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KARISHMA VASWANI
For KARISHMA VASWANI's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong resigned on Wednesday among anti-graft probes into Hanoi’s top leadership.
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 25, 2024
Vietnam could lose its 'China +1' appeal among political turmoil
Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong resigned on Wednesday among a wider probe. This could compromise Hanoi's image as an economic alternative to Beijing.
Several U.S. lawmakers along with TikTok creators hold a news conference to voice their opposition to the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act in Washington on Tuesday.
COMMENTARY
Mar 13, 2024
America’s TikTok addiction isn’t just China’s fault
If you’ve spent time on the platform, you will know how addictive TikTok is. With 170 million users, at least one in three Americans have accessed it.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress in Beijing on Thursday.
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 8, 2024
China needs a foreign policy reset but Xi’s got bigger problems
At China’s National People’s Congress in Beijing, no change of the guard was announced. Wang Yi will continue as foreign minister, a sign of stability.
Supporters of India's regional Samajwadi Party take part in a campaign rally in Varanasi, India, in March 2022.
COMMENTARY
Jan 5, 2024
Democracy in Asia will get a reckoning this year
Asia’s liberal credentials are under significant pressure, with only a tiny minority of people living in high-performing democracies.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meet in Hanoi on Dec. 13.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 18, 2023
Everyone is trying to woo Vietnam. Why Hanoi’s ‘bamboo policy’ works.
It makes sense to court Vietnam, one of the region’s most dynamic economies. This year, it is expected to post about 5% growth, better than many others.
Local government and law enforcement officials view the scene of an explosion that occurred during a Catholic mass in a gymnasium at Mindanao State University in Marawi, Philippines, on Sunday.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 8, 2023
The Philippines is battling a resurgent Islamic State threat
The Hamas attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals may be driving a new security threat in the Philippines.
COP28 has kicked off in Dubai amid division, as there is no firm commitment from developed nations to help out less financially secure countries. 
COMMENTARY
Nov 29, 2023
The Global South has lost faith in COP28
The Global South, which bears the brunt of climate change despite contributing minimally to emissions, is frustrated.
Pro-Palestinian supporters gather in a show of solidarity at the National Monument in Jakarta on Nov. 5.
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 22, 2023
Asia’s Muslims grow weary of the West’s double standards
Indonesia and Malaysia have long taken a strong pro-Palestinian stance and neither has diplomatic ties with Israel.
The curtain is closing on the Lee dynasty's leadership of Singapore. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced his resignation, which could come next year, and the handing of power to deputy Lawrence Wong.
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 10, 2023
Singapore contemplates the end of the Lee political era
Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced his resignation, marking the end of his dynasty's leadership and a new chapter in Singapore's politics.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un receives a send-off as he departs by train from Pyongyang for a visit to Russia on Sunday.
COMMENTARY
Sep 15, 2023
North Korea’s newfound confidence is a dangerous and challenging thing
It is increasingly clear that Pyongyang has been emboldened by the formation of a new anti-U.S. bloc, prompting it to reach out to Beijing and Moscow.
Leaders and officials from Southeast Asia pose for a family photo during the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on Tuesday.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 5, 2023
Why Biden's decision to skip the ASEAN summit is a mistake
Though in Asia, Biden won't attend ASEAN this week. The move may be part of Washington's China containment strategy, but it risks alienating key partners.
Singaporean presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian gives speech on Aug. 22 in the lead-up to Friday's election.
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 31, 2023
Singaporeans should vote in their imperfect elections
While the selection process for presidential candidates and the behavior of some of them may not be perfect, Singaporeans should vote on Friday.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on