Analysts divided over how the South China Sea dispute between the Philippines and China will progress.
（ New islands built by China in the South China Sea reportedly comprise some 810 hectares ）
The Philippines challenging China before an international tribunal over maritime disputes has been compared to David going after Goliath.
Many political analysts have questioned how wise a decision it is considering China's sheer might in the international arena.
Not only is it the most populous country in the world, it is among the most powerful economies… with every other country tied to, if not dependent on, it for trade and development. How do you go up against a country like that?
People in Philippine diplomatic circles have said they're not sure they can win the legal battle even if they feel the facts are on their side; they're aware that there is so much more at play here.（中略）
（ Construction by China at Kagitingan Reef in the disputed Spratley Islands in the South China Sea ）
In a way, the Philippines has also taken its case to the court of public opinion.
Admitting they don't think they stand a chance against China, some Philippine officials say they feel victorious enough simply filing the arbitration case.
"What this has done is put the issue, undeniably, on the international agenda," one official told me.
"It's on the table now, whereas it really wasn't before… no matter how much we'd tried to bring it up."
China says Japan's East China Sea photos a provocation
Beijing says release of photographs of Chinese construction activity close to disputed waters "is not constructive".
（ China said it had every right to develop oil and gas resources in waters not in dispute that fall under its jurisdiction ）
Japan's release of photographs of Chinese construction activity in the East China Sea will only provoke confrontation between the two countries and do nothing for efforts to promote dialogue, China's foreign ministry has said.
In a defence review this week, Japan urged Beijing to stop building oil and gas exploration platforms close to disputed waters in the East China Sea, and expressed concern that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japan's waters.
In a statement late on Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said it had every right to develop oil and gas resources in waters not in dispute that fall under its jurisdiction.
"What Japan did provokes confrontation between the two countries, and is not constructive at all to the management of the East China Sea situation and the improvement of bilateral relations," it said.
日本の増すゴミ諸君は、示し合わせたかの如く「反省」と言うワーディングを選択しておりますが、こちらの動画↓を拝見しますと、ラッセルくんは、reflection（反省）とは仰有っておらず、the feelings of remorse（深い後悔、悔恨、自責の念、良心のとがめ）と言う言葉を使ってらっしゃるように、オジサンには聞こえるんですが、英語に堪能な各社増すゴミ諸君の特派員の皆さまにおかれましては、この点に関しては如何お考えですか。
U.S. diplomat hopes Abe to express "remorse" in war anniv. statement
WASHINGTON, July 21, Kyodo
A senior U.S. diplomat handling Asian issues expressed hope Tuesday that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will express remorse in a statement due out next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said he expects Abe to give voice to "the feelings of remorse" demonstrated by the Japanese government and people for the war.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Washington, Russel also indicated Abe should mention Japan's contributions to the international community in the postwar era in various fields including peace building.
Remarks at the Fifth Annual South China Sea Conference
Remarks Daniel R. Russel Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs The Center for Strategic and International Studies Washington, DC, July 21, 2015
As prepared for delivery
Good afternoon. Thank you, Murray, for the kind introduction. It’s always a pleasure to be back at CSIS.
Let me start by laying out the essential context.
The United States has always had interests in Asia. These interests have only grown stronger as our economies have become more interconnected, and as our people have grown closer through travel and the Internet.
For the last seven decades, we’ve worked with allies and partners in the region to build shared prosperity and shared security. In the last six-and-a-half years, in particular, we’ve invested in building cooperative relations with every country in the region. This is the rebalance.
There are many types of investment the world, and Asia, needs in order to grow―investment in people, first and foremost; investment in business; in physical infrastructure, and just as important; investment in “cooperative capital” – the international law and order infrastructure that facilitates the interactions between countries, that advances regional economic integration, and helps states peacefully manage and settle disputes.
The U.S. makes balanced investments in all of these areas.
The last one, the international rules-based system, has been the ‘essential but underappreciated underpinning’ of global growth over the last 70 years. That’s especially true in Asia, where many countries have grown – and continue to grow – their economies through international trade, especially trade with the U.S.
Asia’s nations have achieved so much in recent decades―reducing poverty, raising living standards, and creating opportunities for their people. They’ve done it through hard work, cooperation with each other, partnership with the U.S., and by jointly developing and operating within a rules-based system.
