Watch Arab Labor Season 2  Close

LinkAsia Blog Banner

HOME     |     ABOUT     |     BLOG     |    EXPERTS     |    PARTNERS     |     HOST THUY VU

 

About

From Beijng to Tokyo, from Seoul to New Delhi, LinkAsia takes viewers into media about Asia – from Asia – offering unfiltered insight into one of the most diverse, fast-paced regions of the globe.

 

The LinkAsia blog features in-depth analysis from expert contributors and LinkAsia producers, as well as transcripts from NHK Japan reports.

 

LinkAsia airs Fridays at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT on Link TV, and is available online at LinkAsia.org.

LinkAsia News Brief

About Those Elections In India...
 
 

Comments (0)

 
Digg it!Add to RedditAdd to Del.icio.usShare on Facebook
 
Former Japanese PM Seeks to Mend Ties with South Korea

Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama has stepped front and center into the argument over history between his country and South Korea. He is famous for the so-called ‘Murayama statement’ in 1995 apologizing for Imperial Japan’s aggression in the first half of the 20th century, he said, "Japan…through its colonial rule and digression caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly those of Asian nations," he further went on to say "[I] express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and submit my heartfelt apology."


During a recent visit to Seoul, Murayama said all Japanese prime ministers are bound by the apology he made back in 1995.  And the current one, Shinzo Abe, had no choice but to do the same.  Murayama’s statement got wide play in South Korea and Japan. Here's Japan's public broadcaster NHK.


Reporter:

Murayama is the former leader of Japan’s Social Democratic Party, which is currently in opposition. He is on a private visit to South Korea – invited by the country's opposition lawmakers.


Tomiichi Murayama:

I am convinced that my statement has national consensus. Therefore, I can assure you that Mr. Shinzo Abe, as prime minister of Japan, cannot deny my apology.


Reporter:

Murayama called on South Koreans to work to improve relations with Japan that have soured over historical and other issues.


Tomiichi Murayama:

Japan and South Korea must maintain friendly ties. For their mutual benefit, the development of the whole Asian region and world peace.


Reporter:

South Korean president Park Guen-hye reportedly considered meeting with Murayama, but decided not to.

 
 

Comments (0)

 
Digg it!Add to RedditAdd to Del.icio.usShare on Facebook
 
Farmers and Markets Team up to Deliver Fresh Produce by Text Message

And in Japan, farm fresh is now just a text message away. Farmers and grocers have teamed up to feed the growing demand for fresh produce through farmer's markets. There are now more than 17,000 of them in Japan. Customers love the cheaper prices and fresh produce. NHK shows us how managers of one market have found a way to ensure their apples are even crisper, and greens even greener.


Reporter:

Every year more than a million people pull into this parking lot in Utsunomiya north of Tokyo. This is one of Japan's busiest farm markets. Last year it sold over 5-million-dollars' worth of produce. There's a huge variety of fruit and vegetables, all sourced from 150 local farms. The big draw is price. Most items cost 10% less than an ordinary supermarket.


Shopper:

There's such a great variety. I shop in many different places, but I always end up coming back here.


Reporter:

The secret to the market's success?  A great selection of produce that's literally farm fresh. Nothing is left to chance. Each purchase is logged and analyzed at the cash register. The data is then sent direct to suppliers, the farmers themselves. Akemi Ikeda supplies more than 30 varieties of vegetables to the market. Even out in the fields she's kept in the loop.


Akemi Ikeda:

It's from the farm market.


Reporter:

Each farmer gets data on their sales sent to them by text message once an hour.


Akemi Ikeda:

Twenty bunches of chrysanthemum greens. I'll pick some more straightaway.


Reporter:

Right away, Ikeda starts pulling up more of the greens. She and her husband tie them in bunches, then rush them over to the market.  This is how the market always keeps its produce fresh, by adjusting supply to meet demand in real time.


Akemi Ikeda:

It's really encouraging to see how much I've sold each day. It's great.


Reporter:

This just in time supply system was set up by the market's manager, Yuzuru Matsumoto. Matsumoto has overseen a sharp rise in business. In the past five years, the number of visitors has risen by over 25%.


