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Asia Through the Lens
Northeast Asia
Visual Story Header - Northeast Asia
Japan

South Korea

Worker safety in the spotlight
Japan

 

24 October 2022Despite a vibrant labor movement and strict labor laws, South Korea continues to grapple with mounting unemployment and occupational health and safety issues. The gruesome death of a worker in a bread factory brought to the fore the problems confronting the country’s workers. The incident also tested the efficacy of the Serious Accidents Punishment Act, which came into effect in January 2022. The Act seeks to impose criminal liability onto individuals and entities found responsible for “serious accidents” in work and public places. (Photo: JD Matt/Shutterstock.com)

Japan

Taiwan

A collective push for independence
Japan

 

17 October 2022As the tensions between China and Taiwan intensify, the defiant island nation is pushed to rethink its citizen conscription policy, seeking to extend mandatory military service in an effort to bolster its defense system. Civilians are joining the discussions, too, with growing calls for officials to take a stronger position, as well as campaigning for pro-independence candidates to help fulfill the collective aspiration for a new constitution. Whether these steps will ensure better border security, and a stronger case for Taiwanese independence, remains to be seen. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

Japan

Japan

The long road to equality
Japan

 

10 October 2022Despite a strong legislative landscape and a vibrant rights movement, recent events in Japan proved that it still has a long way to go in the fight against racism and gender-based discrimination. The country’s conservative politics, along with deep-seated historical wounds, have emboldened a certain segment of its society — from anonymous vandals to law enforcement to local government leaders — to espouse bigoted beliefs and behaviors against sexual and racial minorities. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

Japan

Hong Kong

The twisted underbelly of child abuse
Japan

 

3 October 2022Grim stories of child abuse continue to reverberate across Hong Kong’s traditional and online media channels — giving a glimpse into the region’s twisted underbelly. Rising to fight the problem are charity groups and nonprofits, who dedicate their energy and resources to scrutinize childcare facilities and schools, and hold abusers accountable. But how much can scrappy groups really do against a deep and pervasive societal problem? While Hong Kong’s government is stepping up needed measures, it remains to be seen if these will have any lasting impacts on the child abuse problem. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

Japan

China

Zero tolerance for "zero-COVID" critics
Japan

 

26 September 2022In its obsession to attain zero-COVID, China has upped its long-standing zero-critique measures, imposing extra stringent censors on online channels in an effort to keep dissent at bay. Still, Chinese citizens refuse to be silenced. Despite the gag order, photos and news of mass deaths in Xinjiang due to starvation have poured out. At the same time, prominent commentators urge their audiences to speak up about their zero-COVID misgivings in defiance of official decrees. (Photo: canghai76/Shutterstock.com)

Japan

South Korea

Stamping out VAW
Japan

 

19 September 2022South Korea may project an outward image of progressiveness, but violence against women remains rampant in the country. While the recently elected Yoon administration harbors strong conservative values and has shown no interest in gender equality, state institutions have taken significant steps to up its protection of women. These include the special probe into the sexual abuse of a woman sergeant in the Air Force, the subsequent indictment of eight officers, and the recent decree of the Justice Ministry making stalking a prosecutable offense. (Photo: Socialtruant/Shutterstock.com)

Japan

Taiwan

Where is the wage growth?
Japan

 

12 September 2022In a bid to help its 2.32 million workers weather the storm of runaway inflation, Taiwan is proposing to raise the minimum wage—the country’s seventh time to do so since President Tsai Ing-wen took office. However, compared with its rich peers, the pay hike in Taiwan looks paltry, and is unlikely to have any material effect on systemic inequality. Tsai’s government has tried and largely failed to contain the ballooning prices of basic goods and services. Will this wage hike be another missed shot? (Photo: Oliverourge 3/Shutterstock.com)

Japan

Tibet

Celebrating resistance
Japan

 

5 September 2022Amid the ongoing onslaught of China’s often violent sinicization campaign, Tibet continues to remain steadfast, determined to protect its culture. Despite the continued threat of arrest and detention for those who uphold their Buddhist faith and traditions, Tibetans find ingenious ways to defy the dictates of Beijing. This strong determination has strengthened the Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, India. Tibet recently commemorated the 62nd Tibetan Democracy Day, simultaneously marking 62 years of China’s atrocities in Tibet. (Photo: Ian_Stewart/Shutterstock.com)

