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Quick Reads + East Asia

Media archive · 12414 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + East Asia

“It's a Girl”: Campaign Against infanticide Feminicide in India and China

The website MujeresMundi, directed by Peruvian Belgium-based communication specialist Xaviera Medina, is involved with the awareness campaign It's a girl against infanticide feminicide in India and China:

Girls are killed in a gendercide routine in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. Incredibly, however the issues involved have barely registered the attention of the international community. How to explain the strange silence in the face of the biggest human right issue?

The piece includes an interview with Evan Grae Davis, producer of the documentary film l It's a girl!, who says “I wouldn’t have consider myself as an activist until I started to produce and direct It’s a Girl”.

Taiwan's Sunflower Movement on Reddit

Four Taiwanese students joining the Sunflower Movement opened an Ask Me Anything on Reddit to answer questions regarding their protest against the closed-door trade deal with China.

Manga “1F” Takes You Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Ichi Efu, by Kazuto Tatsuta.

Ichi Efu, by Kazuto Tatsuta.

A manga by artist going by the name Kazuto Tatsuta takes readers inside the crippled nuclear plant of Fukushima Dai-Ichi, or ichi efu (1F) – as insiders dubbed it – a place he himself worked in 2012, a decision he took in a period of financial struggle.

The graphic novel “1F: The Labor Diary Of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant,” (いちえふ ~福島第一原子力発電所労働記~) offers a rare peek into the plant which was hit by one of the most powerful tsunamis in Japan's history on March 11, 2011.

The plant currently remains accessible exclusively to plant workers, employees of Tepco – the operating company – and few representatives of the press, on occasional tours.

In the pilot chapter, he describes the daily routine of the laborers, the different masks, layers of protective suits and clothing they have to wear every day, the use of an Active Personal Dosimeter which alerts them when they reach the daily radiation dose allowed, and their trip back and forth from the J-village, a former sports center that was converted into a residence for the laborers after the accident.

Tatsuta's manga won the 34th Manga Open award in 2013.

Underpaid Indonesian Workers Producing Global Cosmetic Products

Michael Eko Hardianto writes about the poor conditions of Indonesian workers in factories that produce false eyelashes, hair extensions and other beauty products:

…behind every eyelash flutter in the fashion industry and beyond lie the untold stories of invisible low-paid workers.

Their financial remuneration for such monotonous work is about $0.04 per pair, sometimes lower. By the time the product reaches Western consumers, the price they pay has often reached $10 a pair – a mark-up of 2,400%.

Roots of Conflict in Southern Thailand

Patrick Jory traces the history of the conflict in southern Thailand and probes the causes and impact of naming it as an Islamic insurgency:

The answer can be found in the suppression of official references to the distinct ethnic Malay identity of the population of the border provinces, in favour of the generic term, “Thai Muslims.” The consequence of this re-labelling has been that the essence of the conflict, a clash between competing Thai and Patani Malay nationalisms, has been lost amidst explanations of the conflict in religious terms.

South Korea: Royal Gate Restoration, Corruption and Suicide

In recent months, particularly murky allegations over the royal gate restoration have unfolded in South Korea. The project's ‘chief carpenter’ is accused not only of using substandard wood, but stealing donated wood. Moreover, several government officials involved in the project were also indicted on charges of bribery [ko], and a civilian investigator who revealed details about the flawed operation committed suicide

John Rodgers of Marmot's Hole blog wrote about how things have developed, sparking a rather interesting discussion on the country's issues of corruption in the comments section. 

Why Filipinos Became Early Adopters of Western Music

Le Minh Khai refers to the book of D. R. M. Irving in explaining the long history of Filipino musicians playing Western music:

…there was a rich experience of musical contact and exchange between Spaniards and Filipinos that began not long after the Spaniards established their control over the Philippines in the sixteenth century.

Filipinos therefore learned Western musical forms long before many other peoples in Asia, and that to some extent can explain why they started to be sought after in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when aspects of Western culture started to take hold in other Asian societies.

Laos Landmine Victims Appeal for Help

Landmines planted during the Vietnam War era continue to hurt and kill Lao residents today

Asylum Seekers Face Uncertainty in East Timor

Sharna Jade Bremner probes the situation of asylum seekers in East Timor:

Asylum seekers have been arriving in Timor since the early 2000s, however the exact number that are still in the tiny half-island nation remains unclear. Fear and anxiety are rife in the asylum seeker community, and many people are reluctant to identify themselves in a way that may see them targeted by authorities.

Malaysia's Water Shortage is a Natural and Man-Made Disaster

Water shortage has been reported in Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan, and Kedah in Malaysia. The Sin Chew Daily explains the cause of the problem:

…the drought and water shortage in the Peninsula are both natural and human-induced disasters. The government as well as the people have an inescapable responsibility.

Over-emphasising development while ignoring environmental protection has led to such man-made disasters while exposing the weakness of improper management. With proper management, floods could actually be reduced and water shortages could be avoided.

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