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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.

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Backstory: Myanmar Reforms

 
 

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President Obama Revisits Professor Days for Xi Jinping Visit
(LinkAsia: February 17, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
Meanwhile, Japan’s NHK said Xi got a 'rough ride' in his meeting with Obama. It said the US president ‘lectured’ the Chinese leader on trade and human rights.

--

NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: February 15, 2012

Reporter:
President Obama has certainly heard Xi Jinping's name, but his opinions remain somewhat of a mystery, so the two took time in the Oval Office to get to know each other a little better.

Xi Jinping, Chinese Vice President:
I look forward to my in-depth discussion with you, President Obama.

Reporter:
Obama got right to it, pressing Xi on some of the same issues he has stressed with other Chinese leaders.

Barack Obama, US President:
We want to work with China to make sure that everybody is working by the same rules of the road when it comes to the world economic system, and that includes ensuring that there is a balanced trade flow.

Reporter:
US diplomats rarely fail to raise human rights when they meet with their Chinese counterparts. Obama, too, had some advice.

Barack Obama:
Expanding power and prosperity also comes with increased responsibilities.

Reporter:
Xi said China and the US should build a partnership based on mutual respect and interests. Still, he suggested the two need to acknowledge their differences. The Obama administration is extending an unprecedented level of hospitality to Xi. Vice President Joe Biden is accompanying him to most destinations. That's not going over well with Republicans. They've argued for some time that Obama is too soft on China.

Yul Kwon:
Analysts say that Obama raised contentious issues to fend off Republican criticism that the administration hasn’t been tough enough on China, particularly on issues related to China’s currency.
 
 

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Identifying with a Phenomenon: Asia Embraces Jeremy Lin

 
 

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Japan's Fishing Industry Still Struggling to Recover

(LinkAsia: February 10, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
It's not just the nuclear industry that's having trouble restarting. Japan's fisheries still can't shake off the effects of last spring's earthquake and tsunami. First, the disaster damaged seafood processing plants. Now, NHK says the industry is facing another hurdle that's preventing it from restarting operations.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: February 6, 2012

Reporter:
The disaster last spring left its mark on Ishinomaki. It took the lives of nearly 3,300 residents and left the city in ruins. Factories that process seafood were so badly damaged, they couldn't operate. Now the industry is trying to get back on its feet, but it's proving difficult. Takashi Yokoyama owns a seafood processing company. He's building a new plant where the old one stood. He expects to get production rolling again in August. He offered jobs to his former employees, but many turned him down. A lot of them had found other jobs.

Takashi Yokoyama, Suishin:
Some now live with relatives in Tokyo. Others have moved to Sendai, the nearest big city. They found new jobs. At least my former employees are not coming back to work for me.

Reporter:
He's found it impossible to hire new employees to replace the former ones. He's not alone. Many other seafood companies in the devastated region face the same problem. This company started processing seafood again last October, at a factory that had not suffered major damage. But the firm was only able to re-hire seven former employees, half the number working there before the disaster. Noriyuki Hobara owns the company. He asked the local employment agency for seven workers. He waited by the phone. But after four months, no one had applied.

Noriyuki Hobara, Hobara Company: 
I thought I would get at least a few calls. But there hasn't been a single one. I simply cannot start a business without workers.

Reporter:
Hobara says people have found higher paying jobs in the building industry, booming now that re-construction has started. Many people need the higher paying jobs to make up for lost wages.

Noriyuki Hobara: 
I hear that construction jobs are paying about $130 a day. The truth is that jobs in the seafood industry pay less. We pay about USD$80 a day.

Reporter:
Hobara again asks the employment agency for workers. This time, he offered higher wages, even though his business might lose money.

Noriyuki Hobara: 
I decided to raise the wage from USD$80 a day to USD$130.

Reporter:
That's equal to the salary plant managers receive.

Noriyuki Hobara: 
I would appreciate it if you could find me one or two people. Obviously, you can't do anything at all without workers. All I want is to hire people and get the business running again.

Reporter:
First, it was the earthquake and tsunami that stopped the plants' operations. Now, it's the rebuilding. Unless the seafood companies find employees, it will take longer for this devastated city to recover.

 
 

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In a Post-Fukushima Japan, Municipalities Hesistant to Restart Reactors

(LinkAsia: February 10, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
We continue our series of Fukushima-related stories this week. NHK says that more than 70 percent of Japanese municipalities that host nuclear power plants are cautious about restarting their reactors. The Japanese broadcaster surveyed 29 municipalities that host nuclear facilities, excluding those in Fukushima Prefecture.

--

NHK World NEWSLINE

Airdate: February 7, 2012

Reporter:
Fifty-one of Japan's fifty-four nuclear reactors are currently out of operation. Restarting them would require the approval of local municipalities.

Five of them, or 17 percent, said they would give the go-ahead for the reactors to resume operation. But 21 municipalities, or 72 percent, said that they would not or that they could not yet decide.

Municipalities that expressed caution said they cannot be sure whether the reactors are really safe and cited the difficulty of persuading residents while the government has yet to decide on its nuclear policy.

Asked what is needed beside stress tests to restart the reactors, 48 percent said a satisfactory investigation into the accident at Fukushima Daiichi plant and the understanding of local residents. Thirty-eight percent cited new government safety regulations.

The municipalities stressed their concern over reactor safety and demanded more government accountability.

 
 

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