As a journalist, I have been reporting about the social, political and economic state of affairs in Southeast Asia through the looking glass of the people’s livelihood.
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Thank you for visiting this site, The People of Southeast Asia, from among the three hundred million plus websites available worldwide.
More than 30 years ago, before I went to Vietnam on self-assignment, a former refugee from Vietnam who worked at an electric installation gave me 50,000 yen to support my activities as a journalist. He knew that my reportages in Southeast Asia always wound up in the red. But to accept contribution from him would be a contradiction, it would make me wonder why I am determined to cover the north/south issue in Southeast Asia. I thought I should decline his contribution, but I did not want to nullify his intentions. So, when I arrived at Ho Chi Minh City, I search for his sister who was selling shoes in that city and placed 5 100-US dollar bills in her hand, telling her “this is from your brother”.
The articles on this website are not in high demand. Therefore, these news coverages do not wind up on commercial media, including newspapers, magazines, television and even internet news sites. Many of these articles can be brought to you because this is a private website. It is difficult to make a living with this theme, as I have poured money into this site from not only my earnings covering news and documentary within my 38-year career as a journalist, but also through earnings from covering other topics such as dining, tourism, sports and music.
As television companies balance their budget through advertisement and television shopping shows, so also have I funded this theme through earning made from individuals and corporations who requested video productions.
News coverage with limited funds are restricted in many ways. Sometimes there are no funds to cover certain things which otherwise might be recommended. On the other hand, there is freedom to plan and edit, as there is no need to bow to corporate donors and sponsors. Thanks to the people of Southeast Asia and Japan, who understand my perspective, and who have supported me through their work in translations and in pointing me to stories, has it been possible for me to continue my reportages. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude.
At this time, peace has come to Southeast Asia. Regular people can come to Japan for work and tourism. A lot of Japanese corporations have set themselves up in Southeast Asia. Currently foreign nationals constitute 3% of the population and continue to increase in Southeast Asia. It is my utmost pleasure if this site can serve as a bridge to mutual understanding between you the readers and The People of Southeast Asia.
Shinichi Asabe, Journalist
Member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society, the Asia Press Club and the Asia Writers Club
Shinichi Asabe was born in Ashiya, Japan in 1957. While attending Osaka University of Arts, he studied at the London College of Printing and interned at Eastern Daily Press in Norwich, U.K. After graduating the university in 1981, he was employed as a photographer by Mainichi Newspaper, a major nation-wide newspaper corporation. In 1987 he started to cover the socio-political and economic state of affairs in Southeast Asia as a photojournalist. He left the newspaper company in 1992 and became a freelance photojournalist based in Tokyo and contributed to magazines, television companies and news agencies. In 1998, he was employed by RKB Mainichi, a major television station in Fukuoka, Japan where he worked as a news reporter and TV director until his retirement in 2017. He has since worked freelance and founded Asayan Planning in 2018, an internet video production.
The Mainichi Newspapers, Kyodo News, The Asahi Simbun, Iwanami Shoten, SHINCHOSHA, KODANSHA, Weekly Kinyobi, RKB Mainichi, NHK, TBS, TXV, Asahi Newstar, TVN, Love FM, Yahoo!News, and etc.