Asia

Japan Prefectures: COVID-19 Fatality Rates and Urban Densities

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Japan has done remarkably well in controlling the Covid-19 virus. The nation’s death rate per million population at 0.9, is very low by international standards and the lowest among the G-7 nations. Yet there are significant variations among the prefectures — as elsewhere — by urban densities.  read more »

China and India Rejecting Renewables for Coal-fired Futures

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China and India are NOT buying into the global alarm movement. Never in human history have we seen two countries (China and India), each with over a billion people, in need of such gargantuan amounts of energy to keep their economies accelerating and their citizens alive.  read more »

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Chinese Science Fiction's Disaster Dystopias

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In Ma Jian’s new novel, the protagonist, Ma Daode, may be a corrupt, womanizing local official, but he is a corrupt, womanizing local official with a mission. His goal is to develop a drug that will allow President Xi Jinping’s vision of a glorious Chinese future to dominate not only citizens’ daily lives but their sleeping hours as well. This is his utopian quest. The China dream, Ma Daode suggests, “is not the selfish, individualist dream chased by Western countries.  read more »

Slower Municipality Growth in China: 2010-2019

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China, which many see as the exemplar of rapid urban growth, is accelerating its own shift towards greater dispersion.

During the 2000s, the largest municipalities (formerly called prefectures) of China grew very quickly. Much of this was a result of an increasing “floating population,” people who moved to the cities from rural areas for employment, especially in factories producing goods for export and in construction. Between 2000 and 2010, according to the China Statistical Yearbook: 2019, the floating  read more »

Face Panties

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I bought some washable masks for everyday outings. My neighbor took one look at them in the laundry and instantly labeled them...

Some years ago I was enjoying another visit to Japan when I noticed ordinary people wearing face masks. It wasn’t everyone. And it wasn’t all the time. But it was common enough that no one seemed to notice or care.  read more »

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Demographia World Urban Areas, 2020: Tokyo Lead Diminishing

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For the first time in more than six decades the world’s second ranked built-up urban area has reached within 10% of leader Tokyo. The 2020 edition of Demographia World Urban Areas reports that Jakarta has reached a population of 34.5 million, behind Tokyo-Yokohama’s 38.0 million (Figure 1). The report can be downloaded here (Note 1).  read more »

Culture and Coronavirus: Pohang Journal

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Korea’s success, to date, in limiting the spread of the new coronavirus without extensive lockdowns has been widely acknowledged. A May 6, 2020 Atlantic article provides an excellent description of the “trace, test and treat” system employed here. The text messages used to trace new infections are even more detailed than described.  read more »

Viral Politics

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Long after the pandemic has receded, its long-term impact on our society and political life will continue. Just as plagues past have reshaped the trajectory of cities and civilizations, sometimes with fearsome morbidity, COVID-19 is already having a profoundly disruptive impact on our political future.  read more »

Home Ownership: Cornerstone of Singapore’s Housing Policy

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The following is the Introduction to the 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which rates housing affordability in more than 300 metropolitan markets in eight nations in the third quarter of 2019. This Introduction relies on Internet and academic sources and information from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) of Singapore.  read more »

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Manila's Decade Volcano

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The 25 million residents of the world’s fourth largest city (urban area) can rest a bit easier, as the Taal volcano has become less threatening in the last few days. But there is still severe disruption, especially for the many people who have been forced to evacuate.

This article includes a brief description of the developments since the January 20 eruption and compares Manila to other major metropolitan areas also threatened by dangerous volcanoes (Seattle and Naples).  read more »