Japan

Hong Kong

Hollowed-out democracy
Japan

 

29 August 2022Civil libertarians continue to fight an uphill battle in Hong Kong. The lull in dissent created by the National Security Law gave the government ample space to further tighten its grip on the city by supercharging a colonial-era sedition law. Meanwhile, the recent Law Society elections saw the loss of a prominent liberal opposition figure, further thinning out public dissent against the government. The threat of hefty verdicts has also pressured several pro-democracy activists to plead guilty, in hopes of a lighter sentence. Despite all these, individuals like media tycoon Jimmy Lai continue to stand their ground, inspiring the opposition for to stay defiant. (Photo: Jimmy Siu/Shutterstock.com)

Japan

Japan

An increasingly unbearable squeeze
Japan

 

22 August 2022 — Even a rich and highly developed country like Japan is struggling to deal with inflation. Surging prices of basic goods and services have decimated the country’s ¥31 average minimum wage increase, leaving many to barely unable to make ends meet. In hopes of alleviating the people’s suffering, the government has moved to provide relief packages, particularly to daily wage earners and those on welfare support, for whom the inflation has proven to be unbearable. Whether these packages will actually fulfill their purpose of tiding people and their families over, however, is yet to be seen.

Japan

South Korea

Inundated by inequality
Japan

 

15 August 2022South Korea’s heaviest rainfall in 115 years exposed not only the country’s poor preparedness for environmental catastrophes, but also the gross inequality across its social strata. Several deaths by drowning were reported among poor families who could afford nothing more dignified than cramped basement-level housing, in turn prompting the government to ban such dwellings. Meanwhile, climate and disaster management experts have flagged South Korea’s inadequate drainage and flood control facilities, pointing out that in the face of the climate crisis, improvements need to be made efficiently and quickly. (Photo: Kim Dongho/Shutterstock.com)

Japan

China

In the guise of fighting crime
Japan

 

8 August 2022As the veil of Beijing’s ‘re-education campaign’ in Xinjiang falls, exposing atrocities and the dire state of those detained in camps, local authorities are now justifying the onslaught as an ‘anti-crime’ campaign. Subject to state violence for years, the majority-Muslim Uyghur community continues to bear the brunt of the Communist Party’s intolerance to dissent and religious diversity. Several countries and international rights groups have expressed concern over the situation in Xinjiang, accusing China of genocide. (Photo: SFT HQ (Students for a Free Tibet), CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

Japan

Tibet

Mounting repression
Japan

 

25 July 2022For merely being in possession of the Dalai Lama’s photo, Chinese authorities have sent three Tibetans to jail, but not before beating one of them black and blue. This reflects the truth of Beijing’s ever-tightening grip on the Himalayan region — despite trying to project appearances to the contrary. Last week, two land rights activists jailed in 2019 were released, an ostensible attempt to show that the wheels of justice still turn in Tibet. But the reality is in stark contrast to the image China has tried to convey, with authorities even targeting relatives of activists that their threats fail to silence.

Japan

Macau

A closed-loop labor crisis
Japan

 

18 July 2022Macau has adopted a hardline zero-COVID strategy against the pandemic — in the process plunging its labor sector into crisis. During the seven-day hard lockdown this past week, the government has explicitly stated that non-essential businesses closed in the name of infection control don’t need to pay their workers’ wages, spurring outcry from various labor groups. For workers in essential industries — including domestic helpers — the government is encouraging employers to provide in-house accommodations. As with the national zero-COVID plan, however, such a measure is a skewed trade-off between case control and workers’ welfare.

Japan

Hong Kong

The plot thickens
Japan

11 July 2022 — Hong Kong’s new chief executive and former head of security John Lee’s pledge to further strengthen security laws in the global business hub, citing yet undisclosed pressing risks to national security, has understandably raised more fears. Democracy advocates and members of the press, who worry that significantly repressed civic space in the city could shrink further, and likely violently under the hardline pro-Beijing leader. The National Security Law, foisted onto Hong Kong by Beijing in 2020, has since been used to suppress dissent even from abroad. Crumbling civil and political rights became manifest anew when some news outlets were banned from the inauguration of Lee, with Chinese President Xi Jinping in attendance.

