Stories about japan

India’s absence from the OBOR forum is testimony of Modi’s failed foreign policy

China hosted a massive two-day international event between May 14 and 15 in Beijing to formally launch its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, which plans to connect Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. More than 65 countries participated in the summit and nearly half of them were represented by their heads of state and government. World powers such as the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and even Japan too were in Beijing. Apart from Bhutan, which does not have any diplomatic ties with China, all other South Asian countries took part. However, the Narendra Modi-led Indian government decided to give it a miss in spite of China’s repeated overtures. Nothing can explain this self-inflicted isolation of India except PM Modi’s ...

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Why do Pakistan and India always have their daggers drawn?

Pakistan and India are locked in the conviction that each one wants the other’s destruction. Repeating the incantation is patriotic, questioning it, borderline seditious. Each country believes that its violence is only a defensive response to the other’s malevolent initiative. Both nations have separate historical markers to support their points of view and risk engaging in what each believes would be a just war. This smouldering fire is kept alight by the capability theory of judging intent by capability assessment. US General Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the 1990 First Iraq War coalition, believes that, “… You … judge your enemy based upon capabilities, not intent, you have to look at ...

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Silence: Watch, drool, absorb, repeat

Woah! Just woah! Am I crazy if I just keep on watching something on loop ad infinitum? The trailer of Martin Scorsese’s much awaited passion project ‘Silence’ has finally dropped, and boy am I stunned speechless. Scorsese’s adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel was definitely at the top of my most anticipated list for a long while now, and we finally get a peek into what’s actually in store for us. Silence book cover. Photo: Wikipedia For nearly three decades, the celebrated filmmaker has been planning to adapt Silence, and I will be honest, the premise of two Jesuit ...

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Is India making the same mistake Pakistan made by allying with the US?

The post-colonial history tells us that Uncle Sam has been more of a destabiliser than a divine presence in the region. Pakistan has been a close ally of the US since the 50s. But has the Islamic country been a real beneficiary by playing the western world’s game in South Asia? In its blind desire to get military parity with India and neutralise the existential threat from its eastern neighbour, Islamabad became a front for Washington in the NATO’s war against communist Soviet Russia. As a result, Pakistan, a newly born country, lost its strategic autonomy quite early in its life and became a pawn in the larger game ...

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Burma’s democracy is on a military leash

The refugee crisis isn’t new and as long as there are wars, insurgencies, ethnic cleansing in the name of religion, cast or creed, this will surely not end anytime soon. The world has been watching millions of refugees pouring in from Syria for shelter. There have been mass coverage and debates in the media regarding the influx of refugees on European soil. Some politicians are giving speeches on how the refugees can be a threat and a burden. It is true that while some countries opened their doors, there were some hesitant in letting any refugees in, and yes, there ...

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Why are we blaming Japan for whaling and not Iceland?

Post World War II Japan was starving. The country had lost two cities – Hiroshima and Nagasaki – to atomic bombs and over 1.74 million Japanese servicemen and one million citizens. The Japanese people had lost everything and their hunger was compounded by a disastrous harvest and the fragile chaotic economy. The devastating effects led the Japanese to commercially pursue a tradition dating back to 10,000 BC – whaling. In 1947, whale meat made up almost half of all animal protein consumed by the country. Nearly 20 years later, whales continued to make up nearly one-quarter of the Japanese diet. ...

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What is Pakistan’s national dish? Hint: It’s not daal roti!

During lunch, a colleague asked us what is the national dish of Pakistan, and everyone present provided a different answer. I said that’s easy, it has to be daal roti (lentils and flat bread), right? This was quickly rebutted by someone mentioning that it has to be a rice-based dish and that roti is not as common as you may think, especially in the past decade or so.  One would assume the answer is biryani? I mean who does not eat biryani? But no, it cannot be. Biryani is too elite a meal and too limited to certain regions of this vast and culturally diverse country. ...

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Dear Ahmed, like you, I was also viewed as the ‘enemy’

You may have heard the story of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Dallas student who was arrested after bringing a home-made clock in to show his teacher. They believed it was a bomb, likely because Ahmed Mohamed is a Muslim. Since I don’t know how to reach this young man directly, I thought I’d post a letter to him here. Dear Ahmed, I’ve never met you, and it’s quite possible you’ve never heard of me, but my name is George Takei. I am many decades older than you, but your story and your experience – when you were arrested at your school simply because you brought ...

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China’s WW2 parade has attached more shame onto humanity’s shoulders

Wars may be designed to destroy nations; however, they play a critical role in building them as well. Is that what China has attempted to do today? China’s commemoration of the Second World War took place today in the city of Beijing. India too, is planning a festival to memorialise the 1965 war with Pakistan. 2015 seems to be the year we’re all celebrating war. China put on a grand display of its military strength and laid bare its hegemonic ambitions in the Asian region. The Chinese administration has asserted that the intention of the parade is to remind the world of the sacrifices the Chinese people ...

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Where is Al Jazeera’s journalistic responsibility?

Al Jazeera News Network was recently in the news for relatively positive reasons. A surprise, one must say. Their editorial on “Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’”, grabbed attention not only among global media consumers but also various renowned media networks – who published scores of commentaries appreciating the stand taken by the media outlet. In their policy editorial by Barry Malone, Al Jazeera’s online editor, wrote, “At this network, we try hard through our journalism to be the voice of those people in our world who, for whatever reason, find themselves without one. Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice. Substituting refugee ...

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