All you need to know about Asia
Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.
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It is believed to be a first among temples in Japan. A temple in Kinokawa, Wakayama Prefecture, recently launched a system allowing visitors to make offerings of money using cashless payment apps on their smartphones. Kokawadera temple — No. 3 on the 33-temple Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage route, spanning the Kinki region and Gifu Prefecture — introduced the system in response to the growing popularity of cashless payment services among young people and foreign tourists. Visitors simply scan QR codes displayed on offertory boxes and choose the amount of money they want to give. According to a temple official, the system was introduced in mid-March after a young temple visitor asked if it was possible to pay for an omamori amulet using a smartphone. In addition to offering money, visitors can also pay for amulets using their smartphones.
The rocket will be used for space exploration. China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp will soon launch the nation’s biggest solid-propellant carrier rocket and is working on new models that will be even larger and stronger, a project insider said. Hu Shengyun, a senior rocket designer at the CASIC Fourth Academy in Wuhan, Hubei province, which develops and builds the Kuaizhou series, said the maiden mission of the Kuaizhou 11 will take place soon at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. He spoke to China Daily on the sidelines of the ongoing second session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing as he attends the national legislature’s annual meeting. The researcher said the Kuaizhou 11 is China’s largest and most powerful solid-propellant carrier rocket, with a length of 25 meters, a diameter of 2.2 meters, and a liftoff weight of 78 metr
The South Korean government carried out its first artificial rain experiment of the year in late January. The trial was conducted by the Korea Meteorological Administration and the Ministry of Environment over the Yellow Sea. The results of this attempt were underwhelming, producing little more than a weak mist. Although the experiment has been reported as a “failure” the purpose of these operations isn’t necessarily to produce rain every time, but rather to acquire data, fine-tune the process and find out if artificial rain can even be reliably stimulated. The KMA carried out 12 experiments in 2018 and has 14 more trials planned for 2019. The data gathered by these trials will be used alongside information obtained from the 54 South Korean artificial rain experiments that h
The city is pulling out all the stops for the international summit. Hanoi traffic is manic enough on normal days, but it has got much worse this week as the city pulls out all stops for the second summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. Downtown was gridlocked for much of Tuesday (Feb 26), as roads were blocked to make way for the arrivals of the two men, sending legions of scooters – the favoured mode of travelling for 7.5 million Hanoians – fleeing onto pavements to cut the jam. For this one week at least, life in Vietnam’s capital city will be far from normal. Cafes have been told to clear their tables and chairs from pavements; some have been told to shut. Tanks have rolled in, much to the amusement of both tourists and locals, who cannot resist posing next to the armoured vehicles. Yet, hotel receptionist Tam Mai, 30,
The Japanese Emperor Akihito is due to abdicate later this year. Three months remain in the Heisei era. Unlike the previous era change brought about by the death of Emperor Showa, the upcoming transition is characterized by a festive mood. Retailers are engaging in a marketing war as they entice consumers with “Last Heisei” sales, while bridal companies are preparing for a wave of “last-ditch marriages” in which couples wed before the end of the era. The Loft, a leading variety store in Shibuya, Tokyo, put up an advertisement with the message, “We’re daring to ‘bring back’ giri-choko for the last Valentine’s Day of the Heisei era.” The campaign seeks to upend the gradual decline of giri-choko, chocolates that women give to their male colleagues or friends only out of a sense of obligation.
The exhibition will run from March through next year. “Spectrosynthesis II- Exposure of Tolerance: LGBTQ in Southeast Asia”, the largest-ever survey of regional contemporary art, will explore gender issues and feature more than 200 works by 50 artists. It will open at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) on November 23 and run until March 1 next year. The exhibition received huge critical acclaim when it was first staged in Taiwan 2017, after which its Hong Kong-based organiser, the Sunpride Foundation, chose Bangkok as its second stop. “Bangkok is my second home and Thailand is the most friendly LGBT country in Asia and the more liberal nation,” said Patrick Sun, founder of Sunpride Foundation. “Taiwan is the one of th