Asia Minute

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Wikipedia Commons

The state of Hawai‘i has the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the country—with a goal of using 100-percent renewable energy by the year 2045. Part of that mix is geothermal power—which is also a growing part of the energy picture in Indonesia.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

CCTV Screenshot
CCTV Screenshot

The Honolulu Rail project continues to be a focus for this week’s mayoral election on O‘ahu. As cost estimates and other complications rise, a recent transit development from China sounds promising. Or maybe too good to be true. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Simon Yeo / Flickr
Simon Yeo / Flickr

The tourism industry is always looking for new ideas—whether they involve visitors coming to Hawai‘i or traveling elsewhere in the world.  But a proposal floated this week by a government official in Thailand may not gain a big international following.  HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Thailand wants to track its tourists closely….by way of a computer chip.  A government agency wants all foreign tourists to be issued SIM cards.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A new sort of spacecraft is heading for the International Space Station. It’s a project led by Australian researchers—and if it’s successful it may have a global impact. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

The Summer Olympic Games are well underway in Rio—gathering athletes from all over the world. That includes China…which has sent more than 400 competitors in 29 sports….and one policeman. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Shao Weimin has a lot of work to do over the next couple of weeks.  He’s been sent from China to help look after the safety of Chinese athletes, tourists, and even journalists in town to cover the Olympic Games in and around Rio de Janeiro.

www.publicdomainpictures.net
www.publicdomainpictures.net

Access to the internet is censored in China…but more people are logging on.  The government released figures this week that show that China remains home to the biggest number of internet users in the world.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Some 710 million Chinese now use the internet.  For a little perspective, that’s more than double the entire population of the United States.  That’s according to China’s government…which for these purposes defines an internet user as anyone who has gone online at least once in the past six months.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The United Nations Security Council has been meeting about North Korea following that country’s launch of a ballistic missile that reached Japanese waters.  While most headlines about North Korea involve missiles and government rhetoric, there’s also news this week about defectors.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has it in today’s Asia Minute.

South Korea’s government reports the number of North Korean defectors is rising sharply compared to a year ago.  The Seoul Government has a cabinet level “Ministry of Unification”---which tracks these numbers closely.

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Wikipedia Commons

Tropical Storm Howard may bring some rain to the islands this weekend, but it’s not expected to cause any major problems or heavy flooding. It’s a different story elsewhere in the Pacific—where forecasters are watching the impact of the strongest typhoon to hit the region so far this season. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Typhoon Nida rattled through Hong Kong early Tuesday.  More than 150 flights were cancelled…others delayed, the stock exchange was shut down, and most local businesses simply pulled down their steel shutters until the storm passed.

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Wikipedia Commons

The president of Taiwan has been in office for less than three months. But she has already made history—not only as the first woman president of Taiwan, but also for an apology she made this week to the indigenous people of the island. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

The Prime Minister of Singapore is spending most of this week in Washington. It’s the first official state visit by a Singaporean leader in more than 30 years. And discussions will include at least one topic that came under fire at the political conventions of both republicans and democrats. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The Rim of the Pacific military exercises in and around Hawai‘i will wrap up next week. The five weeks of RIMPAC make up the largest maritime exercise in the world—involving more than two-dozen countries this year. But another set of ocean maneuvers will soon get attention thousands of miles away. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s 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.

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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.

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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.

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