And we are helping them to do even more:
We’re taking broad-based, sustainable economic growth to a new level with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The TPP embraces a future that reaches beyond trade and investment to include high standards for environmental protection, for labor rights.
TPP’s provisions will support a thriving, growing, entrepreneurial middle class that is able to connect with the world and do business through a free, open Internet.
We’re taking the security architecture that underpins this brighter future to a new level by investing in regional institutions like the East Asia Summit and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in addition to our longstanding work with global ones like the U.N.
These institutions uphold norms and tackle tough challenges; they can help bring parties together to hash out disagreements, or when bilateral diplomacy doesn’t succeed, help to have those disputes resolved peacefully in a fair, impartial manner.
Standing behind and supporting these institutions is our system of alliances and partnerships.
This network has helped keep the peace in the region since World War II. And through a series of important agreements with key security partners over the last few years, we’ve refreshed them so they’ll last for decades to come.
We’re taking environmental protection to a new level, through our work on ocean preservation, on combatting climate change and its effects, and through programs like the Lower Mekong Initiative that help make economic growth environmentally sustainable.
As we pursue this broad, forward-looking vision for the region, we’ve worked constructively with China―a lot.
We’ve built greater understanding through President Obama’s 20 some-odd meetings with the Chinese President or Premier; and through the Strategic and Economic Dialogue and an alphabet soup of other consultations.
We’ve put a floor under the relationship so it can withstand tensions or even a crisis.
And in the last couple years, all of this work has paid off―we’ve made measurable progress in a range of cooperative efforts: in low-carbon policies; countering piracy at sea; in stemming the Ebola crisis; supporting a better future for Afghanistan; and much more.
But unfortunately, the situation in the South China Sea does not fit this cooperative pattern.
Now, the U.S. is not a claimant. As I’ve said here at CSIS, these maritime and territorial disputes are not intrinsically a US-China issue. The issue is between China and its neighbors and – ultimately – it’s an issue of what kind of power China will become. But for a variety of reasons, the competing claims and problematic behavior in the South China Sea have emerged as a serious area of friction in the U.S.-China relationship.
Let’s take a step back and recall, as I’m sure you discussed this morning, that there is a history of competing assertions of sovereignty and jurisdiction in the South China Sea, and even violent conflicts in 1974 and 1988.
There are no angels here. The occupation of land features in this contested space over the years looked a lot like “squatters’ rights.” But that is something that in 2002 the claimants agreed to stop doing.
In that year, all the claimants (and the ASEAN states) signed a Declaration of Conduct. In it, and on other occasions, they have committed “to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others, refraining from … inhabiting the presently uninhabited… features and to handle their differences in a constructive manner”.
In the Declaration of Conduct, they also committed to negotiate a Code of Conduct that would lay out and lock in responsible behavior. But in the ensuing 13 years, work on the Code has stalled, and the Declaration has not been sufficient to prevent confrontations or to help claimants resolve these disputes peacefully.
Recently, the level of concern in the region has escalated as the scale and speed of China’s reclamation work has become public. The Chairman’s statement at the ASEAN leaders’ summit in April was unusually blunt, speaking of “serious concerns” about “land reclamation being undertaken in the South China Sea, which has eroded trust and confidence and may undermine peace, security and stability….”
While China’s statement on June 16 that it would stop reclamation work “soon” was presumably intended to reassure, its effect was in fact alarming since the statement went on to warn that China would construct military facilities on these reclaimed outposts.
So we are pushing the parties to revive the spirit of cooperation embodied in the 2002 Declaration of Conduct.
We see a broad consensus within ASEAN on a path forward to reduce tensions and promote peaceful handling of these disputes. And we support ASEAN’s efforts to expeditiously conclude an effective, rigorous Code of Conduct that builds on the Declaration by translating its cooperative spirit into specific “do’s and don’ts.”
But to make this happen, the parties need to create room for diplomacy.
In the famous words of Rich Armitage’s Dictum Number 1, “when you find yourself in a hole – stop digging.” That is the advice we are giving to all the claimants: lower the temperature and create breathing room by: stopping land reclamation on South China Sea features; stopping construction of new facilities; and stopping militarization of existing facilities.
These are steps the parties could commit to immediately; steps that would cost them nothing; steps that would significantly reduce risks; steps that would open the door to eventual resolution of the disputes.
Secretary Kerry has made this point to Chinese leaders and to the other claimants, and will be meeting with his counterparts early next month in Malaysia at the ASEAN Regional Forum, or ARF, to push for progress on this important priority.
Now, steps to exercise restraint through a moratorium and a Code of Conduct will create diplomatic space and help keep the peace, but they won’t address the question of maritime boundaries or sovereignty over land features.
So what’s the way forward?
When it comes to competing claims, two of the main peaceful paths available to claimants are negotiations and arbitration.
Countries across the region in fact have resolved maritime and territorial disputes peacefully and cooperatively, whether through direct negotiations or through third-party dispute settlement mechanisms.
Just a few examples: Indonesia and the Philippines recently agreed on their maritime boundary;
Malaysia and Singapore used international court and tribunal proceedings to resolve disputes concerning the Singapore Strait; and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea delimited the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Burma.
A common thread runs through the maritime boundary disputes that have been resolved peacefully: the parties asserted maritime claims based on land features, and were prepared to resolve those disputes in accordance with international law.
This is why we’ve consistently called on all claimants to clarify the scope of their claims in the South China Sea, in accordance with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. Doing so would narrow the differences and offer the basis for negotiations and cooperative solutions.
Regrettably, I don’t know anyone in the region who believes that a negotiated settlement between China and other claimants is attainable in the current atmosphere.
And the multiple competing claims in some parts of the South China Sea make negotiations that much more difficult.
And then there is the absolutist political position taken by some claimants who insist that their own claims are “indisputable” and represent territory – however distant from their shores – that was “entrusted to them by ancestors” and who vow never to relinquish “one inch.”
What about arbitration? As this audience knows, there currently is an arbitration case pending under the Law of the Sea Convention between the Philippines and China.
At the heart of the case is the question of the so-called “Nine Dash Line” and whether that has a legal basis under the international law of the sea. It also asks what maritime entitlements, if any, are generated by features that China occupies? In other words, regardless of whose jurisdiction it may fall under, would Mischief Reef, for example, be entitled to a 12 nautical mile territorial sea? A 200nm exclusive economic zone? A continental shelf?
Now, it’s important to note that the Tribunal is not being asked – and is not authorized to rule – on the question of sovereignty over disputed land features. Everyone recognizes that the sovereignty issue is beyond the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. Claimants would need to agree to bring that sort of sovereignty dispute before a court or tribunal, typically the ICJ.
But under the Law of the Sea Convention, the Tribunal is authorized to first determine whether it has jurisdiction under the Convention over any of the Philippines’ claims in the case and, if it does, whether the Philippines’ arguments have merit.
The United States, of course, is not a party to this arbitration and does not take a position on the merits of the case. But when they became parties to the Convention, both the Philippines and China agreed to its compulsory dispute settlement regime.
Under this regime, the decision of the arbitral tribunal is legally binding on the parties to the dispute. It’s a treaty. In keeping with the rule of law, both the Philippines and China are obligated to abide by whatever decision may be rendered in the case, whether they like it or not.
Now China has argued that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction, and the tribunal has specifically considered this issue in recent hearings in The Hague, looking very carefully at a position paper published by China. But if the Tribunal concludes that it in fact has jurisdiction in this case, it will proceed to the merits, including potentially the question of the legality of China’s “Nine-Dash Line.”
Should it then rule that the “Nine-Dash Line” is not consistent with the Law of the Sea Convention, and particularly if the Tribunal ruled that the features cited in the case do not generate EEZ or continental shelf entitlements, the scope of the overlapping maritime claims – and hopefully the points of friction – would be significantly reduced.
But it’s also important to recognize that even in this outcome, important sovereignty and boundary issues would remain unresolved.
This is as good a time as any to acknowledge (as China has often pointed out) that the United States has not acceded to the Law of the Sea Convention, although accession has been supported by every Republican and Democratic administration since the Convention was signed and sent to the Senate in 1994. It is supported by the U.S. military, by industry, environmental groups, and other stakeholders.
For the United States to secure the benefits of accession, the Senate has to provide its advice and consent, as I hope it ultimately will.
