Must-Reads from Around the World: February 13, 2012

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Juan Barreto / AFP / Getty Images

The governor of the state of Miranda, Henrique Capriles Radonski (C), flanked by other opposition leaders, speaks during a press conference in Caracas on Sept. 28, 2010.

Primary Victory – Henrique Capriles Radonski is one step closer to potentially ending Hugo Chavez’s 13 year rule in Venezuela. In a landmark primary, Capriles beat out six other opposition candidates for the spot opposite Chavez in the October 7 election, Reuters reports. Voter turnout was stronger than expected, the Miami Herald said that nearly 3 million voters came out to the polls. Political analyst Carlos Romero tells the BBC that a sluggish economy and questions of Chavez’s help could bolster Capriles. “What’s new and interesting in this election is that we have an opposition candidate who is new and young, but who already has experience in government,” he said.

Relationship Problems – One day before Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s scheduled meeting with President Obama, the Washington Post interviewed the heir-apparent to the Chinese presidency. He has plenty to say about U.S. relations with the Asia-Pacific region, specifically militarization saying, “to deliberately give prominence to the military security agenda, scale up military deployment and strengthen military alliances is not really what most countries in the region hope to see.”

Move Forward, Look Back – The New York Times examines a cultural shift in Japan. As the coastal areas damaged during last March’s tsunami continue to rebuild, they face a unique question: should the world’s fastest aging population look to the current generation or future ones? In the fishing village of Onagawa the voices of the young are quickly overpowered by their elders with one young man telling the newspaper,“I want to tell our grandpas and grandmas, This is hard to say, but after 10 years, I’m afraid that there will be no one left in all the villages that will be rebuilt.”

Vote for Independence – Details regarding the referendum  for Scottish independence are set for discussion this week as Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore sit down. The BBC reports the pair made “modest progress” Monday, and issues such as the timing of the vote are apparently settled. Prime Minster David Cameron is set to join the talks Thursday.