October 18, 2021
Interview with the Ambassador of Taiwan - Ambassador Yao

Geopolitics, US-Taiwan relations under the Biden administration, the pandemic and security concerns are all topics covered in this interview with Taiwan's Ambassador Yao to Sweden by Sarah Nygård.

September 13, 2021
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in brief

After many discussions on the fate of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan decided to open its borders to athletes, journalists, and other participants, and held a decidedly unique Olympic Games, thanks to strong anti-Covid-19 measures. The Olympics promise potential economic benefits and international glory to the country and the city organising them. This year, however, pandemic intervened. Moreover, scandals involving misogynistic comments from the (now former) head of the Japanese Olympic committee, and the indecision about holding the Games had already tainted Japan’s reputation prior to the event. Now that the Olympics have ended, what can be brought to light?

May 10, 2021
Sustainable and fair trade Indonesian chocolate

Chocolate is an irresistible treat that is well-loved around the world. As a chocolate lover, baker, and cookbook author, it became important for me to know the origins of chocolate. While doing research, I discovered that Indonesia is the world’s third-biggest exporter of cacao. Furthermore, the movement of having sustainable farming practices within the cacao industry has been gaining a lot of traction in the last decade.

March 14, 2021
Let the value of chocolates define my love for you

Whilst Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated in countries around the globe, White Day is only celebrated in a limited amount of countries in East Asia, including Japan. On March 14th, Japanese men will have the chance to dole out reciprocal gifts to those who gave them gifts on Valentine’s Day. These two special holidays have a strong bond with each other—the traditional Japanese Valentine’s celebration would not be complete without one of them.

February 22, 2021
China + Vietnam - The convoluted romance between manufacturing shifts and supply chain diversification

Disruptions such as trade wars and a global pandemic have disclosed the vulnerability and interdependencies along multinational production networks more than ever before. Particularly firms active in China have now started looking into more resilient manufacturing and sourcing strategies and are eyeing Vietnam. A ”China + Vietnam strategy“, however, not only offers new opportunities, but also outlines the limits and dark sides of current modes in global production.

February 14, 2021
How much is my love worth to you?

The Lunar New Year officially began two days ago—and yet another celebration is taking place today. While Lunar New Year is a holiday for family and friends, Valentine’s Day is a holiday for lovers. The style of celebration, however, differs slightly depending on where it is held. This time, let’s focus on how Valentine's Day is celebrated in Japan and what products are demanded by the Japanese market during this romantic consumption day.

February 8, 2021
Lunar New Year: The Economic Impact on China

The Lunar New Year reunites friends and family across East Asian countries. Like hardly any other festive seasons, this massive holiday carries not only a high traditional, but also a tremendous economic value for any country celebrating it. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, there are a lot of changes in the economic growth over the past year. Photo Credit: Fritz Hoffmann.

December 25, 2020
That time of the year: Christmas 2020 Special
November 30, 2020
Population Ageing - A Challenge to the Japanese Welfare State

‘Population ageing’ is constituted by a shift in the population age structure towards higher ages, and is a modern global phenomenon. However, some countries are more affected than others. Case in point: Japan has the oldest population, one of the lowest fertility rates, and one of the highest consumption rates per child and elderly in the world. This has severe economic consequences, to the point where it challenges the Japanese welfare system.

November 23, 2020
Household debt in South Korea: Should it be taken seriously?

Today, South Korea has one of the highest household debt burdens in the world with regard to its economic size. With income growth lagging behind the increase in debt, the debt-to-disposable income ratio is even at its highest since it began being recorded in 2007. The Korean government is now facing growing household debt in combination with an uncertain housing market. A question thus arises: what could this mean in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic?

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