Najib under investigation, Seoul and Tokyo work together, and more


The Asia Brief begins this week with a look the trouble facing Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Accused of receiving more than $700 million in illegal funds, several offices have been raided, accounts frozen, and some are even calling for the Prime Minister to step down. The podcast also takes a look at the newest Japanese UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the political wrangling conducted by Seoul and Tokyo to ensure a successful bid. Host Steve Miller also provides an update on the defamation charge against Japanese reporter Tatsuya Kato, how the Philippines is taking charge and handling a ferry sinking, a regional MERS update, and more.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t, subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website,, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to

ASIA NEWS WEEKLY: Seoul-Tokyo Relations, Technology Payouts, and more

Seoul-Tokyo Relations, floods and landslides wreak havoc, and technology giants payout damages. These stories and more are on the August 29th edition of Asia News Weekly.

This Asia News Weekly podcast begins with the latest developments in the ongoing stagnant relationship between Seoul and Tokyo. While South Korea’s President Park continues to demand Japan to look squarely at its role during World War II, a call echoed by former Prime Minister Murayama, host Steve Miller questions if South Korea is ready to do the same with its own past following liberation.

The podcast then provides the latest updates to natural disasters affecting both nations. In Hiroshima, a landslide was responsible for killing up to eighty with heavy rain delaying rescue and recovery operations. That same kind of rain created what many in South Korea were calling a “water bomb” and flooded the southeastern city of Busan, killing five.

Changes in government usually happen smoothly in democracies; however, both Thailand and Indonesia have seen their fair share of political turmoil this year. This week, Thai junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha assumed the Premiership and former Jakarta governor Joko Widodo was certified as Indonesia’s President-elect.

Asia News Weekly also discusses two legal cases affecting South Korea and Japan. First, The Korea Times’ Kim Yoo Chul joins Miller to explain the Seoul High Court’s ruling against technology giant Samsung. In Japan, TEPCO has been ordered to pay the surviving family members of a woman who committed suicide after the March 11th earthquake. The details of these substantial payouts are explained as the podcast moves into the second half.

As the show winds down, Miller takes a look at gambling addiction in Japan amidst calls for casinos and expansion of gambling. He brings in comprehensive data from a US study and asks the question, “Is Japan ready for more gambling and at what price?” The podcast concludes with the Asia News Update segment, featuring several short stories from the region, and your comments.

Asia News Weekly is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Thumbnail: Taisyo – Wikimedia Commons


Walking Through Akihabara – Get QiRanger Out There! #5

Akihabara (Tokyo, Japan) is known throughout the world for its high concentration of gadgets and anime inspired toys. It also has some great idol groups making the rounds (AKB48 anyone?). While in Japan, I hooked up with Victor (GimmeaBreakMan) and we cruised the streets together. While out and about, we met up with other YouTubers in true Get QOT style! Come along and enjoy my reaction to one of the most famous neighborhoods in Tokyo.

From Wikipedia: Akihabara is a major shopping area for electronic, computer, anime, games and otaku goods, including new and used items. New items are mostly to be found on the main street, Chūōdōri, with many kinds of used items found in the back streets of Soto Kanda 3-chōme. New parts for PC-building are readily available from a variety of stores. Tools, electrical parts, wires, microsized cameras and similar items are found in the cramped passageways of Soto Kanda 1-chōme (near the station). Foreign tourists tend to visit the big name shops like Laox or other speciality shops near the station, though there is more variety and lower prices at locales a little further away. Akihabara gained some fame through being home to one of the first stores devoted to personal robots and robotics.

Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed with it and I was expecting things to be a lot (and I mean A LOT) stranger there. It was fun cruising around, but if I were to go back again, it would have to be at night to see if there was anything different.

Tokyo Travel Tip: The Skyliner

When researching methods of transport to and from Narita Airport in Tokyo, I faced a huge dilemma. Just how was I going to travel back and forth economically? Would I take an express train? Would I take the bus? Was there another option I was missing?

tokyo skylinerAfter spending a few hours of researching the airport’s website and reviewing my final destination, I settled on taking the Keisei Eltric Skyliner. This route doesn’t travel to many destinations in Tokyo, but does makes stops at Nippori and Ueno stations. This allowed me to quickly transfer to other lines and navigate to my ultimate destination.

I also found it quite cheap by comparison as well. A normal ticket is only ¥2,400. However, it is possible to get a special discount coupon for ¥200 off. They also have a number of other special packages, too.

Tokyo 2013 YouTube Gathering


September 14, 2013 12:30-14:30
YouTube Space Tokyo Talk and Panel Discussion

Prior to the kick off of the party at 3pm, YouTube staff from Google are holding an event at Roppongi Hills in the YouTube Space that you can sign up to attend at the following link:

The event will feature announcements from Google Staff about latest YouTube features and tricks, and a panel discussion featuring Megwin, QiRanger, Gimmeabreakman, YouTube Staff, and moderated by Hikosaemon.

You can register to attend any time up to 11am on Friday September 13, so sign up NOW to ensure you don’t miss out!

If there’s one thing I loved about being involved with YouTube back in 2007 and 2008, it was the community. The time we spent interacting and hanging out with one another. I had the pleasure of attending a great gathering in San Francisco, where Jo and I were able to meet many of my YouTube friends for the first time. Those I met there are still my friends today.

Since coming to Korea, I’ve met many people who make videos here, and in other Asian countries. Most notably, I’ve long been considered an honorary member of the J-VLOG community in Japan. Over the years, members of the J-VLOG community have invited me to their biannual gatherings, but I’ve had to decline based on my schedule.

