Abe Visits Yasukuni, Hong Kong to debate Public Vote, and Pakistan Cyber Law


Audio Version:

Wednesday | April 22, 2015

Abe sends an offering to the Yasukuni Shrine which is sure to anger South Korea and China, Hong Kong is set to unveil its plans for electing a new Chief Executive in 2017, and Pakistan is chastised over its proposed cyber law.

Shinzo Abe Sends Offering to Yasukuni Shrine

It happens twice a year at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, festivals honoring Japan’s fallen who served under the Emperor until the end of World War II. Like clockwork, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a ritualistic offering, opting to not to tempt fate by making a personal visit with a trip to the United States next week. Will Seoul and Beijing respond as they usually do?

Hong Kong Unveils Political Reforms

Later today, Hong Kong will unveils its long awaited plan on how the city will pick its next Chief Executive in 2017. No surprises are expected today, as the guidelines will closely match those Beijing announced last year that ignited the Umbrella Revolution.

Pakistan Cyber Law Draws Criticism

Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, Digital Rights Foundation and others issued a joint statement expressing concerns over Pakistan’s proposed Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, declaring it a risk to the freedom of expression and privacy.

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Uniting against ISIS, Thailand’s Constitution Unveiled, and Selfie Camera-Phones


Audio version:

Tuesday | April 21, 2015

As the Islamic State slaughters Christians in the Middle East, more nations commit to stopping them. The new Thai constitution is unveiled and LG looks to change the way we shoot selfies.

The fight against the Islamic State

A new video has surfaced depicting members affiliated with the Islamic State beheading and shooting Ethiopian Christians. It was a chilling scene to watch, but as ISIS increases its violence, other nations are banding together to fight back.

Thailand unveils its Constitution

Nearly a year has passed since Thailand underwent a bloodless coup. Then General and now Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha vowed to make changes and now we’re starting to see some.

LG Set to Make Selfies Super Clear

LG is set to launch its new flagship smartphone later this month in its home nation of South Korea. While not as ubiquitous as Samsung’s Galaxy line, the technology manufacturer is hoping major improvements to its onboard cameras will capture the selfie-generation.

Keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter. You can also send an email to the show with your comments, questions, and feedback. Just drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

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Terror Plot in Australia, Journalist Sent to Prison, President Park is Done


Audio version:

Monday | April 20, 2015

Police arrest five teenagers in Australia as they plan out an ISIS inspired terrorist attack. A Chinese journalist is sentenced for leaking documents. Plus Police clash with protestors in Seoul over the Sewol ferry as problems worsen for Park’s administration.

Australia Thwarts Terror Plot

Police in Australia arrested five teenagers suspected of plotting a terrorist attack inspired by the Islamic State. Authorities believe it wasn’t a beheading attack, but one scheduled to take place on ANZAC Day.

Chinese Journalist Sentenced

This past Friday, a Chinese court has sentenced a journalist to seven years in prison for leaking an internal Communist Party document to a foreign website. Gao Yu, who was tried behind closed doors last November, was convicted of providing state secrets to foreign contacts. This wasn’t the first time she had been arrested and convicted for such activities.

More Problems for Park

After skipping town on the anniversary of the Sewol ferry’s sinking, the political problems for South Korean President Park continue to mount – and I’m just not speaking about her plummeting approval raking.

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Human trafficking in Asia


Audio Version:

Saturday | April 18, 2015

Human trafficking is a term thrown around a lot in the media. It’s all encompassing term, but what do we really mean by it and how bad are things in Asia? Today, we’re going to discuss things plainly. For that I’m welcoming back Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division to the podcast.

My question to you this week is why does human trafficking persist in Asia? Please share your thoughts in comments, on Facebook, or Twitter.

Keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter. You can also send an email to the show with your comments, questions, and feedback. Just drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

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Will the US Take Sides in China Sea Disputes?


Audio version:

Friday | April 17, 2015

For the past year, I’ve been discussing the South China Sea. This week, both Obama and China confirmed what I had to say, Facebook comes to the rescue, and Korea remembers the Sewol tragedy. These stories and more are on the April 17th edition of Asia News Weekly.

The South China Sea (0:55)

This past week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, “We are building shelters, aids for navigation, search and rescue, as well as marine meteorological forecasting services, fishery services and other administrative services” for China and neighboring countries.” Hua also noted the new islands would be used for China’s defense.

