Under The Radar News 03.05.12

Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 by Ai-Shan Lu

A weekly compilation of events in Asia.

  • According to senior Japanese diplomatic officials, Tokyo has ruled out imposing carbon tax or introducing a carbon price as the country continues to face power shortages after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the country last March.

  • The Vietnamese government accused Chinese authorities of assaulting its fishermen in the South China Sea. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei denied the accusation and stated that Vietnam should respect China’s sovereignty over the Xisha Islands, also known as Paracel Islands.

  • The United States and South Korea launched its annual military exercise codename ‘Key Resolve’ on 27 February. Pyongyang denounced the exercise as "an unpardonable infringement upon the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK." The exercise involves a 12-day drill including computer-simulated war games.

  • The United States is reportedly planning to send 20,000 tons of food aid to North Korea per month for a year in response to North Korea’s reported agreement to suspend its uranium-enrichment tests. Concerns remain over how the aid may be distributed in North Korea.

  • India’s biggest shipping company, Shipping Corp of India, was reportedly coerced to cancel crude oil shipment from Iran due to European insurance companies’ refusal to provide necessary insurance coverage. New sanctions imposed by the European Union this January restricts European insurance companies from compensating ships delivering Iranian crude and oil products anywhere in the world.

  • According to Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) Deputy Director Khin Maung Win, Myanmar’s Information Minister agreed to grant visas to journalists based outside the country. Previously, reporters from non-state sanctioned broadcasters would face criminal charges if they were caught covering events in Burma.

  • Consumption of sugar continues to increase in the world’s two largest sugar consumers: China and India. According to Tom McNeill, director at an Australia-based company Green Pool Commodity Specialists, the Asian region faces a long-term sugar deficit, which will help to absorb excessive supply of sugar from other regions.
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