Yuzuru Matsumoto:

We try to look at it from the customer's point of view, and give them the service they want. We're always looking to improve the way we do things.


Reporter:

There's another factor that helps to motivate the farmers. The market lets the growers set their own prices for their produce. It takes just a 15% commission. Everything else goes to the farmers. The farmers coordinate closely with the market staff in deciding which vegetables to grow.


Market Employee:

As for the spinach between December 27th and the 31st we were about 300 kilograms short.


Farmer:

I'm thinking of sewing some after my tomatoes. If I put in 2- 300 square meters, that should be about right.


Reporter:

Holding regular meetings like this has changed the way the farmers think about their crops. Makoto Watanabe started working the land 7 years ago. He now grows six kinds of carrots. Most of these are new varieties that he'd never thought of before.


Makoto Watanabe:

It's really fun coming up with new products to sell and ways to create a market for them.


Yuzuru Matsumoto:

I think the producers feel much more involved as participants in this business.


Reporter:

From the field to the market and then straight to customers. It's an approach that works for everyone.

 


 
 

Comments (0)

 
Digg it!Add to RedditAdd to Del.icio.usShare on Facebook
 
Shinzo Abe Continues Push for Japan's Right to Collective Self-Defense

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants Japan’s military, known as the Self-Defense Forces, to be bigger and more active. But he’ll need to make changes to Japan’s pacifist constitution, drawn up by the US after the defeat in World War Two. To push for the changes, Abe assembled a panel of experts to study the issue and make recommendations. The experts agreed that lawmakers should act. Here's NHK.


Reporter:

Members of the panel met on Tuesday. Sources say they backed the government's view that the constitution should allow the right to collective self-defense. That would give the SDF the right to defend an ally under attack.

Some panel members said the current legal framework does not allow the SDF to use force in anything short of a direct military ­­strike.


Abe said the current law allows the forces to act only in cases of systematic and premeditated attacks on Japan. But he noted there might be cases that do not involve the use of force.


Shinzo Abe:

Many believe the SDF must respond to situations where there is a grey area. As when contingencies occur on remote islands, and if police and the coast guard cannot immediately respond.


Reporter:

Abe's views have been causing concern abroad. Neighboring countries such as China and South Korea are worried that Japan is taking a shift to the right. But an expert on security policy says the panel's decision is a necessary step in light of increasing tensions in the region.


Tetsuo Kotani:

Japan's security and civility in the region heavily depends on the global environment. So, it's not appropriate to name the specific region, but still as we can see, the tensions are very high in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.


Reporter:

The panel members will issue a final report to Abe as early as April. It will likely list the conditions that the SDF will be able to exercise collective self-defense. Kotani says the panel members need to hold more discussions about how the government would authorize such actions.


Tetsuo Kotani:

The key issue is of course the civilian control, or in other words, how the Diet should be involved when the Japanese government exercises collective self-defense.


Reporter:

Debate among lawmakers and the public is likely to grow heated before the panel members submit their final report.

 
 

Comments (0)

 
Digg it!Add to RedditAdd to Del.icio.usShare on Facebook
 
US Cautions China against South China Sea Air Defense Zone

Countries that border the South China Sea are worried that China will set up another air defense identification zone. This will allow it to push its claim to a wide area of the waters. And some are ramping up the rhetoric. Philippine president Benigno Aquino compared China to Germany’s carving up Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War Two. Aquino called on nations around the world to help the Philippines resist China’s claims. That brought a response from the US. Here’s NHK.

 

Reporter:

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russell spoke to reporters in Washington. He said the U.S does not recognize China’s air defense zone and warned its leaders not to set up more.

 

Daniel Russell, State Department:

We urge China not to attempt to implement the ADIZ and certainly not to replicate it in other sensitive areas including and particularly in the South China Sea.

 

Reporter:

Russell said the U.S military had shown that China air defense zone won't affect its operations.

 
 

Comments (0)

 
Digg it!Add to RedditAdd to Del.icio.usShare on Facebook