An escalating island row between South Korea and Japan has been an annoyance for the U.S., coming at a time when Washington needs all the help it can muster from friends in Asia to counter China's growing military might.
After watching the spat largely in silence over the past few weeks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in over the weekend. Following separate meetings with Japanese and South Korean leaders on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Vladivostok, her message was clear: The two nations must cool down and get along.
"Specifically with respect to our two good friends and allies, Japan and the Republic of Korea, I raised these issues with both of them, urging that their interests lie in making sure that they lower the temperature and work together in a concerted way to have a calm and restrained approach," she said at a press conference Sunday. "And I think that's being heard."
Whether it has really been heard remained unclear. In Vladivostok, there was no meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, as the feuding nations decided a face-to-face summit session was a bad idea, after a month-long tit-for-tat over a group of islets called the Liancourt Rocks has left emotions raw. The islands are controlled by South Korea, which calls them Dokdo, and coveted by Japan, where they are known as Takeshima.
China's television regulator has ordered a crackdown on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines. (Reuters )
Shukan Post (May 24) conveys the difficulties experienced by other parts of the adult-entertainment biz in servicing customers from the communist nation.
A deri heru (“delivery health”) call-girl tells the tabloid that she is often requested to arrive at major hotels in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro entertainment areas of Tokyo by Chinese visitors. (Tokyo Reporter)
Police on Friday said that a real estate company employee was stabbed by an unknown assailant in the lobby of an office building near JR Akihabara station. The man is currently in a serious condition in hospital. (Japan Today )