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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2008 20:18 
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PostPosted: 08 Feb 2008 12:11 
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Japan wants Indians to teach them mathematics

Mon, Feb 4 09:12 AM

Mumbai, Feb 4 - Japan may soon open its gates to Indian primary schoolteachers specialising in mathematics. For, the Japanese believe that Indians are the best in the world when it comes to teaching this subject.

The deputy leader of the visiting Indo-Japan Business Co-operation delegation, Ryuji Inamura, says the Japanese are extremely interested in the way this crucial academic subject is taught in India.

'Even though the idea is still in an incipient stage, we in Japan have already started poring over the Indian elementary mathematic syllabi and plan to take concrete steps ahead in the matter,' Inamura told IANS here.

Inamura said: 'India has brought out IITians who are respected technocrats and sought after all over the world. Their foundation of mathematics is laid in the way they were taught during elementary schooling.'


When asked how the Japanese planned to tackle the language barrier, Yoshihiro Nishida, chairman of Yokohama Foreign Trade Association and co-chairman Yokohama India Center Council, explained: 'Mathematics is primarily a subject having its own unique numerical language. Just the basic knowledge of Japanese is enough for teaching purposes at the primary level.'

Nishida revealed that they were seriously planning to introduce the Japanese language in India in a big way. 'It will not only help iron out the psychological barrier, but also the language barrier if trade between the two countries has to flourish.'

Concurring with Nishida, Inamura pointed out that the interest in the subject could be gauged from the fact that two copyright cases of Indian school mathematics textbooks were currently pending in Japanese courts.

'I do not have more details on the issue, but then it shows the kind of influence the Indian educational system has in our country.'

When asked the reason behind the spurt of interest in this subject, Makino Masatomo, a special writer for one of Japan's top ranking newspapers Kanagawa Shimbun, explained at length.

'Since the 1980s and 90s, there has been a sharp dip in mathematics education in Japanese schools. After making a deep assessment of educational systems all over the world, particularly the developed countries, a majority of our educators have concluded that the teaching system in the Indian subcontinent can do wonders for Japan.

'After all, India has right now the best IT professionals. And take a look at academic institutions the world over, you find Indians occupying high-level teaching chairs. '

Apart from the keen interest in Indian primary education system, the delegation has come to India with a focus on reviving economic ties.

Nalin C. Advani, director and chairman, Working Group, Yokohama India Center Council, told IANS: 'In recent years, the Japanese have made India synonymous with a one-liner - 'Oh, your country had discovered the concept of zero isn't it?' That is very true and a good sign of the high level academic excellence of our own teachers, despite severe handicaps.'

Referring to the business tie-ups, Advani said that Japanese businessmen are very keen that Indian businessmen explore sunrise Japanese industrial sectors like bio-pharma and IT.

'However, many others are keen to explore joint ventures in areas like city planning, real estate, rail network, port development and infrastructure development, specially in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Primary discussions have been conducted, but the fact remains that the Japanese certainly are among the best town planners in the world.'

Another aspect of immense interest is boosting tourism between the two countries. Apart from specialised tours, Nishida said efforts are now on to promote Indian culture and put the country among the Most Favoured Tourist Destinations for the Japanese traveller.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2008 08:52 
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Heh, silly story, but it made me laugh:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/19/asia/19japan.php

Residents of the Japanese town of Obama are voicing their support for the US presidential candidate having the same name.


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PostPosted: 12 Mar 2008 02:42 
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Japan concerned over Chinese Navy build up in Indian Ocean
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Japan is very much concerned over the alarming build up by the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and its military presence in Asian countries like Pakistan and Myanmar. This was stated by Japanese defence scholars here today.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 10:15 
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http://www.billemmott.com/article.php?id=77


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 11:22 
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Like I said, the Koreans are a little more down-to-earth than the patrician Japanese. You see the Koreans racing ahead of Japan in pursuing business opportunities in India.

We Indians often see Japan as a prospective partner, particularly in counterbalancing China. But maybe a reunified Korea could be a better partner for India. Certainly, reunification would turn Korea into a powerhouse, as it did for Germany. Unlike Japan, the Koreans would have a land-border with China, just as we do. Therefore they would not have the luxury of adopting the hermit-like approach Japan has sometimes taken on regional affairs.

Korea also does not have the imperialist baggage that Japan has, with associated mistrust by neighboring countries in the region. Both India and Korea know what it's like to be colonies ruled by outsiders.

While Korea has recently achieved a Free Trade deal with the US, and hopes to catch upto Japan, it is still afraid of being undercut by growing competition from China. Furthermore, China's routine comments about Korea having been part of China's past empires could potentially be interpreted as more than just bonhomie, given China's similar justifications in claiming Tibet.

