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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

Nakata's Nimble Feat

BY ALEXANDRA A. SENO


HE WAS VOTED 1997 player of the year by the Asian Football Confederation. He was the only Asian among 61 players vying for a place in FIFA's World Cup All-Star team. Now Nakata Hidetoshi may well emerge as the first Japanese soccer star to win a contract with a European team. Although Japan lost all the three games it played in the World Cup, the orange-haired midfielder is reportedly being wooed by Italian football club Perugia with a multi-million contract. That's quick work for 21-year-old Nakata. He joined the Japanese national team only last year. Several other European clubs have also expressed interest, but Nakata is playing it cool. "Nothing has been decided," he says. "I will go to the place which offers the best conditions." Or he might decide to stay with his Japanese club Bellmare Hiratsuka, based near Tokyo. But signs are that Nakata may be heading for Europe before long - he is taking Italian and English lessons.

A Question of Scout's Honor

Is Singapore showbiz personality Dick Lee really reduced to paper-shuffling? Normally the talent, the singer-composer-music director has turned talent scout. As a Sony vice-president, Lee will now have to deal with such mundane matters as expense accounts and leave applications. The thought of being tied down had made Lee apprehensive about taking on the job. "But my duties are mainly creative," he says. The creator of such productions as Nagaland and singer Jacky Cheung's hit Snow, Wolf, Lake will still pursue his passion for musical theater. Lee's next attraction: a 1990s version of The World of Suzie Wong, in collaboration with the Chinese-American playwright David Henry Huang.

Adding a Touch of Soul in Hong Kong

To his fans, Hong Kong pop idol Alex To is young and gifted. And if he sounds a little, well, black, in his upcoming Mandarin album, they will know who to thank. Vastine "Wink" Pettis, the singer's voice coach and producer, is a rare soul man in Hong Kong's music scene. The American sax player arrived in the territory in 1991 to play in a local band, and has since carved out a niche as songwriter to the stars. "There's no one like me here," says Pettis. In recent years, the 37-year-old has noticed a few changes. "The new music sounds really black," he says. "Mando-pop is moving on." Welcome news for music lovers fed up with saccharine.


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