Perspectives

Seeking sustainable social security in an aging Asia

What does the future of social security hold for Asia? Answers to this difficult question are increasingly important as the region's population ages quickly. The sustainability of such systems remains insecure in most countries regardless of the diff...

  • Jordi Martin: Innovation is changing how the world works, be ready

    Flying into Tianjin, China's fourth-largest city, I could see from the air just how big China's major cities are. This was early September and I was in this metropolis of 14 million for the World Economic Forum's "Annual Meeting of the New Champi...

  • Nehru, Tang: Democratic despair masks hope in Southeast Asia

    Under pressure from elites and other interest groups in Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand, democracy appears to be in retreat in Southeast Asia. These setbacks should be seen as temporary. Over the long term, democratic forces will prove too strong to ...

  • Gi-Wook Shin: Is engaging North Korea still useful?

    Two weeks ago, North Korea surprised the world by sending three of its top leaders to the South to attend the closing ceremony of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon. The visit occurred in the midst of growing speculation that North Korea's young leader,...

  • ASEM's 10th summit most important yet

    Asia matters -- for Europe. And Europe matters -- for Asia. That is why the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was created in 1996. That is why it has become the key forum for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. And that is why on Oct. 16 and 1...

  • Ana Swanson: Watch out for Chinese property developers' hidden debt

    As China's economy has decelerated in the past few years, the real estate market has been a persistent source of worry. Observers fear that as housing purchases slow and property developers are forced to lower their prices to attract new customers, s...

  • Trey McArver: Chinese economy's 'new normal' is not that bad

    Views on China tend toward the extreme. In 2009, when the country's gross domestic product grew at more than 9% while the U.S. and the European Union languished in recession, analysts and pundits trumpeted the inevitable ascendance of China as the le...

  • Matthew Goodman: Japan's moment to lead on TPP

    In the late 1940s, the United States chose to make a strategic investment in the international economic order, which had been reduced to rubble over the previous three decades. By helping create new institutions like the World Bank and the Internatio...

  • Nicholas Borroz: How Japanese companies can edge out China in Myanmar

    Myanmar has opened its doors for business, and foreign investors are flocking to take part in this new frontier market. The latest flurry of activity revolved around banking: On Wednesday, Myanmar announced that it had awarded banking licenses to nin...

  • Thitinan Pongsudhirak: Thai junta's roadmap will lead to uncertainty

    Since it seized power on May 22, Thailand's military junta, led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has plowed ahead methodically with its declared intention of suspending Thai democracy to repair it while "returning happiness" to the people. But as politi...

  • Sara Hsu: Chinese local bonds? Buyer beware

    At the end of August, the standing committee of China's National People's Congress abolished a ban on the sale of bonds by local governments, clearing the way for debt sales aimed at funding infrastructure projects. For the first time since 1994, sal...

  • Peter Tasker: Virgin's departure doesn't mean Tokyo has lost its luster

    The bearded man behind the check-in counter at London's Heathrow Airport looked tense. He was dealing with a long line of Japanese tourists returning to Tokyo laden with shopping bags from Harrods, Burberry and Fortnum & Mason. I was the only person ...

  • David I. Steinberg: On power, morality and elections in Myanmar

    Sometimes, the interpretation of language -- or, specifically, of individual words -- can tell us more about a society than pages of analysis. Consider two vital words in the language of Myanmar. In contrast with English, in which we distinguish ...

  • Kushida, Kenney: Positioning 'Galapagos Japan' in the cloud world

    Japan's "Galapagos syndrome," under which its technological leadership and innovation is limited to the domestic market in a wide variety of industrial sectors, is common knowledge. We have called this characterization "leading without followers." Bu...

  • William Overholt: The four arrows of Abenomics

    The whole world hopes that Japan's economy will be revived by Abenomics, both for the sake of Japan and the global economy. So far, the record of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's reform plans is ambiguous and its prospects controversial. Abenomics com...

  • Lex Rieffel: What Myanmar does not need

    As if U.S. President Barak Obama does not have enough to worry about, the politics of traveling to Myanmar in early November for the East Asia Summit only becomes more complicated. Myanmar's transition to democratic governance got off to a good s...

  • Humphrey Hawksley: Scottish vote holds lessons for Asia

    The United Kingdom has survived; it remains a single sovereign state comprising the three nations of England, Scotland and Wales, and the province of Northern Ireland. But Scotland's referendum vote on Sept. 18 was so tense, and the result so close -...

  • Evrard, Zeng: China's antitrust push not as 'antiforeign' as it looks

    Chinese antitrust authorities have been particularly active in the past few months, orchestrating highly publicized "dawn raids" on international companies including Microsoft, Accenture and Dimler's Mercedes-Benz. Other foreign companies have be...

  • World leaders must take climate action now

    East Asia is on the front lines of climate change. Hundreds of millions of people in the region live in and outside cities in low-lying areas, facing increasing risks from rising seas, heat waves, droughts, salinity intrusion and water scarcity. We h...

  • Bruce Stokes: Japanese, Americans most skeptical of TPP's benefits

    American and Japanese negotiators are pressing to resolve bilateral differences over trade and investment as a necessary pre-condition for completion of broader negotiations to create the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an unprecedented free trade agreeme...