Archive | September, 2012

Tags: ,

Japanese look for alternatives to Apple’s Maps

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

In the wake of the problems Apple’s new iPhone apps are causing Japanese, smartphone users are flocking to another map app, from Navitime. The Tokyo start-up scoffs at Google Maps when it comes to mapping journeys through the streets of Tokyo that confuse even native Tokyoites.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, said Tuesday in Tokyo that it was unclear whether Google Maps would be available on new iPhones any time soon.

Google had done a better job than Apple in mapping Japan, incorporating various data sources and putting its software engineers to work to tailor its map app to meet local needs and tastes. But with Google’s maps no longer easily accessible from the newest iPhones, the past few days have given Japanese map companies a chance to show their stuff.

Navitime, a pioneer in online map navigation here, claims to provide a “total navigation” service on every available transportation medium, and the service largely lives up to its name.

On the Navitime app, a search for train directions between two locations in Tokyo not only brings up timetables and routes on foot; the app also suggests which train cars to board to avoid crowds and get to the correct exits quickly.

A crowdsourced function, meanwhile, gives a real-time analysis of congestion on Tokyo’s notoriously crowded subway lines, from Level 1 (seats available) to Level 5 (packed in, can’t move) to the dreaded Level 6 (impossible to board the train at all).


Oct 01
Japan gets its first ‘snoozing with women’ specialty business Akihabara is ground zero for Japanese manga, anime, and video games. No wonder the place caters to every nerd fantasy imaginable, such as maid cafes for guys (butler cafes for gals) as well as more adult services.
The latest business to make a splash in Japan’s nerdom is always patrons to sleep with ladies. That’s it, apparently. Just sleep. (Kotaku )
Oct 01
3 teens in coma after car plunges into river Three female teenagers were in critical condition Saturday night after their minicar plunged into a river from a national highway in Kitakyushu, rescue authorities said. (Yomiuri )
Sep 30
Japan-S. Korea friendship festival held as scheduled A Japan-South Korea festival for promoting friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries started on Saturday in Tokyo as scheduled, despite diplomatic tensions over a group of South Korean-controlled, Japan-claimed islets in the Sea of Japan. (Mainichi )
Sep 29
Japan’s extreme game shows could find their way onto U.S. TV The image around the globe of Japanese TV is often one of wild and wacky programming in which contestants perform bizarre and sometimes stomach-churning tasks in front of shrieking hosts. And yet, unbeknown to many, some of the world’s most successful game show franchises are based on Japanese formats. (hollywoodreporter.com )
Sep 28
Chinese crew rescued as boat burns off Osaka A dozen Chinese crew members were rescued by Japan’s coast guard when their Panama-registered boat caught fire in a Japanese bay, an official said Friday. (Japan Today )
Sep 28
Voyeur cop busted for taking schoolgirl photos A police officer has been arrested on suspicion of secrectly taking photos of a schoolgirl who sat opposite him on a train between Yokohama and Futamatagawa stations. (News On Japan )
Sep 28
Police arrest 3 in probe over missing Tokyo bar manager Police investigating the񎧙 disappearance of a Tokyo bar manager have arrested three people including a 30-year-old acquaintance in connection with his death, investigators said. (Mainichi )
Sep 28
Suspect in Y600 mil robbery extradited from Cambodia A Japanese national, wanted in connection with a 600 million yen robbery in Tokyo last year, was extradited from Cambodia to Japan on Friday. (Japan Today )

Article source: http://www.newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/98631.php

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

Japan gets its first ‘snoozing with women’ specialty business

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

Akihabara is ground zero for Japanese manga, anime, and video games. No wonder the place caters to every nerd fantasy imaginable, such as maid cafes for guys (butler cafes for gals) as well as more adult services.
The latest business to make a splash in Japan’s nerdom is always patrons to sleep with ladies. That’s it, apparently. Just sleep.

Soine-ya is not cheap. After shelling out ¥3,000 (US$39) in membership charges, 20 minutes of “together” sleep costs another ¥3,0Ǡ, while six hours can reach ¥30,000 (US$386). That’s not even a full night’s rest!

