Japan’s ‘zero waste town’ is so good at recycling that it is attracting foreign visitors

Residents of Kamikatsu diligently sort their waste into 45 different categories so it can be recycled, reused or composted

A small town in western Japan has become so good at recycling that it has been attracting foreign visitors, after its efforts became widely known via YouTube.

The documentary video, titled How This Town Produces No Trash with English narration and captions, explains how the 2,000 or so residents of town of Kamikatsu in Tokushima Prefecture diligently sort and recycle their waste according to 34 designated categories, peeling off labels and removing bottle caps as they go. Since the video was produced in late 2015, the categories have been increased to 45.

Tiếp tục đọc “Japan’s ‘zero waste town’ is so good at recycling that it is attracting foreign visitors”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: We are pivoting toward Asia


20 Hours Ago

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (centre R) and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong (C) inspect the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Istana presidential palace in Singapore on February 20, 2017.

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (centre R) and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong (C) inspect the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Istana presidential palace in Singapore on February 20, 2017.

During a visit to Singapore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that his country was pursuing greater ties across Asia.

“Israel is pivoting towards Asia in a very clear and purposeful way,” he told a press conference and dinner event, according to a video from an attendee provided to CNBC Asia. Tiếp tục đọc “Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: We are pivoting toward Asia”

Vietnam Is Getting Closer To Its Rival China Because Neither Side Trusts Trump

Ralph Jennings, Contributor
I cover under-reported stories from Taiwan and Asia.

Less than a year ago Vietnam was counting on U.S. support in building up a defense against China. Vietnam and China have clashed over land for centuries. Now the Asian neighbors bitterly dispute much of the sea closest to their shores, with China taking more control as the world’s No. 2 economy and No. 3 military power. U.S. ex-president Barack Obama, probably hoping to contain China, lifted a decades-old ban on arms sales to Vietnam last year and from 2014 to 2016 his government spent $46 million on upgrading Vietnam’s military. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam Is Getting Closer To Its Rival China Because Neither Side Trusts Trump”

Khuyến nghị chính sách: Vì một thành phố an toàn cho phụ nữ và trẻ em gái

Author ActionAid Vietnam
Friday, December 2, 2016

Hà Nội được UNESCO công nhận là “Thành phố vì Hòa Bình”, thành phố Hồ Chí Minh được ví như “Hòn ngọc Viễn Đông”, cùng với nhiều thành phố khác ở Việt Nam, đều là nơi sinh sống, học tập và làm việc của hàng triệu người, và là những điểm du lịch hấp dẫn trong mắt bạn bè quốc tế. Nhưng liệu những nơi này có thực sự là những “miền đất hứa” với những điều kiện thuận lợi và môi trường sống an toàn? Tiếp tục đọc “Khuyến nghị chính sách: Vì một thành phố an toàn cho phụ nữ và trẻ em gái”

The Paracels: Beijing’s Other South China Sea Buildup

While China’s expansion of its seven outposts in the Spratly Islands has dominated headlines since large-scale dredging began at the end of 2013, efforts to upgrade its capabilities in the Paracels farther north have received relatively little attention. But the island chain plays a key role in China’s goal of establishing surveillance and power projection capabilities throughout the South China Sea. To this end, Beijing has undertaken substantial upgrades of its military infrastructure in the Paracels.

China occupies 20 outposts in the Paracels. As seen in the map above, three of these now have protected harbors capable of hosting large numbers of naval and civilian vessels. Four others boast smaller harbors, with a fifth under construction at Drummond Island. Five of the islands contain helipads, with Duncan Island housing a full helicopter base. And the largest of the Paracels, Woody Island, sports an airstrip, hangars, and a deployment of HQ-9 surface-to-air missile batteries. Tiếp tục đọc “The Paracels: Beijing’s Other South China Sea Buildup”

China orders GPS tracking of every car in troubled region

Hundreds of thousands of vehicles affected by edict covering part of Xinjiang following outbreaks of violence – and no petrol for owners who don’t comply

Cars on the road in China.
Chinese authorities have ordered hundreds of thousands of motorists to install GPS tracking devices in their vehicles. Photograph: China Stringer Network/Reuters

Security officials in China’s violence-stricken north-west have ordered residents to install GPS tracking devices in their vehicles so authorities are able to keep permanent tabs on their movements.

The compulsory measure, which came into force this week and could eventually affect hundreds of thousands of vehicles, is being rolled out in the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang, a sprawling region that borders Central Asia and sees regular eruptions of deadly violence.

The move comes amid an apparent spike in killing that authorities blame on Islamist extremists and separatists but experts say is also fuelled by ethnic friction between Han Chinese migrants and members of the predominantly Muslim Uighur minority to whom Xinjiang is home. Tiếp tục đọc “China orders GPS tracking of every car in troubled region”

China opposes US naval patrols in South China Sea

ChannelNewsAsia 21 Feb 2017 17:25

BEIJING: China said on Tuesday it opposed action by other countries under the pretext of freedom of navigation that undermined its sovereignty, after a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group began patrols in the contested South China Sea.

