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Vietnam and UK foreign ministers to meet for trade deal

Vietnam and UK foreign ministers to meet for trade deal

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HANOI -- U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will visit Vietnam on Tuesday to hold talks with his counterpart Pham Binh Minh, with a trade deal at the top of the agenda ahead of the ending of the transition period for Britain's exit from the European Union this year.Both nations will also be hoping that a trade deal will help to ease the economic pain inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.Raab will pay a two-day visit to Hanoi at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Minh, according to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry.The visit...

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1d ago
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Universal basic income gains support in South Korea after COVID

Universal basic income gains support in South Korea after COVID

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SEOUL -- The debate on universal basic income has gained momentum in South Korea, as the coronavirus outbreak and the country's growing income divide force a rethink on social safety nets.The concept was thrust into the spotlight in the country when Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung proposed a basic income of 500,000 won ($430) a year per person this year. He aims to gradually expand the figure until it reaches 500,000 won a month -- roughly the equivalent of South Korea's social welfare payments.An annual $430 payout means the program will cost...

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5d ago
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Hong Kong Disneyland reopens amid uncertainty over expansion plans

Hong Kong Disneyland reopens amid uncertainty over expansion plans

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HONG KONG -- The reopening of Hong Kong Disneyland on Friday eased some of the short-term financial pressures over the troubled resort, but did little to settle doubts that emerged this past week over its longer-term prospects after its expansion plans were quashed by the local government.Hong Kong Disneyland Resort lost an option to expand its site after authorities decided to not renew an agreement with the amusement park to develop a neighboring site, raising questions about the theme park's future as a regional tourist attraction as it reels from...

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Michelle Chan
4d ago
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Anwar's leadership hopes hinge on Malaysia ruling party dissent

Anwar's leadership hopes hinge on Malaysia ruling party dissent

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.KUALA LUMPUR -- The latest move by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who created a political storm this week by claiming to hold enough support in the parliament to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's government, comes as officials in the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) fear the outcomes of ongoing corruption trials, sources said.Sources within UMNO told the Nikkei Asian Review that party members had expressed unhappiness with Muhyiddin's government after the July conviction of former premier Najib Razak in the...

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4d ago
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Kono tells all Japan government offices to quit 'hanko' stamps

Kono tells all Japan government offices to quit 'hanko' stamps

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan's minister for administrative reform on Thursday ordered all national government offices to stop requiring hanko stamps on official documents as a rule.These stamps are used widely across Japan by government agencies, businesses and individuals in lieu of signatures. But their use has been a major obstacle to the spread of digital forms and teleworking, an issue only highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic.Minister Taro Kono, in a letter distributed by the Cabinet Office, told each ministry to respond as to whether they will scrap...

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6d ago
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China's steel mill smoke becomes fuel in Mitsui's recycling plants

China's steel mill smoke becomes fuel in Mitsui's recycling plants

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- China's notorious steel mill smoke will have a second life as ethanol that powers automobiles under Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co.'s waste-to-fuel business.Mitsui will launch operations in China to produce fuel ethanol from steel mill emissions in a three-party deal with state-owned energy company Guizhou Jinyuan Group and the Chinese joint venture of LanzaTech.A $75 million plant with an annual capacity of 60,000 tons will come online in Guizhou Province by the end of next year, with annual sales targeted at about $57 million.Long...

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5d ago
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Vietnam receives flight from Seoul amid hopes for business rebound

Vietnam receives flight from Seoul amid hopes for business rebound

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HO CHI MINH CITY -- A Vietnam Airlines flight from Seoul touched down in Hanoi on Friday, with businesses hoping it would be the start of a wave of commercial flights bringing back trade, and eventually tourism, to the pandemic-hit Southeast Asian economy.Passengers covered from head to toe in chalk-blue protective suits disembarked at Noi Bai International Airport at lunchtime, photos from local media show.Only travelers in approved categories, such as investors and diplomats, were allowed on board the aircraft, but the trip marked the restart of...

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5d ago
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Malaysian prime minister's fate hangs on Sabah election

Malaysian prime minister's fate hangs on Sabah election

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.KUALA LUMPUR -- Over 1.1 million voters in the East Malaysian state of Sabah choose representatives for their state assembly on Saturday in a local election with potentially far-reaching ramifications for Malaysia's embattled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.Muhyiddin, who is believed to have lost a parliamentary majority to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, is facing the first gut check of his seven-month-old administration with the vote on the island of Borneo.A victory for the Muhyiddin-led coalition in Sabah would cement his position at the federal...

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5d ago
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Thailand protesters rally as parliament weighs constitution change

Thailand protesters rally as parliament weighs constitution change

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- Thousands of Thai protesters assembled outside the country's parliament on Thursday as politicians debate on accepting constitutional amendment motions submitted by the ruling coalition and opposition parties."Senators, get out!" shouted crowds in front of the parliamentary building. From the bed of a truck, two speakers addressed the importance of Thursday's gathering and insisted that senators are not qualified as they are not truly chosen by the general public.The scene was filled with white ribbons and three-fingered salutes, both...