The nickel-and-diming, though, is mind-boggling. For example, customers must pay ¥1,000 ($13) to have the lady resting her hand on their arm for three minutes, while gazing at each other for one minute costs another ¥1,000. If you want to put your head on the lady’s lap, it’s three minutes for, well, ¥1,000.


Oct 01
Japan gets its first ‘snoozing with women’ specialty business Akihabara is ground zero for Japanese manga, anime, and video games. No wonder the place caters to every nerd fantasy imaginable, such as maid cafes for guys (butler cafes for gals) as well as more adult services.
The latest business to make a splash in Japan’s nerdom is always patrons to sleep with ladies. That’s it, apparently. Just sleep. (Kotaku )
Oct 01
3 teens in coma after car plunges into river Three female teenagers were in critical condition Saturday night after their minicar plunged into a river from a national highway in Kitakyushu, rescue authorities said. (Yomiuri )
Sep 30
Japan-S. Korea friendship festival held as scheduled A Japan-South Korea festival for promoting friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries started on Saturday in Tokyo as scheduled, despite diplomatic tensions over a group of South Korean-controlled, Japan-claimed islets in the Sea of Japan. (Mainichi )
Sep 29
Japan’s extreme game shows could find their way onto U.S. TV The image around the globe of Japanese TV is often one of wild and wacky programming in which contestants perform bizarre and sometimes stomach-churning tasks in front of shrieking hosts. And yet, unbeknown to many, some of the world’s most successful game show franchises are based on Japanese formats. (hollywoodreporter.com )
Sep 28
Chinese crew rescued as boat burns off Osaka A dozen Chinese crew members were rescued by Japan’s coast guard when their Panama-registered boat caught fire in a Japanese bay, an official said Friday. (Japan Today )
Sep 28
Voyeur cop busted for taking schoolgirl photos A police officer has been arrested on suspicion of secrectly taking photos of a schoolgirl who sat opposite him on a train between Yokohama and Futamatagawa stations. (News On Japan )
Sep 28
Police arrest 3 in probe over missing Tokyo bar manager Police investigating the 2009 disappearance of a Tokyo bar manager have arrested three people including a 30-year-old acquaintance in connection with his death, investigators said. (Mainichi )
Sep 28
Suspect in Y600 mil robbery extradited from Cambodia A Japanese national, wanted in connection with a 600 million yen robbery in Tokyo last year, was extradited from Cambodia to Japan on Friday. (Japan Today )

Article source: http://www.newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/98632.php

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

‘Stalker’ college official held for killing colleague

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

A senior Kyoto university official has been arrested for allegedly killing a staffer of the same university who had told him to stop stalking a female colleague, according to the police.

Yuichi Amano, deputy head of the education and research promotion center of Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, allegedly stabbed 36-year-old Koji Arakawa several times in the chest at about 11:55 p.m. on Sept. 20 in front of Arakawa’s home in Kyoto.

Amano, 59, reportedly told police: “I’m sorry. I did it.”

He also said he suspected Arakawa was in a relationship with the woman, the police said. Police believe Amano held a grudge against Arakawa.


Oct 01
Japan gets its first ‘snoozing with women’ specialty business Akihabara is ground zero for Japanese manga, anime, and video games. No wonder the place caters to every nerd fantasy imaginable, such as maid cafes for guys (butler cafes for gals) as well as more adult services.
The latest business to make a splash in Japan’s nerdom is always patrons to sleep with ladies. That’s it, apparently. Just sleep. (Kotaku )
Oct 01
3 teens in coma after car plunges into river Three female teenagers were in critical condition Saturday night after their minicar plunged into a river from a national highway in Kitakyushu, rescue authorities said. (Yomiuri )
Sep 30
Japan-S. Korea friendship festival held as scheduled A Japan-South Korea festival for promoting friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries started on Saturday in Tokyo as scheduled, despite diplomatic tensions over a group of South Korean-controlled, Japan-claimed islets in the Sea of Japan. (Mainichi )
Sep 29
Japan’s extreme game shows could find their way onto U.S. TV The image around the globe of Japanese TV is often one of wild and wacky programming in which contestants perform bizarre and sometimes stomach-churning tasks in front of shrieking hosts. And yet, unbeknown to many, some of the world’s most successful game show franchises are based on Japanese formats. (hollywoodreporter.com )
Sep 28
Chinese crew rescued as boat burns off Osaka A dozen Chinese crew members were rescued by Japan’s coast guard when their Panama-registered boat caught fire in a Japanese bay, an official said Friday. (Japan Today )
Sep 28
Voyeur cop busted for taking schoolgirl photos A police officer has been arrested on suspicion of secrectly taking photos of a schoolgirl who sat opposite him on a train between Yokohama and Futamatagawa stations. (News On Japan )
Sep 28
Police arrest 3 in probe over missing Tokyo bar manager Police investigating the 2009 disappearance of a Tokyo bar manager have arrested three people including a 30-year-old acquaintance in connection with his death, investigators said. (Mainichi )
Sep 28
Suspect in Y600 mil robbery extradited from Cambodia A Japanese national, wanted in connection with a 600 million yen robbery in Tokyo last year, was extradited from Cambodia to Japan on Friday. (Japan Today )

