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Asia in the New Year

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The world watched as monumental protests, landmark court cases and dramatic policy shifts took place in Asia over the past 12 months, as depicted in this video from the WSJ Foreign Bureau. Below is a summary of some of the most major events to hit Asia in the past year, prompting questions of what the new year has in store.

China: Tension continued to mount over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, the CCP's 3rd Plenum in November brought relaxation of the one-child policy and "re-education" through labor camps, and the superpower's Yutu "Jade Rabbit" rover successfully landed on the moon in December.

Thailand: Slashing the price of rice in June inspired massive protests by farmers against the Thai government. Protests would intensify later in the year as tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied in the capitol against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother.

Japan: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies and the depreciation of the Yen are credited with leading the country to recovery after the 2008 recession, according to ABC news. Japan largely ignored China's declaration of a no-fly zone in November.

India: Social issues stole the spotlight in India last year. Four men were convicted in September for the rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi, a case that sparked widespread conversation about gender roles and rights within India. The Indian Supreme court reversed a 2009 decision that decriminalized homosexual acts, putting the responsibility on Parliament to decide legality.

North Korea: The country's third nuclear test was carried out in February, and Kim Jong Un made a series of nuclear threats against the U.S. and South Korea in the Spring. The Supreme Leader also spent the year further consolidated his power, most recently through the purge of his uncle and close advisor Jang Song-thaek.



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