Japan

North Korea

Missiles over medicines;
nukes over nutrition
Japan

4 July 2022 — North Korea is buckling under the growing weight of crises: the ever-present threat of COVID-19; flooding that has driven people from their homes and exposed them to disease; food shortages; and a brutal economic downturn, just to name a few. And yet, its leaders seem more focused on building the country’s military might. The Kim Jong-Un administration has funneled even more funds into its nuclear arsenal. instead of strengthening the country’s social security net—keeping North Korea’s armed forces bloated while the rest of its people endure hunger.

Japan

South Korea

No country for refugees
Japan

27 June 2022 — South Korea ratified the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Protocol Relating to the Status Refugees in December 1992 and started accepting asylum applications in July 1994. Twenty-eight years after, the first Asian country to sign the convention is far from being a welcoming environment for refugees. Refugee advocates continue to express concern on the lack of standard and objective guidelines, and humanitarian approach. Meanwhile, a strong anti-refugee sentiment aggravates the situation, making Korean society more difficult to navigate for asylum seekers.

Japan

China

A shadow pandemic looms larger than ever
Japan

20 June 2022 — Following a viral video showing a group of men physically assaulting four women in China, the issue of gender-based violence, particularly against women, has once again captured the country’s mostly conservative and patriarchal consciousness. China passed its anti-domestic violence law in 2016, but until today, such assaults are still largely treated as a secret family affair, with victims shamed into silence by a strong stigma. At the same time, the country’s push to revitalize its population has shone a harsh, often debasing light on those who choose to remain single.

Japan

Taiwan

Reversing the tide on marine water
Japan

13 June 2022 — On World Oceans Day earlier this week, civil groups called on Taiwan’s government to enact stalled environmental protection laws. Home to hundreds of species of marine life, the waters around Taiwan are among the world’s most impressive biodiversity hubs. Unfortunately, global warming, rabid development, and careless tourism have heavily damaged its marine ecosystem—an eventuality that the government isn’t doing enough to avoid. Aside from stalled legislation, already feeble policies have been loosely implemented, allowing environmental destruction to continue unchecked.

Japan

Japan

Long-overdue labor reform
Japan

6 June 2022 — Japan’s rampant sexism and borderline-xenophobic sensibilities have proven destructive to its labor market and economic recovery from the pandemic. In this light, a recent policy blueprint that aims to address the egregious wage gap between men and women couldn’t be more timely; so is the Kishida administration’s New Capitalism action plan that aims to increase the minimum hourly wage to ¥1000 regardless of region and contract status. Still, efforts to address the low wages among Japan’s migrant workers is sparse, if not completely missing, and remains a policy blind spot for the Kishida government.

Japan

Macau

Macau's casino conundrum
Japan

30 May 2022 — Macau’s gaming industry, shaky lifeblood of its economy, is steeped in even more uncertainty. Long known as dens of unlawful practices, casinos have also struggled with declining revenues during the pandemic. Though meant to bring more clarity and stability to the industry, amendments to Macau’s gaming law have only plunged Asia’s gaming hub into confusion. Lost in the conversation are the casino workers, many of whom could lose their jobs amid the big industry shake-up. Public officials have urged the government to put mechanisms in place to protect these workers’ welfare.

Japan

Hong Kong

A pay bump balancing act
Japan

23 May 2022 — After two years of stagnant wages, Hong Kong’s civil servants may soon receive some welcome news. The 2022 Pay Trend Survey Committee recommended a hefty pay increase, even reaching over 7 percent for senior government employees. However, several experts, business executives, and top state advisers bristled at the prospect, saying that the pay bump might be too generous given that thousands remain jobless or underemployed. With Hong Kong’s leadership in transition, the final verdict may fall to the hands of the incoming Chief Executive.

Japan

North Korea

Uncovering the COVID-19 cover-up
Japan

16 May 2022 — After over two years of feigning blindness to the pandemic, North Korea finally confirmed its first COVID-19 case and death. The announcement came just days after a military parade celebrated the armed prowess of the world’s most reclusive country. Before long, leaders admitted that they were struggling with their first-ever outbreak — and a massive one at that — with nearly 200,000 people under isolation and treatment. Largely unvaccinated and hesitant to the jabs, North Korea’s people and economy will likely be ravaged by the Omicron variant.

