Wednesday, October 27, 2004

So what colour was Jesus?

While driving home from work the other day, stopped at a red light, I read a great bumper sticker... "Friends don't let friends die without Jesus." Of course the car also had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker in the window. Gotta love religious loonies!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Tortuous tangles over Japanese textbooks

TOKYO - Given the history of Japanese textbooks outraging the country's neighbors by whitewashing Tokyo's World War II aggression and worsening its relations with China, Korea and other nations, yet another textbook written and published by right-wing groups has emerged. Though it is read by a tiny number of students, it has found its way into popular bookstores where it is a strong seller - a sign of the power of Japan's small number of influential hawks.

(Asia Times Online. October 26. 2004)

Complete Article

Is this the direction of Japan's policy in the controversial textbook issue?

Friday, October 22, 2004

N Korea reforms bring new risk


The World Food Programme has expressed concern about a new class of urban poor in North Korea - those who have suffered from recent market reforms.

(BBC Online. October 22. 2004)

Link to article

Thursday, October 21, 2004

South Korea: Capital move rejected

Constitutional Court declares relocation law illegal

A controversial project to build a new administrative capital faced suspension yesterday as the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional a law for capital relocation approved in parliament last year, immediately dismembering the law.

The decision dealt a severe blow to President Roh Moo-hyun, who had said he would risk the fate of his administration to push the plan. Moving the capital was Roh's foremost presidential election campaign promise.

(Korea Herald Online. October 21. 2004).
Full article.

Is this the end of Noh's plans to move the South Korean Capital?
Is it a good idea to move the administrative capital further away from the DMZ? Probably! What do you think?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

15 dead, 17 missing as powerful typhoon hits western Japan

TOKYO — Massive Typhoon Tokage hit western Japan on Wednesday as it raked the southwest while heading north, leaving 15 people dead, at least 17 missing and more than 120 injured, and disrupting air, land and sea transportation services across the country.

A total of 874 domestic flights were canceled for the day, affecting some 103,000 passengers, in what appears to be the largest number of cancellations in a day due to typhoon this year.

(Japan Today. October 20. 2004)

Complete article

How come this is not major news in the US?

US law promises help to N Koreans

US President Bush has signed a law that offers American support for human rights groups in North Korea and for refugees leaving the secretive state.
It earmarks $24m a year for such causes, and makes North Koreans eligible for asylum in the US.

Until now, they have been treated as citizens of South Korea, which still technically claims sovereignty over the whole peninsula.
North Korean has called the bill an attempt to bring down its government.
(BBC News Online. October 19. 2004)
Complete Article

Is this likely to help foster reform/democracy in North Korea?
Not very likely! Just look at Cuba.

Will South Korea/China benefit from this?
Not very likely?

Will a few hundred extra refugees from North Korea benefit?
Probably, but many more will get caught doing so!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Archaeologists unearth 3,000-year-old tombs in northwest China

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese archaeologists are unearthing a group of tombs believed to be the family cemetery of the Duke of Zhou, a de facto imperial ruler who lived about 3,000 years ago, state media said.
Archaeologists discovered the group of 22 tombs in February at Qi Mountain in the northwestern province of Shaanxi. They cover an area of about 80,000 square meters (860,800 square feet), the Xinhua news agency reported.

(Yahoo News. Oct. 19. 2004)
Full Article

Myanmar PM under 'house arrest' (CNN)

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Myanmar Prime Minister Khin Nyunt has been ousted and is under house arrest on corruption charges, a Thai government spokesman has told news agencies.

CNN Online
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Is this the start of reforms in Burma?
Will this mean the release of Aung San Suu Kyi?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Myanmar (Burma) bans "For the Lady" album before release

WASHINGTON (AFP) - One week before its release, Myanmar's military junta has banned an album by some of the world's top artistes demanding the freedom of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, activists said.

"According to a radio station that beams news inside Burma, we just learned that 'For the Lady' was banned by the ruling dictators," said Jeremy Woodrum, founder of non-profit group US Campaign For Burma, comprising activists seeking an end to the military dictatorship in the impoverished nation.

(AFP. Yahoo news. October 18. 2004)
Article Link

Is this another piece of evidence that shows the resiliance of the SPDC in Burma?
Will the Developed countries ever focus on the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi?

China joins drive for green cars


China joins foreign carmakers at exhibition of eco-friendly vehicles in Shanghai as it tries to veer away from petrol-guzzling cars
ANTING (China) - Booming demand is not only turning China into the world's fastest growing car market, but it is also pushing the country to develop vehicles that run on alternative fuels.

(Strait's Times. Oct. 18. 2004)

China might be the beacon for environmentally friendly cars in the future!

The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld

As we know,

There are known knowns.

There are things we know we know.

We also know

There are known unknowns.

That is to say

We know there are some things

We do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns,

The ones we don't know

We don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld

(This is in-directly related to East Asia, since he is in control of Pacific command of the US military).

Friday, October 08, 2004

Aid Group to Set Up Church in Pyongyang

By Moon Gwang-lipStaff Reporter

A relief agency is to establish a church exclusively for foreigners in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

When opened, foreign visitors and diplomats will be able to attend English prayer services in Pyongyang.

(Korea Times. Oct. 8. 2004)

Article link

Is this the start of religious freedom in Stalinist North Korea?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

China would aid North Korea in war, says Seoul

China is ready to deploy 400,000 troops in support of its ally North Korea if a second war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, according to a South Korean military study.

Mainland support would also include 800 aircraft and 150 navy vessels, according to a report presented by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to parliament.

(Agence France-Presse. The Standard Online. Oct. 6. 2004)

Complete Article

Cookiesap:AsiaEast quite simply chooses not to agree with this report. China has too much at stake in a potential war, considering the fact that the legitimacy of the CCP is manifested in China's high economic growth; a war would risk everything for Hu Jintao. A scenario, as suggested by South Korea's JCS, is very pessimistic and extremely hypothetical.

Comments, please!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Yudhoyono wins Indonesian vote

Former Indonesian general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been declared the official winner of last month's first direct presidential election.

(BBC Online. Oct. 4. 2004)


Will SBY lead Indonesia to economic growth and development?
Will he be able to keep Indonesia's militant fractions under control?

Who was right on North Korea?

Regardless of whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, if you are concerned about events on the Korean Peninsula, you had to come away from the first presidential debate feeling quite distressed. Neither US President George W Bush nor Senator John Kerry had his facts straight and, collectively, they managed to significantly reduce the already slim chance that there would be any near-term progress in the currently stalled six-party talks process.

(By Ralph A Cossa. Asia Times. Oct. 4. 2004)

Full article.

Who was right at the debate?

Saturday, October 02, 2004

U.S. Navy Ship to Keep Eye on N. Korea


TOKYO - Amid heightened concerns of a North Korean missile test, a U.S. destroyer has started patrolling the Sea of Japan in what officials say is a first step toward creating a shield to protect the United States and its allies from a foreign missile attack.

(By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer. Yahoo. October 1. 2004)

Complete Article.

Is this a step towards increased nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula?
Will this deter Kim Jong Il from construction additional warheads?

Thailand proposes South-East Asian wildlife Interpol

(AFP) Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has proposed an Interpol-style agency for South-East Asia to tackle the region's multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade.

(Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Online. October 2. 2004)

Link to article

Is this a sign of a more effective Thailand is solving regional issues in South East Asia?
Is Thaksin taking this seriously enough to do get it done?