Posted: April 7, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, Entertainment, History | Tags: Art, Commercial Sex, Conveyor belt, Conveyors, Exotic Dancing, Photography, Post-war Japan, Stripper, Sushi, Tokyo, vintage
A stripper at a Tokyo striptease show is taken past the audience on a moving conveyor belt, 1957.
This reveals as much about mid-20th Century post-war industrial history as it does about a form of entertainment as old as human history.
Posted: April 6, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Japan, Politics, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: Asia Pacific, China, Chuck Hagel, Japan, North Korea, Pyongyang, Tokyo, Ukraine
AP Photo/Alex Wong
TOKYO (AP) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged warning to Asia Pacific nations Sunday, announcing that the U.S. will send two additional ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter the North Korean threat, and saying China must better respect its neighbors.
“…you cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe.”
– Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
In unusually forceful remarks about China, Hagel drew a direct line between Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region and the ongoing territorial disputes between China, Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea.
“I think we’re seeing some clear evidence of a lack of respect and intimidation and coercion in Europe today with what the Russians have done with Ukraine,” Hagel told reporters after a meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. “We must be very careful and we must be very clear, all nations of the world, that in the 21st century this will not stand, you cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 29, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Food & Drink, Japan | Tags: Chocolate, Chocolate chip, Confectionery, Food, Hokkaido, Potato chip, Shopping, Strawberry
The extremely competitive nature of the Japanese junk food industry means that you have to keep innovating though, and sometimes in the process of pushing through existing boundaries, you end up in strange new places, which explains why Calbee is now selling shrimp chips covered with strawberry chocolate.
For this crustacean/confectionary crossover, Calbee collaborated with Hokkaido-based chocolate maker Royce, which has in the past offered chocolate-covered potato chips. Believe it or not, though, there’s only one portion of the new joint product that’s completely unprecedented, the strawberry part. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 27, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China | Tags: 2008 Sichuan earthquake, China, Huang, Huang Qi, Ran Yunfei, Sichuan, Tan, Tan Zuoren
For South China Morning Post, Verna Yu reports: Activist Tan Zuoren, who was jailed for five years after investigating the deaths of thousands of children in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, was released yesterday, said two fellow rights campaigners, although his whereabouts remained unknown.
“He firmly believes that he was put in jail because he was framed. After his release, he will carry on his rights activism. There’s no doubt about that.”
– Close friend of Tan
Tan was released from a jail in Yaan, Sichuan, at about 6 a.m. and has been reunited with his wife, veteran activist Huang Qi said. Neither Tan nor his wife could be reached by phone yesterday. Huang said it was likely they had not been taken home by the authorities but somewhere else, although he declined to elaborate.
Fellow activist Ran Yunfei said he had met Tan after his release, but declined to elaborate.
Huang, a close friend of Tan, said the activist still firmly believed in his mission and had written a lengthy appeal letter in prison, maintaining that he was wrongly accused. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 22, 2014 Filed under: Asia, China, Global, Politics, War Room | Tags: Crimea, Estonia, RUSSIA, Soviet, Soviet Union, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping
Breitbart.com‘s John J. Xenakis brings us this morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
- The ‘New Normal’: Russia and China annex other countries’ territories with impunity
- Russia protests Estonia‘s treatment of its Russian minority
- Xi Jinping redirects China’s ideology from Marxism to Nationalism
Russia and China annex other countries’ territories with impunity
With Russia’s annexation of Crimea now a fait accompli, it’s well to remember that this isn’t the first recent annexation of other countries’ territories. China has already seized islands in the South China Sea that have historically belonged to the Philippines and Vietnam and is operating on the belief that any “short, sharp attack” on any one island won’t bring an American response. China intends to continue annexing islands in this fashion. ["16-Jan-14 World View -- China threatens military seizure of South China Sea island from Philippines"]
“Estonia has a centuries-old bitter history with Russia. People today vividly remember that Josef Stalin’s Red Army reoccupied Estonia in June 1940 and made it part of the Soviet Union…”
The news on Friday is that Russia is massing over 20,000 troops on the border with eastern Ukraine, evidently with the intention of invading, in order to annex some or all of that territory. It’s really not logical for Russia’s president Vladimir Putin to stop with Crimea, since there are plenty of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine—and because Crimea can’t survive without the fresh water, electricity, gas, and food that it imports from Ukraine. NBC News
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Posted: March 22, 2014 Filed under: Asia, China, War Room | Tags: Beijing, Der Spiegel, Huawei, National Security Agency, New York Times, People's Liberation Army, Ren Zhengfei, Shenzhen, United States
DAVID E. SANGER and NICOLE PERLROTH reporting for the NYT: American officials have long considered Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, a security threat, blocking it from business deals in the United States for fear that the company would create “back doors” in its equipment that could allow the Chinese military or Beijing-backed hackers to steal corporate and government secrets.
“The documents were disclosed by The New York Times and Der Spiegel, and are also part of a book by Der Spiegel, “The N.S.A. Complex.” The documents, as well as interviews with intelligence officials, offer new insights into the United States’ escalating digital cold war with Beijing.”
