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Blog Profile / The Diplomat

Filed Under:News / International Affairs
Posts on Regator:9025
Posts / Week:53.4
Archived Since:August 31, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Avoiding US-China Military Rivalry

Despite the mostly friendly nature of President Hu Jintao’s state visit to Washington last month, the potential still exists for the US-China relationship to become much more adversarial, especially in the military-security arena. A...Show More Summary

George Orwell’s China?

The author is a professor of economics at a university in China. His real name has been witheld at his request. Over the Chinese New Year holiday, a crowd of passengers at the Tianjin Railway Station were held waiting by police, left...Show More Summary

The Return of Smile Diplomacy

Perhaps unsurprisingly, much of the US media’s attention during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to Washington last month was focused on remarks he made on human rights (and the translation difficulties that occurred during...Show More Summary

China’s Highly Unequal Economy

During a round table with business leaders during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States in January, US President Barack Obama stated optimistically that ‘With China’s growing middle class, I believe that over...Show More Summary

Modern Art & Culture in Bangkok

If your time in Bangkok is limited, but your love for art is great, then head right to the Silom Galleria—that I wrote about last week—and you’re likely to leave satiated. There are more than ten galleries there and you’ll get...Show More Summary

Please Look After Mom

South Korean writer Kyung-Sook Shin’s novel, Please Look After Mom, an emotional tale of one family’s complicated relations, has become a runaway hit—in the United States. The translated book, Shin’s first English language release,...Show More Summary

Japan’s Robot Love Hurts

Has Japan’s love for robots failed the country in its greatest time of need? Yes, says Timothy Hornyak, author of Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots. I spoke last week with Hornyak, who also currently blogsShow More Summary

Not Lost in Translation

Last week I wrote about South Korean writer Kyung-Sook Shin’s novel, Please Look After Mom, and how it has become a surprise hit in the United States. So unprecedented is the success of the book—a fictional account of one Korean family’s emotional journey—that Korean culture analyst and Prof. Show More Summary

Thai Art in Bangkok

One of my first introductions to Thai art was actually in Manila. I was wandering around the Ayala Museum and struck up a conversation with a woman who’d just moved there from Bangkok. When I told her it was my next destination, she...Show More Summary

Zhu Wei, on Art & China

How important is art to the future of Chinese society, and what will the consequences be of it taking a backseat in the name of economic progress and Western influence? I recently had the opportunity to speak to prominent contemporary...Show More Summary

Indoor Art Watching

After the earthquake and tsunami, many people here in Japan told me they were lying low, and staying in rather than going out. I can relate. In the weeks following the March 11 disaster, almost everyone I ran into wanted to talk about the earthquake and the tsunami and the radiation. Show More Summary

Tiger Mothers To Be Celebrated?

This Mother’s Day, will Asian mothers around the world be receiving a little bit more gratitude (or resentment) than usual from their grown-up offspring? After all, like it or not, the image of the Asian mother in the West has changed...Show More Summary

Thai Wine Weekends

It’s not widely known—yet—that Thailand has a small but flourishing domestic wine industry. And many of the unique selections slowly starting to come out of the country, and being recognized internationally as well, hail from the Khao Yai area, about 150 kilometres north-east of Bangkok. Show More Summary

‘Make My Day’

One way in which the business world is different from the art world is that business people often say they don’t like surprises. In the art world, people love surprises. Ceramicists like Ryota Aoki are often amazed when their finished work comes out of the kiln. Show More Summary

Fukushima Kids and Radiation

Late last month, the Japanese government declared a 20 kilometre radius no-entry zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. In effect, this was a mandatory evacuation order for all those remaining within the zone. There haveShow More Summary

Rakuten to Jump Keidanren Ship?

On Friday, Hiroshi Mikitani, president of Rakuten Inc., announced via Twitter that he’s considering withdrawing Rakuten from Nippon Keidanren, or the Japan Business Foundation. Nippon Keidanren is one of Japan's three major economic...Show More Summary

Mixed News on Fukushima

The completion of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s fact-finding mission to Japan, and the release of excerpts from these findings, was just one of the Fukushima-related news stories this past week worth mentioning. The report...Show More Summary

Where is the GSDF Going?

The Japanese Self-Defence Force (SDF), and in particular the Ground Self-Defence Force (GSDF), has been making headlines in the past few months for its brave and relentless relief efforts in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake in...Show More Summary

Kan Holding On, for Now

The most dramatic political developments of the year so far in Japan are related. They not only say something about the continuing troubles bedevilling Japan’s political system, but also raise serious questions about the ability of...Show More Summary

Japan’s Depressing Squabbling

Last month, Hiroko Tabuchi, a Tokyo-based reporter for The New York Times, tweeted a translated summary of a letter she had received from Tomoko Hatsuzawa, a Fukushima mother. In the letter, Hatsuzawa indicates she lives 60 kilometres...Show More Summary

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