Jonathan Watts

China’s investment fever too high

A senior Chinese minister warned recently that the world's fastest growing economy is in danger of overheating as expansion outstrips power supplies, threatens production quality and raises the risk of oversupply.

Japan’s new junk market

''Never forget your original intention.'' The four-character saying was inked with elegant brushstrokes, marked with the seal of a calligraphy master and set in a black lacquer frame. I picked it up on a rubbish dump during my first week in Japan.

China’s growth ‘unsustainable’

Its economy is growing at a staggering rate and its people are beginning to enjoy a better diet. But the head of the UN's environment programme has warned that China's growth -- and ambitious plans for the future -- are unsustainable.

Homeless in Tokyo

If David Beckham had peered down from the 38th-floor window of his swanky Tokyo hotel last week, he might have wondered why the vast green park opposite was flecked with blue tarpaulins.

Asia can’t mask Sars cost

It is with a guilty sigh that Yoshi Izumi admits his firm is doing rather well out of the virus that is terrifying millions of people in Asia and threatening the economies of several nations in the region.

US won’t rule out North Korean strike

The US's top arms control envoy refused to rule out a military strike on North Korea this week, saying all options remained on the table to secure Pyongyang's compliance with nuclear nonproliferation accords, raising the stakes in the four-month stand-off.

Sumo’s fading star

To millions of Japanese sumo fans it was as if a black hole had suddenly opened where the brightest star in the sporting firmament had previously burned. After years of injuries and comebacks Takanohana, one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of sumo, hung up his loincloth.

N Korea confesses to abductions

It will rank as a stunning confession to one of the most bizarre crimes ever committed by a state. This week North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il said his country's special forces abducted at least a dozen Japanese nationals during the 1970s and 1980s in a fit of patriotic overzealousness.

Kiwis set for world’s first GM poll

The clean, green reputation of New Zealand -- an image worth millions, according to the environment industry -- is under threat along with its government in a row over GM crops that is overwhelming this week's general election. Nearly four million voters go to the polls on Saturday.

Bora! Bora! Bora!

His team lost their first game in South Korea, but Bora Milutinovic can still lay a strong claim to being the most popular manager in the history of the World Cup. He is the only coach to have guided four nations to the second round of the tournament.

Emergency Diet

Japan is suffering from a deflation of political as well as economic values if the current unproductive, ill-natured and destructive parliamentary session is anything to go by

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