The timetable for this depends on how soon the tottering Pyongyang finally falls and finishes its death throes. But it could happen.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 12:07 
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One fear the US had of a unified Korea is that they may choose to align more with China than with the US. The next 10 years will essentially lock them into China's economic orbit regardless of what policy they pursue. Its a lost cause hoping for any partnership with South Korea. They are simply not big enough to have an independant foreign policy (as in independant of some economic power like US right now or China in the future).

India & Japan will have to work out something. But they first have to drop their aloof attitude to being India's partner.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 12:10 
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South Korea by itself is not big enough to be much of a player -- although currently their economy is just as large as ours -- but following reunification they could be a much larger power. Just like a reunified Germany, they could be a significant power in the region -- even a rival to Japan.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 12:48 
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Sanjay M wrote:
Like I said, the Koreans are a little more down-to-earth than the patrician Japanese. You see the Koreans racing ahead of Japan in pursuing business opportunities in India.

We Indians often see Japan as a prospective partner, particularly in counterbalancing China. But maybe a reunified Korea could be a better partner for India. Certainly, reunification would turn Korea into a powerhouse, as it did for Germany. Unlike Japan, the Koreans would have a land-border with China, just as we do. Therefore they would not have the luxury of adopting the hermit-like approach Japan has sometimes taken on regional affairs.


Sanjay,

A reunified Korea will become much more closer to China than South Korea is today.

There is hardly any angst among the Koreans against China on a personal level. Infact most Koreans (as well as Chinese) think that both countries have faternal links. And both share a common hatred for Japan.

What the Koreans fear is Communism and that's why they are scared of North Korea. The fear is not just the fact that North Korea's big guns can pound Seoul if war breaks out but also because they are worried communism still can overrun the country.

If Kim Jong il can be removed peacfully and North Korea joins South to make a capitalist state, its instinct will be to bond closer with capitalist China rather than the US.

Added later: My reading is that once Kim's usefulness to China finishes and the Middle Kingdom is confident that it can get the two Koreas to unify on its terms (which does not include Communism), then it will get rid of Kim and his family and allow a reunification to take place. Off course it will grand stand and show the world what a "responsible" superpower it is and our Leftist nitwits will do wah, wah!


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 18:01 
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Quote:
Added later: My reading is that once Kim's usefulness to China finishes and the Middle Kingdom is confident that it can get the two Koreas to unify on its terms (which does not include Communism), then it will get rid of Kim and his family and allow a reunification to take place.


Amit

Unification of Korea goes against US dominance and Japanese Interests in present circumstances and doesnt exactly make Russia comfortable. For them ( US-Japan-Russia) , status quo serves well till place of China is found . Only once that issue has been solved , will such an event might be allowed to happen.

Unification may happen fast but for China & US are not sure which way the unified Korea will go !

Recent Presidential elections where conservatives won isnt exactly showing SoKo population all ga ga for past NoKo appeasement policies.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 21:20 
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Amit,

So you feel that China will dominate by playing a reunified Korea off against Japan. That seems quite likely, but it seems that Han influx into Korea will occur, just as it has with all of China's neighbors. Unlike Burma, Korea would likely still be democratic, and thus any local popular sentiment against Han influx would then be reflected in Korea's policy stance.

While reunification would impose some stiff economic costs, these would only be temporary, and overall Korean standard of living would quickly rise to be above China. Therefore, Han influx will occur, just as NKorean exodus now occurs across the border with China. Han influx would be even higher, in the case of demilitarization of the border.

And Han being Han, they would soon make Koreans feel in danger of being minoritized in their own state.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 21:44 
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Sanjay M wrote:
Amit,

So you feel that China will dominate by playing a reunified Korea off against Japan. That seems quite likely, but it seems that Han influx into Korea will occur, just as it has with all of China's neighbors. Unlike Burma, Korea would likely still be democratic, and thus any local popular sentiment against Han influx would then be reflected in Korea's policy stance.

While reunification would impose some stiff economic costs, these would only be temporary, and overall Korean standard of living would quickly rise to be above China. Therefore, Han influx will occur, just as NKorean exodus now occurs across the border with China. Han influx would be even higher, in the case of demilitarization of the border.

And Han being Han, they would soon make Koreans feel in danger of being minoritized in their own state.



Sanjay,

I have not illusions about the Han Chinese and their tendencies, in fact overseas Chinese are very wary of them just as much as we all are. However, the difference is that Korea is and will remain an independent country and Han influx like that is happening in Tibet and Xinjiang will not occur.

Rather Korea's usefulness to the Middle Kingdom is to gang up against Japan and also make sure the US has one less ally in the region. Whatever the Chinese leadership is, it's not foolish. It will never encourage a Han invasion of Korea, rather it will offer the rich reward of access to the Chinese market to the Koreans.

Don't you see how they are slowly seducing Taiwan with economic lollipops to lessen hostility? One reason why the Taiwan elections went the way it did, despite Tibet and just about everything else.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 21:57 
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deleted, duplicate post


Last edited by amit on 30 Mar 2008 21:58, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 21:57 
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satya wrote:
Amit

Unification of Korea goes against US dominance and Japanese Interests in present circumstances and doesnt exactly make Russia comfortable. For them ( US-Japan-Russia) , status quo serves well till place of China is found . Only once that issue has been solved , will such an event might be allowed to happen.

