANGLADESH: Asia Foundation Study Raises Key Issue for Development

Despite Bangladesh’s relatively weak international recognition as a major garment manufacturer and exporter, it is in fact one of the world’s largest garment manufacturers, being only second to China. As a result, Bangladesh’s economy has been consistently improving. The economic growth, however, has come with many sacrifices and hardships for the Bangladeshi workers. Recently, The […]

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THAILAND: Position as Governor of Bangkok Up For Grabs

In a country that takes a backseat to none In the area of having to live with pervasive official corruption, Thai voters — report the country’s news media – are looking for a refreshing change.  We hope that one of these days, they will get it. Early next year they have a chance to make […]

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NORTH KOREA: Kim Jong-il Is Set for ‘Resurrection’

Although the late leader, Kim Jong-il, died of a heart attack back in December, he is to rise again from the political grave. Early next year his preserved body will be on public display, joining the late Kim Il-sung in public gaze. The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reports the “great leader Kim Jong-il […]

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PHILIPPINES: A Country Less Open Than It Seems

For a country touted as a free-wheeling democracy offering a vast array of non-governmental media, the endless debate over how much press and information it needs is profoundly depressing. It has been two and a half decades since the last dictatorship and yet some fundamental media issues remain to be sorted out. Consider the back-and-forth […]

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