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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.

For Tom Plate's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Ban talks about Japan in the world in exclusive interview

/ Jan 23, 2013

Ban talks about Japan in the world in exclusive interview

In a series of seven two-hour sessions that included informal get-togethers with his wife Soon Taek, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, the well-regarded former South Korean foreign minister, shares his insights exclusively with American journalist Tom Plate. The following excerpts from Plate's ...

Aug 22, 2012

Brother of Thai leader upholds a feisty profile

Thaksin Shinawatra is undoubtedly the most controversial politician ever to become prime minister of Thailand, an oft-ignored country in Southeast Asia with a population and landmass greater than Britain or Italy. (But who besides a Thai knows this?) Elected several times in national elections ...

Aug 7, 2012

Wedding gift for the first couple of North Korea

I guess I am a sucker for old-fashioned romance. When I heard about the stunning marriage of Kim Jong Un, the young new leader of North Korea, to the lovely Ri Sol Ju, apparently a professional singer, I hurriedly buried the ideological hatchet and ...

Jul 17, 2012

Where is the political savvy hiding in China?

China allegedly has at least 1.3 billion people residing within its current ample borders. (Has anyone ever counted?!) China also has very many problems, as befits such a gigantic country trying to maintain the extraordinary economic success against the downside of a very troubled recent ...

Jun 25, 2012

A success story with or without 'Tiger Moms'

High up in the category of news that's too familiar to be newsworthy is the latest poll that finds Asians to be the most-educated and highest-earning population in the United States. Right. The good people at the Pew Research Center pretty much wasted their time ...

Mar 23, 2012

Bowing out with a farewell of great expectation

What was most amazing to Westerners at least -and perhaps, especially, to the Chinese people — was that his comments were broadcast live on official China TV. After all, his official observations weren't exactly pretty. Here is the back-story. In every historical movement and moment, ...

Feb 29, 2012

Why China resists Western intervention in Syria

Intellectual precision is especially vital in times of geopolitical passion. The full totality of evil of the Syrian government is now on display for the entire world to see. The brutality of President Bashar Assad is beyond immense. And so the blame game has ...

Conversations with Thaksin, Thailand's prime suspect

Jan 25, 2012

Conversations with Thaksin, Thailand's prime suspect

THE SHOCKING COUP: "The situation is no good." "It's just a matter of time," a top minister had told him. "We only have a few weeks left before they act." Another had told him: "Our days are numbered." By Sept. 17, 2006, in New York, even ...

Jan 20, 2012

Finessing the dramatic opening to Myanmar

Perhaps a democratic system of government will not prove the final answer for Myanmar. Just take a look at the Philippines if you're crazy about another possible "for sale" democracy in Asia. But considering what the good people of what used to be called ...

Dec 26, 2011

The Korean god that failed and then was gone

Major historic chapter-ending news often seems so terribly sudden. Many North Koreans were said to be sincerely weeping over the demise of "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il, but for other people around the world, the end came none too soon. Their eyes are quite ...