Tom Plate


Tom Plate
Tom Plate, a veteran American columnist and career journalist, is the Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Affairs at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His many books include the "Giants of Asia" series, of which book four, "Conversations with Ban Ki-Moon: The View from the Top," is the latest.
Jul 9, 2015
Repairing Japan-China ties
Are the domestic politics of Japan and China antithetical to continued peace between Asia's leading powers?
Mar 26, 2015
Where political 'fox' LKY stands in Singapore history
The late Lee Kuan Yew showed the world that economic self-improvement in Singapore had to have public policies grounded in best-practice pragmatisms rather than in ideological schematics.
Dec 14, 2014
Indonesia, Thailand: rising and falling stars
At the moment, no spot on our troubled planet offers a better illustration of the dynamic of citizen participation in politics than Southeast Asia, with triumphant Indonesia and tragic Thailand.
Japan Times
Oct 30, 2014
Will Hong Kong go beyond self-flagellation?
Hong Kong and mother China should be working together on ameliorating the social and economic pressures threatening to pull Hong Kong down far more dramatically and dangerously than today's governance dispute.
Oct 26, 2014
Double-edged media sword
What was not widely known about the late Benjamin C. Bradlee, the Washington Post editor during the Watergate Scandal of the early 1970s, was that he was quite sensitive to the risk of the news media abusing its power when it came to presidential politics.
Oct 5, 2014
U.S.-China partnership without tears or fears
In his new book, 'World Order,' Henry Kissinger wants you to accept what he believes is the 21st reality of China in a 'partnership' with the U.S. He warns that a purely military definition of the Asian balance of power 'will shade into confrontation.'
Jul 31, 2014
Indonesia gets a sprout with a new president
Having conducted an election that produced a successor president without excessive tumult or corruption, Indonesia may well be on its way to emerging as a major global player.
Jun 23, 2014
Ironies of Iraq without end despite the best-laid plans
For President Barack Obama to stay true to his vision, judgment and instinct, he must ride out the extremely uncomfortable unpopularity of openly conceding that the Iraq war — of which he is now the prime custodian — never made sense.
May 12, 2014
It's a Thai thing: ditching the new for the old
More than almost any other political crisis on the face of the earth today, it is the crisis in Thailand that saddens American columnist Tom Plate.
Apr 21, 2014
Beyond good and evil in Ukraine
The U.S. fools no one with its high-minded condemnations of Russan President Vladimir Putin's designs on Ukraine when its own sense of international political morality is also defined by cold calculations of national interest.
Mar 15, 2014
Special Asian wisdom for skating on thin ice
Olympic skater Kim Yuna's classy, gracious performance, on and off the ice, at Sochi — even as her fellow Korean countrymen complained that she had been robbed of the gold medal for women's figure skating — makes her a model in sports and in East Asian politics.
Feb 23, 2014
Huge stakes on the line in crisis-center Thailand
The stakes in the outcome of the Thai Crisis are huge and extend well beyond the country itself. One has to wonder whether President Barack Obama, and the world for that matter, are taking it seriously enough.
Jan 2, 2014
The conspicuous tendency to wish China well
If China fails and falls, the rest of the world will suffer more than a headache or a short-term setback. We need to be cautious about pessimism that might fuel self-fulfilling prophecy.
Dec 24, 2013
The tragedy of Thailand's politics
For America, the proper question is what, if any, is its role as thousands of angry protesters in Bangkok march not for democracy but, in effect, for an end to it?
Sep 22, 2013
The good side of Singapore icon Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore icon Lee Kuan Yew, who just turned 90, is known to have despised Western journalists. One American, however, has never been denied an interview if Lee was available.
Aug 13, 2013
The scoop on print media tragedies
The effect of the digital revolution is uneven. While China seems to launch newspapers almost weekly, in the U.S. they seem to be folding or changing ownership.
Aug 4, 2013
Inside the mind of Deng's intellectual successor
A new book at last puts Zhu Rongji, Shanghai's former mayor and the economic intellectual successor to the late Deng Xiaoping, into the pantheon of Chinese giants.
Apr 16, 2013
When the 'Iron Lady' bent to the will of Beijing
With regard to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, Margaret Thatcher got some good advice from Singapore: Be neither defiant nor submissive.
Apr 2, 2013
Finding a way out of the Pyongyang imbroglio
It is probably a good idea to regard the latest bombast of threats from North Korea as as the antics of an angry child hurling the rattle out of the crib in hopes of getting parents to pay more attention.
Mar 11, 2013
Did Rodman lay up a net gain in North Korea?
Clown-job or not, former pro basketball star Dennis Rodman's fast break to North Korea did draw our attention to monstrous problems on the Peninsula.


Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals