Latest stories from Quick Reads + East Asia
NETmundial, which will bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss the principles of Internet governance, is set to be held in São Paulo on 23 and 24 April 2014. It will also have 33 remote hubs in 31 cities spread throughout 22 countries that will allow for real-time interaction with the event in São Paulo.
Hubs for remote participation in Asia includes five locations in India, one in Hong Kong and one in Indonesia. Tomoya Inyaku, the former director at Japan Computer Access Network [ja] which promotes empowerment through information and communication technology, lamented the lack of a hub in Japan:
NETmundial will be held in São Paulo on April 23 and 24 to discuss the future of Internet governance. They write that they will have hubs in 22 countries around the world. There will be hubs to participate in the discussion from Indonesia, but there is none in Japan. Wish I could connect to talk about rights online.
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”.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.