Unification may happen fast but for China & US are not sure which way the unified Korea will go !

Recent Presidential elections where conservatives won isnt exactly showing SoKo population all ga ga for past NoKo appeasement policies.



Satya,

You're point of view is very valid and if you note not far from my own reading of the situation.

Sure what happens after Korea unites is at present a great unknown and unlike the German unification where everyone knew what the political alignment of the new unified German state would be.

However, the one constant here is the fact that Korean unification timetable is in Chinese hands. They can prop up the regime in North Korea indefinitely.

My bet is China will wait till it's absolutely sure that the unified Korea will be manageable from their point of view.

The greatest leverage that China has over South Korea is a geographic accident. About 25 per cent of the South Korean population resides in Greater Seoul, which is about 70 Km from the DMZ.

And China has made sure North Korea has the guns (in tunnels and dug into the ground) which can pound Seoul with a continuous barrage. Even 24 hours of the barrage, before they are taken out would be enough to ruin the South Korean economy - it won't take a nuclear bomb or fighter-bombers, simple old-fashioned artillery would do the job.

That's one reason South Korea is desperate to sue for peace with North Korea and politicians in Seoul know the road to peace with the North lies through Beijing rather than Washington. Hence the worry that China will choose the time and pace for normalisation.

JMT


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 22:14 
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The state is not in control of grassroots migration tendencies. Just as it is not the Mexican state's active policy to send illegal migrants across its border with the US, likewise Chinese migrants will come into Korea based on the economic attraction alone, since Korea would have the higher standard of living there. No active state policy would be needed to cause this.

As for Korea being manipulated into becoming China's whip against Japan, I would point out that the past is not necessarily enough to overcome present/future realities. There would be little future incentive for animosity between the two. Both Korea and Japan would be democracies, and thus would have greater capacity for reconciliation, just like Britain and Ireland. China's authoritarian style might lead it towards more confrontation with its neighbors, especially over Taiwan, Spratleys, etc.

While US troops would not continue to remain on the peninsula following reunification, Korea would continue to look at the US as its Far Emperor/Protector. I would also predict that Korea would have good relations with Russia, even in spite of its FTA and close ties to the USA.

Regarding Taiwan, I think that if KMT continues its stealth-reunification policy with China, then it could eventually trigger civil war on the island. US seems to mainly be relieved right now that Chen and his confrontational policies have been discontinued, however KMT represents the opposite extreme, with its desire for reunification by hook or by crook, and its willingness to resort to underhanded means. Since KMT dominates North Taiwan, then India should try to set up economic and political ties mainly with the pro-independence South.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 22:33 
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Sanjay M wrote:
The state is not in control of grassroots migration tendencies. Just as it is not the Mexican state's active policy to send illegal migrants across its border with the US, likewise Chinese migrants will come into Korea based on the economic attraction alone, since Korea would have the higher standard of living there. No active state policy would be needed to cause this.

As for Korea being manipulated into becoming China's whip against Japan, I would point out that the past is not necessarily enough to overcome present/future realities. There would be little future incentive for animosity between the two. Both Korea and Japan would be democracies, and thus would have greater capacity for reconciliation, just like Britain and Ireland. China's authoritarian style might lead it towards more confrontation with its neighbors, especially over Taiwan, Spratleys, etc.

While US troops would not continue to remain on the peninsula following reunification, Korea would continue to look at the US as its Far Emperor/Protector. I would also predict that Korea would have good relations with Russia, even in spite of its FTA and close ties to the USA.

Regarding Taiwan, I think that if KMT continues its stealth-reunification policy with China, then it could eventually trigger civil war on the island. US seems to mainly be relieved right now that Chen and his confrontational policies have been discontinued, however KMT represents the opposite extreme, with its desire for reunification by hook or by crook, and its willingness to resort to underhanded means.


Sanjay,

Your analysis from a political perspective is very sound, no doubt about that. But the problem is present day geo-politics is no longer a one ball game. The elephant in the room is economic linkages.

I would suggest that you take a look at the kind of deep economic linkages that have developed between Korea and China and that's only going to grow more in future. And we are talking of unification taking place some time down the road and not at present.

From the economic perspective, unlike the US, China presents a double benefit to the Koreans (and in fact to the Japanese, Singaporeans, Malaysians and all the other so-called Asia Tigers).

The US is just a market while China is a production base and is starting to become a huge market by its own right. It's already the biggest mobile phone market, the biggest (or is it second biggest – sorry I’m writing from memory) computer market and well on the road to becoming the second biggest auto market. The numbers will only grow and so will the number of manufacturing units set up by Korean companies in China for production of goods to be sold in China and the rest of the world.

