Explained

Explainer | What’s at stake in Japan’s 2019 upper house election?

The ruling LDP-Komeito coalition maintains its strong lead over the lacklustre opposition parties, and is poised to retain the two-thirds supermajority it has enjoyed since 2016.

19 Jul 2019 - 7:26AM
Explainer | What’s driving Japan’s escalating feud with South Korea?

Tokyo’s decision to restrict exports of hi-tech materials to Seoul and a simmering row over forced labour have sent the relationship between the two countries tumbling.

18 Jul 2019 - 1:57PM
Explainer | OMG: how to know your FTAs, from RCEP to CPTPP

The trade pact, if it goes ahead, would create the world’s largest trade bloc, encompassing a quarter of global GDP

7 Jul 2019 - 2:38PM
Explainer | Why the G20 summit matters for Asia (and Asean)

Asia’s major economies have become increasingly important at the multilateral forum, which experts say is an opportunity for the likes of China and Japan to step into leadership roles formerly dominated by the West.

28 Jun 2019 - 7:15PM
Explainer | The Indian election, explained: how Modi’s ‘good days’ turned bad

The BJP’s Narendra Modi swept to power on a wave of optimism and a catchy slogan. Five years on, an economic slowdown, agrarian distress and rising intolerance have soured the mood

19 May 2019 - 2:49AM
Explainer | Dictator Marcos, Duterte’s drug war and Islamic militancy in Philippines

Rodrigo Duterte ran for president in 2016 promising brutal purge of suspected drug dealers. Upon his election, he followed through on his campaign pledge.

21 May 2019 - 12:15PM
Explainer | Japan’s Emperor Akihito abdicates

After more than 30 years on the Chrysanthemum Throne, Japan’s emperor will on April 30 abdicate for his son to take over a hereditary monarchy that has continuously lasted for centuries.

30 Apr 2019 - 5:56PM
Explainer | Indonesia election: a battle to the wire between Jokowi and Prabowo

Both sides have focused on economic issues in the campaign but religious identity politics and fake news have been used to mobilise popular support.

18 Apr 2019 - 1:05PM
By land, air, sea or elephant: 1 billion across Asia prepare to vote by any means

Indonesia is made up entirely of islands, India has 1 million voting stations to disperse and Australia has to reach extremely remote communities. But officials in all three have a plan to include everyone in the democratic process.

12 Apr 2019 - 8:00AM
Explainer | Indonesia’s democratic transition and the role of political Islam

Indonesia was a Dutch colony from the early 19th century until it was occupied by the Japanese from 1942-45.

22 May 2019 - 1:45PM
Explainer | Asia’s aviation success stories – and its biggest flight disasters

From budget airlines and a boom in passengers to the mystery disappearance of MH370 and the Lion Air crash, Asia’s aviation sector has seen stunning highs – and devastating lows.

12 Mar 2019 - 4:59PM
Explainer | From Gandhi to cow vigilantes: your guide to the Indian election

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promising voters he’s India’s ‘watchman’. Religious violence, unemployment, demonetisation, fake news and big-name opposition are some of the things he should have seen coming.

11 Apr 2019 - 5:58PM
Explainer | Thai election a battle royale for junta’s Prayuth and the Shinawatras

Five years after the latest in a long string of coups, democracy is back in town in Thailand. Or at least, that’s what it looks like. But in Sunday’s election, winning the most votes and winning power are not the same thing.

25 Mar 2019 - 10:01AM
Explainer | Thailand’s politics and monarchy

These are the players and the situation on the ground as the junta-led Southeast Asian nation gears up for its first election since 2011.

19 Mar 2019 - 5:58PM
Explainer | What is the Apec forum?

Apec promotes economic growth, cooperation, and trade and investment liberalisation in the Pacific Rim. Its members are referred to as economies, not states, so delegates from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan can all participate.

13 Mar 2019 - 9:36AM
Explainer | Gay rights, LGBTQ and same-sex marriage in Asia

Taiwan and Australia are beacons of progress on LGBTQ issues, while India is improving (but Hong Kong not so much). Meanwhile, Indonesia and Malaysia are going backwards.

12 Mar 2019 - 5:21PM
Explainer | How climate change will affect Asia

In 2017, China, India and Japan were ranked first, third and fifth among the world’s worst polluting countries.

11 Mar 2019 - 2:59PM
Explainer | How India and Pakistan became nuclear states

India and Pakistan are among the world’s nine nuclear weapons states, alongside China, France, Israel, North Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US.

7 Mar 2019 - 12:21PM
Explainer | What is fake news and how does it affect Asia?

Several Asian countries rely heavily on social media for information, making them particularly vulnerable to the spread of fake news.

6 Mar 2019 - 5:39PM