Asia Minute

JasonParis / Flickr
JasonParis / Flickr

The concept of income inequality was a theme of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, and it’s getting some attention this week at the Democratic National Convention. It’s also getting some publicity in Indonesia—where it played a role this week in a government shakeup. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Food trucks are popular around the islands—and their numbers have grown in recent years, especially in Honolulu. But they’re still a novel concept in parts of Asia. This week, the government of Hong Kong is awarding licenses for the city’s first 16 food trucks. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia minute.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Tropical Storm Darby is gone, but humid weather lingers across much of the state. Teams are also cleaning up after some extensive flooding. Recent floods in China have been much more destructive—and apparently have led to a crackdown on the news media. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute. 

Youtube Via CC Search
Youtube Via CC Search

The Democratic convention gets underway later today, a week after the Republican gathering. This is also the day for a political tradition in the Philippines—one that will be getting a closer look than usual. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

National Museum of Nature and Science
National Museum of Nature and Science

The Hōkūle‘a is continuing its voyage along the coast of northern New England today. Earlier this week, a very different kind of canoe was launched on an experimental voyage on the other side of the world. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Two ocean-going grass canoes were launched from an island in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture….bound for another island about 50 miles away.  Each carried a crew of seven—part of a longer-term project studying possible migration patterns of early settlers to Japan.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr
DonkeyHotey / Flickr

The Republican convention wraps up later today in Cleveland. And while much of the focus has been on speeches and domestic issues, the Republican Party Platform has a lot to say about China. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Political conventions often highlight personalities over platforms…but when it comes to Republicans and China, there’s a notable shift in the platform.

Luke Jones / Flickr
Luke Jones / Flickr

There’s news today about a multi-billion dollar rail project that will change the look of a capital city. It’s not the Honolulu rail project—this is a high speed train that would link Singapore with the capital city of Malaysia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

The leaders of Singapore and Malaysia signed a train deal this week.  It’s a memo of understanding for a high-speed rail project that would link Singapore with Kuala Lumpur—about 185 miles.  Planners say it will turn what is now about a 5 hour drive into a 90 minute ride.

Courtney Rhodes / Flickr
Courtney Rhodes / Flickr

Korean cosmetics are a growing draw for both locals and tourists visiting Hawai‘i. While O‘ahu now features three specialty stores, Korean cosmetics are also available on other islands. And now the overall business is attracting some big financial names. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Marc Nozell / Flickr
Marc Nozell / Flickr

Vice President Joe Biden is starting the week in Australia. Biden was in Hawai‘i at the end of last week, where he observed the Rim of the Pacific military exercises. After a few days in Australia, Biden will head to an unusual destination for a US vice president: New Zealand. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

The last time an American vice president went to New Zealand, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and the Bee Gees were wrestling for the top of the music pop charts, Annie Hall won the Oscar for Best Picture, and Jimmy Carter was in the White House.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Beach cleanups are frequent weekend activities around the islands…organized by groups from Surfriders to Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i. But in Hong Kong, beach cleanups have recently reached a new level. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The emperor of Japan may be stepping down. Not immediately, but Japan’s national broadcaster NHK says he’s considering the move. And that was enough to dominate headlines across the country. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

It’s been 199 years since a Japanese emperor has voluntarily given up the Chrysanthemum Throne.  That was Emperor Kokaku….founder of the branch of the current royal family.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

After a UN Court ruled against China Tuesday in a case involving the South China Sea, the immediate reaction focused on diplomatic and security issues. But a large part of the story also concerns the environment. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The South China Sea dispute covers a lot of territory—and not just on a map.  Most attention zeroes in on diplomatic disputes, freedom of navigation, and exploration for oil and minerals.

YouTube Via CC Commons
YouTube Via CC Commons

It’s been less than a week since the latest mobile gaming craze has hit the country---including Hawai‘i. “Pokemon Go” has captured nationwide attention—but in Japan it’s drawing a different kind of focus. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

    

Researchers in Hawai‘i and around the world are closely monitoring the health of ocean coral. But there’s another form of marine life that’s also getting close attention—especially off the coast of Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Seaweed comes in various forms…including kelp—which is a brown algae that grows in relatively shallow oceans.  And a recent study about kelp off the west coast of Australia comes to some disturbing conclusions.

YouTube Via CC Commons
YouTube Via CC Commons

It sounds like a political dream and a logistical nightmare.  Thousands of voters at a single event—a captive audience…complete with catering. But what’s been a tradition in Malaysia also stirred some controversy this year. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia had crowds of people over to his house the other day.  The official tally for Najib Razak was about 75,000 visitors.

