The Japan Times

OPINION: The Mekong is the test of China’s leadership

The Mekong River originates in China and winds its way south, flowing through or past five other countries — Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam — before it empties into the South China Sea. The Mekong is the beating heart of the region, and while ...


Beijing sets sights on mighty Mekong as passage to South China Sea

Ninety-seven kilometers of rocks in Thai waters stand between Beijing and dominance over the Mekong, a mighty river that feeds millions as it threads south from the Tibetan Plateau through five countries before emptying into the South China Sea. China has long wanted to dredge the ...

Aidan Jones

Thai rice farmers shun pesticides and fight climate change

Battling drought, debt and ailments blamed on pesticides, rice farmers in northern Thailand have turned to eco-friendly growing methods despite powerful agribusiness interests in a country that is one of the top exporters of the grain in the world. Walking through a sea of green waist-high ...

Asia's twin curse: Dams and droughts

River systems help sustain lives and livelihoods. But, thanks to excessive damming and drastic overuse of their water resources, some rivers are drying up before reaching the sea. Nowhere is this truer than Asia. Building large dams has increasingly run into grassroots opposition in established democracies ...

Brahma Chellaney

Chinese and Mekong cops team up against one of Asia's biggest meth cartels

Chinese drug police are working with Mekong countries to strike at the heart of a mega-rich meth syndicate as the region targets top-level drug traffickers instead of street dealers. The porous and lawless border areas of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos have for decades been a hub ...

At Mekong-Japan Summit, Tokyo eyes economic aid and pushback against Chinese influence

The leaders of five Mekong countries and Japan held the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit on Tuesday in Tokyo, issuing a joint statement afterwards that pledged cooperation on the promotion of development programs and further improvement on “connectivity” and “quality infrastructure” projects in the region. Keep reading ...

Japan and Mekong nations agree to keep U.N. sanctions in place against North

Top diplomats from Japan and five Southeast Asian countries along the Mekong River have pledged to maintain U.N. economic sanctions aimed at pressuring North Korea to achieve complete denuclearization as promised. The agreement Friday came amid growing concern that countries friendly to North Korea, such as ...

Japan’s help improving regional connectivity hailed at Mekong forum

Japan’s economic and technical support for building bridges and improving roads and other transport infrastructure around Indochina was praised at a meeting of the Mekong-Japan Cooperation Forum in Cambodia on Friday. Keep reading ...

Japan Times Reporter

Eyeing Mekong dams, China lavishes cash on ally Cambodia

Beijing has pledged billions of dollars to build new infrastructure in Cambodia, officials said Thursday, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ended a two-day charm offensive currying favor for its mega-dams across the Mekong.Keep reading ...

Japan Times Reporter

Fukushima peach exports recover in Southeast Asia, sparking hope for other produce

Fukushima peaches are making inroads into Southeast Asian markets in what prefectural officials see as a model case of recovery in its farm produce. Fukushima grabbed the top share of Japanese peach exports to three Southeast Asian countries last year — 73.9 percent in Thailand, ...

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