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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:

Aug 8, 2010

Interesting times on Asia's south-east seas

LOS ANGELES — The Obama administration is raising the U.S. profile in the South China Sea and in the newly troubled seas around the Korean Peninsula. Its decisions are sound enough, and they have been put forth carefully and with proportionality, but they do ...

Jun 11, 2010

Who to credit for Asia's extraordinary rise?

LOS ANGELES — The extraordinary rise of Asia in recent decades cannot be understood or appreciated without some reference to outstanding leadership. Consider the experience of other regions of the world. In the 19th century, Europe immensely benefited from the machinations of its Machiavellian empire-building ...

Jun 6, 2010

Another political circus act flops in Tokyo

LOS ANGELES — The prime minister of Japan has just resigned. Big deal. That's the reaction most everywhere — and particularly in the United States. Yes, the important neonational dailies — Wall Street Journal, New York Times — plopped the story on Page One, where ...

May 1, 2010

President Lee demonstrates cool in crisis

LOS ANGELES — It is true that there is not much that Lee Myung Bak could reasonably do, one way or the other, in response to the sinking of a South Korean naval patrol vessel in the Korean seas. But what little the president ...

Apr 26, 2010

China's true supporters versus the hackers

Caring about China can be hard to do. Many Chinese, for starters, resent it when others express concern, viewing it as an intrusion, especially when the other party disagrees with something China has done. Recently I wrote about the China versus Google fight. The ...

Apr 15, 2010

Thailand's bloodshed is unbefitting of a king

Even viewing the spectacle from afar, it is utterly brutal on the emotions to observe an otherwise wondrous people and culture tearing itself in two. No one who has ever been treated to the endless charm and hospitality of the Thai people could be ...

Apr 7, 2010

How Google got too hot for China's kitchen

It is one of the positives of my largely happy life that I never found myself in the field of public relations with a client like Beijing. It's not that there aren't many wondrously good stories about China — hundreds of millions of otherwise ...

Mar 31, 2010

Why China kills a chicken to scare monkeys

It may be that Zhu Rongji is the most important Chinese political figure since the death of Mao Zedong's relatively enlightened successor Deng Xiaoping, I don't know. As China's previous premier (number two of the whole place) he was certainly the key technical engineer ...

Mar 17, 2010

China's diplomacy suffering an identity crisis

Chinese diplomacy generally comes in all sizes and shapes, but until relatively recently the size was small and the shape a question mark. Decades of international isolation did little to nudge many nuances into its foreign policy. Under Mao Zedong especially, China didn't so ...

Mar 11, 2010

The U.S. media badly needs a wakeup call

Different societies allow their news media different roles. In most countries the media is subordinated to power, whether of the government or the ruling class. Surprisingly or not, the American model is not widely emulated globally. Unfortunately, these days, it is not even widely ...