The East Asia Gazette

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Popular new manga "Ichiefu" offers account of workers lives at Fukushima power plant

One of the things Japan has long excelled at is alluring people to it via cultural seduction – something Joseph Nye denominated “soft power”. From its rich literature to its tea ceremony to martial arts, Japan seems to have a natural affinity for making people become infatuated, or at least curious, about it. This same virtue allowed the Japanese to dominate the global economic scene by providing top notch electronics and vehicles for decades. Paramount among Japan's soft powers is their manga culture, a form of comics that has spellbound several generations of foreigners who have been eager to learn everything about the country that spawned these works. Although disguised as innocuous drawings, these can often be more revealing of Japanese culture than any scholarly...  read more

Massive railway strike ends as Park administration faces new challenges

Starting on December 9th, about 8,700 workers from the Korea Railroad Corp. union went on strike to protest the government’s recent plan to establish a subsidiary for KORAIL’s new bullet train, in the Suseo district of Seoul. The plan was widely believed to be the precursor to train...  read more

North Korean prison camps expanding: Amnesty International

On December 5, Amnesty International released a number of satellite images exposing the development of two North Korean gulags. The report by the London-based human rights watchdog revealed that the two facilities, Kwanliso (lit. Management Bureau) 15 and 16, have expanded with new housing blocks,...  read more

Abe's Secrecy Bill passes as Japan watches closely

Japan has never had a strong tradition of freedom of speech or transparency as the events in the past two years have confirmed, and matters do not seem to be improving. Article 21 of the Constitution of Japan states, “Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other...  read more

The delicate decommissioning of Fukushima's power plants

Upon the International Olympic Committee's decision to let Tokyo host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a great amount of pressure has been placed on TEPCO and the Japanese government to hasten its efforts of cleaning up the aftereffects of the disastrous Fukushima triple meltdown. Whereas...  read more

Bo Xilai trial concludes: verdict to be revealed at a later date

Today, the 64-year-old former Communist Party chief of the southwestern city of Chongqing, Bo Xilai, has undergone his fifth day of trial under accusations of bribery, corruption and abuse of power. Amongst his charges are receiving 21.8 million Yuan ($3.5 million USD) in bribes from plastics-to-...  read more

TEPCO: Almost 2000 employees at risk of cancer

Discontent looms large on the northeastern coast of Japan. From the nuclear disaster that hit the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 to June 2013, almost 1,300 TEPCO employees have fled the company of their own volition. According to the Japanese daily, Asahi Shinbun, 51 of those...  read more