Category Archives: South Korea

Of Sea Squirts and FTAs

Memo #283 By   Hyung-Gu Lynn – hyunggu.lynn [at] Ten years ago today, April 1, 2004, the Chile-South Korea free trade agreement (FTA) came into effect. This landmark agreement marked Chile’s first FTA with an Asian country, and South Korea’s … Continue reading

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Posted in Asia, South Korea | Tagged Chile, FTA, trade | Leave a comment

The Paradox of Women Leaders in Asian Democracies

Memo #277 By   Timothy S. Rich – [at] Political life in Asian countries is often characterized as a man’s world, especially compared to its Western counterparts. Yet we have also seen increasing political leadership opportunities for women in … Continue reading

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Posted in Asia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand | Tagged electoral reform, gender, women's rights | Leave a comment

The Global Intensification of Supplementary Education

Memo #271 Featuring Julian Dierkes Recently, Ee-Seul Yoon of the Faculty of Education at UBC in coordination with the Asia Pacific Memo sat down with Dr. Julian Dierkes, Associate Professor and Keidanren Chair in Japanese Research at UBC’s Institute for Asian Research, to … Continue reading

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Posted in Asia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea | Tagged China, education, education policy, hagwon 학원, Hong Kong, hyper-education, juku 塾, Korea, sociology, supplementary education, tutoring | 1 Comment

To Be Queer and Christian: Organizing for Queer Youth in Korea

Memo #270 By Joseph Yi – joyichicago [at] & Daniel Payne – koreanrainbow [at] South Korea has among the highest rates of suicide among developed (OECD) countries, peaking at 28.4 per 100,000 people in 2011.  Hidden among these … Continue reading

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Posted in South Korea | Tagged Civil Society, Gay Rights, LGBT, religion, social change, youth | Leave a comment

Hybridity is the New Norm: Korean Cinema in a Global Age

Memo #248 By Dal Yong Jin – yongjin23 [at] After a period of recession, the Korean film industry has experienced a revival in recent years with the market success of several hybrid films, successes that have served to boost … Continue reading

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Posted in South Korea | Tagged Asian culture, cinema, economics, film, globalization, pop culture | Leave a comment

Urban Beekeeping: a new buzz in Asian cities

We need bees, but bees are dying. This is a global problem, but some Asian cities are finding novel solutions in urban beekeeping.

The humble Apis Mellifera punches well above its tenth of a gram weight. Through transferring pollen, bees are essential to 80% of the food we consume. Furthermore, the economic input from bees is substantial, with pollinated crops accounting for $1 trillion of the yearly agricultural produce sold. Continue reading

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Posted in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea | Tagged agriculture, bees, Business, economics, environment, food, food security, green, urban, urbanization | Leave a comment

Unsettled Remains: Tensions over Unrepatriated Bodies from the Asia-Pacific War

The “remains issue” (ikotsu mondai) refers to controversies surrounding the bodily remains of Korean and Chinese nationals who died during the Asia-Pacific War in Japan and whose bodies have not yet been repatriated. Most were conscripts: soldiers, military personnel and forced labourers. After the War, the remains of Chinese forced labourers were largely repatriated to the bereaved families, but it is estimated that as many as two thousand Korean bodies may still be stored at temples and buried across the country. Continue reading

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Posted in Japan, South Korea | Tagged Asia Pacific War, Civil Society, remains issue, repatriation, territorial disputes | Leave a comment

Upcoming Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement – Lessons Learned from Korea

Memo #192 – Canada and Japan are set to begin negotiations to develop an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on November 26th, 2012. Canada hasn’t completed a preferential trade agreement with any of its Asia Pacific partners, and Japan has yet to finalize an EPA with a G8 country. As negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Korea have entered their seventh year and as regional competitors, like Australia, are forging new trade partnerships in Asia, Canada feels pressured to assert itself in the region. If Canada can learn from the stalled Korean negotiations, the Canada-Japan EPA can become the platform to accomplish such a task. Continue reading

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Posted in Canada, Japan, South Korea | Tagged Business, Economic Partnership Agreement, Free Trade Agreement, negotiation, trade | Comments Off

Asia in the World (Video Interview with Dr. Yves Tiberghien)

Memo #186 (Video) – Europeans, particularly the French are terrified about the rise of China. This is the first book that presents China not as an ugly, totalitarian, and repressive state, but as a multifaceted player. China is fragmented and pluralistic and can offer a diverse portfolio to the world. It is a partner that can engage in social and collaborative processes like the G20. Continue reading

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Posted in Asia, China, Europe, Japan, South Korea | Tagged Chinese Communist Party, economy, G20, political science, soft power | Comments Off

Tokdo/Takeshima Island Dispute: A Call for Educators to Act towards Mutual Understanding

Memo #184 – The tiny island that lies between Japan and Korea – Takeshima (竹島) in Japan and Tokdo (독도) in Korea – is at the centre of a territorial dispute and serious bilateral tension. This is nothing new. The island, along with other remnants of Japan’s colonial aggression in Korea, has sparked diplomatic issues throughout postwar history. Despite unprecedented levels of cultural, academic, and economic exchange between the two nations, the dispute continues to be defined by a persistent legacy of colonialism and growing nationalism. Japanese and Korean political leaders demand that educators legitimate territorial claims by including these in their national curricula. But if educators comply uncritically, we will undermine future generations’ development of mutual understanding and respect. Continue reading

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Posted in Japan, South Korea | Tagged Asia Pacific War, Dokdo island, education, islands dispute, nationalism, Takeshima island, territorial dispute | Comments Off