China’s intensifying showdown with Japan is distracting from its growing internal crisis

China’s intensifying showdown with Japan is distracting from its growing internal crisis

Special to WorldTribune.com By Brian M Downing, FreePressers.com The dispute between China and Japan over the Senkakus group of uninhabited islands and barren rocks jutting up from the East China Sea has intensified in recent days. China has sent armed vessels to the island and anti-Japanese demonstrations have broken out in Chinese cities. Japan has […]

‘Playing God’ with birth rates: The soft underbelly of geopolitics

‘Playing God’ with birth rates: The soft underbelly of geopolitics

Sol W. Sanders   Paying a visit to my phlegmatic Punjabi physician in New Delhi in the early 1960s, I found him uncharacteristically upset. Amniocentesis had come to India and some of his patients were asking him to abort fetuses if they were female. Out of moral scruple, he was refusing, losing patients — and […]

There’s a word for Beijing’s new island dispute tactics with Tokyo: Hardball

There’s a word for Beijing’s new island dispute tactics with Tokyo: Hardball

Special to WorldTribune.com By Willy Lam, East-Asia-Intel.com Since territorial disputes erupted between China and Japan in the early 1970s over the Diaoyu islets (called the Senkakus in Japan), Beijing has stuck to late patriarch Deng Xiaoping’s famous dictum: “Leave the question of sovereignty for the next generation; let’s put the emphasis on joint [economic] development.” […]

As Japan’s birthrate drops, pets outnumber children

As Japan’s birthrate drops, pets outnumber children

Times247.com As Japan’s birthrate plummets, the estimated worth of its pet industry has risen to $10bn, with pampered pooches enjoying holidays at hot spring resorts, yoga classes and designer clothes. While the birthrate has been falling dramatically and the average age of Japan’s population has been steadily climbing, Japan has become a pet superpower. Official […]

As West falters, Asia Pacific region emerging as new global economic engine

As West falters, Asia Pacific region emerging as new global economic engine

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Despite the persistent economic headwinds which are expected to slow economic expansion this year, “growth in the Asia and the Pacific area remains better than in any other region; continuing as an anchor of stability and a new growth pole for the world economy.” That’s the guardedly optimistic prognosis […]

World waits for someone to do something, and then waits some more

World waits for someone to do something, and then waits some more

Sol W. Sanders Looking around the world, the striking characteristic is waiting out a number of crises. Their outcome seems almost artificially suspended, and their interaction on one another and their ultimate effect on the world is at issue. We start with the Euro. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s supplications in Beijing were perhaps laudable but a […]

In pursuit, globally, of the elusive soft-landing

In pursuit, globally, of the elusive soft-landing

Sol W. Sanders The new year’s worldwide economic downturn has an interlocking effect: every national economy is searching to accommodate itself politically as well as economically to what looks to be an extended period of low growth. After longer or shorter periods of historically unrivaled prosperity, they are feeling for a “bottom” — a level […]

Potentially explosive movements on a volatile Asian chessboard

Potentially explosive movements on a volatile Asian chessboard

Sol W. Sanders A new era of increasing instability is opening in East Asia. The death of North Korean leader Kim Il-Jong is only adding another, if explosive, element to an already volatile equation: China enters a period of substantially slower economic growth, if not a crash, on the eve next autumn of a takeover […]

Fukushima: No longer a ghost town, but haunted by a dreaded spectre

Fukushima: No longer a ghost town, but haunted by a dreaded spectre

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com MINAMISOMA, Japan — The soulful notes of Silent Night wafted from an outdoor sound system on the near-empty main street to the station of this coastal city on the northern edge of the 20-kilometer “exclusion zone” around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The doleful refrain set the […]

New Burma Road: Watch for the geopolitical landmines

New Burma Road: Watch for the geopolitical landmines

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — With the historic visit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Burma, the highest profile American diplomatic contact in fifty years, the United States has entered a high stakes geopolitical chess game in Southeast Asia. Burma, a political pariah state has long been courted by China, coveted by India, […]