Guest Commentary by Moon Chung-in, professor emeritus at Yonsei University – After Republic of Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol broached the possibility of South Korea developing its own nuclear weapons in January, discussion of that possibility has been picking up intensity. According to the results of a poll of 1,000 people…Full Article KOREAN PENINSULA CONTROVERSY: NO NUKES IN THE SOUTH, PLEASE!
Month: February 2023
SOUTH KOREA: K-POP TAKES CENTER STAGE IN FASHION
ALI ZANE WRITES – With K-pop now a global presence, more and more luxury fashion brands have been collaborating with its idols. A pivotal moment: Chanel’s 2015 Paris fashion show, where K-pop idol and fashion trailblazer G-Dragon sat front row. He was the first Asian star to be invited. A…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: K-POP TAKES CENTER STAGE IN FASHION
CHINA: WAS THE “ZERO COVID” POLICY 100% WRONG?
HUNTER MYERS WRITES – With its severe Covid control administration, did Beijing blunder – or show the way toward a viable epidemic control option for the future? China’s experience with Covid Zero policy, and its subsequent, rather sudden lifting, provides valuable insights for other countries. It shows the importance of…Full Article CHINA: WAS THE “ZERO COVID” POLICY 100% WRONG?
JAPAN: ALL’S (NOT) FAIR IN WAR
JARED D’AGOSTINO WRITES – For the first time in five years, on February 7, 2023, Japan used the words “illegal occupation” when describing Russia’s presence on the Kurile Islands. This is not surprising; Japanese and Russian relations have deteriorated since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24th last…Full Article JAPAN: ALL’S (NOT) FAIR IN WAR
JAPAN: AS BIRTHRATES DROP, CONCERN RISES
HAMAD ALHADBH WRITES – “Japan is on the verge of whether we can continue to function as a society,” said Fumio Kishida, Japan’s Prime Minister, in a January address to Parliament. As Japan’s birthrate continues to plummet to historic lows, the nation’s new government has concerns about the country’s future economic…Full Article JAPAN: AS BIRTHRATES DROP, CONCERN RISES
LOS ANGELES: SAVING THE OCEAN IN STYLE
KAYA RODRIGUES WRITES – While walking along the beaches in Los Angeles county, observing trash on the shorelines and hearing news stories of garbage patches – not-so-lovingly nick-named ‘trash islands’ – such as the 2.41 million ton Great Pacific Garbage Patch between Hawaii and California, it is hard not to…Full Article LOS ANGELES: SAVING THE OCEAN IN STYLE
JAPAN: A MORE WOKE COUNTRY?
FARRAH PADILLA WRITES – This spring in Japan, the pink and red cherry blossoms will flood streets, neighborhoods, lawns, and the sky. These colors never fail to amaze locals and tourists alike; but what about orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple? These colors are less common, but less so this year,…Full Article JAPAN: A MORE WOKE COUNTRY?
JAPAN: WILL A NEW BOJ GOVERNOR LAUNCH A NEW PLAN?
SAM BECK WRITES – Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has named a new potential Governor of the world-renowned Bank of Japan, MIT Ph.D and former BOJ board member Kazuo Ueda. Dilemmas that faced incumbent Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, whose decade-long term ends in April, led to the announcement on February 14.…Full Article JAPAN: WILL A NEW BOJ GOVERNOR LAUNCH A NEW PLAN?
CHINA: DOES BEIJING OWE CHINESE WOMEN ONE COLOSSAL APOLOGY?
KYLIE CLIFTON WRITES – It’s not easy to change the course of history. China has been struggling to reverse its long-held one-child policy since 2015, when it announced that families could have two children. Then, in response to falling birth rates, policy was further loosened; in 2021 a Chinese state…Full Article CHINA: DOES BEIJING OWE CHINESE WOMEN ONE COLOSSAL APOLOGY?
MALAYSIA: TRACKING CHINESE VESSELS BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT
NASER ALMESHARI WRITES – The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has enhanced the effectiveness of its potentially potent ‘shadowing’ approach, thanks to absorbing the clever procedures of the Indonesian coast guard. What is shadowing? It’s a technique to repel foreign intruders entering the waters of the South China Sea by using…Full Article MALAYSIA: TRACKING CHINESE VESSELS BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT
JAPAN: IS IT WASTING ITS INTERNATIONAL IMAGE?
MICHELLE CHANG WRITES – March 11 will mark the twelfth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which occurred after Japan was hit with a magnitude 9.1 earthquake and tsunami. This also marks the year that Japan plans to release treated wastewater from the nuclear plant—which has Japanese citizens, not to…Full Article JAPAN: IS IT WASTING ITS INTERNATIONAL IMAGE?
NEW ZEALAND: IS ITS NEW PRIME MINISTER UP TO IT?
JACOB VILLEGAS WRITES – New Zealand has a new Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, but who exactly is he? Following the unfortunate resignation of the former Prime Minster, Jacinda Ardern in mid-January, Hipkins was sworn in as New Zealand’s 41st Prime Minister on January 25th. Although Hipkins is newly installed, he…Full Article NEW ZEALAND: IS ITS NEW PRIME MINISTER UP TO IT?
SOUTH KOREA: DOWN AND OUT WITH THE OLD?
IREH KIM WRITES – While South Korea has gained great popularity internationally through K-pop, media, and technology, the country faces a severe problem domestically: it has the highest suicide rate of any developed nation. Statista reports that 13 thousand people took their own lives in 2021, averaging 26 deaths for…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: DOWN AND OUT WITH THE OLD?
CHINA: ‘HELLO HONG KONG’ – WE SO LOVE TOURISTS
ANYA CHINAPPI WRITES – On Thursday, February 2, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-Chiu announced a new tourism campaign called “Hello Hong Kong,” designed to encourage visitors and overseas residents back to the island following the Covid-19 shutdown. The campaign features over 500,000 free plane tickets, special events, and…Full Article CHINA: ‘HELLO HONG KONG’ – WE SO LOVE TOURISTS
SOUTH KOREA: WHAT’S TAKING SO LONG?
MADELINE MICHEL WRITES- Since the signing of both the 2002 Land Partnership Plan and the 2004 Yongsan Relocation Plan, the process of returning the land of the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan-Casey, located in Seoul, to the Republic of Korea has been in motion. Yet the transition has been slow and…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: WHAT’S TAKING SO LONG?
CHINA-US POLICY: IS THE ‘MOON A BALLOON’?
This column originally appeared on February 8, 2023, in the South China Morning Post. DISTINGUISHED SCHOLAR TOM PLATE WRITES – Hot air propels not just balloons. Embattled President Joseph Biden and his battle-prone Washington – the American capital more divided, presumably, than that of Chairman Xi Jinping’s Beijing – clashed…Full Article CHINA-US POLICY: IS THE ‘MOON A BALLOON’?