Asia

Afghanistan and the promise of democracy? The fable of ‘Enduring Freedom’.

11/05/2016 Jack Lee

Yet, 2016 has caused this eye to shut. Afghanistan has faded from memory as developments in other areas, namely Iraq and Syria fixate public concern. The emergence of ISIS has created a new enemy. We are now greeted with stories of hostages and air strikes with ISIS becoming the new global security threat; a threat which can be encompassed by the recent terror attacks in Paris. As important as the impact of ISIS is, Afghanistan has become a child overshadowed by the birth of a new sibling. It has been neglected and pushed to the side, replaced by something new and more interesting. Arguably, in a few years, ISIS may suffer the same fate. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Asia

The Japanese national identity: the barrier to gender equality

05/03/2016 Tanya Newton

Japanese identity has been becoming increasingly debated over the past few years. Recent conflicts over Japan’s colonial past, such as the Islands dispute and comfort women have been exacerbated by the embracing of an old-fashioned Japanese identity by nationalist Prime Minister Abe. Abe’s politics hearken back to an imperial glory of traditional Japan. Yet at the same time, the Japanese government is attempting to tackle the poor state of gender equality. Unfortunately, the stronger the Japanese traditional identity is, the weaker the already ailing fight for women’s rights becomes because traditional Japanese culture often promotes a passive image of womanhood. (Read More)

Asia

The contradictions of Japan’s self-defence force

26/10/2015 Philip Horey

“ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.” (Read More)

Asia

Mongolia’s Third Neighbour Policy

17/10/2015 Philip Horey

The economy of Mongolia has been growing steadily in recent years, and has an abundance of natural resources ready to exploit. The government supports freedom of religion, since the fall of Communism in 1990, which is predominantly Buddhism (60%), and Atheism (25%). Internationally, the country has a lot of potential, especially for a comparatively small population of around 3,000,000 despite being the 19th largest country in terms of land mass. Despite this, it remains a third world country, with the majority of families living in poverty or as nomads.
(Read More)

Asia

Christians in Turkey – A sad story that needs telling

10/05/2015 Stephen Hoffman

When we talk about the terrible persecution of Christians, we often talk about Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt, as it hits us especially hard considering we could be seeing the extinction of Christianity in its birthplace. The one country we ignore in all this, despite its move towards an authoritarian version of Islamism that is hostile towards Christianity under Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey. This needs to be addressed, because sadly the life of Christians in Turkey is the opposite of sweetness and light. (Read More)

Asia

#EkehFaheh15 – Maldives May Day Protest

01/05/2015 Sean Mowbray

Protests have been taking place across Maldives today in support of ousted former President Mohamed Nasheed. Dissident journalist and long term opponent of the authoritarian government which ruled the Pacific island nation, Nasheed was recently sentenced to 13 years in prison on terrorism charges. (Read More)

Asia

Unity or Division? Assessing the impact of the Japanese occupation on modern Indonesia: Part 3

29/03/2015 Alex Beck

The elimination of Dutch influence and mobilization of the population for the Japanese war effort demanded the systematic indoctrination of Indonesians throughout the archipelago. Although this constant propaganda failed to convince Indonesians of the apparent superiority of Japanese culture, it did, however, intensify anti-Western and nationalistic attitudes, which in the process helped unify Indonesians in their commitment to independence. (Read More)

Asia

Unity or Division? Assessing the impact of the Japanese occupation on modern Indonesia: Part 1

28/03/2015 Alex Beck

When Showa Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies in 1942, different groups began to compete for the goodwill of their new colonial masters. In the course of these events remaining Europeans were either killed or sent as forced labour into Japanese concentration camps. Many Indonesians had welcomed the Japanese as liberators but their hopes were soon balked. The occupying power brutally quelled resistance since its ultimate aim was to incorporate the East Indies into the ’Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere – a Japanese dominated imperial order. (Read More)