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· May, 2009

Stories about East Asia from May, 2009

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Go Farm, Young Man! – How Farming in Japan is Changing

  31 May 2009

For a country that identifies strongly as being historically agricultural people, the landscape of Japan's agricultural sector is bleak, and has been for some time. Simply put, the workforce is rapidly aging and there aren't nearly enough successors. The price of rice has gone down, and structural reform is unlikely...

Indonesia: Jailed For Complaining

  31 May 2009

The case of Prita Mulyasari, a mother of two, is currently the hot topic among Indonesian bloggers. Prita shared her experience of being maltreated by a private hospital on a mailing-list. The hospital took legal action against her. The online complaint may result into six years jail term and maximum fine of 1 billion Rupiah (nearly US$ 98,000).

Malaysia: Globalization Dilemma – Educational Progress or Preserving Ethnic Identity?

  31 May 2009

The teaching of science and mathematics in English implemented in 2003 replaced Malay and other ethnic languages as the medium of teaching instruction in Malaysia. It is set for a final decision after long reassessment and repeated delay, with influential lobby groups aiming to preserve the relevance of ethnic languages especially the preeminence of Malay language as the national language in the age of rapid globalization.

Taiwan: Chinese tourist arrested for spying

  31 May 2009

A Chinese businessman, visiting Taiwan as a tourist, was arrested for taking photos of a military facility in Taipei. The Far-Eastern Sweet Potato discusses the security implications. The Foreigner in Formosa comments on how he was released without bail.

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East Timor: Thoughts on Abortion A Few Days Before Law Approval

  30 May 2009

A heated debate about the provisions of a new draft penal code pertaining to abortion is taking place right now in East Timor. If the law is passed, abortion will become a crime and those who perform it will be punished with 2 to 8 years imprisonment, even in cases of incest or rape. The blogosphere reacts, Timorese women raising their voices and questioning why the more pressing issue of underage prostitution is not being debated instead.

Japan: Open access online journal Journal@rchive

  29 May 2009

Librarian Charles Ellwood Jones writes about academic journals focusing on antiquity at open access online journal Journal@rchive, an archive site of J-STAGE operated by the Japan Science and Technology Agency. The site offers high resolution scans and OCR texts on a wide range of journals.

China: Police harassment

  29 May 2009

Joel Martinsen from DANWEI translated Ai Weiwei's blog posts on how he was harassed by security “rice streamers” (meaning stupid polices) and lawyer blogger Liu Xiaoyuan's article explaining Ai's rights. Ai Weiwei's blogs hosted on Sina and Sohu have been suspended.

China: Deng Yujiao Case Reporters Assaulted

  29 May 2009

ESWN translated local forum news reporting on the assault of Southern People Weekly magazine reporter Wei Yi when he tried to interview the maternal grandmother of Deng Yujiao – the nail beautician who stabbed to dead a local government official in defense of sexual assault.

Hong Kong: SC group censored June 4th special feature

  29 May 2009

Daisy, an editor from Esquire, a lifestyle magazine under South China media group in Hong Kong, disclosed in her blog that the top management banned the publication of 15 pages June 4th special feature in its latest issue. The top rank company staff, after looking at the layout, said the...

Japan: Nova under G-Education

  28 May 2009

Koichi gives us a rare glimpse of life after the collapse of giant English school Nova at ‘Post-Nova Bust: How is G-Education for teaching English in Japan?‘. [en] His blog post is an interview with a teacher who worked for both Nova and G-Education, the company that bought them out.

China: 2009 Chinese Internet Research Conference

  28 May 2009

The 2009 Chinese Internet Research Conference started yesterday (May 27) at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. Ethan and Lokman have written their first day notes on the presentations in the conference in their blogs at My heart's in Accra and Global voices, one world. You...

China: Chinese study abroad students not welcomed back

  28 May 2009

Some local netizens are criticizing students returning from abroad for bringing swine flu back home. Fauna from ChinaSMACK translated a conversation between students studying abroad and local netizens on the antagonistic sentiment brought by the swine flu.

Singapore: First swine flu case

  28 May 2009

The dreaded and deadly Influenza A (H1N1) virus has arrived in Singapore already. The city state confirms it is treating a patient who tested positive for swine flu.

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Singapore: First LGBT Rally

  28 May 2009

More than 2,500 people in Singapore gathered at Hong Lim Park to form a human Pink Dot - a symbol of love and inclusiveness. It was Singapore’s first public rally in support for the Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Japan and Korea: Nuclear test and missiles

  27 May 2009

Are you surprised that North Korea conducted another nuclear test? And fired more short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan? Ampontan made a list of surprises to comment on the new round of North Korea nuclear and missile test.

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Palestine: Israeli Armed Police Disrupt Literature Festival

The Palestine Festival of Literature is a traveling cultural roadshow touring across the West Bank, in Palestine, from May 23 to 28. The aim is to take literary activities to Palestinians, who aren't allowed to travel under the occupation. However, the opening was marred when armed Israeli police ordered the theatre where the event was hosted to shut down. Bloggers from around the world reacted to the incident.

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China and Hong Kong: June 4th protest T-shirt design

  26 May 2009

Every year on the Sunday before the anniversary of June 4th Incident (Tiananmen Square, 1989), people in Hong Kong would demonstrate to call for justice. This year, the 20th anniversary rally will be on May 31st. Moreover, on the evening of June 4th, there will be a candle night vigil...

About our East Asia coverage

Oiwan Lam is the North East Asia editor. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.

Mong Palatino is the South East Asia editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.

Nevin Thompson is the Japan editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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