I would postulate 10 years down the road, if the Koreans (and other Asia Tigers) were to choose between the US and China, they would still probably choose the US but China would come a close second. Beyond that? My bets are with China, even though I hate to say this.

One joker in the pack, which can upset the whole calculation for China, however, is India. If it rises economically the way it's predicted then it gives a choice in Asia and believe me all the Asia Tigers really want India to rise so that the can hedge their bets.

The Asian Tigers know the value of an economically powerful India. The US knows also as do the Chinese. It seems to me the only people who don't realise this is the Indians themselves and that's the loophole China will and is utilising through its proxies in India, to stem India's rise.


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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2008 23:19 
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Well, again, Korea seems to be taking a lead in investing and expanding into India, with Japan significantly lagging beyond the mere showpiece initiatives that were set up decades ago (Maruti-Suzuki, Hero-Honda, etc)

Korea's proactiveness in hedging its bets may be due to its less comfortable position in comparison to an island-nation that is the world's second-largest economy.

China's proxy-meddling in India via CPI-M may be about to exhaust itself for the time being, if CPI-M topples the UPA govt. If a BJP govt enters into power, then China will have shot itself in the foot. But as things stand, the enemy faces a Hobbeson's Choice between either allowing the 123 Deal to go through, or else allowing the likelihood of a BJP govt coming to power.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2008 00:45 
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South Korea takes India seriously in economic terms.

In grand strategic terms however, India is very far away.

NE Asia is a different theatre from SE Asia, where India is gradually establishing itself as a security player.

South Korea, whether under the left or right is going to continue to concentrate on avoiding war with the North.

The difference between left and right is the preferred means. The left believes Kim Jong Il can be appeased and bribed in to reasonability, while the right thinks that he has to be deterred and constrained.

The left is wrong in thinking that Kim Jong-Il's ambition can be bought out, the right is wrong in underestimating the impact of trade, tourism, etc on North Korea's political system.

South Korea's business community is also afraid of the huge costs of reunification if the DPRK suddenly collapsed. In such an event any government in Seoul would probably find itself forced depend on Beijing to help take control of the situation.

Kim Jong-Il has gutted the Party and replaced it with the military. Post Kim Jong-Il, it is the Korean People's Army that is going to be the key player in NK. Somewhat like Raul Castro, the KPA is likely to be more pragmatic about economic ideology.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2008 01:52 
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And like Cuba, any NKorean "pragmatic" economic policy is going to encounter US trade restrictions.

If SKorea were to rely too much upon Beijing in the wake of communist collapse in NKorea, it could wind up living next to a Chinese-controlled NKorea, probably run by some successor puppet-regime even more brutal than the previous one. Hell, if China could back the Khmer Rouge, they can certainly pull more stunts on the Korean peninsula.

Trade and tourism can't really do anything without a leadership change. There is no Khatami or Gorbachev in NKorea, just Kim Jr. Without a leadership change, there is no wiggle room for trade or tourism to make any impact. NKorea just uses trade/tourism to divert resources to its regime. Their cult is not even infiltratable, to weaken its bonds.

There's not even any possibility of a "Saur Revolution" or "Bay of Pigs"

It's just best to inflict attrition on NKorea via sanctions until they decay below viable levels, and suffer some internal collapse. Just wait them out.


Japan itself doesn't appear to be too shaken up by NKorea these days, as domestic issues seem to mainly preoccupy Japanese voters. The declining fortunes of LDP seem to have mainly given way to a rise in socialist sentiments. As Japan's baby-boomers head into retirement, they seem to be more worried about their pensions and about social decay, than about wider regional affairs.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2008 03:32 
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Quote:
And like Cuba, any NKorean "pragmatic" economic policy is going to encounter US trade restrictions.


Sanjay,

The US embargo on Cuba is effective for three reasons.
1) Prior to communism's arrival on the island, the US was Cuba's largest trading partner.
2) Cuba is an island.
3) Proximity of US and Cuba affords the US to enforce an effective naval embargo.
4) US is the unchallenged hegemon in the Western hemisphere.

A Cuban-styled trade embargo on N. Korea would be irrelevant because all the assumptions listed above are invalid. If the North Koreans pursued a pragmatic economic policy, the three largest trading partners that would emerge are South Korea, China, and Japan (in that order). US would not figure into the equation. Secondly, North Korea could be an corridor for overland trade between South Korea and China. This would be relatively immune to a naval embargo. Finally, China is the dominant power in that region.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2008 04:07 
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Alright, but SKorea would not be able to wander too far away from the US and Japanese positions on NKorea, if it wants to retain security alliance guarantees.

As for China, sure, they're Pyongyang's traditional backer. But as the regime gets weaker, sooner or later China's going to face a decision on whether to shore them up and keep them afloat, or else let them fall.

Raul Castro rules an island, brother Fidel is not yet dead, and it's too soon to see if Raul's rule will eventually come apart at the seams, under US pressure. This could well happen, and may be just a matter of time.

