Gender and sexuality, Japan

Women storm bastions of male political power in Japan

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Japan’s mainstream voters show they are not averse to voting women into power On 15 September, the political glass ceiling in Japan received another dent when the main political opposition party, the Democratic Party (DP), elected Renho as its leader. This comes very soon after another significant milestone for women in politics was passed when […]

India

‘Sacred cows’ fuel India’s booming beef industry

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India’s cow protection policies have little to do with animal rights or ethics Most Indian states criminalise the slaughter of the cow, bull and progeny, and beef sourced from them, based on a core Hindu ethic of reverencing the cow as sacred. The blind spot in the politics and legislation of India’s cow protectionism, however, […]

Japan

Hiroshima storytellers keep A-bomb memories alive

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The stories of Hiroshima survivors offer some healing and some hope To walk the halls of Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Museum is to trace humanity at its worst—and its best. In this place of human shadows etched onto stone are too many reminders of the too many victims of the world’s first nuclear bomb used in […]

India

Mixed record calls Modi’s reform credentials into question

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After a bold start, there are signs India’s prime minister Narendra Modi may be taking a more cautious approach to reform The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, was swept to a massive electoral victory in May 2014. In a very presidential-style campaign, Modi promised parivartan (change) and vikas (development). Modi held up […]

Indonesia

Jokowi achieves early success in building Indonesia’s infrastructure

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Jokowi is overcoming obstacles to achieve much-needed infrastructure development In response to the lack of infrastructure that has impeded Indonesia’s economic growth, infrastructure development has become the top priority for the Widodo administration. President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, revoked the oil subsidy fund in 2014 to finance infrastructure development across Indonesia. In Sumatra, the […]

Japan

Japan deepens its engagement of Africa

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Against the backdrop of China and India’s rise, Japan looks to Africa to help assert its position in a contested regional order Africa is becoming a new strategic playground for Asian nations, especially Japan, China and India. While China and India are relatively new to the contemporary African game, Japan’s engagement of postcolonial Africa has […]