But even as the United States made a public case about the dangers of buying from Huawei, classified documents show that the National Security Agency was creating its own back doors — directly into Huawei’s networks.
Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, is seen as a Chinese version of Steve Jobs. Credit Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press
The agency pried its way into the servers in Huawei’s sealed headquarters in Shenzhen, China’s industrial heart, according to N.S.A. documents provided by the former contractor Edward J. Snowden. It obtained information about the workings of the giant routers and complex digital switches that Huawei boasts connect a third of the world’s population, and monitored communications of the company’s top executives.
One of the goals of the operation, code-named “Shotgiant,” was to find any links between Huawai and the People’s Liberation Army, one 2010 document made clear. But the plans went further: to exploit Huawai’s technology so that when the company sold equipment to other countries — including both allies and nations that avoid buying American products — the N.S.A. could roam through their computer and telephone networks to conduct surveillance and, if ordered by the president, offensive cyberoperations.
“Many of our targets communicate over Huawei-produced products,” the N.S.A. document said. “We want to make sure that we know how to exploit these products,” it added, to “gain access to networks of interest” around the world. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 18, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, China | Tags: Art, Cameras and Photographs, China, graphics, Photography, propaganda, vintage
Wonderful photo series, archived at vintage everyday. I’ve selected a few favorites, go here to see the full display.
Posted: March 12, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Breaking News, China, Global | Tags: Beijing, China, India, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines, South China Sea, Xinhua News Agency
Satellite images on a Chinese government website show suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner floating off the southern tip of Vietnam, near the plane’s original flight path, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.
The revelation could provide searchers with a focus that has eluded them since the plane disappeared with 239 people aboard just hours after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. Since then, the search has covered 35,800 square miles (92,600 square kilometers), first east and then west of Malaysia and even expanded toward India on Wednesday.
“There’s too much information and confusion right now. It is very hard for us to decide whether a given piece of information is accurate…We will not give it up as long as there’s still a shred of hope.”
– Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, Beijing
The Chinese sighting, if confirmed, would be closer to where the frantic hunt started.
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Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Andaman Sea, Beijing, China, Chinese government, Liu, Malaysia Airline, Monday, Washington Post
Malaysia Airlines flight vanishes over South China Sea: Vietnamese air force jets reportedly spot two large oil slicks thought to be the airliner that disappeared with 239 on board, including three Americans.
BEIJING — For The Washington Post, William Wan and Liu Liu report: For three days, relatives awaiting word on the vanished Malaysia Airlines jet have endured a cruel roller coaster of emotions.
“One of the most eerie rumors came after a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones…”
First came the shock. Then, with each development that has emerged, they have careened between hope and despair. But by Monday, the predominant emotion was anger.
“…or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online.”
The Malaysian government announced that it has now expanded the search west into the Andaman Sea, far from the plane’s intended northeasterly flight path towards China
Gathered at a hotel in northeast Beijing, many still resented Malaysia Airlines for having sent no one to explain anything during the first 15 hours after the plane’s disappearance. They blamed the Chinese government for not even meeting with them until Monday, three days into the crisis.
More than 100 of them signed a petition demanding answers and government assistance. Representatives selected from the families brought their protests to the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.
And Monday afternoon, when Malaysia Airlines officials returned for yet another briefing with little more to offer, some relatives threw water bottles at them in frustration. The question-and-answer session Monday eventually devolved into crying and shouted demands:
“All you have to say is empty talk!”
“Why have you waited until now to show up?”
A vice director from China’s civil aviation air safety center tried to assuage the crowd.
“I am the same as everyone in that I haven’t slept for two days,” the official said. “We are still searching. There is no evidence to show the plane has had an accident.”
Another official reassured the families that they had read their petition. “Your concern is our concern.”
Beginning Saturday night, the families were kept in a conference area of the Lido Hotel in Beijing, sectioned off from a media scrum outside, where officials could address them out of journalists’ earshot. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Breaking News, China, War Room
Originally posted on China Daily Mail:
A relative of a passenger on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries
The opinions expressed in this article are those of “The Star Online” (published by Malaysian Chinese Association), and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.
There is speculation that militants from China’s Uighur Muslim minority could be involved in the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 airplane, as it occurred just one week after knife-wielding assailants killed at least 29 people at a train station in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming.
A Malaysian official said authorities were not ruling out Uighur involvement in the jet’s disappearance, noting that Uighurs were deported to China from Malaysia in 2011 and 2012 for carrying false passports.
“This is not being ruled out. We have sent back Uighurs who had false passports before. It is too early to say whether there is a link,” the official said.
Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country
View original 476 more words
Posted: March 9, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Global | Tags: Kim Jong, Kim Jong-un, Korean Central News Agency, MSNBC, North Korea, Polling place, Rachel Maddow, Rodong Sinmun, Supreme People's Assembly, Workers' Party of Korea
North Korea’s Central Television is encouraging people to vote
State media in North Korea is using poetry to encourage people to vote in forthcoming elections, it appears.
