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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

Tibetans March Against China in New Delhi
(LinkAsia: November 30, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
In New Delhi, hundreds of Tibetans protested against Chinese policies that they say drove people to self-immolate. Here's a report from Japanese broadcaster, NHK.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: November 28, 2012

Reporter:
Tibetan people are protesting in New Delhi to show their solidarity with the self-immolators. Four hundred exiles marched, calling for "freedom for Tibet!" and burning a Chinese flag.

Demonstrator:
You can't talk about a free Tibet, you can't talk about religion. And you can't, you know, say anything against the government.

Reporter:
The Tibetan government-in-exile says the situation is desperate in Chinese provinces, including Qinghai, that are home to large numbers of Tibetans. It says 72 Tibetans have set fire to themselves this year. Sixty of them died.

The Chinese government claims the Dalai Lama encourages their actions. China and the Dalai Lama have held negotiations since 2002.The Dalai Lama demands autonomy for Tibet except for military and diplomatic issues. But China's position has not moved. No official talks have taken place since January 2010.

China's leadership transition began this month. Tibetan leaders hope Wednesday's demonstration will add pressure on those taking power in Beijing to return to the negotiating table.
 
 

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Details Emerge in Devastating Bangladesh Factory Fire
(LinkAsia: November 30, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
Activists fighting for safe working conditions in Asia are pleading with P. Diddy, the rapper and entertainment mogul, to improve factory conditions in Bangladesh. This follows a horrific fire in a garment factory in the capital, Dhaka last weekend. P. Diddy's clothing company was one of several international brands that purchased from the factory. Meanwhile, police have arrested three managers of the Tarzeen Fashion factory and may charge them with negligence. Here's NHK with a report.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: November 28, 2012

Reporter:
The worst garment factory blaze in the history of Bangladesh erupted on Saturday. At least 112 people died and more than 150 were injured. Survivors apparently told police that factory managers prevented them from leaving the multistory building when a fire alarm went off.

Bangladesh has about 4,500 garment factories. It is the world's second biggest exporter of clothing after China. Manufacturers have been moving operations to the country in recent years looking for lower costs.

On Wednesday, thousands of workers took to the streets in a suburb of Dhaka. Reuters says at least 20 protesters were injured in clashes with police. Working conditions in Bangladesh are notoriously bad and safety laws are weak. Global brands that rely on cheap labor are under renewed pressure following the tragedy.
 
 

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South Korean Elections: The Countdown Begins
(LinkAsia: November 30, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
South Koreans go to the polls in three weeks to elect a new president. The campaign officially got underway this week and two candidates are leading opinion polls. Here's how Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported the first day of electioneering.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: November 22, 2012

Reporter:
Park Geun-hye of the ruling Saenuri party is one of the front runners. She visited a national cemetery in Seoul where she paid her respects to those who died in the Korean War and other conflicts. Park expressed her determination to become the country's first female president.

Park Geun-hye:
South Korea has to choose whether it wants to move forward with a prepared future or go back to the past, which is marked with failure. We are now standing at a crucial crossroads.

Reporter:
Park also said she will promise to build a nation where everyone can lead a happy life. She's locked in a tight race with Moon Jae-in of the opposition Democratic United Party. He spoke in the second largest city of Busan near his hometown.

Moon Jae-in:
I promise to become the first president to democratize the economy, and establish a strong welfare system through a new type of politics.

Reporter:
Moon also talked about entrepreneur turned politician Ahn Cheol-soo. Ahn dropped out of the race last week to give Moon a better chance of victory when voters head to the polls on December 19th. Moon said he'll never forget Ahn's sacrifice. He asked Ahn's supporters to back him.
 
 

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South Korea: Dark Horse Candidate Drops Out of Presidential Race

 
 

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Obama's Swing State Swing Yields Southeast Asia Gains
(LinkAsia: November 23, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
President Obama has just concluded a whirlwind visit to Southeast Asia. His trip included stops in Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. It was billed as a campaign to win over so-called "swing states" - countries that both the US and China are trying to bring into their respective spheres of influence. Perhaps the most important part of the trip was the six hours that Obama spent in Myanmar. Until recently, the country was seen as a client of China, mostly because China was one of the few nations that did business with the former Burmese military regime. But now, after a year of reform, western countries are crowding in with investments and aid. Here's how Japanese public broadcaster NHK covered Obama's visit.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: November 19, 2012

Reporter:
Obama met with President Thein Sein. He referred to the nation for the first time in public as Myanmar, the name made official by the military. The US government usually calls it Burma.

Barack Obama:
I shared with President Thein Sein, our belief, the process of reform he has taken is one that will move this country forward.

Reporter:
Local people lined the streets waving US flags to welcome the American president. Obama then met with long-time democracy activist, Aung San Suu Kyi, at her home.

Barack Obama:
I'm proud to be the first American president to visit this spectacular country. We've seen some very encouraging progress.

Aung San Suu Kyi:
We are working to a genuine success for our people and for the friendship of our two countries.

Reporter:
Some human rights activists called the visit premature. But Obama said they should take the opportunity to encourage what he called "the better impulses in the country."  
 
 

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