Asia News Weekly: Japan’s whaling program, China's military restructuring and all the news from the region


What’s the significance of China restructuring its military? Seoul gets ready for what may be a massive anti-government rally this weekend. If Aung San Suu Kyi doesn’t help the Rohingyas in Myanmar, does that taint her victory? Plus one Japanese company is using trees to make noodles, attacks in Bangladesh continue, and more on the December 4th edition of Asia News Weekly.

What’s the significance of China restricting its military?

With its nine-dash line, China has claimed virtually all of the South China Sea as their own. We've seen their slow and steady build-up of bases for more than a year now, and as the United States announces it will once more sail inside the 12 nautical miles Beijing likes to claim as its own around these features, China unveiled a restructuring of its military forces. To help understand why that may be, Mark Cozad, Senior International Defense Policy Analyst with the RAND Corporation returns to the podcast.

Seoul prepares for massive anti-government rally

Police told organizers late last week, that their planned December 5th protest rally in downtown Seoul was a “no-go.” Undaunted, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions said, “Police are denying the constitutional rights to the freedom of protest rallies, and it's tantamount to the self-acknowledgement that the current government is a dictatorship,” and vowed to assemble anyway.

Japan to resume whaling practice

Despite the International Court of Justice ruling last March that Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic should cease, the East Asian archipelago announced it plans to resume the practice. The courts in The Hague were put in place to essentially get countries to behave responsibly and to hold one another accountable. Tokyo is now tossing that notion aside, doing what it wants, and essentially proving the body has no power.

Will Suu Kyi’s legacy be lessened by Rohingyas?

National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi held talks with week with Myanmar President Thein Sein and Military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. While the meeting was conducted behind closed doors, its purpose was clear - how to achieve a smooth and effortless transition of power. However, even Suu Kyi moves to improve the nation, will she do enough for Rohingya Muslims who are currently stateless in their own country? Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division answers the question that, “If she doesn’t at least try, will it lessen the Nobel Peace laureate’s victory?”

The Asia Brief

The podcast concludes with stories of how the Islamic State continues to make inroads into Bangladesh, despite authorities claiming the group is not there. Plus, another gang rape in India showcases the countries struggle to protect women, Chinese activist Gao Yu is released from jail, but three more take her place, and more regional news.

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Wow, that's misleading coverage. No talk about the fact that IWC was supposed to reevaluate whale stocks but hasn't, or that the International Court has not ruled on Japan's revamped program.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan is a Rogue Nation? Seriously? The IWC Moratorium, in its own words, was supposed to be a short time affair to allow the proper accounting of the whaling stocks & give certain species the opportunity to rebound. By its own definitions, it should have removed by now. But Germany's Boot on the neck of of the EU states insures 23 votes to Japans one. The Australians can't allow JPN to reduce its dependency on AUS Beef again, so they gladly spend millions in court to protect billions in profits.

Japan is not a Rogue Nation. They're practicing that civil disobedience the west is so fond of.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Civil disobedience? What a joke. Next some one rips you off, just think civil disobedience. Killing whales is a rogue act. whatever Japan's excuses are, they have not been anyone except the LDP.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What has "Next some one rips you off" got to do with it? The Japanese aren't ripping anyone off. They're whaling in international waters.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Talk about biased coverage. In 1990 the moratorium was supposed to be independently reviewed but the usual suspects botched the agreement. Minke whales range from 600.000 to 1 million depending on the source and females breed a calf per year. So catching 333 or 4000 a year mean nothing to the species. You may not like the hunting of whales but you may not impose your values on others if species are abundant. Yes, pigs are also "intelligent" and we eat them too. Stop the racists undertone and hypocrisy to please fund raising NGOs and let Japan be. Eventually, you will thank them for defending the principle of sustainable use.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Carlos I can't say anything about the accuracy of your numbers, but dam you are right. Pigs, cows and even chicken are sentient as well, but eating them is somehow okay... (Bonus point...whales get to live freely in the ocean, terrestrial mammals...not so much)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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