NKorea is not an island, its border with China is more porous than it would like, posing a threat to its control. NKorea's self-imposed isolation from the rest of the region -- even China's free market is regarded as something to be kept at arm's length -- will keep its options for engagement limited.

Meanwhile, SKorea is going to be forced to economically engage India, or else be sidelined in competition with us. I see the rising Indian industries as being increasingly in competition with the SKorean ones, as we enter into areas where SKorea currently holds dominance or strong presence -- eg. shipbuilding, heavy equipment, electronics, automotive, etc.

The speed of India's recent advances -- even in the past 2 years alone, the number of foreign acquisitions have altered the landscape -- are outpacing the ability of our competitors to adapt.
Therefore, even slight hesitation by them could put them seriously behind.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2008 05:33 
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Sanjay M wrote:
If SKorea were to rely too much upon Beijing in the wake of communist collapse in NKorea, it could wind up living next to a Chinese-controlled NKorea, probably run by some successor puppet-regime even more brutal than the previous one. Hell, if China could back the Khmer Rouge, they can certainly pull more stunts on the Korean peninsula.

Trade and tourism can't really do anything without a leadership change. There is no Khatami or Gorbachev in NKorea, just Kim Jr. Without a leadership change, there is no wiggle room for trade or tourism to make any impact. NKorea just uses trade/tourism to divert resources to its regime. Their cult is not even infiltratable, to weaken its bonds.



Sanjay,

I agree with most of what you said. However, I'd like to add something about the bolded part in your post above.

South Korea is already living next to a China controlled North Korea. In fact it's been living next to it since the Korean War.

Kim Junior wouldn't last a month with out Chinese support - despite all his apparent craziness he's just a puppet. My contention is that China is going to retire its puppet in North Korea at a time and place of its choosing.

Also as Omar correctly notes in his post, a land trade route between Seoul and China is a powerful incentive to the Korean Chaebols.

South Korea knows that China holds all the aces and that's why it's trying to hedge its bets by investing agressively in India. I'm sure the Korean rightwing would welcome India as an economic alternative to China.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2008 06:07 
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Hi Amit,

Yes, I'm well aware of China's longtime role as Pyongyang's patron. All I meant was that if Seoul fails to take matters in hand when Kim's regime collapses, then it could blow its chance and wind up back at square one.


I'm not sure if SKorean Chaebol would like to be at the mercy of NKorean whims on tariffs or other extortion stunts, in the case of rail lines passing through NKorea. That would be akin to India putting all its faith in an Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline.


Anyway, Japan's forays into international assertiveness seem to have fizzled miserably, with the ouster of Abe. Like I've said, the Japanese public seem to be more preoccupied with domestic issues of corruption, poor local governance, mismanagement, etc, as opposed to Japan's declining international stature. And the reigning socialists don't seem inclined to oppose China, and are instead just treading water.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2008 06:39 
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Quote:
Also as Omar correctly notes in his post, a land trade route between Seoul and China is a powerful incentive to the Korean Chaebols.


But not that powerful. I simply pointed out the land bridge as a reason why a US embargo would be ineffective in the Korean context.

Quote:
South Korea by itself is not big enough to be much of a player -- although currently their economy is just as large as ours -- but following reunification they could be a much larger power. Just like a reunified Germany, they could be a significant power in the region -- even a rival to Japan.


Going back to an earlier part of this discussion, I think we are taking the costs that reunification will have on the South Korean economy too lightly. We can expect to see South Korea experience similar economic pains that Germany went through during its reunification. Germany went through recession, experienced decreased productivity, and increased unemployment following reunification. Further, Germany's annual external surplus fell from 500 billion deutschmarks in 1989 to an external deficit of 150 billion deutschmarks in 1991. Granted Seoul will implement some of the lessons learned from Germany's reunification but it can't avoid all costs. If reunification were to occur Korea would need to tax its people and corporations greatly for long time. Considering all these factors, can we really expect Korea to emerge stronger economically in the immediate aftermath of reunification?

Added later: Even politically, the unification of Korea is fraught with more complications than it was for Germany. Prior to 1990, E. & W. Germany had numerous intergovernmental linkages. Contrast this to Korea where the North is hermetically sealed from the rest of the world. Furthermore, E & W German governments WANTED to reunification to happen, unlike Kim Jr. who can care less about his southern neighbor.


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North Korea testing South with jet intrusions: report


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Well, the situation I'm imagining is that Kim Jong Il would either die, or be assassinated, or be deposed by his immediate underlings. The underlings would have to have already subverted a lot of power before attempting that, of course.

The underlings might then approach SKorea for talks on standing down hostilities. It would be a risky gamble, but desperate circumstances might drive them to it.

Anyhow, I don't see Kim grooming any successors, as his father did with him.
So it seems likely the regime will end with him.