Article source: http://www.newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/98634.php

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

Freshness rules to be relaxed for some foods

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

Conventionally strict freshness standards in the food distribution industry, believed to cause large quantities of processed food to be disposed of before their best-before dates, will be eased.

A council comprising about 40 major supermarkets, wholesalers and food manufacturers, has decided to ease the business practice known as the “one-third rule.”

This month the council plans to gather a panel of experts to compile concrete measures by as early as next fiscal year. The relaxation of the standards aims to reduce food waste at distribution stage.

The one-third rule has been applied to beverages, seasonings, snack foods and instant noodles, among other products. Initiated by supermarkets hoping to meet consumer demand for optimum freshness, the rule dictates that the deadline for delivery to retailers should be at the one-third point between the production and best-before dates.

The remaining two-thirds of the term before the best-before date is spent on sale at shops. Although the one-third rule is not explicitly stated, the practice has spread throughout the food distribution industry.


Oct 01
Japan gets its first ‘snoozing with women’ specialty business Akihabara is ground zero for Japanese manga, anime, and video games. No wonder the place caters to every nerd fantasy imaginable, such as maid cafes for guys (butler cafes for gals) as well as more adult services.
The latest business to make a splash in Japan’s nerdom is always patrons to sleep with ladies. That’s it, apparently. Just sleep. (Kotaku )
Oct 01
3 teens in coma after car plunges into river Three female teenagers were in critical condition Saturday night after their minicar plunged into a river from a national highway in Kitakyushu, rescue authorities said. (Yomiuri )
Sep 30
Japan-S. Korea friendship festival held as scheduled A Japan-South Korea festival for promoting friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries started on Saturday in Tokyo as scheduled, despite diplomatic tensions over a group of South Korean-controlled, Japan-claimed islets in the Sea of Japan. (Mainichi )
Sep 29
Japan’s extreme game shows could find their way onto U.S. TV The image around the globe of Japanese TV is often one of wild and wacky programming in which contestants perform bizarre and sometimes stomach-churning tasks in front of shrieking hosts. And yet, unbeknown to many, some of the world’s most successful game show franchises are based on Japanese formats. (hollywoodreporter.com )
Sep 28
Chinese crew rescued as boat burns off Osaka A dozen Chinese crew members were rescued by Japan’s coast guard when their Panama-registered boat caught fire in a Japanese bay, an official said Friday. (Japan Today )
Sep 28
Voyeur cop busted for taking schoolgirl photos A police officer has been arrested on suspicion of secrectly taking photos of a schoolgirl who sat opposite him on a train between Yokohama and Futamatagawa stations. (News On Japan )
Sep 28
Police arrest 3 in probe over missing Tokyo bar manager Police investigating the 2009 disappearance of a Tokyo bar manager have arrested three people including a 30-year-old acquaintance in connection with his death, investigators said. (Mainichi )
Sep 28
Suspect in Y600 mil robbery extradited from Cambodia A Japanese national, wanted in connection with a 600 million yen robbery in Tokyo last year, was extradited from Cambodia to Japan on Friday. (Japan Today )

Article source: http://www.newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/98635.php

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

3 teens in coma after car plunges into river

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

Three female teenagers were in critical condition Saturday night after their minicar plunged into a river from a national highway in Kitakyushu, rescue authorities said.

The police and the city’s fire department said the car fell into the water at the mouth of the Sunatsugawa river at about 11:15 p.m. Saturday.


