Battling domestic violence in China

Stop! This billboard on a Beijing street was part of a national campaign to end domestic violence, but legal provisions have to overcome cultural norms. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Chen Tingting, The Asia Foundation

China’s first national law against domestic violence came into effect on 1 March 2016. The law marks a significant step forward from the country’s existing legislation by legally defining domestic violence and extending legal protection to victims. Yet a fundamental cure for the epidemic of domestic abuse — which disproportionately affects women — requires further efforts to change persisting misperceptions about women’s moral responsibilities and domestic violence itself. Read more…

Will size matter in Japan’s upper house election?

LDP candidate Junko Mihara, and LDP leader and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, raise joined hands during a campaign event for July’s House of Councillors elections outside Sakuragicho Station on 27 June 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide

The 2016 triennial House of Councillors or upper house election is set to test Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy and popularity. Although the House of Councillors is less powerful than the House of Representatives, past prime ministers have been forced to resign after poor electoral results in the upper house. Read more…

Cambodia’s devastating economic land concessions

A Cambodian farmer works at a rice field in Kandal province, Cambodia, 24 June 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Andreas Neef, University of Auckland

Conflicts over land and natural resources remain the most contentious issue in Cambodia today. Since the early 2000s, large swathes of land have been allocated by the government to domestic and foreign investors in the form of economic land concessions (ELCs). Read more…

Can Asia shield the world against Europe’s Brexit woes?

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

The shock of Britain’s vote to exit the European Union (EU) will reverberate around the world for decades to come. And Asia isn’t immune. The direct effect on stock markets and exchange rates around the region is a modest harbinger, but that’s only the beginning. Brexit puts the future of the European enterprise and of the United Kingdom itself in doubt. Read more…

Three more arrows to revive the Japanese economy

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with supporters after he delivered a campaign speech ahead of the 10 July upper house election. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

Prime Minister Abe is attempting to revitalise the Japanese economy after two decades of stagnant growth. In December 2012 he launched the reform program that became known as Abenomics, consisting of monetary policy aimed at reflating the economy, flexible fiscal policy with medium-term fiscal consolidation and structural reform. Read more…

Malaysia’s mess is Mahathir-made

Embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on July 28 replaced his deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been critical of Najib's handling of the 1MDB scandal, and sacked his attorney general amid a furore that is threatening his hold on office. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Dan Slater, University of Chicago

At least embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is right about one thing. The current mess in Malaysian politics is the making of his greatest nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, who led the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist from 1981–2003. What Najib fails to fathom is that Mahathir has not produced this mess by criticising his leadership, but by paving Najib’s path to power in the fashion he did during his decades in office. Read more…

Making the most of Japan’s tourism boom

Author: Yoko Konishi, RIETI

Japan registered a travel surplus of about US$10.6 billion in 2015, suggesting its growing competitiveness as an exporter of tourism. According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), the number of inbound tourists increased by 47.1 per cent to 19.7 million in 2015 Read more…

No joy from Asian growth without supply-side reform

A Myanmar worker leans on a pile of cement bags on a boat near a jetty of Yangon river on 17 December 2014. Realising Asia’s growth potential requires ambition and the will within Asian polities to undertake the next round of reforms. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, ANU

The global economic outlook may be grim but it would be grimmer still but for Asian economic growth. There’s no dynamic growth pole anywhere else in the world and global uncertainties have increased around the rise of Donald Trump in North America and Brexit in Europe. Read more…

India’s population in 2050: extreme projections demand extreme actions

Indian women travel in a crowded coach on a train at a railway station in New Delhi on February 26, 2013 (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ranjit Goswami, IMT, Nagpur

In 2050 India’s population is projected to be 1.69 billion — China’s will be 1.31 billion.

India has experienced extraordinary population growth: between 2001 and 2011 India added 181 million people to the world, slightly less than the entire population of Brazil. Read more…

Can Malaysia revive its economy in 2016?

A maintenance worker works near a portrait of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during the 69th United Malays National Organisation general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 8 December 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Shankaran Nambiar, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research

It has been a rather challenging year for the Malaysian economy. Political disruptions and economic shocks have rocked the nation.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has been strenuously committed to undertaking fiscal reform. He has repeatedly stressed the importance of reducing fiscal deficits. Read more…