YouTube Via CC Commons
YouTube Via CC Commons

It sounds like a political dream and a logistical nightmare.  Thousands of voters at a single event—a captive audience…complete with catering. But what’s been a tradition in Malaysia also stirred some controversy this year. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia had crowds of people over to his house the other day.  The official tally for Najib Razak was about 75,000 visitors.

inaswords.wordpress.com
inaswords.wordpress.com

Summer months are the busiest time of the year for lifeguards—in Hawai‘i and across the country. Summer vacation and hot weather pack beaches and pools in many locations. But in one Asian city, the crowds of summer are bringing trouble when it comes to lifeguards. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Investigations are continuing into last Friday’s terrorist attack at a restaurant in the capital of Bangladesh. Twenty hostages were killed—mostly foreigners. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack—which is having an impact on another part of life in Bangladesh. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

YouTube Via CC Commons
YouTube Via CC Commons

Travelers to South Korea may soon be getting some help from an unexpected source.  The country’s largest international airport is preparing for some new roles to be played by robots.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

If you’re wandering around South Korea’s Incheon Airport with travel questions, you may soon be able to get help from a roaming robot.  Cleaning robots are already in use at a number of facilities…including Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

News about North Korea often concerns missile launches and military threats. But officials from South Korea’s intelligence agency focused on some other news late last week—some personal details about North Korea’s leader. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Kim Jong Un is putting on weight….apparently quite a bit of it.  Maybe you’ve noticed the North Korean leader looks a little chunkier than he used to if you pay attention to those occasional scenes from government television.

Australian Embassy Jakarta / Flickr
Australian Embassy Jakarta / Flickr

Voters across Australia will go to the polls tomorrow in a national parliamentary election.  Polls show the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is likely to hold onto power, but with a slimmer majority in both houses of parliament.  One factor: the complications of Australia’s political parties. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Arian Zwegers / Flickr
Arian Zwegers / Flickr

Motorcycles are a common form of transportation in many developing countries, in part because they’re cheaper than cars. But in one of the biggest markets in the world, radical change may be coming. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

If you’ve ever tried to cross a road in a major city in Vietnam as a pedestrian, you’re familiar with the local popularity of motorcycles.  Honda—which produces more motorcycles than any other company in the world---says Vietnam is the number four global market for the two-wheelers.

Awards for bravery and public service are part of the careers of many law enforcement officials around the world. But in one Southeast Asian country, a different sort of award is making headlines. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

In many parts of the world, bribery is part of business as usual.  Sometimes that includes law enforcement officials.  But the government of Indonesia has come up with a novel concept---rewarding honesty—giving national recognition to a policeman who has refused to accept cash bribes.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Financial markets in Asia began the week with a more measured view of events in Britain than the US stock market.  Some of the larger equity markets even began the week with strong gains, while currency markets have had a more complicated reaction.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

When it comes to big money in Asia, it’s still early to fully evaluate the implications of Britain’s exit from the European Union.  After steep sell-offs last week, stock markets across Asia have generally calmed down a bit.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

What’s your relationship with your phone? That may seem like an odd question, but it’s one that psychiatrists in South Korea are increasingly asking some of their patients. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Chi Tranter / Flickr
Chi Tranter / Flickr

Geothermal power has been part of the electricity grid for decades on Hawai‘i Island. In Japan, development of geothermal has been slow—but a recent move might speed things up. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

As we’ve been reporting recently on HPR, crystal methamphetamine continues to be a crisis in Hawai‘i. And there is evidence that use of that drug is increasing in New Zealand and Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Police in New Zealand seized more than half a ton of methamphetamine from an abandoned boat on a northern beach this week…with a street value of more than $350 million US dollars.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Sustainable seafood is an important part of Hawai‘i’s local diet.  The Hawai‘i Seafood Council lists sixteen species of wild and sustainable fish that come from waters around the islands.  But the waters around the Philippines are facing new challenges when it comes to sustainable fishing. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Danilo Cedrone / United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
Danilo Cedrone / United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

The South China Sea is a center of territorial disputes involving half a dozen governments. China’s construction activities and military patrols in the region have drawn criticism, but there’s also a growing chorus of protests from another group: environmentalists. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

faerie-angel Via CC Commons
faerie-angel Via CC Commons

In the 1980’s, Japanese investment poured into Hawai‘i—from residential real estate to hotels. Hawai‘i is still a popular destination for Japanese investors…. but they’re increasingly being joined by those from South Korea. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia minute.

South Korea’s central bank cut interest rates to a record low Thursday…one and a quarter percent.  Those low interest rates at home are one factor driving investment money abroad—including here in Hawai‘i.

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