Japan

China

Cracking the whip, harder this time
Japan

9 May 2022 — China has tightened its vice grip on civil liberties, smothering voices online, detaining dissenters, conducting unlawful arrests, and even clamping down on religious activities. To further force people into submission and silence, authorities now mete out prison terms for offenses that would have merited reprimands in the past. Borders are now also insufficient to stop this crackdown, with Beijing imposing surveillance and intimidation tactics on Muslim Uyghurs, dissidents, writers, activists, and critics abroad.

Japan

Mongolia

Austerity conundrum
Japan

2 May 2022 — The Mongolian government amended its national budget to provide social relief for people hit hard by the pandemic. To sustain this effort in the next two years, the parliament is turning to austerity: cutting government investments, expenses, and infrastructure, and streamlining bureaucracy. However, such belt-tightening measures run the risk of driving hundreds, if not thousands, of people jobless, making life even more difficult for the already-struggling Mongolians. Austerity, after all, doesn’t always deliver the desired results.

Japan

Taiwan

Sea-change in Taiwan's fishing industry
Japan

25 April 2022 — Despite having the world’s second-largest flotilla, dire labor conditions plague Taiwan’s fishing industry, making the country an emblem for the global pattern of suffering ship workers endure out at sea. On April 20, prosecutors indicted nine Taiwanese crew members, including the captain, of the fishing vessel Da Wang, in connection to 2019 allegations of abuse and forced labor of Indonesian and Filipino crew members. This led the government to allot US$68.5 million to improve working conditions aboard these ships. Despite having the world’s second-largest flotilla, dire labor conditions plague Taiwan’s fishing industry, making the country an emblem for the global pattern of suffering ship workers endure out at sea.

Japan

Japan

Breaking Japan's refugee apathy
Japan

18 April 2022 — Uncharacteristically, Japan’s response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has gone far beyond condemnation. Typically unresponsive toward people displaced by conflict, Japan has exceeded expectations, expressing willingness to take in Ukrainian refugees and promising aid to help them settle in Japan. In fact, 20 refugees were evacuated to Japan along with Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshima in early April. The government also plans to institute an acceptance system for future refugees on humanitarian grounds, signalling a shift in Japan’s refugee policy.

Japan

Macau

Leaning on local labor
Japan

11 April 2022 — Macau’s ambitious target of vaccinating 90 percent of all children and elderly means, officials say, the country’s borders will remain closed to foreign domestic workers, according to officials. To fill this employment vacuum, lawmakers have proposed to train and provide incentives to locals, hoping to attracting more residents into care work. The impacts of this new labor policy direction on foreign domestic workers, and whether it’s a temporary measure or a long-term shift, bear watching.

Japan

Hong Kong

Reining in civil liberties while COVID-19 spikes
Japan

4 April 2022 — COVID-19’s fifth wave in Hong Kong is at its most disastrous yet, so much so that blistering criticisms about the government’s ineptness has come from all angles, even from state-backed media organizations. Instead of dealing with the rising case counts, public officials seem more preoccupied with curbing civil liberties — an unrelenting phenomenon in the beleaguered city since the advent of Beijing’s national security law. Law enforcement has clamped down hard on political opposition, interrogating leaders of the disbanded pro-democracy Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, and even detaining former opposition lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung.

Japan

China

Shutting down Shanghai
Japan

28 March 2022 — The COVID-19 Omicron variant has made quick work of China’s overly strict zero-COVID—and next on its list is the country’s economy. Though lockdowns were initially set to be phased across Shanghai, China’s premiere financial hub, authorities were soon forced to put the entire city on lockdown after it became clear that the outbreak would be uncontrollable otherwise. Experts have warned that a full-scale shutdown would be catastrophic for both the economy and individual livelihoods, and have urged the government to provide necessary support.

