Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party declares victory in Taiwan's presidential election in Taipei on Jan. 16. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: Rival in Taiwan captures Republic of China flag
Unforeseen developments sometimes rock elections in Taiwan. The latest incident, which shook the Jan. 16 presidential and national assembly elections, revolved around the flag of the Republic of China, designated the “national flag” on the island.
Dorothee Gilbert, an etoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, gives a lesson at the Hitomi Takeuchi Ballet School in Fukushima in July 2014. (Toshihide Ueda)
INSIGHT: Ballet schools in disaster areas help young dancers regain motivation for life
A ballet, just like an opera, fills me with what I call “motivation for life.”
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
INSIGHT: Henoko the sole option for base relocation--but only in the political sense
Tokyo has reiterated that relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the Henoko district of Nago, also in the prefecture, represents the only available option in terms of security.
Keizo Oguro, traveling from Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, explains the town's situation at an intersection in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on Nov. 9 during the mayoral election campaign. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: Communities displaced by 2011 disaster deprived of rights to vote, live
In the lead-up to the fifth winter since the 2011 disasters, a man from Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, was speaking into a microphone at the side of Hachiko, the iconic statue of the faithful dog, in front of Tokyo's Shibuya Station.
Japan's Shinkansen bullet train, left, and China's Hexie high-speed train (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
INSIGHT: China outpacing Japan arouses the patriot in me
JAKARTA--Japanese are perhaps too comfortable with chasing after the United States and European nations, something we have done since the Meiji Era (1868-1912).
The Sept. 13, 1982, issue of the People’s Daily carries a photograph of Zhao Ziyang, far right, on the front page. (The Asahi Shimbun)
INSIGHT: China drops inconvenient facts even from newspaper of 30 years ago
BEIJING--Through a Chinese online auction service, I purchased a copy of the Sept. 13, 1982, issue of the People’s Daily newspaper that was aged-tanned at the corners.
A Myanmar voter has his little finger dipped in special ink to prevent revoting in Yangon on Nov. 8. Citizens celebrated the nation's first general election after the end of the military rule in 2011 by showing their little fingers to one another. (Naoji Shibata)
INSIGHT: May no 'Back to the Future' time machine send Japan to prewar years
My pager woke me up while I was taking a nap in the press room at Osaka’s Minami Police Station one day in September 1985.
Bronze statues of Nan Hanchen, the first governor of the People’s Bank of China, left, and Dong Biwu, a vice president of China, stand in front of the Hebei money museum in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. (Keiko Yoshioka)
INSIGHT: Humiliation, gunfire, unification behind ‘patriotism’ of renminbi
SHIJIAZHUANG, China--The renminbi, a mover and shaker in world markets, originated in a nondescript building in this city about a 90-minute ride on a high-speed railway south of Beijing.
From left: Chinese President Xi Jinping; Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party; and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
INSIGHT: ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ points to China-Taiwan rapprochement
Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a historic handshake with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou on Nov. 7, the 98th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s (SEALDs) and other groups stage a demonstration outside Shibuya Station on Oct. 18, about a month after the national security legislation passed the Diet. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: In praise of a society where you can speak out and say 'no'
“I want to be sent to the front lines soon and fight,” a patient was quoted as saying to an Imperial Japanese Army surgeon who served in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Women activists planned to distribute anti-groping stickers on buses and subway trains. (Provided by a supporter of the activists)
INSIGHT: Despite repression, women's rights taking shape in China
BEIJING--Women's rights activist Wang Man was sitting and reading a scholarly book on psychology as she waited to meet me in this Chinese capital.
A monument inscribed with a poem written by Hisa Iwami, under her pen name, Hisako, stands by the side of a folk heritage museum in Tanohata, Iwate Prefecture. (Toshihide Ueda)
INSIGHT: Fukushima disaster keeps 100,000 from descending on 'sweet home'
TANOHATA, Iwate Prefecture--Anti-nuclear campaigner Hisa Iwami, who worked as a public health nurse in this northeastern village, died on Sept. 19. She was 97.
Tu Youyou in her apartment in Beijing (AP Photo)
INSIGHT: Should honor of Nobel Prize go to nation or individual recipient?
BEIJING--After Chinese researcher Tu Youyou was named a co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, one may well expect the country's scientific community to be enraptured.
Investigators examine Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, a day after the deadly explosion on Aug. 17. (Ryosuke Ono)
INSIGHT: Thailand far from 'returning to normal' after deadly blast
BANGKOK--Thai authorities have brought down the curtain on their investigation into a deadly explosion at a prime location in August, but the truth behind the terror attack remains shrouded in mystery.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, left, and Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
INSIGHT: Japan remains under U.S. military yoke even outside Okinawa
Japan is kidding itself if it truly believes it has full sovereignty 70 years after its defeat in World War II.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Motooki Hayasaka)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Security legislation protesters take ownership of their thoughts
On the night national security legislation cleared the Upper House, I was around the south gate of the Diet building amid a sea of people who had gathered there.
A Japan Coast Guard patrol boat, foreground, follows Chinese marine surveillance ships within Japan's territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: Chance encounter could set unavoidable spiral of hostilities in motion
Japanese and Chinese fighter jets, which are at daily loggerheads, are drawn into hostilities over the South China Sea.
Hong Kong activists mark the first anniversary of the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement on Sept. 28, holding yellow umbrellas, the symbol of the protests. (Mitsusada Enyo)
INSIGHT: China's call for neighbors to concede its power creating tensions
BEIJING--At an international symposium this summer in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticized Japan for failing to embrace China's emergence as a global power.
Hugh Cortazzi, a former British ambassador to Japan (Photo by Shiho Watanabe)
INSIGHT: Former British diplomat concerned over Abe’s war anniversary statement
LONDON--Prince Philip, the future Duke of Edinburgh, was aboard the HMS Whelp at anchor in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945.
Stage actors and actresses mount a silent protest against security bills in Kyoto on Sept. 16 in response to calls from “the association of actors and people of dramatic expressions opposed to the security legislation and the Abe administration’s wild run.” (Naho Sotome)
INSIGHT: Abe administration ‘running wild’ over opposing voices
Protesters mounted desperate demonstrations day after day, but the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stuck to its plan, and new national security legislation was enacted on Sept. 19.

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