FCA Member’s Talk – series of video podcasts

FCA Members Talk – presented and produced by Raj Suri – a member of Foreign Correspondents Association Australasia – a video podcast on FCA member’s – journalists, photojournalists, media and content creators on their own journeys in the ever changing media landscape. A range of topical issues on Australian and global stories that are making news & reviews in the foreign media – all from an Australian Foreign Correspondents member perspective.

A Japanese European Australian Perspective with Sonja Blaschke in Tokyo

23 May 2022
Sonja Blaschke, based in Tokyo, who is a multilingual correspondent, print journalist, author and TV production coordinator/ producer originally from Germany based in Japan. Raj Suri spoke with Sonja Blaschke in May 2022, just before the Australian elections on a range of topics. Japanese speaking Sonja’s European perspective as a freelance journalist living in Japan, the China element, QUAD summit between Japan, USA, India and Australia, differences between Okinawa and Tokyo on the issue of foreign troops bases there, China-Solomon Islands security pact viewed in Japan and more..watch the full video podcast below:

Video Podcast – May 2022

Video Podcast_Sonja Blaschke with Raj Suri

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QUAD Summit
Updated: 26 May 2022
Sonja Blaschke

“Prime Minister Albanese, I welcome you to your first Quad meeting”, US-president Joe Biden said to newly-elected Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese on 24 May in Tokyo. “If you fall asleep while you are here, it’s OK”, he added, and giggles and laughter were heard around the room. “I don’t know how you’re doing it – it’s quite extraordinary, just getting off the campaign trail as well”, he commended his Australian counterpart who had been sworn in less than 24 hours ago, and then had to get on a plane for the 10-hour flight to Japan.
That moment, which was shown live on Japanese public broadcaster NHK on Tuesday morning, was one of the lighter moments during Biden’s trip to Asia, which was dominated by talks about the Russian attack on Ukraine and worries that China might be having similar plans with Taiwan. When asked whether the US would be willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it came to that, Biden’s answer came very quickly. “Yes”, he said. “That’s the commitment we made.” It seemed like a departure from the traditional US policy of strategic ambiguity on Taiwan. It was not the first time Biden said it, and not the first time his aides backpedalled, rushing to explain that the basic US stance on Taiwan had not changed, and that what was meant was the provision of arms to Taiwan, as is already the case, not the deployment of soldiers. Australia had its own controversy around the Taiwan foreign policy question, when then defence minister Peter Dutton said a few months ago: “It would be inconceivable that we wouldn’t support the US in an action if the US chose to take that action”.
Taiwan was one of many topics on Biden’s agenda during the meeting with Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida. Another point was the Japanese military spending. The US is Japan’s most important security partner, Japan is protected by the US nuclear umbrella. Kishida said he wanted to “fundamentally reinforce Japan’s defense capabilities and secure a substantial increase in defense spending that would back such efforts”. Japan’s increased defense spending echoes a similar move by Germany recently. Biden said he applauded Kishida’s “determination to strengthen Japanese defense capabilities as well as [a] strong Japan and a strong U.S.-Japan alliance as a force for good in the region.”

Novak Djokovic story, behind the scene with Barbara Barkhausen

FCA Members Talk_Novak Djokovic_Raj Suri

For the past few weeks Australia has been in the headlines around the world because of Novak Djokovic ‘visa issue” for the Australian Open. FCA member/presenter, Raj Suri, talks with Barbara Barkhausen – FCA board member and journalist contributing to the German and other European media from Australia and the Asia Pacific, who takes us behind the scene of her coverage of this big story.

Video Podcast

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