Then US President  Barack Obama said Washington was concerned China was using its “sheer size and muscle” to push aside smaller nations with claims to areas of the South China Sea.

To answer if a diplomatic solution could still be viable and if the US might have to choose sides in the dispute, Scott Harold, Political Scientist and Deputy Director for the Center for Asia-Pacific Policy at the RAND Corporation joins the podcast.

The Sewol Tragedy One Year Later and Trouble for President Park (8:33)

This week marks the one year anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean ferry, Sewol. It also marks an ever growing bribery scandal right President Park’s administration. Has the government done enough following this tragic event? What will happen next to ruling Saenuri Party? Lee Tae-hoon from the Korea Observer discusses.

Facebook to the Rescue (15:08)

There perhaps is no greater time suck on the planet than Facebook. By some estimates, people spend as much as 40 minutes a day or nearly 7 hours a month posting pictures, checking stats updates, and playing games. But not once, but twice, it’s been used to save someone from slave-like conditions.

The Weekly Brief

Taking a look at some other stories from the region, Japan and South Korea held their first security talks in five years. The Land of the Rising Sun also submitted plans to resume whale hunting in the Southern Ocean. South Korea’s Constitutional Court considers legalizing prostitution, the younger brother of China’s last Emperor passed away, and a nun self-immolates in Tibet.

Keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter. You can also send an email to the show with your comments, questions, and feedback. Just drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

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SOURCES

South Korea remembers the Sewol as Park leaves



Audio version:

Thursday | April 16, 2015

One year later, South Korea remembers the more than 300 that perished on the ill-fated Sewol, South Korea’s top leaders face stiff criticism, and families at Pearl Harbor may get some closure.

The Sewol – One Year Later

Today marks the one year anniversary of the sinking of the Sewol ferry in South Korea. On that fateful day, over 300 perished, many of whom were high school students on a school trip to Jeju Island. However, many lingering questions remain as the nation mourns once more.

South Korean Leadership in Trouble

You’d think that South Korean President Park Geun-hye would be spending today trying to heal her nation. But you’d be wrong. She’s schedule to depart on a diplomatic trip as her top aides are questioned for bribery.

Identifying the Dead at Pearl Harbor

Until the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, DC, the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was the deadliest assault on American soil. The Pacific fleet was decimated, and many young men who were serving in the Navy never returned to their families. There simply wasn’t a way to positively identify the remains. The US military aims to correct that.

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Court stops Japanese reactors, Chinese activists freed, and South Korea lifts travel ban


Audio Version:

Wednesday |April 15, 2015

Despite government reassurances their reactors are safe, a Japanese court blocks a power company from restarting them, China releases five activists, but threatens to punish others, plus a Japanese journalist gets to go home.

Japanese court blocks nuclear plant restart

Prior to the great earthquake in Japan March 11, 2011, nearly a third of its power came from nuclear reactors. However, in the disaster that followed at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the government ordered a shutdown of all systems as new safety measures were developed. Now as they’re about to go back online, the public is suing to stop them.

China releases activists

The United States, as well as others, called on China to release five Chinese activists detained in March around International Women’s Day. Tuesday, they bowed to pressure and did so. But the lingering question is why?

Travel ban on Tatsuya Kato lifted

South Korea lifted a travel ban that has been in place on Tatsuya Kato, the former bureau chief of the Japanese Sankei Shimbun newspaper since last year. While free to go home and see his ailing mother and family, he’s electing to stay.

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Hackers attacking Asia, Indonesia partners with US, and Beijing limits HK visits.


Audio version:

Tuesday | April 14, 2015

Hackers continue to cause trouble in Asia, Indonesia hopes partnering with the United States will deter China from encroaching on its waters, and Beijing revokes some privileges from mainlanders when traveling to Hong Kong.

Hackers Strike in Asia

A new security report asserts that China has been attempting to hack into Southeast Asian and Indian government and business systems for a decade.

Indonesia aims to look tough against China

While Indonesia isn’t involved directly with the myriad of competing claims in the South China Sea, it has accused China of trying to incorporate its Natuna Islands into its territory as part of the Nine-Dash Line. Now, Jakarta is looking to partner with the United States as a deterrent.

Beijing limits visits to Hong Kong

Tensions continue to run high between Hong Kongers and those from the mainland. To help smoothing things over, Beijing is now restricting the number of times mainlanders can visit the Special Administrative region.

Keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter. You can also send an email to the show with your comments, questions, and feedback. Just drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

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