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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.

 

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LinkAsia News Brief

With Elections Looming, South Korea and Japan Look to the US

 
 

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Japan Analyzes US Election
(LinkAsia: October 26, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
So who won the debate?  Here's Japanese broadcaster, NHK, with one analyst's opinion.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: October 23, 2012

Fumiko Nishizaki:
I think foreign policy is usually the domain of the incumbent president, and I think President Obama used the opportunity quite well by explaining his specific foreign policy agenda and priorities and so on. Whereas, Governor Romney tended to be more general. He had this broad approach mapped out as his foreign policy agenda, but he was a little weak on specifics.

I guess they spent a whole lot of time on the Middle East, Middle Eastern policy and the Al Qaeda and Pakistan, Afghanistan-what impressed me was that President Obama was emphasizing a lot about his multilateral approach to many things, like in Libya or Iran. How the administration has dealt with in cooperation with the other countries. And in that sense I think Governor Romney tended to emphasize on leadership, on America's leadership. And he was attacking President Obama for not exerting strong American leadership.

Among the three debates I think the first debate made the strongest impression on the American public, because President Obama unexpectedly did not very well. He was not so focused and energetic and so on. The third debate, President Obama was clearly the winner I think. But it deals with foreign policy, first of all, and it's not something that the American public is most concerned about. They were worried about the economy and domestic policies. It is very difficult to say that either of these debates would have a definitive impact on the account of the election.
 
 

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South Korean Balloon Launch Incites North
(LinkAsia: October 26, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
This week, South Korean police rushed to contain groups of North Korean defectors and activists after Pyongyang threatened to attack them. The police were trying to stop the groups' plans to launch balloons carrying aid and propaganda into North Korea. They've done this several times in the past, but this is the first time that North Korea has threatened violence against them. Here's NHK with more.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: October 22, 2012

Reporter:
South Korean police cordoned off the road leading to Imjingak, a town near the demarcation line. They got into scuffles with the activists who protested against the move. Most of the activists are defectors from North Korea. They started chanting slogans against the north once it was clear they would have to give up on their leaflet campaign. Activists say they managed to release some of the balloons on Monday evening from an area not guarded by the police. The South Korean government's intervention in cases like this one is rare, but relations with the north have been more tense than usual. North Korean leaders have been making provocative moves ahead of South Korea's presidential election in December.

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Yul Kwon:
North Korea has often tried to influence presidential elections in South Korea. The most notorious incident occurred during South Korea's first democratic election in 1987. Two weeks before the election, two North Korean agents blew up a Korean Air passenger plane, killing all 115 people on board.
 
 

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Mo Yan: I Will 'Speak the Truth'

 
 

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Japanese Car Sales Plummet in China
(LinkAsia: October 19, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
Japan and China have a big economic stake in each other. Their trading relationship is worth over $300 billion every year. But now, anti-Japan sentiment in China has driven down the sales of Japanese cars to the point that some Japanese brand names are disappearing from Chinese roads. For more on this story, here's Japanese broadcaster NHK.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: October 16, 2012

Reporter:
Nissan Motors unveiled a new passenger car last month, developed especially for the Chinese market. Nissan is a top seller of Japanese cars in China. The price of the 1600 c.c. Runabout starts from about $11,000 - almost the same as Chinese models. Nissan kept costs down by using more locally-made parts. Nissan executives hoped the new car launch would jump-start sales in the country. But the timing couldn't have been worse. Anti-Japanese sentiment is running high. Company managers say the impact on sales has been larger than expected.

Carlos Ghosn:
This is the kind of crisis we really that we really don't like because it is completely outside the reach of the companies. You know, political situation is very emotional between the two countries, and you're caught in the middle.

Reporter:
Japanese automakers have been forced to keep a lower profile since the Senkaku issue erupted. That means less, sometimes no product promotion. This motor show held in Tianjin last month is a key event on the industry calendar. But Honda, Mitsubishi and Fuji all pulled out at the last moment. The situation is made worse by a spreading consumer boycott targeting Japanese products.

Anonymous:
Because of the Senkaku issue, I'm going to buy a German car.

Anonymous:
Given the political problems I don't think it's a good idea to buy a Japanese car now.

Reporter:
One dealer of European cars is offering what they call "a patriotic service." It's a discount offer. Customers who replace their Japanese vehicles get more than $700 off the sticker price.

Anonymous:
We offer the patriotic service to peoplereplacing Japanese cars, no matter what brand they are.

Reporter:
Declining sales are now affecting output. Toyota and Nissan scaled back local production from September through October. Some plants cut operating days or shortened operating hours. More assembly lines could follow suit. Managers of Japanese automakers say they hope the sale slump is just a 'bump in the road' for their Chinese operations. But that could all depend on an improvement in Japan-China relations and there's no sign of that happening anytime soon. Akirhiro Mikoda, NHK World, Tianjin.

Yul Kwon:
Due to poor sales, Toyota is closing its Tianjin production plant for five days next week. Toyota's sales in China fell by almost 50 percent in September.
 
 

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