"Pro-life" versus "pro-choice" is a never-ending controversy in the United States. Since American media outlet POLITICO in early May scooped the news of a draft majority opinion of the Supreme Court to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision -- the 1973 ruling to protect the right to abortion -- the confrontation between the two sides of the abortion debate has become even more fierce.
Our Big Story focuses on abortion in Asia. The tone of the story might not satisfy the reader who has taken the strongest stance on one or other side of the debate, because we do not stand for either side, but present diverse views and attitudes on this topic.
Eleven Nikkei Asia journalists in the region, both male and female, interviewed dozens of women, activists, health professionals, politicians and religious leaders. The article finds that abortion in Asia is seldom as black and white as the "pro-life" versus "pro-choice" arguments that can dominate the narrative in the West.
Our editorial aim is to convince our readers that this issue is too big to ignore. It is also so complex that no one solution could possibly please everyone. I would also like to stress that abortion is not a concern limited to women, but affects both sexes.
One sad phenomena observed in Asia is a tendency towards male chauvinism, with boy babies often valued more highly. In rural areas in India, according to the story, many fetuses identified as female are aborted, because "a girl is often seen as a financial burden who will be married off and sent to another house with a dowry."
Campaigners worry that, ironically, liberalizing abortion rights further could result in more abortions of female fetuses. But, if a society achieves more gender equality, such abortions should be diminished.
Asia Insight features the threatened judicial independence of Hong Kong. The author Pak Yiu warns that a gradual erosion of judicial independence could damage the city's appeal as a financial hub in the region.
Business Spotlight focuses on the European Union's regulation to urge the Asian clothing industry to shift to making recyclable and durable clothes. Brands like Decathlon, Uniqlo and H&M are preparing for the new rules.
Market Spotlight highlights the Australian dollar. Its central bank is expected to impose more monetary tightening measures in an attempt to reduce inflation.
For weekend reading, I recommend Jui Chakravorty's sweet story on five of the best bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Tokyo. According to Jui, it is important when tasting a square of chocolate to close your eyes, to fight against the urge to chew, and to let the brown tile melt on your tongue, in order to fully enjoy it. I myself am a chocolate lover and always thought the world capital of chocolate would be either Paris or Brussels, but I might be wrong. It is often difficult to see what's right in front of your eyes!
Stay safe and healthy, and have a wonderful weekend!
Editor-in-chief, Nikkei Asia
Follow me on Twitter @ShigesaburoO