Opinions

The future of China's reform and opening-up

2 Comments

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the official beginning of China’s reform and opening-up, when the third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held from Dec 18-22, 1978. Over the past 40 years, China’s economic progress has been extraordinary. China’s gross domestic product (GDP)… Read

Opinions

Japan’s single point of failure in the data falsification scandals

5 Comments

Japan has been rocked by the revelations of a decade or more of data falsification by companies providing materials and products that are used in automobiles, aircraft and consumer products. Examining them individually seems not to reveal any pattern. NGK released power line insulators without proper inspections. Hitachi falsified data… Read

Opinions

Asia-Pacific takes stock of ambitious development targets

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Ministers and senior policymakers across Asia and the Pacific are gathered in Bangkok this week to focus on population dynamics at a crucial time for the region. Their goal: to keep people and rights at the heart of the region’s push for sustainable development. They will be considering how successful… Read

Opinions

Package from China: Who pays the freight?

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Running a small business which ships low weight merchandise, say 10 T-shirts or small hardware from China to the United States, made logistics cost easy. The U.S. provided for a large shipping discount of 40% to 70%. Such generosity came from U.S. membership in the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Founded… Read

Opinions

Can the digital economy help us diversify Japanese arts?

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As with Japan, the creative arts in the Philippines are largely dominated by a few fields - in their case, singing, dancing, and acting, owing to the ubiquity of the major networks and their multi-talented stars. The lack of diversity in popular arts presents several serious problems, no matter the… Read

Opinions

Can Japan’s crypto companies take a page from PayPal’s playbook?

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Even though Japan has some of the most progressive cryptocurrency regulations in Asia Pacific, the vast majority of Japanese are still buying digital currencies to hold (or “hodl” in the language of speculators) as an investment rather than use to transact. The question thus remains: What will it take for… Read

Opinions

Japanese monetary policy develops a sense of humour

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Rakugo is a Japanese art form. It is a one-man comedy act which was perfected in the Edo period (1603–1868). It is stand-up comedy delivered by a performer who invariably sits on a cushion. So one might call it sit-down comedy. The performer wears a kimono and carries nothing but a fan and a… Read

Opinions

Japan can learn from how Australia responds to corporate scandals

6 Comments

It has been an extraordinary year for governance in Australia. The ongoing fall-out from a government investigation into the financial services sector and a damning regulator’s report into the capacity for proper oversight of the board of the country’s biggest company, have forced change at the highest levels of public… Read

Opinions

Going full circle for growth and the planet

1 Comment

The business case for making our economy more sustainable is clear. Globally, transitioning to a circular economy - where materials are reused, re-manufactured or recycled-could significantly reduce carbon emissions and deliver over $1 trillion in material cost savings by 2025. The benefits for Asia and the Pacific would be huge.… Read

Opinions

Love of notes and coins keeps the Japanese brain awake

2 Comments

The Japanese love their cash. Cash as in physical notes and coins. Not the electronic variety that floats around in cyberspace instead of bouncing about in purses and pockets. Surveys show that we are totally behind the times in our attachment to the ¥10,000 and ¥1,000 notes and the way… Read

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