europe

September 2, 2016

Three rickshaw men from Tokyo will embark on a round-the-world trip on Monday, taking turns pulling a rickshaw over five continents in around three years. The men - Yuji Suzuki, 26; Ken Hirano, 26; and Keisuke Takahashi, 25 - are all hoping to inform those who do not have a chance to visit Japan about Japanese culture and the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

The France-based leg of the yearlong South Korea-France cultural exchange project has drawn the curtains with a colorful flourish, celebratory of the 130th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties. As of the end of August, the events of the “Years 2015-2016 of Korea-France Bilateral Exchanges” have hailed about 2.26 million visitors in France, which ran from September 2015.

The planting of false stories is nothing new; the Soviet Union devoted considerable resources to that during the ideological battles of the Cold War. Now, though, disinformation is regarded as an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, and it is being directed at political debates in target countries with far greater sophistication and volume than in the past.

German silent film musician and composer Pierre Oser is coming to Manila for the 3rd time this year to grace the 9th International Silent Film Festival, until Aug. 30, at the Edsa Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City. Working with Pierre for this gig is Filipino virtuoso Jaimar Palispis, associate director of the group KontraGaPi, an official ethnic music and dance ensemble of the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

A year has passed since Germany opened its doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees and Chancellor Angela Merkel uttered her famous mantra – Wir schaffen das. We can do it. Her critics at home have grown louder over the past year [...] But how has the refugee crisis impacted Germany's international reputation as a steadfast ally, an economic powerhouse and a country with a troubled history?

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on her speech said, “ I am very proud of all these youth who are coming from 41 different countries in Asia, Pacific, Europe, and America.” She also stated that the Indonesian government is always used Cultural diplomacy or soft power diplomacy to bridge the differences. This program is aimed at strengthening the friendship and diplomatic relations through art and culture.

he annual International Youth Summer School was brought to China by the Youth Time International Movement, which was founded in December 2010 in Prague. It seeks to bridge communication among different cultures and different age groups. The previous five summer camps were all held in European cities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described “soft power” in 2012 as “a matrix of tools and methods to reach foreign policy goals without the use of arms but by exerting information and other levers of influence.” His government has used state-owned media outlets like RT, formerly known as Russia Today, and other pro-Kremlin organizations to bend public opinion in other countries toward Russia.

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