Murong Xuecun in Hong Kong (Photo by Gen Pau)
INTERVIEW/ Murong Xuecun: Internet main battlefield over free speech in China
HONG KONG--Beijing is intensifying efforts to regain its “turf” on the Internet, the main battlefield over free speech between authorities and citizens in China, according to a popular writer and influential blogger.
Takeshi Jingu (Provided by Nomura Research Institute)
POINT OF VIEW/ Takeshi Jingu: Risks, opportunities in China’s growing P2P lending market
In China, online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has been growing rapidly since around 2010. If the country’s P2P lending industry can successfully control risk while capitalizing on innovation, it should help alleviate chronic funding difficulties of small and midsize enterprises.
Morton H. Halperin (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
POINT OF VIEW/ Morton H. Halperin: Time to strike a comprehensive security deal in Northeast Asia
The security of Northeast Asia is threatened by North Korea’s apparent intention to continue developing, test and deploy nuclear weapons and their delivery systems and by its assertion that it is a nuclear weapon state.
Sun Ge in Beijing (Photo by Tamako Sado)
INTERVIEW/ Sun Ge: Unprejudiced curiosity is needed to mend Japan-China ties
BEIJING--Confrontation between Japan and China over the perception of their shared history continues to only deepen nearly 70 years after the end of World War II.
A shopping mall in New Delhi. India and other emerging economies were hit by the depreciation of their currencies last year. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
POINT OF VIEW/ Satoshi Shimizu: Asia’s response to expanding capital flows
Since 2000, there has been a fivefold expansion of the volume of capital flows into emerging economies, including those in Asia.
Alexander Kmentt during a recent visit to Hiroshima (Toshiyuki Hayashi)
INTERVIEW/ Alexander Kmentt: Focus should be on anti-humanitarian nature of nuclear weapons
With the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki next year, there still is a long way to go to achieve a "world without nuclear weapons," which U.S. President Barack Obama called for in his historic address in Prague in 2009.
Katsuto Uchihashi (Photo by Takamitsu Aota)
POINT OF VIEW/ Katsuto Uchihashi: In wartime, the vulnerable suffer the most
They don’t know war, and they don’t know the fear of losing their lives, and yet they are intrepid. I am describing the “militarist boys without knowledge of war,” who are rife in Japan these days.
Hiromu Nonaka, former chief Cabinet secretary, in Kyoto (Photo by Yoshinori Toyomane)
INTERVIEW/ Hiromu Nonaka: War should not be repeated, collective self-defense is dangerous
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 1 decided to reinterpret Japan’s pacifist Constitution to lift the country’s self-imposed ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense.
Bates Gill in Tokyo (Photo by Kazuo Yamamoto)
INTERVIEW/ Bates Gill: Optimism for China’s future dims as it pursues less constructive diplomacy
A more confident and assertive China, belying its "peaceful rise" rhetoric of the past, seems increasingly less interested in pursuing constructive relations with its neighbors, said one of the premier American experts on China.
Wu Jianmin (Photo by Koichi Furuya)
INTERVIEW/ Wu Jianmin: Calm, rational diplomacy serves China’s interest
BEIJING--While China playing hardball over the South China Sea and other issues is fueling tension with the United States and with neighboring nations, criticism still remains loud within the country that Beijing’s diplomatic approach is “weak-kneed.”
Toshihito Kayano (Photo by Ken Aso)
POINT OF VIEW/ Toshihito Kayano: Japan must prepare for bursting of China's bubble
When I observed the recent discussions over approving the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, I felt that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's view of "national power" based on military strength was outdated.
Condominium buildings in Changsha, Hunan province (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
POINT OF VIEW/ Shinichi Seki: China’s income disparity shrinking
In China, signs are that the three main income gaps--between coastal and inland areas, urban and rural communities, and among cities--are shrinking.
Norio Akasaka, a Gakushuin University professor and director of Fukushima Museum, describes the Tohoku region during a interview with The Asahi Shimbun. (Hiroki Nishida)
INTERVIEW: Anthropologist says Tohoku region must gain independence from Tokyo
After seeing the rebuilding efforts for the devastation wrought by the triple disaster in March 2011, anthropologist Norio Akasaka said he wondered if the Tohoku region would remain a “colony of Tokyo.”
Ralph Cossa (Photo by Yuko Lanham)
INTERVIEW/ Ralph Cossa: China will gain respect for U.S. in joint Pacific military exercise
A noted American national security expert welcomed China's first participation in an ongoing U.S.-led maritime exercise around Hawaii, saying the Chinese can see the United States and many of its allies in action up close and realize the disparity with its own forces.
Tokyo metropolitan assemblyman Akihiro Suzuki, right, apologizes to fellow assembly member Ayaka Shiomura for his sexist jeering in June. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Sexist thinking infringes on the right to choose one's lifestyle
Offensive jeering directed at female members of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly and the Lower House of the Diet recently triggered a public uproar.
The Asahi Shimbun
Scholars say Cabinet decision opens, not ends, debate on collective self-defense
Criticism continues over the decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet on July 1 to reinterpret Japan’s pacifist Constitution to lift the country’s self-imposed ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes to representatives of senior citizens' organizations for revising her campaign promise of a uniform basic pension in September 2013. (Provided by The Dong-A Ilbo)
POINT OF VIEW: Hidehiko Mukoyama: S. Korea extends retirement age as aged society approaches
South Korea is expected to become an “aged society” by 2017, and the government is putting considerable effort into its countermeasures for the graying population.
Akira Iriye (Photo by Mari Sakamoto)
INTERVIEW/ Akira Iriye: Transcending the logic of power
The Abe administration focused on the logic of “power,” as in state and military strength, as the Cabinet on July 1 approved the reinterpretation of the Constitution to allow the exercise of the right to collective self-defense.
Daniel Russel (Photo by Yuko Lanham)
INTERVIEW/ Daniel Russel: U.S. hopes China will agree to Japan’s call for dialogue on Senkaku issue
The top Asia policymaker in the Obama administration said he believes that the watchword for territorial disputes in East Asia should be “restraint.”
Taichiro Mitani (Photo by Motooki Hayasaka)
INTERVIEW/ Taichiro Mitani: Japan must learn from history of its modern military alliances
Speaking on the exercise of the right to collective self-defense that the Abe administration is pushing, an expert on the political and diplomatic history of Japan worries if the policy is being pursued as a "deterrent against potential enemy states," it carries the "considerable risk" of dragging the nation into a conflict of arms.

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