Yes, SKorea would have to shoulder heavy costs for reunification, but I'd imagine that the outpouring of emotion would get them moving fairly quickly. People would be willing to assume the burden of the heavier taxes and economic adversity, to see their lifelong schism brought to an end.

I'm also thinking that even Japan, with its increasingly Left-leaning politics, could be convinced to chip in to enhance the stability of the lands just north of it. And perhaps by showing such benevolence at the right time, it could help to bury the hatchet of past animosities between Japanese and Koreans, thus ensuring a more neighborly future.

I'm not sure to what extent China would contribute to a smoother reunification transition. I'm assuming they wouldn't want to be outflanked by Japan, and that would prompt them to lend a hand too.


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Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian automaker wins Japan Quality Medal award:

http://www.mahindra.com/OurGroup/Overview.html


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Quote:
Yes, SKorea would have to shoulder heavy costs for reunification, but I'd imagine that the outpouring of emotion would get them moving fairly quickly. People would be willing to assume the burden of the heavier taxes and economic adversity, to see their lifelong schism brought to an end.


Maybe it'll be different in the Korean scenario but surveys conducted in Germany during 1993 said 48% of East Germans felt they were worst off after reunification, 11% said they are not better off, and 41% indicated their lives improved. I can only imagine what the West Germans thought.


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Amit

For SoKo , China indeed is a major factor but not the only factor in determining the future relations btw NoKo & SoKo .You are presuming that the future of Korean Peninsula will be determined solely by Chinese interests that may happen only if in larger scheme of things E.Asia is accepted as Chinese sphere of influence by US-Japan Alliance . But present circumstances show US policy of not only keep itself as a dominant power in E.Asian affairs but remain so in future with proping up of Japan , Australia and recent warming up to Vietnam .

No doubt Chinese are at a dis-advantage in comparison to US henceforth holding up any substantial progress in SoKo-NoKo relations but for how long ?

On matter of re-unification , i have my doubts that in their right state of mind , SoKo wants to go through unification. If judging by stories of NoKo refugees trying to start in SoKo shows the vast gap not only in skills but also in the mindset of NoKo resulting in many not so satisfied with their new life in SoKo.



Omar

Unification of East & West Germany helped West German companies a lot but E.German population is disgruntled a lot . They just dont have the business spirit in them and still remember good old Commie-times when life was smooth ( no work to do ) and plenty of money to spend in restaurants & other leisurely acitivities. E.Germans were skilled labor but then came China . I know of a few cities that are giving free hold sites in industrial zones to any company willing to establish a business base for 10 years tax-free yet not many are willing to come and invest !
And NoKo is nowhere near E.German level in terms of skill sets & infrastructure .

The result is actual decrease in population of E.German provinces where only old and umemployed are left inspite of massive Govt. Handouts. E.Germans hate competition and are full of complaints just against anyone,anything they can find. No wonder online poker is one of the best booming business in E.German provinces.

Considering , SoKo has got a German Unification Study Center , they know cost of unification will be very very high in terms of social changes . Earlier they knew financial costs will be enormous but judging from German experience , they have second thoughts .


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Satya,

I agree. Read my previous posts in response to Sanjay_M. I wasn't aware of the German Unification Study Center in Korea. My references for the posts above are from German literature about their experiences with reunification.

The current trickle of North Korean refugees have had many difficulties adjusting to their new society in South Korea. Imagine the magnitude of problems 23,000,000 North Koreans face adjusting to a forward capitalist society!

Reunification will take several generations, if it ever occurs. It will depend on the commitment the North Korean government post- Kim Jong Il has to reunification. An optimistic scenario would see a KPA-led government opening trade and investment into North Korea. Gradually standard of living may improve and reunification may be more palatable for South Koreans. When this occurs (no small matter) it will bring up more questions. Will this KPA-led government relinquish control of North Korea during unification? How will the two government's integrate their structure? Will the KPA-led government organise a truth and reconcillation commission to investigate the abuses of Kim Jong Ils government? Will the perpatrators be punished or pardoned? Will these perpatrators continue to hold positions of power in this new government? The list goes on and on.

Its more likely that a KPA-led government will liberalise trade but stifle political progress to democracy.


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Isoroku Yamamoto reincarnated as science fiction hero:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... wanted=all

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isoroku_Ya ... portrayals

Quote:
In the 1997 OVA series Konpeki no Kantai (Deep Blue Fleet) and its TV sequel, Kyokujitsu no Kantai (Fleet of the Rising Sun), the original timeline proceeds until the shootdown. However, instead of dying in the crash, Yamamoto blacks out and suddenly wakes up as his younger self, Isoroku Takano, after the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. His memory from the original timeline intact, Yamamoto uses his knowledge of the future to make Japan a stronger naval power, even launching a coup d'etat against the monarchy.



Here is introduction and first episode of Aramaki's series, Konpeki no Kantai ("Deep Blue Fleet")

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SqzUwSyvas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eSkalA108Q

The rest of the episodes are linked.

