Abenomics needs victories: With Prime Minister Abe’s approval ratings low, Japan’s leader is looking for easy public-pleasing targets and a very obvious one is Bank of Japan Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda. William Pesek writes that Kuroda has so far avoided quantitative-easing but examples of loosening labor markets, encouraging entrepreneurship, empowering women and boosting productivity are scant, which means the most famous economist in Tokyo might soon be out of a job.
Duterte leans East: Philippine President Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address was full of his characteristic fire but also contained an unexpected tirade against the United Nations, the European Union and the United States. Richard Javad Heydarian writes that it was revealing how the Filipino leader did not mention the country’s South China Sea disputes but did manage to praise China as a generous international partner.
Washington’s China fear: A senior CIA analyst says the recent public angst about Russia is distracting America from the threat posed by China, writes Bill Gertz. In an unusually candid speech, Michael Collins, the CIA’s deputy assistant director and head of the agency’s East Asia mission center, said China’s growing confidence and resolve – fueled by inaction against Chinese hegemony over the past several years – should be the real international concerns for Washington.
Tamils not remembered: Sri Lankan security forces have erected numerous monuments celebrating their 2009 victory over Tamil Tiger rebels but no such privilege has been accorded to the Tamil insurgents or civilians who died in the fight. Duncan McCargo reports that the authorities claim they are responding to pressure from hardline Buddhist groups who insist that brutal terrorists are not entitled to such decencies but local Tamil people remain skeptical.
Asia Times app: The Asia Times has launched an app for both iOS- and Android-based devices that will deliver the publication’s regular daily news, commentary, blogs and live coverage while also bringing readers added functionality. Asia Times Staff report that the app, launched on July 25, includes content notification, share and save functions and is free to download from both the Apple Store and Google Play.