Asian News For The Week Of October 29

Monday October 29
Japan, Korea

Japan seeking unpaid rent from U.S. Embassy

Japan may consider suing the U.S. Embassy over 10 years of unpaid rent on state-owned land in the heart of Tokyo, sources said.

The embassy had paid the Japanese government an annual 2.5 million yen ($21,897) for the 13,000-square-meter plot in the Akasaka district of Minato Ward in the central part of the capital.

But in 1998, the Japanese government proposed to gradually raise the rent to around 10 times that level.

Washington strongly objected, and has since refused to pay anything.

UNDP says document proves Lee involvement in BBK scam
October 29, 2007
Attempting to prove that Lee Myung-bak was involved in a controversial company that went bankrupt after a stock price manipulation scandal, a United New Democratic Party lawmaker released a copy of a bank document yesterday saying that Lee is the actual owner of BBK, the company in question.
Lee, the Grand National Party presidential candidate, has denied having any relationship to the company, whose president fled to the United States after allegedly embezzling nearly 38 billion won ($42 million) from BBK. The executive, Kim Gyeong-jun, who was a business partner with Lee in another firm, is expected to return to Korea this month due to an extradition request.
His political opponents have claimed that Lee must have been involved in BBK because of the fact that Kim and Lee jointly established another firm, LK-e Bank around the time that BBK went bankrupt in 2000.

Tuesday October 30
Indonesia, Philippines

Women learn their rights thanks to PEKKA

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

They are not super women and nor do they have any special powers — but they have the will to improve their quality of life without depending on others.

Maemunah, 40, was an ordinary housewife until the day her husband left her to find a job in Jakarta three years ago.

“My husband left our village because his clothing business collapsed,” Maemunah said.

“I was frustrated at that time because I thought he would not come back.

Polls generally peaceful with

A total of 23 people were killed in the run-up to Monday’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls, which government claims is low compared to the deaths in last May’s national elections and the village polls held in 2002.

“Except for isolated incidents of violence and killings, it was generally peaceful compared to the 2002 barangay and SK elections,” Commission on Elections (Comelec) Acting Chairman Resurrecion Borra said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported a total of 42 election-related incidents since September 29, when police went on alert for the polls. The violence statistics from this year’s village polls is small compared to the 2002 barangay elections, where there were 159 violent incidents and 75 deaths. In the May national elections, 121 people were killed from 229 violent incidents.

Wednesday October 31
India, Pakistan

Deportation plane was ordered by PM, court told

By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that he had been asked by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz by telephone to arrange a special aircraft which was used to take former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to Jeddah on Sept 10.

The claim about the prime minister’s verbal orders was endorsed by chief of protocol for foreign affairs Nazir Ahmed and PIA chairman Zafar A. Khan, and also by the principle secretary to the premier. The instructions were followed by a Sept 9 letter to the chief of protocol to keep the VVIP aircraft ready with double cabin crew, though it carried no information about the destination of the plane.

Right from Sept 6, arrangements were being made to violate the decision of the Supreme Court in the Nawaz Sharif case by none other than the prime minister himself, said Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who is heading a seven-member SC bench hearing a contempt of court petition involving the deportation of Mr Sharif.

In his statement, which was appreciated by the chief justice, the foreign secretary said he had been directed by the prime minister by phone on Sept 6 to arrange with the help of PIA a VVIP aircraft.

As the proceedings were going on inside the courtroom, a large number of PML-N leaders, workers and supporters gathered outside the Supreme Court.

Prime Minister’s integrity unquestioned: Karat
NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding his stiff opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal, CPM leader Prakash Karat has hailed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his “unquestioned integrity” and disagreed with suggestions that he resign.

Karat said the Left parties have respect for Singh and “there is no reason why the UPA government should not complete its full term”.

Thursday November 1
China, Taiwan

3 in 10 graduates yet to find work
By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-11-01 07:23

Almost 30 percent of this year’s university graduates had failed to find a job by the end of September, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education said Wednesday.

Five million students graduated this year, but 1.44 million of them are still unemployed, Wang Xuming said.

The number of unemployed graduates has been increasing year by year, according to ministry statistics. In 2001, there were 340,000, last year there were 1.24 million.

For those who have found a job, 40.7 percent work for private or foreign-funded companies, while 0.4 percent had set up their own companies.

“Many university leavers have chosen to work at grassroots level because of government policies such as waiving the debts of graduates willing to work in the country’s rural and western regions,” Wang said.

Taiwan’s Ma sticks with one-China policy, despite party move
Thursday, November 1, 2007

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The presidential candidate of Taiwan’s main opposition party said Thursday he still supports the idea of a single China that includes Taiwan, despite a party decision to strike the plank from its annual platform.

The comments by Ma Ying-jeou came amid efforts by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party to emphasize Taiwan’s separateness from the mainland, from which it split amid civil war in 1949.

On Wednesday a key Nationalist decision-making body struck out a reference to pushing the “1992 Consensus” from its list of core tasks for the coming year.


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  1. Not MORE episodes of DBZ.

    Aren’t they up to a bajillion already?

    • RiaD on November 3, 2007 at 11:03

    I look forward to Saturdays because of You! It is wonderful of you to take the time to put this together each week. Thank you.

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