Past Still Haunting China-Japan Relations

By Richard Johnson
IDN-InDepth NewsReport


LONDON (IDN) – The 81st anniversary of the so-called “Mukden Incident” that marked the 14-year long Japanese occupation of China (1931-1945), was accompanied by anti-Japanese protests on September 18, which reportedly took place in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. These followed demonstrations on a similar scale over the weekend of September 15-16.

Pakistan: Sunni Militants Killing Shias

By Devinder Kumar
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Human Rights Watch has expressed concern about increasing violence against the minority Shia Muslim community in Pakistan and asked the government in Islamabad to protect it from sectarian attacks by Sunni militant groups.

“Deadly attacks on Shia communities across Pakistan are escalating,” HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams said. “The government’s persistent failure to apprehend attackers or prosecute the extremist groups organizing the attacks suggests that it is indifferent to this carnage,” he added.

South Asia’s Eight Developing a New Mission

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – India cannot be a global player unless it has peaceful relations with its neighbours. A sustained growth rate of 9% to 10% needs more than a peaceful South Asia. It calls for a new economic vibrancy in the region driven by better and more trade, business, connectivity, infrastructure, communication and transportation; and, these in a way that touch the lives of the majority in South Asia.

Challenges Galore for Japan’s New Prime Minister

By Rajaram Panda*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

The new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s long list of challenges includes rebuilding the country after the devastating tsunami, the nuclear crisis triggered by it and reining in the huge public debt. On the foreign policy front, he will have to ensure that Japan’s relations with the United States, China, Australia and India remain on an even keel. If he falters, Japan’s importance in the global community would be considerably diminished.

India’s New Top Diplomat Has Promises to Keep

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsPortrait

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Ranjan Mathai has got off to a good start as Foreign Secretary (the top diplomat for the country’s external relations) and enjoys a lot of goodwill. His seniority being generallyaccepted, his ascent to the top diplomatic post washardly contentious. He is well regardedby seniors, respectedby his peers and admired by more than a few in the service for his leadershipand people skills. “He is a team player, not egocentric,” commented a seasoned diplomat.

According to former Foreign SecretaryLalit Mansingh, he has therequisite professional experience as he has servedin the neighbourhood and incapitals such as Tehran,Tel Aviv, Vienna, Brussels, London and Washington. In his very first statement, Mansinghpointed out, Mathai rightly emphasized the importance of the neighbourhood. The region has  not receivedenough attention althoughthe present government gave it the importance it deserveswith the Prime Minister speaking of “asymmetrical relations”.

Scramble for Power Persists in Nepal

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

KATHMANDU (IDN) – The sham that multiparty democracy has become in Nepal is turning into a cruel joke on the people. The resignation of Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) underscores how voters are stuck with a self-serving elected elite, no less privileged and protected than the ousted monarchy.

The resignation of Khanal, as much as his continuation since May 29 (when he had promised to step down, but did not), exemplifies the collective opportunism of Nepal’s three major parties.

Why Nukes Cast No Shadow on Indian Psyche

By Jayita Sarkar*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

NEW DELHI (IDN) – In the wake of the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal of 2008 allowing India to engage in civilian nuclear trade, protest movements have emerged in several sites chosen for the construction of new nuclear power plants. India is aiming to establish at least thirty nuclear reactors and derive a quarter of its electricity needs from nuclear energy by 2050.

With the establishment of the Atomic Energy Research Committee in 1946 and adoption of the Atomic Energy Act in 1948, India had proceeded rather early on the path of atomic energy.

Together Asia and Europe Can Counter Violent Extremism

By Shada Islam*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

The EU and the U.S. are engaged in active discussions on countering radicalization – but the focus inevitably is on “Islamist” groups, especially so-called “home-grown” American and European radicals of Muslim descent, or Muslim converts, who run the risk of being recruited by Al Qaeda. Norway’s July 22 tragedy should spark a strong global debate on combating rising intolerance and the challenge all countries face in establishing – and maintaining – societies which embrace and encourage diversity and give full freedoms and fundamental rights to minorities.

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