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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.

 

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

LinkAsia News Brief

Japan's Perspective on the Impact of Park Geun-hye's Win
(LinkAsia: December 21, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
After months of preparation and weeks of campaigning, South Korea has a new president. Park Geun-hye defeated her opponent Moon Jae-in on Wednesday to become South Korea's first female president. Here's a report from Japanese public broadcaster NHK on what Park's win means for South Korea.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: December 20, 2012

Reporter:
Experts say the high voter turnout helped Park win more than 50 percent of the ballots. Some initially thought it would favor opposition candidate Moon Jae-in who has widespread support among young people. In past presidential elections, voters in their thirties or younger outnumbered those in their fifties or older. But this time around, the reverse happened. Perhaps because the society is aging, and birthrates are declining. The 50-plus set accounted for more than 40 percent of all voters. And they propelled Park into the top job. Park visited the national cemetery the day after her election win as all president- elects do. Then she outlined the plans.

Park Geun-hye:
My dream and hope is to make use of all the hidden potential of the South Korean people. We can create a Republic of Korea in which everyone will be guaranteed the rights to pursue happiness. I'll make it possible for all the people to share the fruits of our economic growth.

Voter:
I expect the new president to revive the economy and keep her promise to improve our lives.

Voter:
I hope the new government will do a lot to boost employment since it's been a tough time for young people. I want Park to keep her promises.

Reporter:
Some South Koreans want to be tough with the North. Others favor reconciliation. Park says it's her mission to ease tensions and maintain security. She refers to last week's launch, which North Korean officials said use the rocket to send a satellite into orbit, and other nations called a ballistic missile test.

Park Geun-hye:
North Korea's missile launch was a symbolic act that showed us how serious our security situation is. We will begin a new era for our country with a strong security system and a trusted foreign policy. I will keep my promise to the people.

Reporter:
Park spent part of this day exchanging views with ambassadors from Japan, the US, China, and Russia. She has already started moving to form her government. She'll meet with members of President Lee Myung-bak's outgoing administration to go over issues. A transfer commission will finalize her policies. Then in February she officially becomes the first woman in South Korea to be president. 
 
 

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Japan's Voter Apathy Epidemic
(LinkAsia: December 21, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
These days most Japanese are fed up with politics in general. And when elections came around last week, voter turnout was at an all-time low. With its slumping economy, an energy crisis and flaring tensions with China voters were clearly dissatisfied with the DPJ. But the turnout didn't show a great enthusiasm for the LDP either. Japan's public broadcaster NHK reports on why voters have lost faith in their country's politicians.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: December 17, 2012

Reporter:
These angels come out every hour. Prime Ministers in Japan seem to come and go almost every year. The democrats went through three leaders since 2009.

Voter:
I felt betrayed by the democrats over the past three years.

Voter:
I expected a lot from the DPJ, but they broke the promises in their manifesto. Millions of Japanese went to vote on a Sunny and warm winter Sunday. The weather Monday in Tokyo was more of a reflection of the turnout: gloomy. People admit they feel political apathy.

Young Voter:
I didn't go to vote because I didn't feel like it. I had work too.

Young Voter:
Young people think things will change by casting a single vote.

Reporter:
But apathy is not the only reason people feel at a loss. A record number of parties crowded the ballot. It was too much choice for some.

Voter:
So many political parties. I didn't know which one to vote for.

Reporter:
Many people told us they voted for the Liberal Democrats. But not because of the promises the LDP made. They say they are disappointed with the broken promises of the ruling democrats.

Voter:
The DPJ blew themselves up.

Voter:
I didn't think the LDP was the most suitable party to change the situation, but I voted for it out a process of elimination.

Reporter:
And so those who didn't vote are putting their faith in the party that has a checkered past: one marked by scandals. For better or worse Japan appears to be headed for a period of political stability.
 
 

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Obama and Shinzo Abe to Meet, Regional Stability Paramount
(LinkAsia: December 21, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
President Obama is meeting with newly elected Shinzo Abe next month in Washington. Territorial disputes with South Korea and China will be on the agenda. Stability in the region is central to the United States' pivot to Asia. Here's NHK with more.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: December 18, 2012

Reporter:
People in the Obama administration place a high priority on stability in the Asia-Pacific. They have been troubled by the increasing tension between Japan and China over which country owns the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. And they're concerned that if the conflicting claims are allowed to fester it could unsettle the dynamic in the region. They want to see major security policies, and sophisticated diplomacy to calm the situation. US leaders are wary of being drawn into a confrontation because of their alliance with Japan.

Victoria Nuland:
Our message to the new Japanese government will be the new Japanese government will be the same as our message to the former Japanese government which is that we want to see both Japan and China avoid provocative acts. We want to see them talk to each other and work this through by dialogue.

Reporter:
Now Japan is tied up in another territorial dispute with South Korea. US officials would like to see the Japanese put aside their differences with its neighbor over Takeshima islands in the Sea of Japan. American diplomats rely on the partners in both countries to contain the threat of North Korea. As we saw last week, the North Koreans may be well on their way to gaining technology to launch long-range ballistic missiles. President Barack Obama has said that the US-Japan alliance should serve as the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. The revolving door to the Japanese Prime Minister's office has made it difficult for Obama and those around him to cooperate substantially on any issue. The want a reliable partner, a stable government with a strong mandate that is more coherent in its policies. In short, they would like to see an end to the political volatility.
 
 

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NHK Honors Japanese-American Senator Daniel Inouye
(LinkAsia: December 21, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
A huge supporter of stronger US-Japan ties was US Senator of Hawaii, Daniel Inouye. He was a decorated war veteran and had served in the US Congress since 1959, when Hawaii was granted statehood. He was the highest ranking Asian-American politician in US history. Here's NHK with a tribute.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: December 18, 2012

Reporter:
Inouye was elected to the senate in 1962 and served for half a century. He was chairman of the senate appropriations committee. He worked to promote exchanges between US and Japanese politicians. He helped support reconstruction efforts in Northeastern Japan and visited areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Inouye sat down in October for an interview with NHK. He called on Japanese and US officials to strengthen their alliance.

Daniel Inouye:
If there's turmoil and disasters in Asia-Pacific area, we would be affected. So it's in our best interest also

Reporter:
Inouye served during the Second World War in an Army unit made up of soldiers of Japanese ancestry. He lost his right arm in a battle in Italy. President Obama said the country has lost a true American hero. Daniel Inouye was 88 years old.
 
 

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South Korean Election: Dispatch from an Expat

 
 

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