But even as we encourage the parties to work for long term solutions, we are obligated to protect U.S. interests. Let me take a moment to examine what some of those interests are:
Protecting unimpeded freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea by all, not just the U.S. Navy; Honoring our alliance and security commitments, and retaining the full confidence of our partners and the region in the United States; Aiding the development of effective regional institutions, including a unified ASEAN; Promoting responsible marine environmental practices; Fostering China’s peaceful rise in a manner that promotes economic growth and regional stability, including through consistency with international law and standards. And more generally, an international order based on compliance with international law and the peaceful of disputes without the threat or use of force. As a practical matter, in addition to our support for principles such as the rule of law, we are taking steps to help all countries in the region cooperate on maritime issues. For example, we’re investing in the maritime domain awareness capabilities of coastal states in the region.
This allows countries to protect safety at sea and respond to threats such as piracy, marine pollution and illegal trafficking. Maritime awareness also advances transparency, in line with our call to all claimants to be more open and transparent about their capabilities, actions, and intentions at sea.
The U.S. military’s freedom of navigation operations are another element of a global policy to promote compliance with the international law of the sea.
Our goal is to ensure that not only can the U.S. Navy or Air Force exercise their navigational rights and freedoms, but ships and planes from even the smallest countries are also able to enjoy those rights without risk. The principles underlying unimpeded lawful commerce apply to vessels from countries around the globe.
And under international law, all countries―not just the United States―enjoy the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea that our diplomacy and the U.S. military’s freedom of navigation operations help protect.
For us, it’s not about the rocks and shoals in the South China Sea or the resources in and under it, it’s about rules and it’s about the kind of neighborhood we all want to live in. So we will continue to defend the rules, and encourage others to do so as well. We will also encourage all countries to apply principles of good neighborliness to avoid dangerous confrontations.
Let me close by mentioning that we have a host of cooperative initiatives we’re working on for the upcoming ASEAN Regional Forum meeting, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and the East Asia Summit―all of which will advance much more quickly and effectively when tensions in the South China Sea are lower.
President Obama and Secretary Kerry have shown that they are not afraid to tackle the biggest challenges facing US foreign policy and the world. And we’re energized, here in the fourth quarter of this administration to do much more in partnership with our Allies, with ASEAN and with China.
For us, for the region, and for China – finding a peaceful, lawful and responsible way forward on the South China Sea is a prerequisite to achieving our longer term goals.
教育の分野でユネスコが積極的に取り組んでいる事業の一つにESD（Education for Sustainable Development：持続可能な開発のための教育）があります。昨年は、世界150の国・地域から76名の閣僚級を含む1,000名以上の参加を得て、「国連ESDの10年」の最終年を飾るユネスコESD世界会議が愛知・名古屋で開催されました。ESDの更なる推進とともに、アフガニスタンにおける識字教育支援や2015年以後の教育目標の設定に関する議論への参画など、教育の分野においても引き続き貢献して参ります。
UNESCO lists controversial Japanese heritage sites
Cultural body confers world heritage status on sites seen representing Japanese oppression after Seoul lifts opposition.
（ South Korea and China argued seven of the listed sites were centres for deportation and forced labour during Japanese occupation ）
UNESCO, the UN's cultural body, has conferred world heritage status on a number of new sites including some seen as representative of Japanese oppression, as South Korea lifted its opposition to the listing.
The Japanese bid to have 23 sites considered representative of Japan's industrial revolution under Emperor Meiji listed touched off a diplomatic row with South Korea and China.
Seoul and Beijing said that seven of the sites had been centres for deportation and forced labour during their respective Japanese occupations.
Beijing had also earlier opposed what the official Xinhua news agency calls a "whitewashing" of Tokyo's militaristic past.
UNESCO's World Heritage committee added the 23 sites to its vaunted list, at a meeting in the western German city of Bonn.
"Just inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: iron and steel, shipbuilding and coal mining," UNESCO announced via Twitter on Sunday.
In a statement to the UN cultural body, the Japanese delegation said it was "prepared to take measures that allow an understanding that there were a large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions in the 1940s at some of the sites, and that, during World War II, the Government of Japan also implemented its policy of requisition".
It also added that it was prepared to "incorporate measures into the interpretive strategy to remember the victims such as the establishment of [an] information centre".
Elsewhere, the US succeeded in its bid to have the 18th-century Spanish-built San Antonio Missions in Texas added to the world heritage list.
The five Spanish Roman Catholic sites built in and around what is now the city of San Antonio is where in 1836 about 180 Texans fighting for independence from Mexico died in battle against Mexican General Santa Anna's army of several thousand soldiers.