The U.S. navy said the strike group, including the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson, began “routine operations” in the South China Sea on Saturday amid growing tension with China over control of the disputed waterway.

“China always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight all countries enjoy under international law,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing. Tiếp tục đọc “China opposes US naval patrols in South China Sea”

ASEAN unsettled by China weapon systems, tension in South China Sea

The region’s foreign ministers were unanimous in their concern over China’s militarisation of its artificial islands, but were confident a framework for a code of maritime conduct could be agreed with Beijing by June, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said.

Yasay did not say what developments provoked the concern, but said the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) hoped China and the United States would ensure peace and stability.

He said demilitarisation would be a key component of any ASEAN-China code of conduct, but it was too soon to say whether Beijing’s dismantling of its weapons installations would be a prerequisite.

“The ASEAN members have been unanimous in their expression of concern about what they see as a militarisation of the region,” Yasay told reporters after a ministers’ retreat on the Philippine island of Boracay.

Referring to China’s manmade islands in the Spratly archipelago, Yasay said ASEAN countries had “noticed, very unsettlingly, that China has installed weapons systems in these facilities that they have established, and they have expressed strong concern about this.”

With the Philippines chairing the bloc this year, Yasay’s comments signal a rare, firm position by a grouping that often struggles to achieve consensus, due to its contrasting opinions on how to respond to China’s assertiveness.

ASEAN’s statements of concern often avoid mentioning China by name. Much is at stake from upsetting China, as ASEAN members, to varying extents, are under its influence and need its trade, investment and tourists.


Regional geopolitics has become more uncertain since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, particularly over his administration’s role in a region strongly courted by Washington during the “pivot” of predecessor Barack Obama.

Friction between the United States and China over trade and territory under Trump has fuelled worry that the South China Sea could become a flashpoint.

China claims most of the waters, through which about US$5 trillion (£4.02 trillion) in ship-borne trade passes every year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

China on Friday completed war games with an aircraft carrier that unnerved neighbours. A day later the U.S. navy said its aircraft carrier strike group had started routine patrols in the South China Sea, a step China had warned against.

Yasay said ASEAN nations recognised policies under Trump were still evolving, but hoped they could be unveiled within a few months to provide a “more concrete and clearer picture”, especially regarding China.

“We do not know the complete picture of what this foreign policy might be, insofar as its relationship with China is concerned. We’re, however, hopeful that the policy that would come out will be positive.”

Asked if China was committed to a set of rules on the South China Sea, he said Beijing had shown it was keen.

But all parties should ensure that the code, which has made little progress since the idea was agreed in 2002, needed to be legally “binding and enforceable”, Yasay added.

(Additional reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz and Manolo Serapio Jr; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Asia-Pacific free trade talks progressing well: China

Yahoo! News 21 February 2017

Beijing, Feb 21 (IANS) China’s Trade Minister on Tuesday said talks on the proposed Asia-Pacific free trade agreement are progressing well, after the US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement last month.

Gao Hucheng said at a news conference in Beijing that talks for setting up the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership — that would include 16 countries from the Asia-Pacific region — are progressing smoothly, and expressed confidence that they will be concluded soon after certain challenges were addressed, Efe news reported. Tiếp tục đọc “Asia-Pacific free trade talks progressing well: China”

2 maps that explain US strategy in Asia-Pacific

Business Insider

The two countries are crucial US allies in Asia, and both face serious threats in their near abroad.

Discussing security threats, though, wasn’t the main goal of Mattis’s trip. He was there to assure both countries that the Trump administration will not abandon the US alliance structure in the Pacific. Tiếp tục đọc “2 maps that explain US strategy in Asia-Pacific”

Bird flu returns to Vietnam; outbreaks kill thousands of poultry

e.VnExpress   February 21, 2017 | 09:59 am GMT+7

Bird flu returns to Vietnam; outbreaks kill thousands of poultry

Health officials take samples from a chicken sickened by bird flu in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Thien Phuoc

Nearly 6,000 chickens have been killed or culled after four months of no reported cases.

Two bird flu outbreaks among poultry have emerged in Vietnam’s central and southern regions, the animal health department said, warning the disease could spread to more areas.

Tiếp tục đọc “Bird flu returns to Vietnam; outbreaks kill thousands of poultry”

Rodrigo Duterte accused of paying police to kill

Al Jazeera

Philippine president ran a ‘liquidation squad’ as mayor of Davao city targeting drug dealers, alleges former policeman.

A retired Philippine police officer says President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was a mayor, ordered and paid him and other members of a “liquidation squad” to kill criminals and opponents.

The former policeman, Arthur Lascanas, told a news conference on Monday that he was speaking up because he was bothered by his conscience – including his role in the deaths of his two brothers, whom he ordered killed because they were drug users.

“I had my own two brothers killed. Even if I end up dead, I’m content because I’ve fulfilled my promise to the Lord to make a public confession,” he said, breaking into tears. Tiếp tục đọc “Rodrigo Duterte accused of paying police to kill”