Japan

Taiwan

War jitters
Japan

21 March 2022 — President Putin’s assault on Ukraine has prompted calls for worldwide peace, but these ring hollow as armed conflicts continue to ravage several parts of the globe, and its threat looms large for many others. This is the case in Northeast Asia, too. Fearing that China might become emboldened by Russia’s recent show of violence, Taiwan has ramped up its military training, particularly in vulnerable islands. Officials are also asking the US to provide additional artillery for long-range, aerial, and naval defense.

Japan

South Korea

Eroding equality
Japan

14 March 2022 —Despite the sheen of democracy and liberalism, South Korea has always contended with rabid misogyny. A growing feminist movement in recent years has slowly improved gender equality in the country, but all that progress is now suddenly in peril. By capitalizing on South Korea’s dismal birth rate, President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol rode high on a cresting wave of hateful, anti-feminist rhetoric and claimed electoral victory. He vows to abolish the country’s Gender Equality Ministry, a promise that has gravely concerned activists.

Japan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong's costly zero-COVID strategy
Japan

7 March 2022 — The zero-COVID strategy may have initially worked for Hong Kong, but a relatively calm 2021 has given way to the chaos of 2022. Last year, instead of beefing up their vaccination rates and health care system, the Hong Kong government settled into complacency and completely squandered the time afforded by the overly strict measures of zero-COVID. Now, the country is in the midst of an uncontrollable outbreak that has left hospitals and morgues overwhelmed.

Japan

Tibet

Sinister Sinicization
Japan

28 February 2022 — China has continued to, and even intensified, its cultural repression of Tibet. Earlier this month, Chinese authorities demolished two Buddha statues in the Tibetan province of Khan, followed by a sweeping crackdown of both civilians and monks. Meanwhile, Beijing has also ramped up the pressure on the installed Panchen Lama to make Tibet’s Buddhism be more acceptable to the CCP.

Japan

North Korea

Firearms instead of food
Japan

21 February 2022 — Despite the quickly inflating price tag on basic commodities, the North Korean government has instead decided to focus to funnel more funds into the display of its military might. In late January 2022, North Korea conducted its largest ballistic missile test since 2017, ringing alarm bells across the peninsula and in Washington. Despite the increasingly real threat of nuclear conflict, North Korea, the US, and US ally South Korea have not joined the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Japan

China

The Winter Olympic's chilling welcome
Japan

7 February 2022 — At the ongoing Winter Olympics, China’s vice grip on civil society is was on full display. Even before the games, the government detained critics so that, as Human Rights Watch senior China researcher Wang Yaqiu said, “nobody can say anything.” During the events, authorities have ramped up the crackdown on free speech, even going as far as dragging a Dutch journalist away—as he was on-air. In protest of China’s grave human rights record, countries like the US, UK, Canada, and India previously announced a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics.

Japan

China

Pulling back the curtain on a crackdown
Japan

25 October 2021 — It’s no secret how China has ramped up its repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. But there seems to be no end to how far Beijing will go to keep a tight grip on Xinjiang. In yet another manifest violation of these ethnic populations’ fundamental rights, Beijing has embarked on a re-education strategy to change how these people “act and speak,” according to the latest findings by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. In Xinjiang and elsewhere in the world, there’s no letup in sight for China’s crimes against humanity.

Japan

North Korea

Starvation looms in the Hermit Kingdom
Japan

18 October 2021 — North Korea is one of only two countries that have not administered any COVID-19 vaccines, according to the World Health Organization. The Hermit Kingdom repeatedly claims zero cases of COVID-19, which is unlikely.But even if true, the pandemic has led to the looming risk of starvation for many North Koreans. The country is subject to international sanctions, which limit trade. It also closed its borders in January 2020.

Japan

China

A suspicious surge
Japan

11 October 2021 — Is the jury still out on China’s pandemic transparency? Orders for polymerase chain reaction tests surged in China’s Hubei Province months before official reports of COVID-19 first emerged, according to data compiled by Australia-based cybersecurity company Internet 2.0. The sale of the tests used to detect coronavirus nearly doubled the 2018 total to 67.4 million yuan ($10.5 million at current rates) in 2019. The company concluded with “high confidence that the pandemic began much earlier than China informed” the World Health Organization about COVID-19.

