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March 2007

Japan Takes Aim: Asia’s most advanced fleet looks beyond the horizon. Monocle gains exclusive access to the world’s only non-existent navy.

Issue 1 cover
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Last stand

Shoe production in the US has dropped 85 per cent since 1995 and around 90 shoe factories have closed as companies shift production overseas. Iconic American brands such as Timberland, Converse, Sebago, Johnston & Murphy…

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Light Fantastic

The Austrian lighting company BLL leads the industry with its progressive thinking, installing life-enhancing systems at hospitals, airports and the new Cairo Museum. Soon it will focus its light-direction technologies on…

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Class act

In 1949, Taiwan had one university, three colleges and a student population of just 5,000. Now there are 154 institutes of higher education, and almost a million students. This boom is partly attributable to the growth in…

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La Chaux-de-Fonds

La Chaux-de-Fonds is the traditional heart of the Swiss watch industry. In 2005 the country exported watches worth €7.7bn, accounting for 9 per cent of the nation’s total exports. Switzerland dominates the luxury end of the…

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On the Money

Chile is a stable, democratic regime that continues to liberalise its economy. Rich in natural resources, especially copper, its fortunes have traditionally followed a boom and bust cycle according to the market price for…

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Germany's Bottle Bank

Germany is the eighth biggest exporter of wine, shipping 280 million litres in 2005; but it’s also the world’s largest importer of wine, buying 1.19 billion litres the same year. Like France, the country has struggled…

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Back to black

Almost 20 per cent of Sweden’s population live in greater Stockholm, making the pressure for housing intense. Many of the city’s 180,000 apartments are co-ops. So, when you find a great flat, you are reluctant to leave it…

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Reel Rebel

For the past eight years, Assaad Taha’s company, Hot Spot, has been making films for the Al-Jazeera TV network. His mission? To uncover and objectively report injustices through Arab eyes, while staying firmly opposed “to…

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Baja or Bust

If you’ve had enough of the Antwerp to Brussels commute, relocate your life. Every month we’ll take you to an emerging business hub and tell you everything you need to build a new company and enjoy a better standard of…

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Naval Gazing

Under its post-war constitution, Japan is not allowed a navy, only a Self-Defence Force. Yet, today, the country has one of the largest, most sophisticated fleets in the world. Tensions with North Korea and China have also…

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Observation Issue 01

The inspiration for this venture came about either in the living room of my Aunt Anita’s house in Toronto 32 years ago or around a table at Die Brücke in Hamburg circa 1991. Regardless of dates and location, the spark was…

Global

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Inventory No. 1

Inventory is an international round up of what to buy and where to buy it. On our first monthly shopping list we’ve sourced a pair of Norwegian rain-cheaters, a two-tub mane tamer and three South African beers to wash down…

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Diary of a movie deal

The Sundance Film Festival, held every January in Park City, Utah, attracts 45,000 film-makers, buyers, distributors, agents, celebrities, journalists, movie buffs and wannabes. This year 125 pictures were showing, all…

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Well Played

Founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, Lego started life in the wooden toy business. Derived from the Danish words *‘leg’* (play) and *‘godt’* (well), the company’s play-well concept has turned Lego into one of the most…

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Trigger Happy

Dundee is a key hub for the world’s computer games industry. And not just any games. The city’s software houses are responsible for some of the most violent titles ever produced, including *Grand Theft Auto*. Why Dundee?…

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