the asia we dont think about
June 22, 2007 7:48pm CST
sub-sahara africa dominates the world's policy debates on development as well as various anti-poverty campaigns.this is a euro americancentric trend that reflects their political and business interest. what is too often overlooked is that the worl's poverty is mostly is asia, right nest door. in envisioning the future of the world, say about 50years from now, the globe turns to asia as the center of the earth's economic gravity. this future would perhaps show us an asia that spans the northern and the southern hemispheres like a sliced apple--from china and japan in the north all the way to down under australia and new zealand, through countries of southeastand south asia. pumping the asia's economic dynamism would be the world's two most populous nations--india with the largest population by then followed by china. this is not the asia commonlythought of by the japanese public, politicians and business leaders alike.south asia has been apopular blind spot, attracting the least japanese interest. but it is in south asia where the world's poverty is concentrated. to be sure, the plight of a africa's poor is not to be devalued. but, its dominance on the global poverty agenda need to be balanced. japan has to begin thinking more seriously about poverty reduction in asia. and it is necessary to do for south asia.