Complicating Taiwan's love affair with Japan

| Sep 3, 2016

Complicating Taiwan's love affair with Japan

This month, the Ama (grandma) Museum will open in Taipei. It will be a venue dedicated to Taiwan’s wartime “comfort women” who provided sexual services under duress at Japanese military brothels. The opening of such a museum is surprising because Taiwanese tend to have ...

| Aug 27, 2016

Bears encroach on blurred human boundaries

It is puzzling that the black bears have become aggressive recently, given their previous inclination to retreat when confronted by humans. My theory is that winters are shorter and that means shorter hibernations and more active time spent consuming dwindling supplies of food. They ...

| Aug 13, 2016

A new Taiwan dreams of transitional justice

The newly elected Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government of President Tsai Ing-wen has hit the ground running in a flurry of initiatives that highlight how powerfully the past resonates in contemporary Taiwan. Only in office since late May, she has positioned Taiwan on the ...

Is Japan ready for the LGBTQ revolution?

| Jul 30, 2016

Is Japan ready for the LGBTQ revolution?

This past spring, at a restaurant in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando neighborhood, I encountered something new in Tokyo: a prominent sign written in English on the door of the communal WC declaring it “gender-free.” In recent years, there have been a number of encouraging signs ...

Asia's new normal — now made in China?

| Jul 23, 2016

Asia's new normal — now made in China?

As China’s President Xi Jinping asserts a new normal in Asia — one featuring a more belligerent Chinese presence — he is digging a deep diplomatic hole. The backlash in Asia may have been guarded, but the region’s minnows are getting feistier. For example, ...

China: more hegemon than bogeyman?

| Jul 16, 2016

China: more hegemon than bogeyman?

Jeffrey Wasserstrom’s perceptive new book, “Eight Juxtapositions: China Through Imperfect Analogies,” presents some unlikely comparisons that are designed to challenge perceptions about China. Wasserstrom, a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, acknowledges flaws in his analogies — which include an exploration ...

What are Shinzo Abe's real three arrows?

| Jul 2, 2016

What are Shinzo Abe's real three arrows?

In his campaign for the upcoming Upper House elections, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pussyfooting around his plans to revise the Constitution. He is keeping his cards close to his chest because polls have shown that voters oppose constitutional change. Instead, Abe is calling ...