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Asia Blog

Crisis a "Leadership Opportunity" for Japan

A man cycles past upturned cars and tsunami wrought devastation in Natori City, Miyagi prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Mike Clarke /AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

Northeast Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami have already killed thousands and left a landscape in ruin, but the country's nightmare is far from over. Rescuers are struggling to find survivors and the Japanese government is grappling with unstable nuclear reactors.

"The Japanese government and its people are working together to deal with both the physical and emotional damage left in the wake,” says Michael Kulma, Asia Society's Executive Director for Global Leadership Initiatives.

Japan's Disaster: Assessing the Long-Term Effects

 A survivor wrapped in a blanket stands to look on tsunami-damaged town at Ishinomaki city in Miyagi prefecture on March 13, 2011. (Yomiuri Shimbun /AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the nuclear plant explosions that followed, are the biggest national emergency Japan has faced since World War II. As the scale of the damage emerges, how the Japanese government responds will determine more than the fate of hundreds of thousands of people in the areas affected. It will also shape the country's direction for many years to come.

Japan Battered by Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami

Fire and water engulf homes after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami at Natori city in Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan on March 11, 2011. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Lifestyle

A massive earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of Japan on Friday, March 11.

Sri Lanka: Is A 'Culture of Impunity' Blocking Reconciliation?

Sri Lankan children climb aboard an armoured vehicle on display in Colombo on Dec. 15, 2010. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy Over the last week, the United States has raised its voice regarding accountability and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka.

How to Spot a Persian and Other Observations: Comedian Maz Jobrani Tells It Like It Is

Maz Jobrani (R) at his Houston talk with Asia Society Texas Center's Sylvia Le (L) and Aliya Sabharwal (C) (World Affairs Council of Houston)
Arts

When performing for American audiences, Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani offers helpful tips for distinguishing Iranians from Arabs. Jobrani says it's all in the accent. Iranians (preferred term being "Persian," which segues into a hilarious bit) speak with a casual, almost drawling, lilt while Arabs possess a decidedly more aggressive, rapid-fire elucidation. See the video.

Aussie PM Gillard Wows Washington with Football, Tears, History

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard addresses the US Congress in Washington on Mar. 9, 2011. Seated behind Gillard are US Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) (R), and President Pro Tempore, and Speaker of the House John Boehner. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy Nothing much new was expected to come from the first visit to Washington, DC by Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. And nothing new really did.

For the 21st Century: More Female Voices at the Table

Asia Society President Vishakha Desai
Policy

On March 8, 2011 over 100 countries celebrated International Women's Day, and throughout March, hundreds of events will not only mark the accomplishments of women but also raise awareness about women’s rights issues.

While celebrating and reflecting, Asia Society President Vishakha Desai says we must also "remind ourselves of the dramatically changed context of the world in the early decades of the 21st century and its implications for women."

Thailand, One Year Later: No Compromise in Sight?

Anti-government Thai demonstrators flee during a clash with soldiers near central Bangkok's Lumphini Park on May 13, 2010. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Policy March 12, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the start of Thailand's anti-government Red Shirt protests

Mothers of A Hundred Sons: India's Dying Daughters

In Varanasi, India, Hinduism's holiest city, a widow begs on the streets in a white sari. According to tradition she must remain here until her death. (Shreeya Sinha)
Lifestyle

Note: The following story was published on MediaStorm by Asia Society Producer Shreeya Sinha, who reported, shot video, and field-produced 'Undesired' by photographer Walter Astrada, winner of the 68th Pictures of the Year International for Multimedia Issue Reporting. 

India's Women: Equal Partners... Sometimes

An Indian woman carries firewood on her head as she walks past an advertisement billboard in Siliguri on March 7, 2011 on the eve of International Women's Day. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images)
Lifestyle parity in the workplace has become India's issue of the moment.