Inclusion on UNESCO's list can bring considerable economic benefits, because as well as being a powerful tourist draw, world heritage sites are eligible for financial assistance towards preservation.
-I’m not racist, I just really love Japanese culture.
(TBD: It’s great to really love and want to appreciate a culture different from yours. To do that responsibly know the wider impact your actions have in how that culture is both perceived and received by those who have not put in the time to study it. Appreciate the culture by providing knowledge about it. A culture is more than a set of aesthetics. Learn about the background behind the ‘pretty style.’) Be sure also to assess and acknowledge your privileges and the history of power from which you might benefit.
-Wasn’t Japan a racist imperialist power too?
(TBD: Yes, Japan has a legacy of racism and imperialism. That does not impact the racism Japanese-Americans in the U.S. have experienced (e.g internment camps).) and continue to experience by association (recent e.g. is the racist reception of the Japenese women’s soccer team cup loss to the U.S.). The idea is that even the Japanese have not escaped Orientalism (imagine the rhetoric used to justify U.S. internment and atomic bombs during WWII.)
We apologize for offending any visitors, and welcome everyone to participate in these programs on Wednesday evenings, when Museum admission is free. We look forward to continuing the Museum’s long-standing dialogue about the art, culture and influence of Japan.
Japan slave labour sites receive world heritage status
Japan’s controversial bid for Unesco recognition of 23 early industrial sites granted after country agrees to concede to South Korea that they were the site of forced labour
（ A forlorn building on Hashima Island, commonly known as Gunkanjima, which mean 'Battleship Island,' off Nagasaki ）
By Danielle Demetriou, Tokyo 06 Jul 2015
A string of Japanese mines, shipyards and steelworks has been granted Unesco world heritage status after the country acknowledged they were once the setting for slave labour.
Japan's efforts to gain recognition for the 23 sites, seen as representative of the country's industrial revolution, had attracted widespread criticism from South Korea and China.
Both countries claimed the bid overlooked the suffering of large numbers of their citizens who were shipped to work at the facilities by Japanese occupiers before and during the Second World War.
Families of British prisoners of war forced to work at some of the sites also spoke out against the bid.
（ Tourists visiting the Hashima coal mine ）
But South Korea dropped its opposition after Japan agreed to make it clear in any Unesco registration that some sites used forced labourers from the Korean peninsula.
That paved the way for Sunday's decision, which was celebrated in Japan yesterday.
A Japanese representative at the Unesco meeting in Bonn, Germany, said that the nation was “prepared to take measures that allow an understanding that there were a large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions in the 1940s at some of the sites”.
In a further concession to its neighbour’s demands, Japan will also set up an information centre to honour the victims, according to a statement on South Korea’s foreign ministry website.
It added: “For the first time, Japan mentioned the historical fact that Koreans were drafted against their will and forced into labour under harsh conditions in the 1940s."
"Given that this matter was resolved smoothly through dialogue, the government hopes it will help the further development of South Korea and Japan relations.”
No specific reference to British prisoners of war was made.
（ Hashima coal mine, known as 'Battleship Island,' off Nagasaki ）
Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, welcomed the decision to include the sites on the list in a carefully worded written statement which avoided all mention of the South Korean concessions. “Japan achieved industrialisation in just over 50 years by fusing foreign technology with traditional domestic techniques,” he said. “This is a rarity in global terms, it has universal value and is worthy of treatment as a common heritage of mankind.”
However, Yoshihide Suga, Japan's top government spokesman, appeared to downplay the concession, informing reporters that its stance in relation to the South Korean issue remained the same: “The government's position over those recruited from Korea has not changed.”
The 23 celebrated industrial sites, which span eight prefectures in Japan, include a steelworks, a shipbuilding yard and a coal mine built around the reign of Emperor Meiji (1868-1912).
As well as Nagasaki’s Hashima Island, the list includes the setting for the villain’s lair in the James Bond film Skyfall.
Yen advances to seven-week peak vs dollar on Greece, China worries
（ The dollar sign is seen alongside the signs for other currencies above a currency exchange shop in Mongkok shopping district in Hong Kong October 30, 2014. ）
The yen rose to a seven-week high against the dollar on Wednesday, as investors bought the Japanese currency for safety, spooked by plunging Chinese stocks and the still unresolved Greek debt crisis.
The low-yielding yen, used as a funding currency to buy other higher-yielding assets in so-called "carry trades," typically rallies in times of economic and financial stress as investors unwind these transactions.
