Under the Radar News 10.28.11

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2011 by Jessica Drun

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • Japan’s government agencies continue to be plagued by cyber attacks. On Thursday, viruses were discovered on over two-thousand computers in both houses of the national Diet. Japanese missions abroad have also been targeted; computers at nine diplomatic offices were reportedly infected. Meanwhile, further investigation into the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry hacking earlier this month revealed that confidential information on fighter jet and nuclear power plant designs may have been compromised.

  • U.S. and Philippine marines conducted an amphibious assault drill this past Sunday on Scarborough Shoal, an island disputed between China and the Philippines. Originally, a Filipino-controlled Spratley island was suggested as the practice site, but was rejected so as to not antagonize other claimants. Officials would not comment on whether the exercises were related to growing tensions in the South China Sea.

  • South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on November 2nd to increase efforts toward strategic cooperation and economic modernization in Russia. The two will also discuss the 2007 proposal to construct a natural gas pipeline from Russia to South Korea through North Korea.

  • China raises its minimum wage by 21.7 percent to increase countrywide consumption and spending power, in a move to counteract rising costs. If the current trend were to continue, Indonesia and Bangladesh could edge out China in low cost manufacturing.

  • China and Pakistan plan to conduct a joint military exercise next month. The two-week long drill focuses on strategies in Pakistani areas of “Low Intensity Conflict Operations.” This will be the fourth collaborative effort between the two forces, with one previously held in Pakistan and two in China.

  • India’s plans to expand its nuclear sector face challenges from both local governments and the general populace. State-level officials have blocked government initiatives to construct facilities and citizens across the country are protesting the use of nuclear energy in light of the Fukushima disaster. The national government has also been charged with a Public Interest Litigation, to be deliberated at the Supreme Court.

  • On Monday, the Philippines bombed rebel bases on Mindanao island in an airstrike against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The attacks were in response to ongoing violence in the south. The MILF seeks to establish an independent Muslim state in the region and has been in peace negotiations with the national government since 2003, though their campaign for sovereignty has endured for over 30 years.
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