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The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

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With the execution of Aum Shinrikyo leader and six of his followers, Japan looks to leave behind an era of tragedy. 
On July 6, 2018, Japanese authorities executed seven members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Aum true religion, or supreme truth), which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and a series of other atrocities. None of the seven of the executed men were directly involved in releasing the gas on that tragic day; four of those who did remain under a death sentence, and their executions may be imminent.
The seven executed were involved in planning and organizing the various crimes committed by Aum. Asahara Shoko (born Matsumoto Chizuo), was the founder and leader of the movement, having developed the doctrinal system instrumental to Aum’s violence and its concept of a final cosmic war of good (Aum) against evil (the corrupt material world and everyone — from the Japanese government to the general public — who lived in it). Asahara is believed to have given …

Indonesia: Jokowi wants unified ‘national branding’ for positive image

“Wonderful Indonesia”
"A positive image must be maintained. I urge the use of the soft-power
approach be strengthened through cultural diplomacy, the promotion of
Indonesian cuisine and also promotion through sports." - Jokowi (no kidding)
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has urged the Cabinet to enhance the soft-power approach to improve Indonesia's image, highlighting national branding as a strategy to improve the country's competitiveness in trade, tourism and investment.

During a limited meeting on national branding held at the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Tuesday, Jokowi explained that currently each ministry acted independently in promoting trade, tourism and investment. 

For instance, the Trade Ministry with its “Remarkable Indonesia” tagline and the Tourism Ministry with the “Wonderful Indonesia” tagline.

As a result, strategies to build a positive image of Indonesia tended to separate and run alone. Even in exhibitions abroad, ministries did not coordinate well, he said.

"We will consolidate in order to be able to compete with other countries. I also urge the use of the soft-power approach be strengthened through cultural diplomacy, the promotion of Indonesian cuisine and also promotion through sports," Jokowi told his ministers.

He also asserted that establishing national branding was not simply the creation of a national logo or tagline, but an effort to achieve and maintain a positive perception of the country in the global environment.

"A positive image must be maintained by providing good, fast and professional services," he went on.

Source: The Jakarta Post, September 27, 2016

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