Latest stories

  • LG Chem to spin off high-growth battery business

    South Korean conglomerate LG Chem said on Thursday it will spin off its battery business, allowing the unit to concentrate on its core competency and raise targeted funds. LG Chem plans to gain approval for the move from an extraordinary stockholders’ meeting on October 30…
  • Suga promises continuity when Japan craves change

    In the culmination of a leadership shift that has yielded neither surprise nor drama, ex-Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was signed, stamped and sealed as Japan’s new prime minister after a vote in both houses of the Diet on Wednesday. With Suga’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)…
  • Shinzo Abe’s pet bank gets a new Suga daddy

    Yoshihide Suga’s first big decision as Japan’s new prime minister is deciding what directive to give the central bank. To be sure, Suga’s to-do list is long and daunting. It includes who gets the plum cabinet jobs, which world leader gets his first phone call…
  • Suga era comes into view in Japan

    In a result that surprised precisely nobody, Yoshihide Suga became the head of Japan’s ruling party on Monday afternoon. Voted in as the new president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Suga is now a virtual shoe-in for prime minister. That will be confirmed after…
  • North Korea’s social order hit by a perfect storm

    While North Korea, like its neighbor China, may very well be handling the Covid-19 pandemic with authoritarian effectiveness, unlike China, North Korea has no real economic or trade engine to provide for its people. As a result, the country is facing an unusually dangerous internal…
  • Hong Kong urged to speed up travel bubbles plan

    Travel agencies in Hong Kong have urged the government to speed up “travel bubble” plans to let people travel abroad for business and sight-seeing without quarantine. Players in the tourism industry say they have prepared for a possible relaxation of travel restrictions and hope that…
  • Mob war mirrors race for Japan’s next premier

    Japanese politics is often viewed as a deadly dull business. And indeed, the race to take over the premiership, following the August 28 resignation announcement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is not proving to be high drama. However, if one views the leadership race through…
  • Panasonic, Tesla tie-up a lesson for Japan Inc

    TOKYO – Panasonic sure knows how to add insult to injury as Japan Inc limps through 2020. The iconic, Osaka-based tech giant just heaped another US$100 million onto Elon Musk’s Tesla to create new battery lines. And yes, that is the same Tesla that is…
  • Black Yak mines money from mountains

    The newly arrived visitor to South Korea, gazing out of his/her hotel window at the inevitable mountain ridge that backdrops the major cities of the peninsula, may do a double take at a bizarre sight unfolding in the distance. On a far-off slope, what appears…
  • End of an Abe era for Japan

    TOKYO/SEOUL – Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, 65, announced his resignation on Friday. Citing ill health, he told a press conference in Tokyo that as he “cannot make any mistake in terms of important decision making,” he was not “ready to respond to the…
  • Medical strike rocks Korea amid Covid-19 surge

    SEOUL – Talk about a perfect storm. At a time when the country was undergoing its second-biggest Covid-19 surge, and with a monster typhoon bearing down on the peninsula, tens of thousands of doctors began a strike in South Korea. The three-day collective action is…
  • South Korea’s rabid reverend a Covid-19 victim

    Could it be divine justice? A rabid right-wing Christian pastor who spoke before thousands of protesters in Seoul on Saturday, ushering in a massive new cluster of Covid-19 infections, has reportedly tested positive for the virus.   Jeon Gwang-hoon, 64, is known for his impassioned oratory…