World View: Japan, Mongolia Cooperate to Counter China's Influence

This morning's key headlines from

  • Japan and Mongolia cooperate to counter China's influence
  • Racial hatred suspected in shooting of Bangladeshis in Greece
  • Greece looks 'like 1930s Germany' as neo-Nazis gain support

Japan and Mongolia cooperate to counter China's influence

Norov Altankhuyag and Shinzo Abe in Mongolia (Kyodo)
Norov Altankhuyag and Shinzo Abe in Mongolia (Kyodo)

The purpose of the recent visit by Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe to Mongolia is to counter China's increasing influence in Mongolia and other parts of Asia. Mongolia has large deposits of coal, copper, gold and uranium, and is also believed to be rich in rare metals and rare earths. But Japan is racing with Chinese firms that are stepping up efforts to acquire firms controlling Mongolian mines, giving China effective control over these mines. Abe's meetings with Mongolia's prime minister Norov Altankhuyag in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, had these purposes:

  • Improve business environment for Japanese companies in Mongolia.
  • Approve Japanese loans to Mongolia to build infrastructure.
  • Provide Japanese imports of Mongolia's giant coal deposits, to supply fuel to replace Japan's now off-line nuclear power stations.
  • Secure Mongolian support for the dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku / Diaoyu islands.
According to Mongolia's president Tsakhia Elbegdorj, "It has been said many times that with Mongolia's wealthy resources and Japan's hi-tech, we can develop complementary cooperation, and now is the time [for this] to be realized." However, speculation is that Mongolia and Japan are developing a trilateral framework, along with the United States, to counter China's influence.

Altankhuyag also promised to assist in easing tensions between North and South Korea, as Mongolia has a normal relationship with North Korea. Jamestown and Japan Times

Racial hatred suspected in shooting of Bangladeshis in Greece

About 30 migrant workers, mostly from Bangladesh, were wounded in a shooting on a strawberry farm in Nea Manolada, a village east of Athens, in Greece. According to a spokesman for the migrants, more than 150 Bangladeshis were working on the farm and had not been paid in six months. The workers began a strike three days ago. The owner called them in, promising payment, and then he and some foremen opened fire on the workers. The incident has outraged many Greeks fearing racial hatred and violence, and even the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party condemned the barbaric shooting. Police are searching for three foremen to be charged with attempted manslaughter. Kathimerini (Athens) and BDnews24 (Bangladesh)

Greece looks 'like 1930s Germany' as neo-Nazis gain support

The neo-Nazi party Chrysi Avgi, or Golden Dawn, has been gaining supporters in Greece as the financial crisis has deepened. Polls show that the party holds 10-12% of voter support, up from almost zero in 2009. At a recent rally of over 1,000 neo-Nazis, party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, 55, bellowed: "No one can stop us -- not the bombs, not all your filth. We will triumph!" His listeners raised their right arms and yelled "Zito!," a phrase meant to sound like "Heil!" In parts of Athens where migrants live, small bands of extremists calling themselves "stormtroopers" roam the streets and beat foreigners and leftists with clubs, baseball bats and knives. Michaloliakos himself is a Holocaust denier, and says that Adolf Hitler is "A historic figure, who is not judged objectively. Spiegel

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