Three items that have caught my eye of late:
Aid Groups Temper Their Contribution
International relief organizations are raising donations, delivering water and blankets, and setting up children’s centers to aid victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
But compared with last year’s earthquake in Haiti or the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people, they are holding back much of their most ambitious aid-giving.
They say that is partly because Japan, one of the world’s wealthiest nations, has the ability to deal with the disaster’s aftermath largely on its own—and partly because the government hasn’t asked for much aid from many groups.
Still, harsh conditions, including destroyed infrastructure and fears of radiation, are hampering relief efforts, and despite Japan’s considerable skills, many needs aren’t being met. Nearly half a million people are camped out in about 2,500 refugee centers that have been set up in public buildings such as schools and are surviving on basic rations.
What the Japan crisis means for Asian manufacturing hub
Across East Asia, people have been on edge over the risk of deadly radiation spreading from Japan. While that possibility is still remote, the ripples from a severe economic blow to Japan may prove more lasting for developing countries that depend on Japanese trade and investment.
Economists say it’s too early to know the full financial impact of Friday’s magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, given the evolving nuclear-plant crisis. However, Barclays Capital has estimated that the total cost could exceed 3 percent of Japanese GDP. This would mean an increased burden on Japan’s government, which is already heavily indebted, and on Japanese companies that must replace destroyed assets.
How will Japan disaster affect the upcoming Thai election?
As we know, an earthquake and then a tsunami hit Japan last Friday causing the death of thousands and the displacement of hundreds of thousands, but this is a blog about Thai politics so ultimately the question is, what is the impact on Thailand and particularly the upcoming Thai election? (the election will most likely to be held on June 19, June 26 or July 3 after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced that parliament will be dissolved in the first week of May).