「適切な保護管理体制がとられていることが必要」とありますが、1987年に世界遺産に登録された万里の長城なんか、現状は3分の1も消失しちゃってるようですから（ 2015.07.02 CNN Fears raised as 'one third' of China's Great Wall disappears ）、登録されさえすればどうでもいいと言うか、ユネスコのマネイジメントはかなりいい加減、ユネスコそのものがFIFA同様、ある種の利権団体？との疑惑が生じるのは必然でしょう。
3. After the inscription was decided, Japan made a statement in order to reaffirm its position that Japan, as a responsible member of the World Heritage Committee, will sincerely address the recommendations by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The statement articulated the recognition that the Government of Japan has held hitherto. There is no change whatsoever to the position that the issues relating to property and claims between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), including the issue of requisitioned workers from the Korean Peninsula, have been settled completely and finally by the Claims Settlement and Economic Co-operation Agreement of 1965, which was concluded on the occasion of the normalization of the relationship between Japan and the ROK.
本件の登録決定後，我が国は，世界遺産委員会の責任あるメンバーとして，国際記念物遺跡会議（イコモス）の勧告に真摯に対応していく姿勢を示すため，発言を行いました。この発言は，これまでの日本政府の認識を述べたものであり，1965年の韓国との国交正常化の際に締結された日韓請求権・経済協力協定により，いわゆる朝鮮半島出身者の徴用の問題を含め，日韓間の財産・請求権の問題は完全かつ最終的に解決済みであるという立場に変わりありません。この点，外交上のやりとりを通じ，韓国政府は，今回の我が国代表の発言を，日韓間の請求権の文脈において利用する意図はないと理解をしています。なお，我が国代表の発言における「forced to work」との表現等は，「強制労働」を意味するものではありません。
After MERS, South Korea Authorizes Prison for Quarantine Scofflaws
SEOUL, South Korea ― Stung by the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome, South Korea has passed a law authorizing prison terms of up to two years for people who defy quarantine orders or lie about their possible exposure to an infectious disease.
South Korea has had 181 confirmed cases of the disease known as MERS, including 31 deaths. The outbreak, which began last month, is the worst seen outside Saudi Arabia, where the disease was first identified.
The spread of MERS here has been attributed mainly to poor infection control at the country’s hospitals, as well as failures of communication and coordination on the government’s part. But the public has also been angered by reports of people flouting orders to stay home while they were being monitored for symptoms. One such person went golfing; another went to China, where he was detained and later tested positive for MERS. Under current law, such defiance can result in a fine but not imprisonment.
The new law, which was passed on Thursday and takes effect in six months, gives more authority to public health investigators, empowering them to close down the site of a possible outbreak of infectious disease and to place people there under quarantine. People who defy the orders can be sentenced to up to two years in prison or fined up to 20 million won, or about $18,000. The same penalties can be imposed for lying about one’s possible exposure to infectious disease.
Since March, Japanese women have been swooning over a gorilla called Shabani in the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens. It's not the first time Japanese popular culture has fallen in love with a large inarticulate creature ( see Godzilla ).
This week Western media picked up the story and the sensitive, nurturing gorilla of the Japanese imagination became a hunky beast. The BBC's Yuko Kato looks at the bizarre anthropomorphic language used in Japan and the West in the making of this "metrosexual" gorilla.
It was the sensitive eyes and hauntingly good looks that caught the imagination of young, female Japanese zoo-goers - perhaps not entirely seriously.
While chest-thumping ferocity is normally associated with the gorilla, what caught the Japanese imagination is rather different.
Visitors began posting photos on social media back in March this year, commenting on his brooding good looks.
Since then, Shabani has been a regular in domestic news and social media and the words they have used are interesting.
Ikemen: It's the Japanese slang for "handsome guy". The word is a combination of "I-ke" (pronounced "ee-kay"), which is an abbreviation of a word meaning "cool" or just "good", and "men" derived from the English.
（ Tourists wear masks as a precaution against the MERS virus at the Incheon International Airport in South Korea ）
South Korea announced a stimulus package of more than 15 trillion won ($13 billion) on Thursday, including a supplementary budget, and slashed its economic growth forecast for the year as a deadly outbreak of the MERS virus added to pressure on the already shaky economy.
Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said although there were concerns a supplementary budget could hurt fiscal soundness, the heavy impact of the MERS outbreak demanded immediate measures to combat weak growth.
"I am concerned growth will lag below 1 percent for a fifth straight quarter into the second quarter, and the current situation can develop into more low growth," Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan told a a press conference in Seoul.
Earlier, Lee Chan-woo, director-general of economic policy at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said the MERS outbreak was likely to take 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points off economic growth, adding the government now aims to present a finalized supplementary budget by early July.
（ Yoko Kamikawa, the Japanese justice minister, announced at a press conference on Thursday that the execution had taken place ）
Japan has hanged a man who robbed and killed a woman after plotting the crime with accomplices online, in the first execution to be carried out by the country this year.
Thursday's hanging brings to 12 the total number of death sentences carried out since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in 2012.
Tsukasa Kanda, 44, was executed for the murder of 31-year-old Rie Isogai in Nagoya, central Japan, in 2007.
Kanda met two accomplices via a mobile phone-based web service and the three of them devised a plan to target a random woman victim.
The men kidnapped Isogai from a Nagoya street and suffocated her by wrapping her head and neck with a plastic bag, adhesive tape and rope, before battering her head with a hammer, according to justice ministry records.
Suit Has South Korea Looking Anew at Its Hard Line on Prostitution（売春）
（ Kim Jeong-mi, above, in the Cheongryangri red-light district in Seoul, filed a suit against a law that calls on the state to root out prostitution. ）
SEOUL, South Korea ― Kim Jeong-mi, a 43-year-old prostitute(売春婦) in Seoul, says she knows about humiliation. She usually charges customers 20,000 to 30,000 won, or about $18 to $27 ― roughly a third of what her younger competition gets. When desperate, she has gone as low as 10,000 won. She has felt people sneering.
But what happened in July 2012 was too much to accept, she says. Three uniformed male police officers raided her room while she was with a customer. During such raids, the police typically collect a used condom or other evidence from a bedside trash can.
But that night, she says, the officers made her get dressed for questioning while they watched and took photographs, “giving me no time to keep the least dignity as a human.”
So she pushed back.
She challenged the 500,000 won fine from the police. With the help of an advocacy group, she also filed a lawsuit asking the Constitutional Court of South Korea to strike down a law that, besides criminalizing prostitution, calls on the state to root it out. In April, after two years of deliberation, largely through consulting documents, the court held a public hearing, which lawyers said indicated that the nine justices were nearing a decision. The case follows the decision in February to decriminalize adultery, a landmark ruling that analysts said reflected changing social attitudes toward sex.
（ A prostitute waits in a windowed booth in Seoul. ）
“I want what I do to be recognized as a job, a legitimate way of making a living,” Ms. Kim said recently. “This is better than stealing for a living, isn’t it?”
South Korea has always outlawed prostitution, stipulating fines or a prison sentence of up to a year for prostitutes and their customers and harsher penalties for pimps and brothel owners. Still, it tended to look the other way as red-light districts prospered.
That changed after 14 young prostitutes, trapped in their rooms, died during a fire in 2002. Amid public outrage, the government began a more aggressive campaign against the sex trade, and an overhauled statute took effect in 2004. It called not merely for preventing prostitution, but for eradicating it.
Police crackdowns have since become more frequent. The number of red-light districts in the country fell to 44 in 2013, from 69 in 2002, according to government figures, and the number of women working in those districts fell to 5,100 from 9,100. In 2013, the police investigated more than 8,600 cases of prostitution. The government has cited these figures as evidence that the new law is working.
But prostitutes and other critics of the law say those numbers failed to account for the many women selling sex at bars, on social networking services and through smartphone dating apps. These represent a more shadowy side of the sex industry that those critics contend is expanding because of the crackdowns on red-light districts and leaves the women involved more vulnerable to abusive customers, pimps and others. (In South Korea, homosexuality largely remains a taboo subject; the issue of male prostitutes catering to male clients is seldom discussed in public and has not been raised in the current debate.)
“These are women struggling to make a living despite a social stigma. Should we drive them to death by branding them again as criminals?” asked Park Kyung-shin, a professor of law at Korea University in Seoul. He was referring to the November death of a 24-year-old single mother who jumped out of a sixth-floor motel room to escape a police raid.
Chung Kwan-young, Ms. Kim’s lawyer for the Constitutional Court hearing, argued that the law should be changed to allow ― and regulate ― red-light districts.
