Selling vegetables, Krosa or no Krosa.

Japan Focus has two interesting articles up in recent weeks. First, an article discusses Japan’s claim to some rocks…er…islands not far from Taiwan, and its effect on China’s Taiwan dreams and Japan relations:

The southernmost island of the Japanese archipelago has been a source of contention between Japan and China since 2004, when Chinese officials started to refer to it as “rocks” not as an “island.” In international law, rocks cannot be a basis for claiming an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). After the Chinese challenge to its territorial right over Okinotorishima, Japanese officials reacted vigorously, notably Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro, within whose jurisdiction Okinotorishima falls. Ishihara ordered installation of a 330 million yen radar system for surveillance and set up an address plate at the “island.” The two countries continue to dispute the issue.

An interesting article with a good historical review.

Robert Wade, a name anyone with a background in Taiwan’s economic growth history will recognize (Governing the Market), offers an article on the US financial mess and its implications for the world:

The figure to watch is the ratio of total US debt to GDP. The ratio of rising debt to GDP has fuelled US growth in the past several decades (it went from 240% in 1990 to 340% in 2006). If total debt/GDP suddenly flattens, the US will experience a recession. If US debt/GDP falls, the world will experience a recession, because its fall will go with a fall in US consumption, which accounts for at least 20% of world consumption. The crisis has already spread to housing markets and mortgage lenders in the US, Germany, France, Spain, and South Korea. It will soon affect China and Japan, which are the two biggest holders by far of US national debt and stand to lose the most from a steep dollar devaluation. They are also large net exporters to the US, and will suffer from a fall in their US exports as the US contracts.

Happy Reading!

SPECIAL: If you’re into Old Formosa, Formosa Savage’s collection on Flickr has a huge collection of postcards and pics from the bad old days.