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Subject: Derek Davies, Former Editor of Far Eastern Economic Review

dead @ 71
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Date Posted: September 17, 2002 5:31:31 EDT

Derek Davies, who ran the Far Eastern Economic Review for 25 years and turned the magazine into a leading source of English-language news and analysis about Asia, has died.

The British editor died of liver cancer Sunday in Antibes, southern France, said his son Nicolas. In retirement, Davies split his time between southern France and London.

Davies joined the Hong Kong-based Review in 1962, when it was printed on a single sheet of paper, and became editor two years later, his son said. When he retired in 1989, the Review had expanded into a magazine with a weekly circulation of 75,000.

As editor, Davies chose reporters from different backgrounds, including many academics, and gave them great freedom.

"There was a lot of independence for correspondents to interpret events in their own way," said Michael Malik, a friend and former Review employee.

Davies' staff "always received his total backing if they tangled with sensitive regimes," Malik said.

One battle was waged with Singapore's former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who expelled Review reporters three times, Malik said. The magazine was banned in Singapore in the 1980s because of an article about Roman Catholic church workers detained in Singapore, said Malik, who wrote the article.

Before joining the Review, Davies studied at Cambridge University and worked at the Reuters news agency and Britain's Foreign Office.

The Review, which covers politics, business, economics and cultural and social issues in Asia, was founded in 1946 and is now owned by Dow Jones & Co.

A funeral is planned for Friday in Cannes.

Davies is survived by his wife, Shizue, two sons and a daughter.

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