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Saville’s Shout: women in politics … jailbird advice … turning Japanese …

Who says women in politics are any more pure and ethical than the men? Plus a famous jailbird offering financial advice, and the art of isolation.

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Sorry, but free trade agreements are duds, no matter how ‘nuanced’

Bilateral free trade agreements like the one negotiated with Japan deliver few benefits. The only worthwhile trade reform is unilateral tariff reductions. Don’t hold your breath for that.

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‘Free trade’ with Japan: not much to crow about for farmers, exporters

The free trade agreement with Japan is an innocuous win for Tony Abbott that won’t help farmers and other exporters all that much, writes Leith van Onselen of MacroBusiness.

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A legal win, but the whales may not have been saved just yet

The United Nations has ruled that Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic must stop. But there’s more to this decision than meets the eye …

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Death-defying diplomacy when Abbott’s three-ring circus rolls into Asia

Tony Abbott will be trying to appease China, Japan and South Korea on his upcoming Asian tour. Competing interests, a lack of planning and a whirlwind itinerary mean the trip will be fraught.

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Tokyo drift: Japan could prove James Packer’s trump card

James Packer’s Crown group is eyeing up the lucrative Japanese market, which is likely to soon legalise casino gambling. But he will face stiff competition to secure the sought-after licences.

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Asian jitters: Japan, China and Australia picking sides?

Japan and China are stoking age-old tensions of late. But so far there has not been a peep from Canberra condemning Australia’s new best friend. Should we be taking sides?

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How Japan is uniting the world (against it)

Crikey readers talk media beat-ups and the trouble brewing between our Pacific neighbours.

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Abbott turning Japanese, China fuming, Bishop stuck in the middle

Tony Abbott’s strange decision to support Japan and the US over China has angered our biggest trading partner. With Abbott planning a trip to China in April, he will have to tread very carefully.

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Meet the US scientists who are legitimising Japanese whaling

Perhaps Japan’s so-called “scientific” whaling is exactly that? Crikey reveals that US researchers are publishing papers based on the results, casting some doubt on Australia’s claim the science is a sham.

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Media briefs: Reith in Fairfax … SMH‘s world … Nippon ‘racist’ ad …

Peter Reith joins Fairfax as a regular columnist. And other media tidbits.

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Tread with care: Australian military trains up China’s rivals

The Australian military has trained up almost 1000 soldiers from Vietnam and the Philippines — countries which China is in dispute. We’ll need to tread carefully if regional conflicts worsen.

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Taking care of business: Abbott and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Coalition has promised to involve industry groups more in trade negotiations. But Dr Matthew Rimmer of the ANU College of Law argues industry already has too much influence.

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Free trade crusade is easier said than done

Freelance journalist David Donaldson says the incoming Abbott government will have to balance the free-trade ethos of the Liberals with the protectionism of the Nationals. It won’t be easy.

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Having a whale of a time at the ICJ, where diplomacy gets mean

Legal tempers are fraying as Australia takes on Japanese whaling in the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands. Priya de Langen, a freelance writer based in The Hague, sat in the courthouse for Crikey.

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As the ICJ meets, some history on Japanese whaling

Australia’s anti-whaling case against Japan in the International Court of Justice is entering its second week. Author and researcher John Newton takes a look at the history of Japanese whaling.

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Crikey Clarifier: Australia v Japan in a whale of a case

Hearings in Australia’s case against Japanese whaling at the International Court of Justice will begin next week. ANU law professor Donald R. Rothwell looks at our case and at what happens next.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

CO2 reaches a milestone we don’t want, and other tidbits from today.

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Japan might turn it on, but nuclear hits trouble elsewhere

Nuclear power and the fate of its closed stations are a touchstone issue in Japanese domestic politics.

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Science or sushi? What we’ve learned from whaling

The only legal reason Japan can hunt whales is for “scientific research”. As the annual whale war approaches, Crikey looks at the science coming out of whaling to see if it is trash or treasure.

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Japan’s elections signal disillusionment and change

Japanese voters throw out a liberal government after three years of political instability, economic failure and the bungled handling of a devastating natural disaster. But nuclear power could be back on the agenda.

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No island holiday for Doraemon, caught between Japan and China

Try being a Japanese icon in the Middle Kingdom this week. Kway Teow reports from Beijing that not even Doraemon can calm tensions between two superpowers over disputed islands.

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Japan’s nuclear power retreat bad news for uranium

Japan’s announced phasing-out of nuclear power by 2040 is the latest blow to an industry that has been reeling since Fukushima. Our governments should be nervous, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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Media briefs: Smith v Murdoch … ciggie front pages … ad revenue data …

In today’s Media Briefs: Smith v Murdoch: an exercise in vanity … Front Page of the Day … News Corp announces anti-corruption boss … Getty Images bought by private equity …

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Washington Post | ASIA-PACIFIC|

Walk the streets of post-tsunami Japan

Google Street View has been updated to include nearly every street from every town affected by the Japan tsunami back in March. All the images come from July- November this year.

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