Category: Asia-Pacific

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Najib’s verdicts spells judicial change in Malaysia
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Najib’s verdicts spells judicial change in Malaysia

Author: Björn Dressel, ANU On 23 August 2022, Malaysia’s top court unanimously made Najib Razak the first former Malaysian prime minister to be jailed. It upheld his graft conviction and the 12-year jail sentence for looting investments from Malaysia’s 1MDB state fund. The verdict concludes four years of legal manoeuvrings, delaying tactics and backroom interventions...

Okinawa’s elections expose problems with military coexistence
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Okinawa’s elections expose problems with military coexistence

Author: Stephen Nagy, ICU Tokyo As a ‘cold peace’ settles between Japan and China, both countries are working towards a pragmatic, if not awkward, coexistence. Okinawa will continue to play a pivotal role in enhancing Japanese and US deterrence capabilities vis-a-vis China following Governor of Okinawa Prefecture Denny Tamaki’s re-election on 11 September 2022. Okinawa’s...

Myanmar’s genocide overshadowed by Ukraine
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Myanmar’s genocide overshadowed by Ukraine

Authors: Juliette McIntyre and Adam Simpson, University of South Australia Two genocide cases are before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as of October 2022. The first was brought by the Gambia against Myanmar in 2019 for breach of the Genocide Convention during ‘clearance operations’ against the Rohingya ethnic minority in Rakhine State in 2017....

Kishida reopens the door to Japan
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Kishida reopens the door to Japan

Author: Yunchen Tian, SMU Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently announced that will Japan drop its strict border policy on 11 October 2022. Alongside China, Japan has some of the world’s strictest visa and entry requirements for inbound foreign visitors. The reopening of the country is an easy win for the embattled Prime Minister and his...

Jump-starting Australia–ROK energy cooperation
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Jump-starting Australia–ROK energy cooperation

Author: Sung-Young Kim, Macquarie University South Korea and Australia’s trade relationship is one of the most complementary in the world. Seoul is an exporter of high-tech manufactured goods — semiconductors, cars and electronics — and relies almost completely on imports for energy. Australia, on the other hand, is an importer of South Korea’s manufactured products...

The Bank of Japan minds the interest rate gap
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The Bank of Japan minds the interest rate gap

Author: Richard Katz, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs Global inflation, and the rising interest rates being used to counter it, are creating a big dilemma for Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. If Japan’s domestic demand and inflation were the BOJ’s only considerations, keeping interest rates at near zero levels would seem...

The empty modern promise of sovereign capability
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The empty modern promise of sovereign capability

Author: Editorial Board, ANU As the old aphorism goes, governments are terrible at picking winners, but losers are great at picking governments. It’s advice which many governments seem to have forgotten as they start using taxpayers’ money to build industries that are deemed to be vital. The latest vital manufacturing industry supposedly in need of...

Onshoring semiconductors is a chipped ambition
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Onshoring semiconductors is a chipped ambition

Author: Samuel Goodman, Washington DC The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have limited the supply and increased the cost of semiconductors. One of the clearest impacts of the chip shortage has been on the automotive sector. Re-establishing some semblance of normality within the semiconductor supply chain has, as a result of this and similar...

Truss lacking in UK–China relations
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Truss lacking in UK–China relations

Author: Tim Summers, CUHK and Chatham House While the campaign for the UK prime ministership was more about domestic issues than foreign policy, China still made fleeting appearances. Prime Minister Liz Truss had long pushed for a more ‘hawkish’ approach to China, commenting in the past about the need for the United Kingdom to avoid...

Japan’s deflated record on monetary policy
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Japan’s deflated record on monetary policy

Author: Willem Thorbecke, RIETI Japan has used monetary policy to stoke inflation since Shinzo Abe became prime minister in 2012. But as inflation exceeds 8 per cent in the United States and Europe and 10 per cent in the United Kingdom, Japanese inflation averaged less than 2 per cent between January and July 2022. The...