n this city that lies between Seoul and the border with North Korea, an odd-looking gate-like structure rises above the main street, ready to be dismantled. It still supports what seems to the naked eye to be several tons of concrete that serve no particular purpose beyond casting a shadow over approaching cars and the small shops nearby.
At a call center in Dalian, in northeast China, young workers speaking flawless Japanese answer customer service calls for a Japanese insurance company. In western Japan, a new commercial Chinatown is rising in Kobe City's rebuilt port area.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine on Monday, fulfilling a promise to make annual visits to a war memorial considered a symbol of unrepentant Japanese militarism in Asia.
One recent rainy morning, a couple dozen vehicles belonging to the Patriotic Youth League and other Japanese right-wing groups gathered inside the grounds of Yasukuni Shrine, the Shinto memorial to Japan's war dead. ""Revere the Emperor,"" read a slogan on one truck.