The Policy File

Your weekly round up of Asia-Pacific policy links and analysis

Kelly Hayward

Uncategorized

12 February 2016

Each week on the Policy File we round up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at the Philippine elections, Japan’s financial market wobbles and India’s ambitions.

Philippines presidential hopefuls have begun campaigning for the top job as the country’s new leader in an election which will see an estimated 54 million Filipinos head to the polls on May 9. Mong Palatino on New Mandala takes a look at what the top five candidates could offer the country, while Katerina Francisco on Rappler says Senator Grace Poe is already a frontrunner, polling as the top pick for the country’s switched on digital audience.

Thailand has rewritten its constitution again this year for the twentieth time since the overthrow of absolute monarchy in 1932. The President of the Constitution Drafting Committee, Meechai Ruchupanhas says he has chosen a different path from his predecessors, but Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang says the latest constitution drafting committee are likely to reflect the views of the government. Werachon Sukondhapatipak on the Bangkok Post says the new constitution needs to reflect the views of people.

Shawn W Crispin on The Diplomat looks at the staying power of Thailand’s military and says the junta are likely to remain in power for the foreseeable future, while Paul Sanderson on Policy Forum looks at the country’s rocky road to democracy and says the new Thai constitution will more likely err towards dictatorship rather than democracy.

Japan’s financial markets were in turmoil this week as stocks fell more than five per cent, the country’s largest fall in almost three years. David Scutt on Business Insider breaks down the figures and considers the impact on Japan’s financial markets. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, says Japan’s volatile financial markets are encouraging global investors to seek safety in the yen.

On Policy Forum Sylvia Mishra looks at India’s growing influence and ambition in the Asia-Pacific region and considers whether the country could be a counterweight to China in the East and South China Sea. Harsh V Pant looks at India’s growing naval power in the region and says the recent International Fleet Review highlights the increasing importance of maritime issues in New Delhi. The Brookings Institute looks at India’s growing influence from a US perspective and considers the country’s relationship with its South Asian neighbours, including both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This week an Indonesian court sentenced seven men to jail for links to the extremist group known as Islamic State (IS). In Time Tara John looks at Indonesia’s long battle with Islamic extremism, while Victor Mallet says a surge in IS-claimed attacks suggests its extremist ideology is extending its influence in Asia. Omer Majeed, meanwhile, looks at how the world could unite against terrorism.

Don’t forget, you can debate key public policy issues by joining the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society’s LinkedIn group – a closed group exclusive to Society Members. Be part of the conversation – we’ll see you there.

Enjoy your weekend!

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