Can Asia Compete for Regional Airplanes?

Can Asia Compete for Regional Airplanes?The year 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for commercial airplane makers. Boeing and Airbus, makers of the “big jets,” will introduce new models this year, as will the two big makers of “regional” airliners Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier. Into this busy mix come two Asian aircraft manufacturers, one in China…

A New Asian Great Game Gets Underway

A New Asian Great Game Gets UnderwayNot one but two new Silk Roads are being born from the ashes of the ancient trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent. In effect, a new Great Game – a term used to describe the 19th-century contest for political and diplomatic primacy between Britain and…

Trump Aides Cool Their Jets on Asia

Trump Aides Cool Their Jets on AsiaJapan and South Korea breathed easier following the recent visits from the new US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, his first to East Asia in his new job.  They were pleased by what he had to say, namely that the Senkaku islands, disputed by China, fall under the protection of the 1960 Security Treaty that…

Deaths from Overwork Plague Japan

Deaths from Overwork Plague JapanIn the spring of 2015 Matsuri Takahashi, 24, joined the Dentsu advertising agency, one of the Japan’s most prestigious but demanding corporations, as a young recruit. Within a few months she was complaining to friends how exhausted she was.  “I want to die” she confided in a social media message to friends. And on Christmas…

Japan’s Female Troika: Potential Prime Ministers

Japan’s Female Troika: Potential Prime MinistersIn fewer than two months over the summer, Japan’s famously male-dominated political system elevated three ambitious women into positions that could become stepping-stones to the prime minister’s office.  Although Japan is now flanked by neighbors such as Taiwan and South Korea, both with women presidents, no Japanese woman has ever served as prime minister, or…

The Aging Dilemma for Asian Populations

The Aging Dilemma for Asian PopulationsJapan, the first country into extensive experience with an aging population as fertility rates decline and life expectancy increases, is far ahead of other Asian countries including Singapore, Thailand, China, India and Taiwan in taking care of its elderly. Over the past several decades, most Asian countries have undergone astonishing shrinkage of total fertility rates,…

Tension Grows Between Japan and China over Islets

Tension Grows Between Japan and China over IsletsTokyo has delivered a humiliating public protest to China’s ambassador for the intrusion of a vast “fishing fleet” escorted by a dozen coast guard and other law-enforcement vessels in or near waters of the disputed Senkaku islands, known as the Daioyus to the Chinese. Such protests are common in the ongoing cat and mouse game…

Japan Enters South China Sea Dispute

Japan Enters South China Sea DisputeIn the coming months, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague is set to issue its judgment on the case brought by the Philippines that challenges China’s claims in the South China Sea. Beijing appears to be anticipating an unfavorable ruling and is reaffirming its stance on the illegitimacy of the UN tribunal. Beijing…

The consequences of Japan’s shrinking

The consequences of Japan’s shrinkingThe population of Japan peaked in 2008 at 128 million. With the fertility rate – births per woman – falling below 1.5 at the beginning of the 1990s and falling as low as 1.29 in 2004, the population is shrinking rapidly. Already Japan has one million people fewer than in 2008. The government aims to keep…

Obama to go to Hiroshima

Obama to go to HiroshimaFor years, even as wartime animosities were transformed into friendship, no US President has ever visited Hiroshima, site of the first atomic bombing (Jimmy Carter visited after he left the presidency).  They were deterred by what might be called the “Truman Question.” It goes like this: “Mr. President, if you had been president in 1945,…
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