Oct 01
Japan gets its first ‘snoozing with women’ specialty business Akihabara is ground zero for Japanese manga, anime, and video games. No wonder the place caters to every nerd fantasy imaginable, such as maid cafes for guys (butler cafes for gals) as well as more adult services.
The latest business to make a splash in Japan’s nerdom is always patrons to sleep with ladies. That’s it, apparently. Just sleep. (Kotaku )
Oct 01
3 teens in coma after car plunges into river Three female teenagers were in critical condition Saturday night after their minicar plunged into a river from a national highway in Kitakyushu, rescue authorities said. (Yomiuri )
Sep 30
Japan-S. Korea friendship festival held as scheduled A Japan-South Korea festival for promoting friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries started on Saturday in Tokyo as scheduled, despite diplomatic tensions over a group of South Korean-controlled, Japan-claimed islets in the Sea of Japan. (Mainichi )
Sep 29
Japan’s extreme game shows could find their way onto U.S. TV The image around the globe of Japanese TV is often one of wild and wacky programming in which contestants perform bizarre and sometimes stomach-churning tasks in front of shrieking hosts. And yet, unbeknown to many, some of the world’s most successful game show franchises are based on Japanese formats. (hollywoodreporter.com )
Sep 28
Chinese crew rescued as boat burns off Osaka A dozen Chinese crew members were rescued by Japan’s coast guard when their Panama-registered boat caught fire in a Japanese bay, an official said Friday. (Japan Today )
Sep 28
Voyeur cop busted for taking schoolgirl photos A police officer has been arrested on suspicion of secrectly taking photos of a schoolgirl who sat opposite him on a train between Yokohama and Futamatagawa stations. (News On Japan )
Sep 28
Police arrest 3 in probe over missing Tokyo bar manager Police investigating the 2ዉ disappearance of a Tokyo bar manager have arrested three people including a 30-year-old acquaintance in connection with his death, investigators said. (Mainichi )
Sep 28
Suspect in Y600 mil robbery extradited from Cambodia A Japanese national, wanted in connection with a 600 million yen robbery in Tokyo last year, was extradited from Cambodia to Japan on Friday. (Japan Today )

Article source: http://www.newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/98636.php

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

Two pilots die in plane crash during Indonesian air show

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

An aircraft burst into flames after crashing into a building during the Bandung Air Show in Indonesia yesterday, killing both its pilots.

The pilots — Air Commodore (ret.) Norman T. Lubis and Let. Col. (ret.) Toni Hartono — were retired Air Force pilots and members of Indonesian Aerosport Federation.

Husein Sastranegara Air Base commander Col. Umar Sugeng said that their AS 202 Bravo aircraft took off at 11:37am local time.

“It crashed a few minutes later, while the plane was roaring past the crowd of the Bandung Air Show. Both pilots [who sat side-by-side so that either could take control of the aircraft] have been confirmed dead at the scene,” Umar told journalists.

The two-seater plane, flying with the code LM-2003, nosedived into the southern part of the airbase after performing an acrobatic stunt. According to eyewitnesses, they only saw a puff of smoke from the point where they last saw the aircraft.

The AS 202 Bravo, an aircraft that usually used for basic pilot training, apparently crashed into the Air Force Officers’ Wives Association building located inside the air force research and development agency’s compound.

“Fortunately the building was empty at that time,” Umar said.

A rescue team that arrived at the crash site a few minutes later, and brought the bodies to Hasan Sadikin Hospital for autopsy.

This is not the first accident to have happened during the Bandung Air Show. In 2010, pilot Alex Supeli suffered major injuries after his Super Decathlon plane crashed during an acrobatic stunt at the event.

Umar said all aerobatic stunts would be halted to mourn the death of the pilots, but that the exhibition would still continue.

He added that a joint team from the Indonesia Aerosport Federation and the Air Force would investigate the cause of the accident.

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/23f664dc/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0Chome0Cnews0Bphp0Did0F36970A/story01.htm

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

Thai PM rules out major reshuffle

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday hinted at imminent small changes in her Cabinet line-up following Friday’s surprise resignation of Deputy PM and Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit.

She said the changes would only involve the seats left vacant by Yongyuth’s departure.

