Education About Asia: Online Archives

Asian Factoids: Spring, 1998

Back to search results
Download PDF

Expatriate Americans in Asia
Note: Figures are for 1996 and exclude U.S. government employees and military personnel and their families.

Philippines 118,000
Japan 73,300
Hong Kong 40,800
Taiwan 36,600
S. Korea 35,500
Source: U.S. government


To Get Rich is Glorious
Percentage of China’s urban households owning:

Color television 90.8
Refrigerator 88.7
Washing machine 87.3
Private housing 32.6
Video camera 28.6
Air-conditioner 28.3
Source: China: The Consumer Revolution by Li Conghua (1997)


China’s exports of manufactured goods (in $ billion)

1985 13.5
1991 55.7
1992 67.9
1993 75.1
1994 101.3
1995 127.3

Source: China Statistical Yearbook, 1996


Evidence for growing Chinese beliefs in capitalism and individual rights

In a 1993 poll of 5,455 respondents in six provinces, 78 percent agreed with the state­ment, “Private property is sacred and must not be violated,” and 77 percent disagreed with the statement, “In a lawsuit involving an individual and a collective entity, the judgment should favor the latter.” When asked “whether the police could continue to detain a person for the sake of public safety even though they were unable to determine his guilt,” 47 percent opposed detention, and only 28 percent supported it.

As reported in Minxin Pei’s “ls China Democratizing?,” Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb, 1998.


“In Buddha We Trust”

Tricycle is the first American Buddhist mag­azine to bluntly target a general readership. Readership has surged from an expected 5,000 when it debuted in 1991 to some 55,000 today. Firm figures are difficult to find, but University of Washington scholar Peter Moran, who is preparing a doctoral thesis on Western Buddhism, estimates that at least a million native-born Americans have converted to Buddhism, most of them in the last ten years.

The Pluralism Project, a Harvard-based group that studies religious diversity in the United States, cites strong anecdotal evi­dence that ordinary Americans from all walks of life are embracing the Buddhist truth, or dharrna. “Our database shows over 1,000 Buddhist centers in the United States, and that’s not even a complete list,” says project manager Ellie Pierce.

Source: Far Eastern Review, October 30, 1997


Women in Japanese Business

Women account for only 0.18 percent of executives at major Japanese companies, according to the results of a recent survey by Tokyo-based publishing company Toyo Keiza Shinposha. The company polled 44,925 executives at 2,413 major compa­nies, including 2,356 listed ones. A total of eighty-two female executives worked in seventy-six of the companies at the end of July, a rate of one woman for every 550 executives, the survey found. The number of female executives doubled from 1988 when the publishing company conducted its first survey. The average age of the women was 56.4, the survey found. Female executives worked mainly in such industries as retail­ing, services, textiles, and wholesaling, it added. About half were relatives or family members of a founder qr major shareholder. The survey found four female presidents, but all were related to founders of the companies. Only twenty-nine women were promoted from the rank-and-file, the survey found.

Source: Japan Times, September 22-28, 1997


Heritage Foundation-Wall Street Journal ranking of economic freedom in selected Asian nations.

Country World Rank Asia-Pacific Rank
Hong Kong 1 1
Singapore 2 2
Australia 12 5
Japan 12 5
Thailand 28 8
Indonesia 62 13

Source: 1998 Index of Economic Freedom