The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 6 March 2017

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Keep the party going

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could stay on as party leader until 2021

There was a time when Japanese prime ministers came and went with the frequency of fashion trends. On Sunday the decision by the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP) to extend its leader’s term limit by three years could allow Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to keep his job as party leader for nine years, up to 2021. No Japanese leader since the Second World War has held the office for that long and given the opposition’s low support ratings Abe is likely to make history in his second stint as prime minister. LDP officials say the change brings stability at a time when Japan is trying to raise its profile on the global stage. It will also give Abe more time to mobilise support for a legal revision to allow ailing Emperor Akihito’s abdication and a controversial amendment to the country’s post-war pacifist constitution.

Business

Image: Alamy

Workers on the move

Italians hungry for work look to the EU – but where should they go?

It’s not necessarily high unemployment that makes a population inclined to relocate. According to a survey by human capital management firm ADP, 88 per cent of Italians would forgo la dolce vita to chase work. It may have pasta and sunshine on its side but at 10th place Italy flops when it comes to attracting workers to its shores. Perhaps unsurprisingly Germany, the UK and France top the list of most-desired destinations. How Brexit and this year’s elections will affect those nations’ rankings has yet to be seen. The research shows Polish and Swiss workers are the most satisfied with their employment so could it be time to consider a move to Warsaw or Zürich instead?

International relations

Image: Getty Images

Rocky relationship

China’s nationwide anti-Korean sentiment is on the rise

South Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate is the latest victim of China’s nationwide anti-Korean sentiment. Many of Lotte Group’s 100 plus department stores operating across 24 provinces in China are facing boycotts and abrupt Chinese regulations and fines. The two nations’ bilateral relationship cooled when the group approved a land swap with the South Korean government to establish the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system, whose radar could penetrate Chinese territory. But it's not only the Lotte Group that’s being targeted: Seoul-manufactured Hyundai cars have also been vandalised. The boycott recalls the month-long anti-Japan protest over the Diaoyudao (or Senkaku islands) in 2012. But while the populist act might temporarily curb K-pop and Korean products, it will be forgotten as soon as the leaders of the two countries refocus on their common threat: North Korea.

Hospitality

Image: Cathay Pacific

Blue-sky drinking

Cathay Pacific introduces beer brewed to be enjoyed up in the air

American IPAs and English-style pale ales can be sampled anywhere from Seattle to Saigon but one of the few places that has yet to truly embrace the global craft beer trend is high altitude. This could be about to change. Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has brewed what it believes to be the first craft beer specially designed to be enjoyed at 35,000 feet, where certain tastes and aromas are suppressed. Betsy – named after the airline’s first plane, a converted Douglas DC3 – will be served throughout March and April on flights between London and Hong Kong and contains ingredients from each location. “We came up with a beer that uses honey from the New Territories in Hong Kong, Fuggle hops from Kent and longan fruit,” says Devin Kimble, owner of the Hong Kong Beer Co, which brewed the beer for the airline. “Then we took it up in the air and tested it out.”

From Monocle 24

Image: Francesca Jones

Monocle Media Summit

Highlights from the inaugural Monocle Media Summit: we ask whether money is still made from print and assess Germany’s print prowess.

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