But Choi Tae-won, a Justice Ministry lawyer, defended the statute as the last bulwark against “anarchistic depravity.”
“If this law is gone, it will rapidly accelerate the perception of sex as a commodity,” he said.
Choi Hyun-hi, a lawyer who represented the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, questioned the prostitutes’ claim that they needed to make a living. She said, “Despite heartbreaking stories about hard lives, we still punish those stealing for a living, don’t we?”
Outside the courthouse, members of a national sex workers’ association, wearing large sunglasses and baseball caps, held signs that read, “We have families to support!” They warned that if red-light districts were closed, there would be more rapes and other sex crimes. A petition signed by 882 prostitutes and submitted to the court said the government had no right to “use criminal punishment to discourage voluntary sex among adults.”
Chang Se-hee, an association leader, also accused South Korea of helping export prostitution, saying crackdowns at home were driving more prostitutes to migrate to countries like Japan and the United States. Nearby, anti-prostitution activists rallied with their own catchphrase: “There are things you cannot sell or buy with money.”
The Constitutional Court has not indicated when it might rule, although several lawyers involved agree that a decision will probably come this year.
For now, Ms. Kim continues to ply her trade. She says prostitution has been her only meal ticket since she was 24.
A high-school dropout, she says she drifted from one menial job to another after both her parents died when she was a teenager. But she could hardly make ends meet because she could not lift heavy objects or stand for more than an hour at a time. Her right foot was crushed in a traffic accident, also when she was a teenager, and it did not heal properly.
Today she lives with a pet Shih Tzu she adopted from the street, and lives in a motel room that costs 400,000 won a month. Between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m. every day except Sunday, she goes to work in the capital’s Cheongryangri red-light district, a lattice of alleys lined with “glass rooms” where young women in miniskirts and high heels can be observed sitting on stools under white and pink neon lights. (In another red-light district in Seoul, called Miari, women sit in their glass boxes wearing wedding dresses.) When men pass, the women rap on the windows and call out, “Come in for a rest!”
Ms. Kim works on “Widows’ Alley,” where prostitutes in their 50s and 60s do business, renting spaces barely big enough for a bed for 10,000 won a day. Piles of coal briquettes sit outside their huts. Ms. Kim, the youngest on the alley, was relegated to that location several years ago because her foot injury made it increasingly hard for her to wear high heels, an essential prop for younger prostitutes.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, an aging woman sat on a red plastic stool, and as an old man with a cane passed through the alley she tried in vain to entice him.
“We get all kinds of people here, drunkards who beat us for no reason, who demand their money back,” Ms. Kim said. “Don’t you think we dream of doing something else, leaving this place one day? But those who try always end back here.”
The South Korean government says it operates 10 rehabilitation centers for prostitutes, providing them with 600,000 to 900,000 won in monthly stipends.
Last year, the program helped 226 women return to school and 640 find new jobs, the government says.
But Ms. Kim does not trust the government and vows to continue as a prostitute for as long as she can. She notes that a police station overlooks one entrance to her red-light zone, and that officers patrol but never close it.
“They come and selectively catch a few unfortunate women at a time and collect fines like taxes,” Ms. Kim said. “The state is no different than a pimp.”
8 South Koreans Arrested for Protesting Hydis Closure
（ Police guarding National Immigration Agency on June 10, 2015 ）
Following the closure of Hydis Technologies Co. Ltd., an LCD subsidiary of E Ink Holdings Inc. in South Korea, some employees traveled to Taiwan to protest. About 70% of Hydis’ employees took early retirement packages in March, when the plant closure was announced, according to Taipei Times.
Eight South Korean nationals who are reportedly former Hydis employees were arrested last night for disturbing social order during a protest that included about 50 people outside Yuen Foong Yu Group, the parent company of E Ink, in Taipei, according to CNA. The Immigration Agency says that it will handle their case according to the law, which means that the eight will most likely be deported.
About 60 police were sent to National Immigration Agency on Aiguo Rd. this morning as a small group demanded the unconditional release of the eight South Koreans. Some of the protesters threw eggs at officers standing guard with riot shields at the entrance to the building at around 10 am, Apple Daily reported.
Some former employees believe that the plant in South Korea was wrongfully shut down, claiming that the company was making a profit. E Ink claimed NT$960 million in losses due to the closure of Hydis.