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By ‘invitation’ only: North Korea’s blunt force approach to foreign language education

The father of Japanese abductee, Megumi Yokota, holds a picture of his daughter at 13 and then at 20 in North Korea. / Koichi Kamoshida / Getty

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com North Koreans some years ago had an unusual way of acquiring professional expertise in teaching people foreign languages. Rather than advertise for teachers, they kidnapped native speakers. Most of them were Japanese, but […]

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Japan opens radar station near disputed islands, angers China

Members of Japan's Self Defence Force hold an opening ceremony of a new military base on the island of Yonaguni in the Okinawa prefecture, March 28.  /Reuters/Kyodo

Special to WorldTribune.com Japan on March 28 switched on a new radar station near disputed islands in the East China Sea that drew an instant rebuke from China. The new Japan Self-Defense Forces base is on the island of Yonaguni, […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,China,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

Washington’s growing China problem is becoming impossible to ignore

Photo taken from a military plane shows China's reclamation activity at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Ritchie B. Tongo / AP

Special to WorldTribune.com By Sol W. Sanders The U.S.’ confrontation with an increasingly powerful and incipiently aggressive China is getting much more complicated. There is no question of its high priority among the U.S.’ foreign policy issues. But were you […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,China,Columnists,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,Philippines,Sol Sanders,Stateside,Taiwan,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence,U.S. Military,Washington | Read More »

Report: China threat spurs ‘long overdue’ military upgrades throughout Asia

Japanese ships during an Oct. 18, 2015 fleet review off Sagami Bay.  /AFP

Special to WorldTribune.com Asian Pacific nations are spending big on “long overdue” military upgrades to counter the threat posed by China, according to a IHS Jane’s report. In 2015, nine of the 20 fastest-growing defense budgets were in the Asian […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Burma,China,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,Philippines,Top Stories,Vietnam,World Links | Read More »

Healing history’s bitter Japan-Philippines wounds

Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife, Empress Michiko, in Manila.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com MANILA ― No city suffered more in World War II than this sprawling metropolis of more than 10 million people. No enemy was more cruel, more hostile, more destructive than the Japanese after […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,China,Columnists,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,Philippines,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Iran says $100 billion in frozen assets ‘fully released’

Mohammad Bagher Nobakh.

Special to WorldTribune.com Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Iran says it now has access to more than $100 billion worth of overseas assets that were unfrozen as a result of a landmark nuclear deal with world powers. Government spokesman […]

Posted in BB Middle East,BB Top Story,China,Exclusives,Iran,Japan,Mideast,NE Asia,South Korea,Stateside,Terrorism,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,Washington | Read More »

Writer calls for bright light, untainted by politics, on comfort women issue

Park Yu-Ha.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com WASHINGTON ― Park Yu-Ha, under fire in Korea for writing “Comfort Women of the Empire,” offers what she believes may be a way to reach an understanding with Japan on the whole controversy. […]

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Djibouti: Tiny strategic hub plays host to armies from seven nations

djibo

Special to WorldTribune.com By Backgrounder, Geostrategy-Direct.com Djibouti, a former French colony, is a country of searing heat (summer temperatures average over 100 degrees) and little rain (17 days a year on average). The population of the East African state is […]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Africa,BB Backgrounder,China,Djibouti,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Japan,NE Asia,Russia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military,Washington | Read More »

Sayonara: Japan’s aging population, low birth rate leaves vacant properties

Japan's population is aging rapidly.

Special to WorldTribune.com A surge in the number of abandoned homes in Japan has been attributed to the country’s aging population and low rate of births. According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Japan’s death rate (the deaths during […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

‘Comfort woman’ statues serve as permanent reminder of Japan’s past

Facing the Japanese embassyin Seoul, the inscriptionon the statue reads: "This peace monument reflects people's genuine desire to learn from history and remember the past on the occasion of the 1,000th weekly protest against Japan's atrocities by comfort woman forced into sexual slavery."

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com The Koreans are using art to upset the Japanese. That’s in the form of statues of innocent young girls ― reminders of the suffering of Korean and other Asian women in the service […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,China,Columnists,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »