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Japan and North Korea need to go the extra mile in order to lay the path ahead

Japan and North Korea need to go the extra mile in order to lay the path ahead

Ri Kuk-Chol and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Japan and North Korea have had a frosty relationship for far too long and it is hoped that officials from both nations will have laid the foundation stone for genuinely turning the corner. Of course, expectations are not too high because of countless stumbling blocks on both sides. However, if officials from Japan and North Korea can overcome genuine concerns and at least start to “walk together,” even if not in complete unison, then this will be positive.

North Korea must understand that negative relations with Japan only serve the enemies of Pyongyang. Likewise, political leaders in Tokyo have recently witnessed the “nationalist switch” in China and South Korea respectively. Therefore, it is clear in Tokyo that the only “trusted friend” in the region is Taiwan. Yet if the “Chinese economic bandwagon” one day swallows this island economically, then even this solace may be taken away.

The Russian Federation is also a central nation in the geopolitical reality of Northeast Asia and throughout other parts of Asia. After all, political elites in Moscow fully understand the geopolitical importance of Central Asia and developing strong ties with China and India respectively. At the same time the geopolitical importance of Mongolia is fully understood in the Russian Federation. Therefore, Japan should overcome its petty nationalist tendencies towards this major power and seek a solution to the disputed areas, which continue to hinder a powerful friendship based on mutual trust.

Turning back to events covering the talks today between officials from Japan and North Korea, it is obvious that both nations need to “break their respective chains.” The new political leader in North Korea can show the world that he is open to sweeping geopolitical changes alongside supporting genuine economic reforms with the help of China. Given this reality, Kim Jong-un can genuinely try to reach the masses based on the similar motives of Deng Xiaoping in China when he came to power.

The Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Osamu Fujimura, stated prior to the meeting that “The abduction issue will be included as a matter of course.” Likewise, Koichiro Gemba, Foreign Minister of Japan, spoke in a similar vein when he stated that “We’d like to ask the North Korean side to positively work on pending issues between the two countries including the abduction issue.”

However, despite the seriousness of this issue it is clear that political leaders in Tokyo must move towards a more broad approach. Surely, other more important issues like the nuclear angle, geopolitical concerns, testing military hardware and building economic bridges must outweigh the continuing stumbling blocks. Once other developments move forward then naturally North Korea will be more forthcoming.

Japan must understand that millions of Koreans died defending Korean nationalism from Japanese imperialism and then against American aggression during the Korean War. After the brutal Korean War the United States then supported successive authoritarian governments in South Korea before the onset of democracy in this nation. It is too easy to point the finger at North Korea but the reality is that all nations have their own histories and outside forces led to a siege mentality in Pyongyang – but this siege mentality was not based on whims but on hard facts related to history.

Japan and North Korea need to forgo the historical and political obstacles in order to radically alter the situation. Osamu Fujimura stated that “We have been working based on the principle of settling the unfortunate past and on restoring normal relations.”

The new leader of North Korea showed sincerity by allowing a group of nationals from Japan to reclaim loved ones who died because of the tragic events of World War Two. Sadao Masaki, who is part of this group, commented that “Things have proceeded to a stage that is beyond what we had even hoped for. We are extremely grateful.”

In another article by Modern Tokyo Times about relations between Japan and North Korea, it was stated thatSome analysts are indicating that North Korea is reaching out because of current tensions between Japan and other regional nations based on territorial issues. For example harsh comments have been made by the leader of South Korea towards Japan in recent times. However, this is too cynical because the new leader of North Korea must be judged on what happens during his leadership.”

Analysts in Japan and North Korea are eagerly awaiting the outcome and clearly major powers throughout the region will be watching events closely. It is only hoped that political leaders in Japan and North Korea will move forward by showing sincerity and mutual respect.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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South Korea, Japan and US fashion styles by Kpopsicle: Stunning international fashion

South Korea, Japan and US fashion styles by Kpopsicle: Stunning international fashion

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

Kpopsicle (http://kpopsicle.com) is an amazing online fashion store which caters for stylish ladies who want to connect with the vibes of South Korea, America and Japan. Of course, the styles of these buzzing nations appeal internationally and this is the beauty of Kpopsicle. Therefore, this online fashion company provides stunning female fashion products all year round.

The Kpopsicle website is user-friendly and is updated regularly in order to connect with their client base and to highlight the latest trends hitting the streets of Seoul, Tokyo, New York and other vibrant cities. Also, images of items are extremely clear and taken from different angles in order that viewers can get a real feel about the product being viewed.

On the Kpopsicle website this company states that “We focus on stylish and trendy designs” and this is clearly true. Immediately on entering the website ladies will find an abundance of images and products to search. True to the words of Kpopsicle it is clear that this adorable online fashion company does focus on stylish and trendy designs which will appeal to ladies all over the world.

The models at Kpopsicle are extremely stylish and always highlight the lovely fabrics being used. Also, the color schemes and care of each product is more than noticeable. This means that not only is the Kpopsicle website user-friendly but more important everything seems so natural because the styles appeal greatly. Therefore, you have a lovely online fashion store whereby individuals can buy stunning products at the click of a button once studying the products from different angles on the Kpopsicle website.

International fashion styles hitting the streets of South Korea, Japan and the United States can be felt within the fashion on show. Of course Kpopsicle appeals to trendy female fashion lovers all over the world irrespective of nation. This is the beauty of Kpopsicle because they understand the latest trends and how to relate to fashion lovers.

In recent years the K-pop music angle keeps on growing therefore South Korean culture is in vogue and gaining more international headlines. This is rightly so because Korean culture is blessed with an amazing history. True to the nature of this country you have a culture which is rich in history but which is also ultra modern. Therefore, South Korean culture is ultra modern, vibrant, sophisticated and is connecting internationally. Not surprisingly, the fashion angle of South Korean fashion is also growing in strength because of all the above factors.

Kpopsicle fashion focuses on many different styles which relate to the modern fashion scene. This means that you can feel the latest trends running throughout the K-pop music scene through the fashion products that they sell. Kpopsicle fashion also focuses on elegance, sophisticated looks, streetwise fashion and a plethora of styles which are hitting the streets of major cities throughout South Korea, Japan and the United States.

Indeed, in Tokyo you can envisage the Kpopsicle fashion angle easily when you walk around fashionable districts like Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and other amazing places in Tokyo. This is the beauty of Kpopsicle and this applies to the “instant connection” which can be felt when viewing their website.

 

The vibrant nature of K-pop with amazing groups and soloists like Girls’ Generation, BoA, Kan Mi Youn, T-ara, Kara, Orange Caramel, Sistar, G.Na, After School, A-Pink and a plethora of others can be felt within the fashion angle of Kpopsicle. Therefore, if you adore female fashion and the “Korean Cool” angle then Kpopsicle fashion will appeal to you.

Kpopsicle simply means style and vibrancy which connects easily within the complexity of international fashion. The reason Kpopsicle can connect easily with international fashion is because this online company understands the current trends hitting major international cities. Therefore, with a click of a button on your computer you have an adorable fashion company to view and then buy amazing and beautiful products.

 

http://kpopsicle.com Kpopsicle

ALL IMAGES BELONG TO KPOPSICLE

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in ASIA, Japan, NORTH AMERICA

 

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Tokyo fashion and vibrant Beijing: Roberto Cavalli and expansion in Northeast Asia

Tokyo fashion and vibrant Beijing: Roberto Cavalli and expansion in Northeast Asia

Kanako Itamae, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Roberto Cavalli towards late 2011 opened a new store in the exquisite area of Aoyama in Tokyo. Other companies like Akris, Bally, Freitag and many more also targeted the vibrant city of Tokyo in the same year. In 2012 the continuing growth of Roberto Cavalli can be seen throughout Northeast Asia by the recent opening of a new store in Beijing, China.

It is clear that in recent years the popularity of major cities in China like Beijing and Shanghai, and a host of others, are attracting the crème de la crème of international fashion companies. Therefore, Roberto Cavalli recently opened the first phase of a new store in the vibrant city of Beijing.

Roberto Cavalli commented that “Beijing is becoming one of the most vibrant and glamorous capitals in the world. It was time to open a Roberto Cavalli boutique to give the possibility to my many Chinese fans to discover my world in its entirety. For years, the most beautiful movie actresses of this country have loved wearing my collections on the international red carpet … Now my fashion and my style will be accessible to all. The femininity and beauty of Asian women has always inspired me …”

It is clear that Roberto Cavalli speaks from the heart because his words hit a chord immediately. When Roberto Cavalli spoke about Tokyo he stated that “Tokyo is on the world’s stage of fashion, glamour, and sophistication.  This is a city of energy and inspiration.” He continued by stating that “I wanted to create a boutique in which elegance dominates, for both women and for men, in a welcoming and exclusive atmosphere, in which each person can totally fulfill their dreams and desires. I have always been extremely interested in Japanese culture…..”

Therefore, the vibrant reality of both Beijing and Tokyo appealed greatly to Roberto Cavalli. Equally important alongside the trendy reality of both major cities is the purchasing power which is enormous. Also, like Roberto Cavalli commented For years, the most beautiful movie actresses of this country have loved wearing my collections,” and now his new collections are open to the people of Beijing and Tokyo.

The new Roberto Cavalli store in Beijing is based in the highly acclaimed arcade area of the Peninsula Hotel. Therefore, just like Roberto Cavalli picked Aoyama in Tokyo because of sophistication, style, and the richness of architecture. He also decided on this part of Beijing because it is known for exquisite brands which sell luxury products to eager clients.

April 18, 2012, was the initial opening time whereby the first phase was implemented and the second phase is hoping to be finished by early 2013. It is reported that once everything is put into place then Roberto Cavalli will visit Beijing.

In an article published on http://fibre2fashion.com it is stated that “The Beijing store hosts the women’s and men’s prêt-à-porter collections, as well as the accessories, eyewear, perfumes, time-wear and kidswear collections. The layout of the space has been specifically designed in such a way to emphasize the various product categories present in the store.”

Once everything is completed then the ground floor will cater for fashionable ladies and the basement area will cater for stylish men who adore quality in abundance. Also, the store will provide a special VIP room whereby individuals will be fully cared for in their requests for finding new and beautiful clothes. At the same time, great detail will be put on the design of the store and the same applies to the layout. Therefore, for fashion lovers it will be a great experience in trendy Beijing.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times related to why Roberto Cavalli picked Aoyama in Tokyo it was stated that “Also, you have stylish and exquisite shopping stores in this exclusive fashion district which includes Boutique W, Dress Camp, Flair Aoyama, Loveless and other stunning shopping stores. Therefore, Roberto Cavalli picked an ideal location because the proximity of Aoyama to Omotesando, Harajuku and Shibuya means the entire area is awash with creativity, exquisite boutiques, energy, sophistication, changing styles and one long and continuous fashion scene, which would grace any major city in the world.

Therefore, it is clear that Roberto Cavalli thought deeply before picking ideal locations for his new stores in Beijing and Tokyo. True to nature, he picked places based on sophistication, grace and panache.

 

 

Roberto Cavalli Aoyama Boutique, SS Minami Aoyama 1/2F, 5-5-4.

http://www.robertocavalli.com/

www.net-a-porter.com/Roberto_Cavalli

AOYAMA SHOPPING LINKS TO HELP TOKYOITES AND TOURISTS

http://www.japan-hotels.ws/tokyo/aoyama/shopping.htm

http://www.aoyama-net.com/fashionmap/index.htm  – Map of where the fashions companies are

http://tokyofashion.com/tag/aoyama/    – Aoyama fashion

http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/fashion-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110224

Lee Jay Walker helped in the article related to background information.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com  

http://moderntokyotimes.com 

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in ASIA, EUROPE, Japan

 

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Bangladesh and Pakistan: where minorities fear to walk

Bangladesh and Pakistan: where minorities fear to walk

Lee Jay Walker – The Modern Tokyo Times

Radical Islamist and hatred
Radical Islamists and the persecution of minorities

In modern day Bangladesh and Pakistan you have constant persecution of non-Muslim minorities and also minority Muslim communities are being killed in the name of radical Sunni Islam in Pakistan.  Therefore, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Shia Muslims, Sikhs, and others, face daily persecution and hatred in Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively.

On August 11th this year it will be “Minority Day” in Pakistan, however, Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti of the Pakistan Christian Congress announced that they will be observing ‘Black Day” because of the constant persecution of minorities in Pakistan.

Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti states “How we can celebrate Minority Day in Pakistan when our innocent brothers are being killed by Islamic militants and our women are being gang raped and enforcedly converted to Islam.”

It is clear that the partition of India led to chaos and hundreds of thousands of people were murdered.  After this chaos divisions would emerge between East Pakistan and West Pakistan and further bloodshed would occur, with the outcome being the sovereign nations of Bangladesh and Pakistan.  However, while India remains to be multi-religious, the opposite is happening in Bangladesh and Pakistan because religious minorities are facing the brute reality of radical Sunni Islam.

To make matters worse both Bangladesh and Pakistan would witness the gradual Islamization of their societies, notably Pakistan, and massive corruption and persecution of women would continue.  The Islamization of both nations was especially traumatic for Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and for Hindus and Buddhists in Bangladesh. Not surprisingly, this Islamic persecution of minorities in both nations re-awakened anti-Islamic feelings in India.

Christians in Pakistan also began to feel the brunt of radical Sunni Islam and the same applies to Ahmadiyya Muslims who suffer greatly.  At the same time you also have growing divisions within Sunni Islam and the usual Sunni-Shia divide led to many massacres and terrorist attacks.

However, unlike the destruction of Buddhism and Hinduism in Afghanistan which happened centuries earlier because of Islamic conquests, forced conversions to Islam, systematic persecution, and controlling all leverages of power; the Islamization of Bangladesh and Pakistan took place in the twentieth century and continues today.