Note: Who wouldn’t want to see the proud loyalists at MSNBC, America’s Official State Media, celebrate election day with programming like this? Imagine Chris Matthews reading “The Billows Of Emotion And Happiness”. Or Rachel Maddow rallying fellow Democrats with a rousing rendition of “We Go To The Polling Station”. It makes me tingle just thinking about it…
Official news agency KCNA reports that poets of the Central Committee of the Writers Union of Korea have created election-themed poems in the run-up to polling day on 9 March. Titles include The Billows Of Emotion And Happiness, We Break Into Cheers From The Bottom Of Our Heart and We Go To The Polling Station.
[There's actually a book available in the U.S. of Central Committee of the Writers Union of Korea material, Immortal History: The Year 1932, available at Amazon, in paperback, for $59.52, though there's not much information about it in the display page. At that price maybe it's only for die-hard collectors of North Korean propaganda]
The poems are said to represent what the agency calls “the immutable will of all service personnel and people to remain loyal to the revolutionary leadership of Marshal Kim Jong-un“.
Deputies will be elected from 687 constituencies for the Supreme People’s Assembly, the rubber-stamp legislature that is dominated by the Korean Workers’ Party. Although other parties are represented in the election, all fall under the umbrella of the Fatherland Front, which is subservient to leader Kim Jong-un, who will be standing in the Paektusan constituency, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper says.
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Posted: March 8, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China | Tags: Chinese language, Editor-in-chief, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Journalists Association, Kevin Lau, Lau, Ming Pao, press freedom, Singapore
Protest for press freedom in Hong Kong. March 2014.
Kevin Lau, former editor of the local Chinese-language daily Ming Pao in Hong Kong, was brutally attacked with a knife and suffered serious wounds on February 26, 2014.
This was the latest of hardships that Mr. Lau had to endure in Hong Kong, a city increasingly hostile towards the press. In January he had been ousted from his position as Editor in Chief at the newspaper Ming Pao, sparking enough outrage that 90% of the editorial staff at Ming Pao signed a petition demanding that the company state its reasons for dismissing Kevin Lau. Many speculated that it was his critical reporting of the Hong Kong government that was the reason for his removal as Editor in Chief.
Under Lau’s leadership, Ming Pao was critical of numerous government policies and pushed for democratic reforms in Hong Kong. The newspaper also exposed several political scandals, embarrassing political leaders in the city.
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Posted: March 6, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Japan, War Room | Tags: China, East China Sea, Itsunori Onodera, Japan, Japan Self-Defense Forces, Sunday, Tokyo, United States Marine Corps
An amphibious assault vehicle lands during the U.S.-Japan military exercise Iron Fist outside Camp Pendleton in California on Feb. 19. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
TOKYO—Yuka Hayashi reports: Japan plans to establish a 3,000-troop unit specializing in amphibious operations “as swiftly as possible,” the defense minister said, publicly outlining details of the new unit for the first time as tensions with China continue over disputed islands.
“Our nation has numerous remote islands and islands of various sizes, and they give us the basis for our exclusive economic zone that ranks sixth in the world…That makes it important to provide defense for islands over the coming years.”
Japan has undertaken an ambitious project to create a force similar to the U.S. Marine Corps, and Japanese Self-Defense Force Troops have been receiving increasingly frequent training from their U.S. counterparts in the past few years.
A plan to strengthen amphibious capabilities was laid out in Japan’s new defense guidelines released in December. In detailing some of the specifics Sunday, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the new force is expected to include units specializing in handling types of equipment currently unfamiliar to Japanese troops, such as amphibious vehicles and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
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Posted: March 3, 2014 Filed under: Asia, China, Crime & Punishment | Tags: Beijing, CCTV, China, Kunming, Kunming Railway Station, Police, Tiananmen Square, Train Station, Xinhua News Agency, Xinjiang, Yunnan
Mourning: People turned out in their droves to lay candles for the 29 murdered in Kunming station
Mourners and volunteers descended on Kunming today after knife-wielding attackers killed 29 people in a frenzied rampage.
By Mia De Graaf and Dan Bloom and Kieran Corcoran
The killers, four of whom were shot by armed police, launched the horrific slaughter at Kunming railway station in Yunnan province at around 9pm local time yesterday.
“I saw two attackers, both men, one with a watermelon knife and the other with a fruit knife. They were running and chopping whoever they could.”
Distressing photos circulating online showed bodies, pools of blood and abandoned luggage scattered across the terminal floor in the wake of what authorities termed an ‘organised, premeditated, violent terrorist attack’.
More than 130 people were injured in the frenzied attack last night, which has left China shaken
It is a small step towards comprehending the atrocity as officials try to uncover who was behind it
Earlier, volunteers descended on the city’s hospitals in Yunnan province to give blood for the 130 wounded
Today, hospitals were filled with citizens giving blood as dozens remain in a critical state.
Outside, candles were laid in heart shapes as the nation absorbs the shock of the event.
It is believed that more than 10 people took part in the attack. As well as the four who were shot yesterday, one was taken alive. The rest are still being hunted.
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