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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?

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They squealed, they pressed close with their microphones, they stayed up late to be with him in his hotel and they got up early the next morning to jog alongside him at dawn. Rarely have Hong Kong's legions of female reporters been so excited about a visi ting hunk of manhood. Leonardo DiCaprio? No, Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou - the man who, it's said, women in Taiwan would most like to have a baby with. That was obviously the topic on the mind of one reporter, who asked Ma, 48, if it was true he was the bes t lover in Taiwan. Another told him it was much more fun to be with him than with Hong Kong's bristle-topped Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa - prompting Ma to joke that he hoped Tung wouldn't make it difficult for him to get a visa next time he returned. Wh en will that be? Nobody knows, but not soon enough for the ladies of the media, obviously.


With heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Japanese Justice Minister Nakamura Shozaburo probably didn't need enemies. But he had plenty all the same in the ranks of the parliamentary opposition. Nakamura, 64, gave them ammunition a couple of times with a con troversial comment here and a dubious display of power there. But in the end, it was his admiration for "Schwachan" ("Adorable Hunk") - as Schwarzenegger is known in Japan - that was his undoing. Critics wanted to know why the minister had let the Hollywo od star into the country without a passport - and why a handwritten note from the actor, explaining that he had lost the travel document, had gone missing. Had Nakamura taken it home as a keepsake? He said he didn't have total recall on that. Employment t erminated.


Pirinya Kiatbusaba must have thought he had done the tough bit. With a string of victories to his name, the 18-year-old Thai transvestite had shown his taunters that you can have a fondness for lipstick and nail varnish and still survive in the brutal wor ld of kickboxing. Now, though, he discovers he has an even bigger test to face. Pirinya wants to have a sex-change operation, but his doctor doesn't think he is ready just yet. Come back when you have been living as a woman for a while, was the message from Dr. Supot Sumritvanitcha, director of Bangkok's Yanhee Hospital. Pirinya acknowledges that wearing women's clothes in front of family and friends is going to take a lot more courage than braving a kick to the solar plexus. But he seems determined to go through with it. After a number of gu est appearances on TV, Pirinya has developed a taste for showbusiness. For him, gender-bending fisticuffs are a thing of the past.

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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