Yet why are Buddhism and Hinduism being allowed to be destroyed in both nations?  After all, Buddhists in Bangladesh were a small minority and they could never threaten Islam; the same applies to Hindus in Pakistan.  Despite this, the international community remains very silent.

Therefore, why did other nations remain quiet when massive religious persecution was taking place?  After all, nations like France, the United Kingdom and America were espousing ‘democracy’ and liberals were glorifying multi-faith societies and stating that Islam was a religion of peace.  At the same time major institutions like the Commonwealth, which espoused global human rights, remained quiet despite religious persecution and pogroms in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In Pakistan the destruction of Hinduism and persecution of Hindus took many forms.  The first path was the massacre of Hindus during partition and forcing Hindus to leave via coercion.  However, over the last 50 years the destruction of Hinduism in modern day Pakistan was based on past Islamic global conquests and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed who sanctioned the persecution of non-Muslims.  For the Prophet Mohammed had told his followers to ‘Fight those who believe not in God nor the last day . . . Nor acknowledge the religion of truth (Islam) . . .’ Therefore, the followers of Hinduism were to be subdued in accordance with the teachings of Islamic Sharia Law, the Koran and the Hadiths.

Given this, Hindus were now a subdued minority, like Christians in Pakistan, and they were unequal in law and status in accordance with the teachings of Islam.  At the same time Hindu temples were often converted into Muslim mosques or destroyed, and ancient Hindu architecture was left to collapse and fade away.  The choice for many Hindus was either to convert to Islam in order to escape persecution, flee to India or to accept that they were second-class citizens in Pakistan.  Not surprisingly, the Hindu population in Pakistan continued to decline and this civilization was being eradicated by Islam.

The situation for Buddhists in Bangladesh was different, for Buddhism had survived countless Islamic conquests in one region because of terrain and other factors; therefore, Buddhists and other faiths had survived in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.  However, the increasing population of Bangladesh led to many problems and the government of Bangladesh hoped ‘to kill two birds with one stone.’  This applies to moving millions of Muslim people to remote parts of Bangladesh, notably the Chittagong Hill Tracts, while at the same time this new Muslim migration would crush the mainly Buddhist tribal opposition in this region.

Therefore, millions of Muslim migrants were moved into the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the mainly Buddhist tribals (some are Christian, Hindu or follow traditional beliefs) became embroiled in a civil war.  Islamic radicals also moved into this region and many Buddhist priests were killed, including some being beheaded.  At the same time hundreds of Buddhist temples were destroyed and the Bangladesh army took part in many massacres, and some Buddhist women were gang-raped by both Islamic zealots and the Bangladesh army.

In time the mainly Buddhist tribals were overwhelmed by the armed forces of Bangladesh and Muslim migration because this was a clear dual policy based on Islamization and control.  Their situation, however, went unnoticed in the West and Islamic nations obviously remained silent.  To make matters worse, the mainly Buddhist tribes had no nation supporting them and no major world leader to draw attention to their plight.  Given this, the government of Bangladesh continues with this policy and Buddhists and other minorities face the ongoing Islamization of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Therefore, the destruction of thousands of years of Hindu/Buddhist civilization in these nations is being destroyed and the world remains largely silent.  It is clear that mainly Buddhist nations like Japan (and Shinto), Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and others, should form an organization to help their co-religionists; with Japan being the main financial power to raise awareness of Buddhist persecution.  However, sadly this is not happening and India clearly did not do enough in order to protect or raise the issue of Hindu persecution in both Bangladesh and Pakistan.

If global silence continues then Buddhism will one day be eradicated in Bangladesh.  However, the global community did condemn the Taliban in Afghanistan for destroying Buddhist statues and art, yet the same global community remains quiet when Buddhist tribes are being systematically persecuted.  Does this mean that Buddhist art in Afghanistan is more important than the persecution of Buddhist communities and the gang rape of Buddhist women in Bangladesh? 

Surely the Hindus of Pakistan and Buddhists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts deserve better?  If the international community remains silent about this crime, then soon these lands will be Islamized and religiously ‘cleansed.’ 

The ongoing silence is an international disgrace and because of this Islamists are now killing Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians in Pakistan.  After all, the world remained silent when Hindus and Sikhs faced massive persecution in Pakistan and the same applies to the constant destruction of Buddhist tribal villages in Bangladesh.  Therefore, the persecution of all minorities is getting worse in modern day Pakistan.

The most vulnerable and ‘voiceless’ in Bangladesh and Pakistan have been abandoned by the international community.  Why?

Lee Jay Walker

http://themoderntokyotimes.wordpress.com

http://islamicpersecution.wordpress.com

 

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