The Daily Brief for Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The DailyBrief

Wednesday December 28, 2016

India’s cash crunch took a fresh twist as the government announced on Wednesday that those found with large amounts of the newly scrapped banknotes will face jail sentences. In the country’s ongoing battle against its shadow economy, anyone found with significant quantities of demonetized 500 and 1,000 rupee notes after December 31 will be liable to a jail term of up to four years and a fine of five times the value of the money they are caught with.

It’s 40 years since the trigger was pulled on the Lockheed bribery scandal – an event that led to the biggest political upheaval in postwar Japan and the arrest of Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. But how far was the US government involved in Tanaka’s downfall? Investigative journalist Eiichiro Tokumoto has delved into archives and eye-witness testimony to seek some answers.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a symbolic visit to Pearl Harbor with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, commemorating the victims of his country’s World War II attack and promising that it would never wage war again. The visit, just weeks before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, was meant to highlight the strength of the US-Japan alliance amid concerns that Trump could forge a more complicated relationship with Tokyo.

Beijing-based designer Guo Pei, who hit the limelight in the US after the singer Rihanna wore one of her extravagant gowns, may be quiet and softly-spoken in person, but her outfits are anything but toned down. She speaks to Asia Times about her passion for detail, extravagance and eccentricity.