Japan

South Korea

Backing down on a fuzzy ‘fake news’ bill
Japan

4 October 2021 — It may be hard to imagine a liberal democracy wielding a draconian law commonly associated with autocratic states. But South Korea has attempted to do just that, only to be met with severe backlash for a fake news bill that would make it easier for people to sue the media for “emotional distress.” Amid the outcry from domestic media and international rights groups leery of unwarranted infringement on press freedom, South Korea has shelved the bill.

Japan

Hong Kong

'Cage homes'
Japan

27 September 2021 — Despite its reputation as an affluent city, Hong Kong is also known for ‘cage homes’ where its invisible poor are trapped. By 2031, there should be no “cage homes” in Hong Kong. Such is the vision of a grassroots organization that has called on the government to act decisively to provide suitable housing to 50,000 households still living in these minuscule units. These subdivided apartments are usually smaller than 10 square meters and make physical distancing impossible. A decade hence, will this dream be a reality?

Japan

North Korea

Misguided priorities
Japan

20 September 2021 — Nearly half of all North Koreans are starving, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic, a spate of natural disasters, and widespread poverty have done little to deter North Korea’s efforts to boost its military might. Earlier this month, it successfully fired ballistic missiles from a train for the first time. The launches violate the UN Security Council resolutions barring such tests.

Japan

Japan

Wanted: A better refugee policy
Japan

13 September 2021 — It is rare for Japan to take in foreign nationals fleeing conflict. In 2020, it granted refugee status to 47 people — or 1.2 percent of applicants for refugee status in the country. In the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last August, Japan did not offer help to all Afghans who had worked directly or indirectly with the Japanese government, says Human Rights Watch. The New York-based organization has since urged Japan to “demonstrate its commitment to refugee protection” and urgently support Afghan civilians with ties to it.

Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

China

Putting the squeeze on entertainment
Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

6 September 2021 — In an unprecedented move toward “national rejuvenation,” the Chinese government’s newly enforced ban on effeminate Chinese males and what they call “sissy boys” from television is yet another unmistakable sign of an intensified crackdown on just about every aspect of the nation’s life, including business, culture, and education. The ban is part of an eight-point regulation plan that will reform the entertainment industry.

Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

North Korea

N. Korea's Yongbyon nuclear plant:
Rise from slumber
Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

30 August 2021 — In a recent report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has raised alarms that North Korea may have restarted its five-megawatt Yongbyon nuclear reactor, which had been inactive since December 2018. Through satellite images, the IAEA was able to detect cooling water being discharged out of the nuclear plant, strong evidence of its activity. This reawakening of Yongbyon comes after joint military exercises by South Korea and the United States.

Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

Taiwan

Slaking Taiwan's thirst
Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

24 August 2021 — Torrential rains battered Taiwan early this month, bringing massive floods and landslides to some parts of the country. This, after no typhoon hit the country in 2020, triggering its worst drought in almost 60 years and draining its dams to dangerously low levels. In order to support two water-thirsty industries — agriculture and semiconductors — while providing for domestic needs, environmental activists say Taiwan needs to finally take real, concrete measures against climate change.

Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

South Korea

Ditching long hair as a symbol of traditional femininity
Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

18 August 2021 — The Tokyo Olympics may be over, but South Korean athlete An San, who chose to wear her hair short during the Games and sparked controversy, continues to inspire women to assert their rights. In a manifest demonstration of their feminist stance, women have posted photos of themselves with pixie haircuts. Such acts defy a long-held tradition in South Korean society of wearing long hair as a stark symbol of conventional femininity.

Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

China

China tries to close the workforce gender gap with tax incentives
Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

In a manifest effort to rectify the persistent gender inequality in their workforce, the Chinese government has recently considered providing tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire more women. In China, women in the workplace face prejudiced attitudes. While men continue to dominate the highest rungs of the corporate ladder, women are relegated to low-level positions. Whether the proposed incentives will change the overall employment landscape remains to be seen.

Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

Japan

Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?
Nineteen Olympic gold medal wins for Japan so far, but does #LoveWin?

While it plays host to what is likely the most diverse Olympic Games in history in terms of gender identity, Japan itself has no competing athlete that is openly a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Advocates in the country say their government has yet to pass national legislation that protects their community from discrimination, something they assert is urgently needed so they can live openly, proudly, and safely.