In this alternate history series, the Americans and British are portrayed as brutal and corrupt, while fellow Axis-power Germany is similarly portrayed. Japan decides to follow an ethical policy, and manages to defeat the Americans and British with German help, while keeping Hitler's corrupt regime at arm's length.

Oh, and they all fight using more advanced ColdWar-generation technology.
New York gets nuked by Hitler.


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Four prisoners executed in Japan
perhaps India should ask Japan to decide the fate of Afzal Guru?


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The Japanese are coming!

Quote:
Indian Summer
Tim Kelly 04.21.08

Atsushi Kaneko



For Japanese outfits like Seiko, it is better late than never to capitalize on a huge new consumer market.
Atsushi Kaneko climbs the stairs to his second-floor office in the bustling southern Indian metropolis of Bangalore. Tilting his head at the elevator doors below, he pauses. The 50-year-old boss of Japanese watchmaker Seiko's new Indian unit is, he reveals, scared of using it since the landlord pasted a notice at the entrance limiting the number of passengers to four instead of the six it's supposed to be able to carry. "I asked why, but got no straight answer," he explains, continuing up the stairs.

Dispatched to India last year by Seiko Holdings to set up the local sales company to hawk watches to the burgeoning middle class, Kaneko is discovering India's hazards. Japan's auto executives were swift to tap its economy; others, however, wary of risks apart from the elevators, steered clear.

The sustained nature of this boom is now easing those jitters, and a Japanese scramble to set up shop is on. Many of the new arrivals are finding that rivals from Europe, America and elsewhere got there before them.

"There is a queue of foreign companies waiting to enter India, so the Japanese have to be aggressive; less analysis, just get on with it," advises Kushal Pal Singh, who as the billionaire head of one of India's biggest property developers, DLF, is one of the subcontinent's leading businessmen.

India is on a shopping spree, with consumer spending forecast to quadruple to $1.8 trillion by 2025. In the first half of the most recent business year TV sales jumped 15%, and in the first quarter sales of PCs rocketed 47%, according to IBEF, an Indian government research unit. A quarter of a billion Indians already own mobile phones, and 5 million new owners join them every month.

In 2005--06, the latest figures, India's imports from South Korea--an economy a fifth as big as Japan's--stood at $43 billion, exceeding the $36 billion from Japanese factories. Samsung and LG dominate sales of LCD televisions with a combined market share of 65%. Sony (nyse: SNE - news - people ) trails with 14%. "We brought our LCD TVs into India earlier than our competitors," Samsung spokeswoman Eunhee Lee explains. Last year sales volume almost quadrupled to 170,000 sets.

Back in Bangalore Kaneko is upbeat. "Had we come six months later, it may have been too late," he concedes. But he sees a growth path. Standing in his way is Switzerland's Swatch Group and its stable of luxury watch brands, including Omega, Tissot, Hamilton and Longines.

So far sales are only a blip for the $2 billion-in-revenue watchmaker and its sister company and movement supplier Seiko Epson with $12 billion in sales. Kaneko measures success by how many inches of watch-store display space he steals from Swatch. After all, he says, letting Seiko in means "they have to kick somebody out." Store owners have told the Japanese manager the Swiss have warned them of a pullout if they give shelf space to the Japanese timepieces. Though empty so far, the threat has nonetheless "slowed down our entry into the market a little," admits Kaneko.

Finishing his meeting with public relations officials hired to spread Seiko's name in India, Kaneko and his sales and marketing head, Niladri Mazumder, pile into the company's chauffeured Toyota (nyse: TM - news - people ) van and head out into the mayhem of Bangalore's midafternoon traffic to meet watch-storekeepers at malls thronged with weekday shoppers. Owners who free up the best display space get more than a pat on the back, the Japanese manager explains--they get a discount from the usual wholesale price. Kaneko also lavishes trophies on the bestselling stores and is mulling taking some of the owners on a trip to Japan. Those tactics have so far got Seiko into 81 outlets in India, way ahead of expectations, Kaneko boasts.

A rapid rollout of mall shopping space in the country has helped to entice consumer product lines like Seiko. But geopolitics also played a role. In 2005 Tokyo's interest surged as a worsening in Japan-China relations inspired then prime minister Junichiro Koizumi to begin wooing India with promises of money to build roads and rail lines, including billions of dollars to construct a freight corridor linking Delhi in the north to Mumbai, 720 miles south. A year later direct investment from Japan had doubled to $515 million. India is also the biggest recipient of Japanese development aid, including $100 million in low-interest loans to improve distribution in Bangalore.

The timing was a nice coincidence. Samir Sathe, founding director of Mumbai's Universal Consulting, which helps foreign companies enter India, says the luxury-product market was already expanding by 20% a year as Seiko finally entered the fray.

