On a Sunday afternoon in Tokyo, nothing beats a little subcultural voyeurism. In Yoyogi Park, Japanese rockabillies jive sombrely while a sugar-dusted scurry of Harajuku girls patter on to Takeshita Street.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy leader and politician who has spent much of the past two decades under house arrest, finally had the chance to stand for election on 2 April.
The chubby features of the 29-year-old Kim Jong-un are starting to materialise in Pyongyang after his sudden promotion to the role of "Great Successor".
Kuizumi Yoichi wraps his coat closer around himself and clutches a heated can of coffee. We are sitting in a workshop in Ishinomaki, a Japanese rice-shipping port devastated by last year's Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
The best way to avoid getting offended, Salman Rushdie once advised, is "to shut a book". That, or banning the book and preventing its author from talking in public, his critics in India might have replied.
In 17 December 2011, more than a dozen North Korean defectors at the Hanawon resettlement centre, an hour's drive south of Seoul, watched