Friday, April 13, 2007

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Asahi Shimbun

The Japan-China summit

TOKYO — For the first time since October 2000, a Chinese leader is coming to Japan.

More than anything, visits by national leaders raise public awareness in both countries, and are good opportunities for the people to erase misunderstandings and distrust. Such visits also show that actual efforts are being made to improve relations.

If one considers the need for regional progress and safety, including the creation of an East Asian Community, it is all too evident that cooperation, not conflict, should be sought.

Japan needs to further dialogue and cooperation so that China’s future will benefit Japan and the region. The other Asian countries, anxious about China’s increasing importance, including its military buildup, no doubt expect Japan to play that role.

Japan-China relations were seriously damaged during former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s time in office. We would like the Chinese premier’s visit to send a message to the world that the two countries are serious about repairing the rift and about taking further steps for better ties.

Lietuvos Rytas

The cost of emigration

VILNIUS, Lithuania — A new poll has revealed a shocking truth: More than 20,000 children have been left by parents, who emigrated to work abroad. Most of those children — very lonely and deprived of basic care — are raised by strangers. These children tend to become more absent-minded and aggressive.

We often hear loud condemnation of those who left their loved ones in search of better pay. But before condemning emigrants, we should ask what makes people abandon those who are most important to them and travel to a strange land in hopes of earning more money for their family?

These people are eager to build something they never had: cozy homes and a brighter future for their children.

Imagine those same 20,000 or more staying in Lithuania, existing on an allowance or humiliating pay for odd jobs. For most, leaving was the only choice.

Had they not left, the army of unemployed would be even larger and crime rate possibly higher. There is no reason to be angry with people who decided to sacrifice their children’s today for a better tomorrow.


About climate change

OSLO — The year’s second report from the United Nations international climate panel is the most clear documentation yet of the impact of manmade climate change.

The climate experts behind the report aren’t just predicting the dramatic changes global warming can bring in the coming decades. They also demonstrated that the effect of increased [carbon dioxide] emissions is already a fact.

Therefore, we know that even large emissions cuts in coming decades will not be enough to avoid the comprehensive consequences of the emissions that have already been released. Glaciers are already melting and the oceans are on the verge of rising because of temperature increase over large parts of the globe.

The political drama of these findings was underscored by the difficult negotiations on the final draft that was signed in Brussels. The United States, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia tried to tone down the content. These are powerful and populous countries that must join in if a future international climate agreement is to work.

These countries’ behavior is a result of a reluctant attitude that will take strong international pressure to change. The steadily more compelling evidence of the damage caused by man-made climate change means that time has run out for downplaying the unpleasant facts as a way of reducing their own obligations.

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