In the 1970s, he explains, when few Indians had the cash to buy luxury brands, owning a Seiko watch, either bought on a foreign trip or sent by overseas relatives, was all the rage. "When I was a kid, it was a big thing if your dad had one," he says. His father still owns the Seiko watch he bought back then. But the company then dropped the ball.

"The rise of India took Japan by surprise," says Kazumasa Kuboki, who runs the Bangalore branch of the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro). Seiko is now one of 90 Japanese firms to make it to Bangalore, with Toyota--which has a plant there--the biggest. Already the best land for factories and offices is gone, and any new entrants will probably have to look 60 miles outside the city for a plant site, Kuboki says.

Meager domestic investment in roads means traffic in the metropolis of 6 million is gridlocked. The cacophony of honks and beeps from auto-rickshaws, cars, trucks and scooters vying for space is an unbroken accompaniment to life in the city. A metro line to ease the congestion won't be finished for six years. In the meantime, as families give up perching on scooters in favor of the comfort of cars, including Tata Motors (nyse: TTM - news - people )' new low-cost offering, the road mayhem will worsen.

But it isn't just traffic that might slow some of Seiko's deliveries. Bureaucracy and corruption, or both, remain a hang-up. Customs officials who check shipments of watches from Japan recently asked for "speed money," Kaneko observes. He didn't pay.

Life for the 330 Japanese living in Bangalore can be lonely. Though two Japanese restaurants serve the small community, none of the city's big markets sells the Japanese staples of sticky rice, soybean paste or fish stock, says Jetro's Kuboki. There are no direct flights back to Japan and no full-time Japanese schools for expats' children. Many, like Kaneko, leave their families in Japan.

Then there are the everyday hazards.

Over lunch Kaneko and his fast-talking sales manager Mazumder, :D a native of Kolkata, chat about the building's new elevator rules, after walking up two floors to an Italian eatery. Pointing to the road below, Mazumder tells the boss he chances the lift because he might just as easily be killed crossing the street. "Why take the extra risk?" Kaneko responds. Mazumder pauses. When doing business in India, he advises, "You have to jump into the water to see where the sharks are."good repartee



With Japanese interest in India widening, the Koreans will have tough competition in the coming years.

Moneyed Indians will fall like ninepins for brand names like Sony and Toyota once their factories start producing in India in volume.


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2008 21:15 
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Paul wrote:

With Japanese interest in India widening, the Koreans will have tough competition in the coming years.

Moneyed Indians will fall like ninepins for brand names like Sony and Toyota once their factories start producing in India in volume.

One of the Japanese vendor changed his views about India from 2004 to 2006. It was quite dramatic since I was discussing about China and world economy with him.


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Actually I do not think Indians would fall for brands blindly. We still want Value for money. And Hyundai has proven that philosophy

And Koreans have caught up and even overtaken many a Japanese brand.

Plus who wants to deal with Sony's propietary irritations

I would anytime choose Samsung and LG at this point.


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Having used both sony and samsung, I have to say koreans still have a lot of catching up to do. Sony is still a cut above the others. Having said that sony vaio is crap and I will never buy a laptop from sony ever. It must be the made in china effect but it seriously sucks compared to even made in mexico brand.


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2008 22:09 
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Surya wrote:
And Hyundai has proven that philosophy




What were the other options for the Indian consumer?

Quote:
Actually I do not think Indians would fall for brands blindly.



There is strategy to change that....it is called brand marketing.


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2008 23:46 
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Well toyota did come in and we do not see a blind rush for it.


Yes there is brand marketing and there are various types of consumers.

Brand marketing did didly squat for a whole range of foreign products.


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Nobody who is sane ever compares toyota to a hundai or KIA.


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Toyota India's product range and manufacturing policy is not optimized to the market. Hyundai not only has massive Indian manufacturing facilities in additions to billions being invested in ongoing further expansion, but they focussed on component indigenization early.

Toyota on the other hand imports completely built Camrys and SKD/CKD lower-mid size cars, and has no locally made sub/compact car to rival Hyundai. The CBUs and SKDs get hit with higher duties. Further, their local capacity is miniscule, barely a tenth of Hyundai's. They're changing though - there's incidently a news item about them just today:
Toyota to set up 2nd plant in Bangalore
Quote:
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), the Indian arm of Japanese auto major Toyota Motor Corporation, the world’s second largest automaker, on Friday said that it will invest Rs 1,400 crore to build its second car plant at Bidadi near Bangalore adjacent to the existing plant.

This new unit will also be the base for a new ‘strategic small car’. According to Toyota, the second plant, which will begin operations by 2010, will have an initial annual production capacity of around 100,000 vehicles, with plans to increase that over time.

Toyota, with 0.6 per cent of the Indian car market last year, has lagged behind rivals in the world’s second-fastest growing major economy. Automakers including General Motors Corp, Honda Motor Co and Volkswagen AG have already announced a combined $6 billion investment in the country.

Currrently, Toyota Kirloskar has a capacity of manufacturing 63,000 units per annum.


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