Under The Radar News 05.21.12

Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by Ai-Shan Lu

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia.

  • On May 16, China and Japan held high-level maritime talks in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province to discuss maritime issues (i.e., Diaoyu Islands, which is also known as Senkaku Islands in Japanese). The second round of maritime consultations will reportedly be held in Japan in the second half of this year.

  • South Korea is reportedly resuming free trade negotiations with Japan. According to an unnamed source from the South Korean Trade Ministry, “Japan will seek to sign a free trade deal with China,” if the Japan-South Korea free trade talks are not restarted.

  • On May 15, during a speech at the ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the return of Okinawa to Japan from U.S. rule, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged to gradually shift U.S. Marines' Futenma Air Station from Ginowan city in the Okinawa prefecture.

  • India is reportedly considering selling excess wheat from State-reserves to Iran in an apparent effort to offset the cost of its oil imports from the Middle Eastern country. India is one of Iran’s largest oil clients.

  • According to the Taiwan-based China Times, Taiwan’s navy has armed five Perry-class frigates with the supersonic anti-ship missiles Hsiung Feng-III (Brave Wind-III), which has a range of up to 80 miles.

  • The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf did not reportedly acknowledge “Japan’s claim of an outer continental shelf based on Okinotori Atoll.” According to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei, “only 310,000 square km out of the 740,000 square km-claim of Japan submitted to the Commission is recognized by the Commission. The unrecognized claim includes the around 250,000 square km southern Kyushu-Palau ridge based on the Okinotori Reef.”

  • South Korean President Lee Myung-bak pledged to assist Burma (Myanmar) with developing its economy and democracy during his meeting with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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