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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story


By Alexandra A. Seno

The Best Defense Is a Good Offense

HONG KONG'S JACKIE CHAN, 43, knows defense. That's apparent from the hundreds of on-screen fight sequences that made him an international action hero. And it seems that Chan knows how to apply those same reflexes to his financial dealings. Like in the theme-restaurant business. While he was happy to pose for pictures and pool money with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone to open the region's Planet Hollywood franchise, Chan is equally enthusiastic about his investment in Star East, Asia's answer to the American chain. Backed by such Chinese film celebrities as actress Anita Mui and comedian Eric Tsang, Star East expects to open its first eatery on Nov. 1 -- some 2,000 square meters in the 5-star Garden Hotel in Guangzhou. And the plan calls for about 20 more outlets around the world. Next: Los Angeles in March. While the food is different at Star East -- you can have mango tea and Singapore noodles instead of just the usual Coke and burger -- at least one shareholder is the same. So Chan is perfectly positioned should the Asian upstart start eating into Planet's market.

Pressing On

He may have to strut a stage in nothing but skimpy swimwear, but muscleman Ade Rai, 27, is proud of what he does. "It's not like I am belly-dancing," he says. "My sport is an art and a science -- like architecture." Even before winning a gold medal in the recent Southeast Asian Games, he gained the respect of his countrymen by becoming the first Indonesian to win the Mr. Asia and Muscle Mania contests, two heavyweight events on the international body-building circuit. Despite his success and local popularity, Ade will be taking an extended break from competition soon. He is writing a book on body-building for beginners. And, as a degree-holder in international relations from Jakarta's prestigious University of Indonesia, he wants to become his country's ambassador for the sport.

Lightning Strikes Once

Amuro Namie, Japan's biggest pop star, is about to get bigger. And very soon. The 20-year-old is having a baby. At a recent Tokyo press conference, she revealed that she is three months pregnant by singer-dancer Maruyama Masaharu, the 35-year-old man she had married the day before. The two exchanged rings at a private civil ceremony that the local press was quick to brand a "lightning wedding." News of Amuro's expectant state prompted tabloids to rush special editions to print. While many had known that the saccharine songstress and the trendy techno-rapper (he is a member of the music group trf) had been dating since early this year, the nuptials came as a surprise. "It may seem sudden but the marriage is a natural thing for us," said the groom, better known as Sam. "We will do our best. I would like everybody to look after us warmly." The couple became close while working together under Komuro Tetsuya, the super-producer. A spokes-person for Avex, the record label they both work for, had this to say to Asiaweek: "We do not really think their careers will be affected by the marriage." That depends on what he means by affected. For one, Amuro has indicated she will take a year off from performing.

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

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