east asia

The author speaks about his recent book on East Asian PD.

The Angkor Panorama Museum, which opened its doors in December, is just the latest international project to be completed by Pyongyang's Mansudae Art Studio - one of the largest art production centres in the world. […] In recent years Mansudae has started taking its gargantuan socialist-style monuments abroad.

The New York-based Human Rights Foundation and Forum 280, a Silicon Valley nonprofit, have teamed up to launch a program that will collect donated USB flash drives, load them with content ranging from "South Korean soap operas to Hollywood films to Korean-language versions of Wikipedia to interviews with North Korean defectors," and smuggle them into the North for ordinary North Koreans to enjoy.

Across America, sushi is getting reimagined, often in outlandish ways. […] But none of them are authentically Japanese — not even the beloved California roll […] A new program from the country's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will certify that Japanese restaurants operating outside the country uphold the values of traditional Japanese cuisine, known as washoku.

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has acquired Legendary Entertainment, the Hollywood production company behind “The Dark Knight,” “Jurassic World” and “Godzilla” movies. […] The deal represents the largest acquisition to date of a U.S. production company by a Chinese firm and the latest sign of the deepening ties between Hollywood and the world's most populous country.

BASED IN Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post has a distinguished 112-year history as an independent news source, in English, about China […] Chinese Internet mogul Jack Ma’s company, Alibaba, has just announced plans to buy the paper [...] It may well be that the South China Morning Post is about to be molded into a pseudo-private instrument of the Chinese state’s “soft power,” […]

Japan is set to build India's first bullet train, with Tokyo financing the project through an $8 billion loan to New Delhi [...] [The Nikkei said] that the two countries will issue a joint statement about the deal on Saturday during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India [...]The report comes after Japan failed to win a high-speed train deal in Indonesia earlier this year, losing out to a Chinese proposal.

December 1, 2015

The militaries of many nations harness mass media and pop culture for promotional purposes… Japan is no different. But what makes their military unusual is that the image being projected isn’t one of might or machismo but of cuteness…this kawaii (cute) imagery is...a testament to the deep ambivalence the Japanese retain about both the history and the changing role of their armed forces.