06292016Wed
Last update: Wed, 29 Jun 2016 01am

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

US, Japan, India to hold major naval drill in Western Pacific TOKYO:A fleet of US, Japanese and Indian warships will hold a large-scale joint naval exercise over eight days from Friday in the Western Pacific, close to a Japanese island chain, part of which China claims.As China pushes its territorial claims in the neighbouring South China Sea, Tokyo and Washington worry it will look to extend its influence into the Western Pacific, with a growing fleet of submarines and surface vessels to ply distant oceans.The drill, dubbed Malabar, is an annual event between the US and India, and Japan is joining it this year for the first time since 2007, Japan's Ministry of Defense said in a statement.Among the Japanese warships, which will practice submarine hunting and anti-aircraft defence, will be the Hyuga, one of the country's three new helicopter carriers. Last year, the drill was held in the Bay of Bengal near India.Japan's southwestern island chain, which hosts the biggest ...

World - South East Asia

China restricts Ramadan fasting in Muslim region BEIJING: Chinese officials have restricted civil servants, students and children in a mainly Muslim region from fasting during Ramadan, government websites said as the holy month began on Monday.The country's ruling Communist party is officially atheist and for years has banned government employees and minors from fasting in Xinjiang, home to the more than 10 million-strong mostly Muslim Uighur minority. It has also ordered some restaurants to stay open.Rights groups blame tensions on religious and ...

World - South East Asia

Japan's fiscal arrow ought to target young and old HONG KONG: Shinzo Abe is preparing a new assault on deflation. After postponing a hike in the country's consumption tax, the Japanese Prime Minister is limbering up to launch a fiscal stimulus which could be worth between 5 trillion and 10 trillion yen ($47 to $93 billion). Using government money to expand the workforce and slow the aging of Japanese society would mark a welcome combination of two of Abe's three arrows of reform.There's no ...

World - South East Asia

Japan pledges support for Southeast Asia security to counter coercive China SINGAPORE: Japan will help Southeast Asian nations build their security capabilities to deal with unilateral, dangerous and coercive actions in the South China Sea, Japan's defence minister said on Saturday, in pointed remarks directed at Beijing. "In the South China Sea we have been witnessing large-scale and rapid land reclamation, building of outposts and utilization of them for military purposes," Japanese Minister of Defence Gen Nakatani said during a speech at a regional security conference ...

World - South East Asia

Taiwan's Tsai urges China to heal Tiananmen pain TAIPEI: Taiwan's new president Tsai Ing-wen urged China to give its people more rights and "heal past wounds and pain" on the 27th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown Saturday.Her remarks came after the island's first ever Tiananmen commemoration in parliament on Friday, as lawmakers urged the government to address human rights issues in its dealings with China.Ties with China have rapidly cooled since Beijing-sceptic Tsai won the presidency in January, with China highly distrustful ...

World - South East Asia

Japan to roll out growth strategy, economists asking for more TOKYO: Japan's government will set out a new growth strategy on Thursday that has already disappointed many economists for lacking the bold structural reforms needed to narrow income disparity and reverse rapid population decline.Aggressive structural reforms are essential to pulling Japan out of decades of malaise, but economists say the flaws in Abe's piecemeal approach are evident in the lack of progress after more than three years of "Abenomics", the name give to his radical ...

World - South East Asia

Japan PM delays sales tax hike, puts fiscal reform on back burner TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Wednesday his widely expected decision to delay a scheduled sales tax increase by two-and-a-half years, putting his plans for fiscal reforms on the back burner due to growing signs of weakness in the economy.While the decision may help Abe win votes at an upper house election on July 10, it could fan doubts about his plans to curb Japan's huge public debt and fund ballooning social welfare ...