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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:

Feb 21, 2010

Taiwanese perspective on Sino-U.S. relations

LOS ANGELES — Unless they somehow manage to entwine us in World War III with China, our friends in Taiwan truly are our friends. Over and over again, Beijing has let the world know that any dramatic move by the offshore island toward permanent and ...

Feb 7, 2010

China's unwritten chapters feed speculation

LOS ANGELES — We were lucky enough the other night to attend a dinner party where the fare was California fusion and the killer item on the menu was serious table talk about Asia. So much food for thought was offered that, when the ...

Jan 17, 2010

Will the Tiger find a way out of the Woods?

LOS ANGELES — Buddhism is one of the historic religions of Asia, and today its influence remains strongly felt throughout the world. One has only to scratch the surface of this religion that originated in India in the fifth or sixth century B.C. to ...

Dec 28, 2009

Star artists reveal the essence of a nation's bureaucratic ways

LOS ANGELES — In America, trying to understand what makes other complex countries and cultures tick is usually done in the university classroom, through travel abroad or by following the mass news media. But there's another option that sometimes produces gold: Peering into other ...

Dec 20, 2009

Wake up a friend about China at Christmas

LOS ANGELES — Attention last-minute holiday shoppers: We have an easy-to-purchase gift to recommend. And we guarantee that it will fit all sizes, shapes and tastes. This is assuming your intended recipients are intelligent, literate and eager to learn about the world. The answer is ...

Dec 6, 2009

Disgusting surfeit of anti-Obama remarks

LOS ANGELES — Some necessary context for President Barack Obama's long-awaited Afghanistan policy speech: Foreign policy performance is anything but the total measure of a president's worth. America's domestic politics, not to mention its elections, are more often than not driven by the forces, ...

Nov 23, 2009

Two smart guys trying to figure it all out

LOS ANGELES — The two looked over the precipice and gasped at the steepness of the drop. They looked down at a desert of dashed hopes and old skeletons, scraping the bottom of the canyon. Yes, this is where a failed U.S.-China relationship might wind ...

Oct 26, 2009

Paranoids feast on China's 'peaceful rising'

LOS ANGELES — Paranoid people tend to live longer, goes the old joke. And so it is in this spirit only — not out of a desire to engage in Cold War China-bashing — that we raise concerns about China. So here's the paranoid's ...

Oct 21, 2009

Another twist and shout from North Korea

LOS ANGELES — Like the baby that hurls its rattle out of the crib to grab attention, North Korea has never been known for a subtle diplomatic style. Right now, though, it appears to have abandoned, temporarily at least, the crude infantile approach for ...