In response to a question on whether she would reshuffle her Cabinet following Yongyuth’s resignation, Yingluck said: “I will not do that. I will have to do the assignments first. There’s no time now. I want to see continuity of jobs. I will have to consider again if there should be a [major] Cabinet reshuffle.”

“Today the focus will be on the posts of deputy prime minister and interior minister,” she said.

One of the deputy prime ministers would take over Yongyuth’s responsibilities while his roles as the interior minister would be shared by the two deputy interior ministers, Yingluck said. “I will have to discuss this matter with the Cabinet so that a decision can be made in the form of a Cabinet resolution,” she added.

The premier was speaking to the media at Suvarnabhumi Airport shortly after her arrival from the United States where she attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Political observers have been expecting a major Cabinet reshuffle to follow Yongyuth’s resignation amid mounting pressure from factions in the ruling Pheu Thai Party.

When asked how she would deal with the reported lobbying for Cabinet seats ahead of an expected shake-up, the prime minister said yesterday that she would choose her Cabinet members because of their capabilities.

“We respect and listen to viewpoints from different sides. But Cabinet members will be chosen based on their suitability for the positions,” she said.

Asked about the possibility of appointing to her Cabinet former executives of the disbanded Thai Rak Thai Party, founded by her brother ex-premier Thaksin, Yingluck said she was open to considering the previously banned politicians as they have many years of political experience.

Yingluck yesterday said it was a pity that Yongyuth had left her government, but added that she respected his decision.

“He worked devotedly for the government and he took care of the public to the best of his ability over the past year that we worked together.

“I consider this his sacrifice. He did not want to cause worries so he decided to take a break. It’s sad for us. However, we have to respect his decision.”

Meanwhile, MP Theptai Senapong from the opposition Democrat Party yesterday said that the Democrats wanted the prime minister not to let her decisions be influenced by Thaksin or any other people from her family.

“She should select well-qualified persons as Yongyuth’s replacement,” the opposition MP said.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission had found Yongyuth guilty of unlawfully endorsing the 2002 sale of monastic land owned by Wat Thammikaram to Alpine Real Estate Co and Alpine Golf Sports Club Co while he was serving as deputy permanent secretary for the Interior. At that time, he was acting as the caretaker permanent secretary.

Last week, the Interior Ministry�€™s Civil Service Committee resolved to expel Yongyuth retroactively, but it also said he was qualified to benefit from the 2007 Exoneration Act. The anti-graft agency later said Yongyuth was not eligible for exoneration because he had never served the term of his punishment – a condition stated in the law.

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/23f6Ƞdd/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0Chome0Cnews0Bphp0Did0F369ȥ/story01.htm

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

Weird new species sea creature found in Philippines

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

An odd-looking sea creature locally christened the â��bubble shark” is breathing new life into a campaign to preserve a vital marine corridor straddling five provinces in the Southern Tagalogue region of the Philippines.

Discovered only last year by marine biologists, the bubble shark, also described as an “inflatable shark” and believed to be a new species of swell shark, has been observed in waters off Batangas and Mindoro island.

It is so named because of its defence mechanism to puff up to twice its size in the face of danger.

For environmental officials, the discovery of the weird shark adds new meaning to efforts to save the Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor (VIPMC), a bustling sea-lane renowned for having some of the highest concentrations of shore-fish and underwater life in the world.

“It’s a wonderful sign,” said Lynette Laroya, assistant director of the environment department’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.

�It’s a good indication that we have good diversity … And it shows that perhaps there are a lot of other species that have not been discovered out there,” she said in an interview on the sidelines of the VIPMC Summit held in this city on September 27 and 28.

Centre of marine diversity

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, in a message read on his behalf by Undersecretary Analiza Teh, gave special mention to bubble sharks in his remarks, saying “they have been recorded thriving in the Verde Island Passage.”

Laroya said the discovery of the bubble shark was especially important in light of the acknowledgment by a group of international marine scientists in 2006 that the Philippines was the “centre of the centre of marine diversity.”

The attention given to a species that might be new to science highlighted the need to protect the habitat where it had been found, she said.

�€œThe whole world is watching this. That means we have to protect our marine habitats and we have to prioritise the VIPMC,” Laroya said.

Migratory wildlife

The VIPMC is both a bustling sea-lane for ships and vessels, and a pathway for migratory wildlife such as dolphin and tuna.

Although still under the process of verification, the presence of the bubble shark was discovered last year by a group of researchers who found a treasure trove of previously unknown terrestrial and marine wildlife during the 2011 Philippine Wildlife Expedition spearheaded by the California Academy of the Sciences.

The 42-day expedition by 43 international and local scientists yielded previously undocumented wildlife species, both in land and water, and even along the shorelines, the first attempt to study simultaneously marine and terrestrial habitats in the Philippines.

Beginning April 26, 2011, it encompassed waters in Lake Taal, Anilao and the Verde Island Passage in Batangas, and mountains in Makiling in Laguna, Banahaw in Quezon, Malarayat in Batangas and Isarog in Bicol.

According to an article on the science news website Livescience.com, one of the discoveries made by the researchers was a possible new species of swell shark, “a shark that pumps water into its stomach to puff up.”

Camouflaged colour

Unlike its relatives in other seas, however, the shark found in the VIPMC “possesses a very distinctive camouflaged colour pattern,” the report said.

Other swell sharks feature dark round spots, but the species found in the Philippines, based on pictures, have white or lighter spots instead.

“But very little is known yet about this species, as to whether it is really a new species, how large the population is, and whether it is endemic to us or just migrating,” Laroya said.

The term “bubble shark” also appears to have been coined locally, as foreign reports identify the species either as swell shark or inflatable shark.
Laroya said environmental groups such as Conservation International had already known of the bubble shark for some time, but it only hit headlines when the scientists reported their findings to the media.

Flagship species

The publicity generated by a possible new species can amply benefit marine habitats, according to researcher Vera Horigue, a Ph.D. student in conservation planning at James Cook University in Australia.

“That’s what we call flagship species. [It’s important] because when you sell conservation to people, especially people who are not really interested or who do not really care, they need something else, like, why is it important?” she told the Inquirer.

“It’s really helpful to get people to become interested, because you can show just how special the place is by the uniqueness of the species found in it,” said Horigue, who is studying the management plans of certain marine protected areas in the Philippines, including those covering the VIPMC.

“It promotes the area; thus, funds pour in,” she said.

Conservation strategy

Another unintended benefit is that any campaign to save a particular species will have an impact on lesser-known species that are part of the ecosystem. In the case of marine species, she said, the best way of conserving is to ensure that the habitat is left undisturbed through the skillful management of marine protected areas.

Horigue said her laboratory mates working on dugong and turtles found that they could apply their conservation strategy toward improving the condition of sea grass beds, the main food sources of dugong and turtles, and which the community would otherwise not care about.

The VIPMC covers parts of the coastal waters of Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon. It is said to have the largest concentration of marine life in the world, with more than 1,700 marine species recorded within a 10-square-kilometre area in the habitat.

It is both a highly productive fishing ground for traditional and commercial fishers and a development area for coastal and marine tourism, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

But the saltwater highway is threatened by overfishing, pollution and climate change. In 2009, a task force on the Verde Island Passage, as part of government efforts to protect and preserve the marine habitat, sought to guide provincial leaders in formulating and designing management plans for the VIPMC.

VIPMC Summit

It was agreed that the plan would be revisited after three years, which was why the DENR, along with its partner organisations and agencies, held the VIPMC Summit at the Pontefino Hotel and Residences in this city.

More than a hundred policy-makers from the five provinces with stakes in the marine corridor attended the summit where they discussed the challenges, the best practices and the most effective management plans for the conservation project.

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/23f66a0e/l/0L0Sasianewsne҈Bnet0Chome0Cnews0Bphp0Did0F36973/story01.htm

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

Vietnam’s ageing population to stretch health services

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

Vietnam’s rapidly ageing population is providing challenges to the country’s future development and elderly people require more support, a workshop in Hanoi heard Friday.

The Vietnam National Ageing Survey revealed that in 2011 the country had 8.1 million people aged 60 or over, and the number would double by 2019. This figure has risen more rapidly than in any other population group according to data from a national population change survey also conducted last year. Worryingly for policy makers, the potential support ratio for the elderly is significantly decreasing.

A number of experts gathered to discuss the issues resulting from this trend at Friday’s workshop titled “Older persons in Vietnam: Opportunities, Challenges and the Way Forward”.

The event was organised by a number of Vietnamese organisations supporting the elderly, along with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

“Vietnam is at a pivotal moment in its demographic history, as fertility and mortality decline while life expectancy continues to rise,” said UNFPA Representative in Vietnam Bruce Campbell at the workshop.

“In the coming years, the number of older people will continue to increase, so Vietnam needs to have better policies for taking care of the elderly,” said Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam.

Campbell agreed that a policy rethink is required.

“At this juncture, sound evidence based policies and strategies should focus on practical and sustainable initiatives to keep the older population actively engaged in social, cultural, physical and economically productive activity,” he said.

Damning statistics show that currently only 6 per cent of elderly people in Vietnam have good health and a half of the total figure are without any form of health insurance.

Research also shows that 39 per cent of the elderly are still working, with females in rural areas working more than their urban and male counterparts.

In addition to new policies supporting the elderly, experts have also indicated that investment in health, education and employment opportunities for young people is important when catering for the needs of future elderly generations.

Despite the problems the changing demographic trend is causing, it has been recognised as one of Vietnam’s greatest achievements, as it shows significant improvements in health, nutrition and overall socio-economic development in the country.

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/�/s/23f6d1fb/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0Chome0Cnews0Bphp0Did0F36975/story01.htm

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

Chinese premier forecasts ‘brighter future’

Posted on 30 September 2012 by admin

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday reiterated his adherence to institutional reform and opening-up policies before a once-in-a-decade leadership transition.

“We are in an important period of strategic opportunities for development,” Wen said at a reception to mark the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which falls on October 1.

“The power of reform and opening-up, as well as the persevering spirit of the nation, will lead China to a brighter future.”

The reception came one day after Beijing announced the Dzth National Congress of the Communist Party of China would open on November 8, which, Wen said, would be an important meeting “to build on past achievements and open up new prospects for future development”.

Wen’s comments underlined the most important items on the agenda of the current administration and are likely to guide the next leadership and maintain the focus on domestic development, commentators said.

All nine members of the Political Bureau Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the CPC attended the reception, along with hundreds of diplomats, officials and other guests.

The 18th National Congress comes at a crucial time for China, as the leadership it selects and the decisions it makes will have a profound impact on the world’s second-largest economy, and more importantly, on its people, said Xinhua News Agency.

Although challenges loom, the coming transition period is seen as full of strategic opportunities to build China into a prosperous society by 2020.

China is currently experiencing mounting downward pressure after three decades of almost two-digit economic growth and an average annual growth of 10.7 per cent from 2003 to 20ǫ, according to official statistics.

The slow-down has caused concern in the international community as China is one of the world’s most important economic engines and is responsible for about 10 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product, while contributing more than one-fifth of global growth in 2011.

Wen urged the country to keep a cool head, adding China is still at the primary stage of socialism and productivity is not high.

“There is still a long way to go before we can build China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious,” he said.

Qin Yaqing, vice-president of China Foreign Affairs University, said China’s rise is not only about economic achievements, as it has to continue working in a comprehensive manner to deal with the economy, politics and culture.

“To maintain China’s peaceful and sustainable rise, we cannot wait for, but need to create a period of strategic opportunities through a series of domestic efforts amid the complex international environment,” he said.

China will advance further and enhance productivity, Wen said.

“We must promote socialist democracy and rule of law, uphold social equity and justice, improve the educational and moral standards of our people and achieve freedom and all-round development of the people.”

“To realise modernisation in a developing country with over 1 billion people is an unprecedented endeavour that needs painstaking exploration. But no hardship will prevent us from forging ahead.”

Wen also reiterated the government’s policies on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan province, vowing to maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao, and to promote peaceful development across the Taiwan Straits.

On foreign affairs, the premier said China will pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The remarks came at a time when Beijing and Tokyo are locked in an ongoing territorial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, which have belonged to China since ancient times.

Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said the CPC has studied the defeat of the Soviet Communist Party, but added he believed China’s success would continue, Xinhua reported.

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/23f6f703/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0Chome0Cnews0Bphp0Did0F36976/story01.htm

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

(load_cmc); else load_cmc();