Posts under ‘East Asia’

North Korea and the maturity of Japan’s ‘enfant terrible’

by Jack Dunleavy.

Ryu Murakami is apparently ‘the enfant terrible of contemporary Japanese literature’. I suppose I should start this review of his four books translated into English this year by making general comments about the strangeness of Japanese culture. Yet such observations have been made ad nauseum, and only reflect the Westerner’s shock that anything exists outside their sphere of influence. […]

Abenomics: works in Japan, rejected by Osborne – and now Balls

by Michael Meacher.

Since Shinzo Abe came to power, the Japanese stock market has risen an astonishing 50% in 5 months, and the replacement of the fatalism which has dogged Japan’s economy by a new burst of policy activism has profound implications for the UK. There is another precedent for this policy activism other than the General Theory […]

Korean Nuclear Crisis – time for Labour to call for dialogue to stop nuclear proliferation

by Jenny Clegg.

With tensions escalating on the Korean peninsula in what is possibly the most serious nuclear crisis since that over the Cuban missiles in 1962, PM David Cameron’s assertion that Britain’s possession of nuclear weapons ‘was necessary’, was not merely opportunistic and hypocritical but utterly dangerous. Whilst other world leaders ­ Ban Ki-moon, the Russian and […]

North Korea: Time to Break the Logic Leading to War

by Andy Newman.

Perceptions of the crisis in the Korean peninsula are coloured by the simplistic assumptions that the Pyongyang government is irrational, and the Seoul government is a model of peaceful reasonableness. Nevertheless, it is clear that currently the leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship, and it […]

North Korea and the drums of war

by Phil Burton-Cartledge.

There are two sides to every crisis, and the dangerous situation developing on the Korean Peninsula is no different. Unfortunately, the commentary coming out of the BBC sets the tone for the British press. It’s the idea that the collective senility that grips the North Korean regime (and what we all like to have a laugh about, […]

Exploitation, solidarity – and a tale of two films

by Conrad Landin.

Seeing two films dealing with exploitation in the developing world made me think of the trajectory of British documentary maker Nick Broomfield. His first film –Who Cares? – focused on the slum clearances. We never see Broomfield’s face in the feature – back then he used cinéma vérité – interspersing the comments and narratives of […]

Book review: ‘Maonomics’ by Loretta Napoleoni

by David Osler.

BACK in the 1930s, a certain breed of starry-eyed European leftist was eager to make the case that the USSR somehow represented ‘a new civilisation’. Proof of the superiority of Stalin’s economic policies, they insisted, was to be found in continued expansion, even at a time when western capitalism was deeply mired in depression. The […]

Lessons from Japan

by Michael Burke.

Japanese GDP contracted by an annualised 3.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2012. This annualised rate means that GDP fell by 0.9% in the quarter compared to the 2nd quarter. The Japanese economy had barely found its footing after the onset of the global economic crisis when it was hit by the devastating earthquake, tsunami and […]

China: changing the guard

by Andy Newman.

President Hu Jintao’s speech to yesterday’s opening session of the 18th Party Congress will have reassured his supporters that the immanent transfer to power from him to incoming President Xi Jinping will not lead to either a significant shift away from a state led economy, nor to a dilution of the political leadership of the […]

The anti-imperialism of fools….

by Darrell Goodliffe.

While the world’s gaze if fixed on London and the Olympics, in Syria, the battle for Aleppo has well and truly begun. This is clearly an attempt by the Assad regime to reassert itself after the bombings and raids into Damascus that knocked it so badly off-balance. So, it is a crucial battle, whichever side […]

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