However, this year is different. Saturday, September 14 is the Fall 2013 Tokyo YouTube Gathering and I am going! That’s right, for one weekend, I’ll be cruising the streets of Tokyo and hanging out with several members of the J-VLOG community.

I arrive Friday and will be basing my adventures out of Shinjuku. Saturday will be one epic YouTube event and Sunday will be a combination of recovery and explorations. Unfortunately, I will be leaving Japan Monday morning to return to Korea for Monday’s Catch the Wave show.

If you’re in Tokyo and want to meet up, let’s try to make it happen. If you’ve never been to a YouTube gathering, this is one you don’t want to miss. [FACEBOOK EVENT | G+ EVENT]

Here’s the info from the Facebook event page:

Back in 2011, we had the first big summer Tokyo YouTube gathering in the Tokyo Sports Cafe in Roppongi, and those many who were there remember it was a magic party.

Well… We’re BACK!

Starting 3pm on Saturday September 14, 2013, we are having the third annual Tokyo YouTube Gathering once again in Roppongi!

Details to be elaborated upon, but the owner still remembers our last party and seemed really happy to let us book out his place and use it as we liked again, so there will be YouTube video screens, contests, some entertainment, and lots of YouTubers.

UPDATE: Prior to the party, YouTube is discussing setting up a YouTuber oriented seminar event in the YouTube Space in Roppongi Hills which will be broadcast live ahead of the party. More details to come on topics and participation.

The deal for the party venue will be 3,000 yen per head, with all you can drink NOMIHODAI menu until 6pm! The bar is all ours until opening at 6pm, and then until as late as we want.

PLEASE RSVP as it helps me with logistics. All people who RSVP via Facebook or Google Plus will be in the draw for prizes, and get their videos playing on the big screen playlists during the party.

For a feel of what it will be like, check out the pics, vids and blogs from the last one at this location here:


Again, if you’re in Tokyo, I hope to meet you, if not, follow along with my adventures as I post on Twitter with the hashtag #QiRangerInTokyo.

Japan threatens to sue Korea

It’s something that I expected. Japan announced it will take Korea to the International Court of Justice if the Supreme Court does not overturn a verdict ordering Nippon Steel to compensate World War II forced laborers (Chosun Ilbo).

Japan and Japanese companies stated previously they are exempt from further payouts because the 1965 bilateral agreement included an apology and a payment for damages. In recent years, Korean courts have disagreed with that premise. It should be noted the bilateral agreement contains an arbitration clause to settle differences, and while South Korea has requested talks, Japan has not moved on them.

My question to you is this: Does the court’s ruling in favor of Koreans and ordering Japanese companies to pay damages violate the 1965 bilateral agreement between Korea and Japan?

korea japan

Suji’s Deli

Oh yeah! I love a good sandwich and in Korea, it’s been pretty hard to get what I like to call a good one. Sure, you can go to a Subway’s (if you can find one), but the one’s you usually find at a Paris Baguette just don’t cut it for me – and truthfully, neither are really sandwiches.

I miss the good deli sandwiches I could get in Scottsdale, Arizona. Those wonderful creations on rye bread, stacked high with thick slabs of meat and a dill pickle on the side. That’s what I’m talking about.

The good thing to know, if you’re in Seoul or Tokyo, is that you can still find these great sandwiches. To do so, just wander into Suji’s Deli and you won’t be disappointed. Recently, Jo and I were invited to film a video for Suji’s and we were really excited, since they have been running a special promotion: an extra 100g (free) on their pastrami sandwich. It was something I dreamed of for a long time and it was about to appear before me.

This shoot was very cool, because they asked me just to come out and shoot what every I wanted. They also asked if I had any requests and what my plan entailed. I shot them back a quick email and said I wanted to be able to talk to someone about the restaurant. Who did I get to talk to? Suji Park, the restaurant’s founder and owner.

Beauty in a cup!

Time with her was pressed because of her busy schedule, but she was very nice to sit down with Jo and I and answer a dozen or so questions. For those wanting to know some key details about Suji’s, check this out!

  1. Suji Park dropped everything to attend FCI a while back. That had a huge impact on the restaurant, but most importantly, allowed her to develop a method of curing her own meats. Now all Suji’s sandwiches are made with fresh and homemade meats.
  2. 5% of the take from the Celebrity Sandwiches are donated to charity.
  3. La Colombe is an amazing coffee out of the Eastern United States and Suji’s is the first to have it in Korea.

Once our interview was completed, Suji ordered our lunch and we got to sample some very tasty dishes.

A Trifecta of Greatness!

We started things off with the Soup of the Day. It was a creamy cheddar dish that went down so smooth, you’d think you were drinking butter. Everything about the soup was perfect.

Then it was time to satisfy my hunger. The 300g Sky-High Pastrami sat before me. My mouth watered and salivary glands burned with anticipation. When I first bit into the sandwich, I was instantly transported to heaven. It was perfect. This is what a pastrami sandwich should taste like. The pepper and sauce blended together and everything danced in unison.


Next I tried the Turkey Lettuce Tomato Sandwich. This also was a delight. Not only since it had been 2009 since I had a turkey sandwich, but because this one was ideal. Take your ultimate BLT, add some homemade cured turkey and then you’ll start to get an idea of how delicious this sandwich tasted.

The Reuben!

The final sandwich we had was the Reuben. This was a tall order, especially since we had already eaten more than we normally do in a day in one sitting. But again, we were not disappointed. The sour kraut on the sandwich was perfect and added the right amount of tang to the meat. It was great!

Suji’s has a number of restaurants open in the Seoul Metro area, but also in Tokyo, Japan. If you’d like a taste of the US, you won’t be disappointed. But be prepared to spend for this luxury. Sandwiches at the Itaewon location were in the W12-15000.

A complete set of photos from the day: