Asia Minute

Indian Space Research Organisation

Fifty years ago today, the Apollo Eleven mission lifted off from Florida — heading for the moon. This week, another moon mission starting from the other side of the world suffered a setback.

AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon

An escalating dispute between Japan and South Korea is moving into a new phase this week. South Korean officials are coming to Washington to ask for help from the United States.

Fuzz / Pixabay

One area where most of Hawaii scores well compared to many other locations in the world is air quality. It’s an increasing focus for many cities in the Asia Pacific, and in one place residents are actually suing the government.

Photo: Lachlan Fearnley / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been eight years since a state law took effect recognizing Native Hawaiians as “the only indigenous . . . population of Hawai’i.” In Australia, the government is promising to move ahead with a different kind of recognition for its own native people.

apasciuto / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

It’s been nearly three months since the Hōkūleʻa returned from its latest ocean voyage. But elsewhere in the Pacific, another group has just completed a much shorter voyage – navigating by nature and paddling as a team.

Marco Verch / CC BY 2.0 /

There’s a new trend underway in many developing countries across the Asia Pacific. It’s about shipping — but with an unusual twist.

Nishant Vyas / Creative Commons / Pexels

The world’s largest democracy has a new budget. India’s Finance Minister presented her first budget to parliament Friday, but it wasn’t just the numbers that got attention.

hirotomo t / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

If you have travel plans this summer and you hold an American passport, you can go to more than 180 countries without needing a visa. But that doesn't top the list of the world's most powerful passports. That distinction goes to a pair of countries in Asia.

Base64, retouched by CarolSpears / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

As the United States celebrates Independence Day today, a focus remains on a developing situation in another former British colony: Hong Kong. Large demonstrations began less than a month ago, some became violent earlier this week, and now there are warnings coming from Beijing.

The Diary of a Hotel Addict / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

One of the steadiest economies in the Asia Pacific in recent years is Indonesia. This week, the World Bank had praise for some government policies, but also warnings about plastic in the ocean.

S. Herman (Voice of America)

Relations between Japan and South Korea have hit another snag. Japan is restricting exports to South Korea of some materials used in the production of smartphones. And the move is part of a much wider dispute.

Tia Dufour / Official White House Photo

President Trump’s handshake meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone was one of the biggest photo opportunities of his Asian trip. But a much quieter gathering at the G20 meeting carried its own symbolism.

Governor - General of New Zealand / CC BY 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Government figures out this week show the U.S. economy grew a little faster than 3% in the first quarter of this year. For the United States and most other countries, Gross Domestic Product is the accepted way to measure economic health. But one country in the Asia Pacific is taking a different approach.

Shealah Craighead / The White House

The Group of 20 meetings start tomorrow in Japan. While much of the focus remains on President Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, there are a number of regional discussions that have already begun.

HeungSoon / Pixabay

Travelers are used to occasional schedule disruptions at airports — for reasons ranging from mechanical issues to weather. But over the past week there’s another factor that’s delayed flights at one of Asia’s busiest airports: drones.

Vincent Yu/AP

It’s been more than two weeks since demonstrators first packed the streets of Hong Kong in massive protests against a proposed extradition treaty. Smaller rallies have taken place since, but organizers say something bigger is coming on Wednesday.

W. Robert Howell / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr

According to a national report out last week, Hawaii is the third most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians over the age of 50. The report from the advocacy group “Smart Growth America” found older pedestrians are three times more likely to be killed than people under 50. For another island community in the Pacific, there’s a renewed focus on safety and older drivers.

Senior Master Sgt. Burke Baker / U.S. Air Force

Plastic is a growing problem for ocean waters — not only in Hawaii but around the world. And new research this week from an Asian island nation shows part of that challenge involves the travel and tourism industry.

3005398 / Pixabay

As the U.S. and China continue talking about trade, some U.S. companies may not wait for the results to take actions of their own. According to a report from Japan, Apple is looking at revising its supply chain.

AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

It appears that President Trump will be meeting China’s president Xi Jinping next week in Japan. But while that may be the center of attention at the Group of 20 meeting, it’s not the only high-level meeting for the Chinese president.

Ravikan Rao / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Summer doesn't officially arrive until the end of next week, but weather patterns have been warmer lately around much of the state. But it's nothing like the heat wave that is sweeping much of India.

sharonang / Pixabay

While short-term vacation rentals remain the focus of political debate in Hawaii, other locations are taking different approaches to the issue. That includes Japan.

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

It’s been about five and a half years since same-sex marriage has been legal in Hawaii. In most countries in the Asia Pacific, those marriages are not recognized. But LGBT activists are cheering a decision this week by the highest court in Hong Kong. / CC BY 4.0

President Trump marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion with a visit to France, following his stop in the United Kingdom. But he’s not the only world leader on the road this week. It’s been getting less media attention in this country, but there’s been another gathering that has implications for U.S. policy in the Asia Pacific.

Ben Mierement / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

One more country is taking steps to cut back on single-use plastic bags. Japan is proposing some changes ahead of hosting an international gathering later this month.

AP Photo/Jeff Widener

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. Much of the coverage centers on memories of that bloody night, and how its impact is still felt today. Another part of the story is the international media itself, and why so many of them were in Beijing at that time.

World's Direction / CC0 1.0 / Flickr

President Trump’s threat of tariffs on goods coming from Mexico has disrupted financial markets. And while the move would impact the earnings of a number of U.S. companies, it’s also a concern in Asia.

Liane777 / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Flickr

One of the world’s better-known jewelry collections may soon be going on sale. It’s a collection that has ties to Hawaiʻi – as well as a volatile period in part of the Asia Pacific.

Ronald Lee / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

President Trump’s recent visit to Japan included a stop on a Japanese helicopter carrier. The president talked about military exercises involving regional allies, but China is having similar discussions this week.

Charles Edward Miller / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Teachers across New Zealand went on strike today. It’s the latest development in a long-running dispute between the nation’s two teachers’ unions and the federal government.