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

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

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 they also captured likely candidates from Europe and the Middle East. Robert Boynton, a professor […]

Japan opens radar station near disputed islands, angers China

Japan opens radar station near disputed islands, angers China

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, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of the disputed islands known as the Senkaku islands […]

Washington’s growing China problem is becoming impossible to ignore

Washington’s growing China problem is becoming impossible to ignore

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 a Chinese strategist attempting to measure an American opponent’s intentions, the contradictory U.S. positions might […]

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

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

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 Pacific, the report said. By 2020, total military spending in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is […]

Healing history’s bitter Japan-Philippines wounds

Healing history’s bitter Japan-Philippines wounds

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 defeating U.S. forces in the Philippines at the outset of the war in the Pacific. […]

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

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

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 Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said much of the money was stored in banks in China, India, […]

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

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

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. Why not, she suggested in a panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center, form a […]

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

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

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 900,000, which ranks 159th in the world. But the tiny state on the Horn of […]

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

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

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 a year per 1,000 population) ranks 54th out of 225 countries. Japan also has the third-lowest recorded […]

In poll, Japan rebuffs China’s claim to islands; Abe’s approval rating soars

In poll, Japan rebuffs China’s claim to islands; Abe’s approval rating soars

Special to WorldTribune.com East-Asia-Intel.com One year after China’s government erupted over Japan’s decision to buy three islands in the Senkaku chain from private investors, a decision dubbed by politicians as “nationalization,” a whopping 69.6 percent of Japanese in a recent public opinion poll endorsed the government’s action. Respondents to the poll clearly put blame for […]

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