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6d ago
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Vietnam to drive high-tech startups with new incentives

Vietnam to drive high-tech startups with new incentives

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HANOI -- Vietnam will launch a program to accelerate the founding of startups in information technology and other high-tech businesses in a bid to boost the country's growth potential as COVID-19 weighs on the economy.Starting on Oct. 5, the new program is a set of incentives to encourage innovative startups engaged in "telecommunications businesses, information technology, automation and other related businesses," according to a decree approved at the end of August. Startups engaged in "new and clean energy" and in the "production of intermediate...

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6d ago
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Tokyo Olympics consultant paid $370,000 to IOC member's son

Tokyo Olympics consultant paid $370,000 to IOC member's son

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A consulting firm for the Tokyo Olympic bid committee transferred some $370,000 to the son of one-time influential IOC member Lamine Diack and his company before and after the Japanese capital was picked in September 2013 as the host city, documents showed Sunday.The findings, based on a review of financial documents and further reporting, may help resolve the question of what happened to the money from the consulting firm and shed further light on the allegation that the Tokyo bid committee engaged in vote-buying.Black Tidings Co.,...

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Sep 21
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Thailand protesters claim victory with letter to the king's council

Thailand protesters claim victory with letter to the king's council

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- In a ceremony laden with historic symbolism, Thai student leaders laid a plaque early this mornig outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok and delivered a list of demands to the nearby Privy Council Chambers.A plaque commemorating the overthrow of absolute monarchy in Siam, as Thailand was known 1932, was removed from Royal Plaza in 2016, and replaced with a royalist version. No official investigation was conducted into who was behind the act of political vandalism, which was one of a number of incidents.The letter was delivered to a senior...

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Sep 20
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Thailand fails to block massive night protest near Grand Palace

Thailand fails to block massive night protest near Grand Palace

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- Despite light rain, Bangkok on Saturday night saw by far its largest demonstration since a coup in 2014 installed a military government and put a lid on free speech. Police claimed that only about 18,000 people turned up, while organizers said the figure was well above what authorities told media."About 100,000 attended," , a key student leader, told reporters. "The turnout is proof of people's support for our demands," she said.The turnout was expected to take the temperature of political activism, and provide an indication of the depth of...

nikkei.com
Sep 19
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Thailand fails to block massive night protest near Grand Palace

Thailand fails to block massive night protest near Grand Palace

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- Despite light rain, Bangkok on Saturday night saw by far its largest demonstration since a coup in 2014 installed a military government and put a lid on free speech. Police claimed that only about 18,000 people turned up, while organizers said the figure was well above what authorities told media."About 100,000 attended," , a key student leader, told reporters. "The turnout is proof of people's support for our demands," she said.The turnout was expected to take the temperature of political activism, and provide an indication of the depth of...

nikkei.com
Sep 19
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Thailand overnight protest near Grand Palace attracts over 20,000

Thailand overnight protest near Grand Palace attracts over 20,000

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- Despite light rain, an estimated 20,000 protesters have turned up for a pro-democracy rally that its student organizers hoped would attract over 50,000.More people are still expected despite forecasts predicting that the tail end of Tropical Storm Noul, which has battered Vietnam and caused heavy rainfall in Thailand's northeast, will close in.It is the biggest rally since a coup in 2014, exceeding another on Aug. 16 at Democracy Monument close to the administrative heart of Bangkok.According to organizers, Saturday's gathering will reach a...

nikkei.com
Sep 19
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Thailand overnight protest near Grand Palace attracts over 20,000

Thailand overnight protest near Grand Palace attracts over 20,000

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- Despite light rain, an estimated 20,000 protesters have turned up for a pro-democracy rally that its student organizers hoped would attract over 50,000.More people are still expected despite forecasts predicting that the tail end of Tropical Storm Noul, which has battered Vietnam and caused heavy rainfall in Thailand's northeast, will close in.It is the biggest rally since a coup in 2014, exceeding another on Aug. 16 at Democracy Monument close to the administrative heart of Bangkok.According to organizers, Saturday's gathering will reach a...

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Sep 19
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New Japan PM Suga plans swift talks with Trump

New Japan PM Suga plans swift talks with Trump

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will hold a phone conference with U.S. President Donald Trump as soon as possible, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Friday.The two sides are preparing to speak Sunday night, Japanese broadcaster NHK reports.Suga was elected prime minister by parliament on Wednesday, succeeding longtime leader Shinzo Abe.In the phone call, Suga is expected to tell Trump that he will follow the diplomatic policies of Abe, which includes placing the Japan-U.S. alliance front and center."Congratulations Prime...

nikkei.com
Sep 18
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Thai king's favorite to take over army, as PM's choice ignored

Thai king's favorite to take over army, as PM's choice ignored

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- King Maha Vajiralongkorn's favorite serviceman, Gen. Narongphan Jitkaewthae, will take the reins as Thailand's next army chief in October after the incumbent's term expires, according to the government's public journal, Royal Gazette.The rise of Narongphan reflects the influence of the palace over the military, a trend that emerged in 2016. Narongphan, who will serve as chief for three years, is a palace loyalist and trusted by the king, as were the current leader Gen. Apirat Kongsompong and his predecessor Gen. Chalermchai Sitthisart.The...

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Sep 18
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Thailand to block 2,000 websites ahead of pro-democracy protests

Thailand to block 2,000 websites ahead of pro-democracy protests

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- Thailand's government is preparing to block more than 2,200 websites, including Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, that have "illegal" content ahead of rallies by the student-led pro-democracy movement this weekend.Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said Monday the ministry had ordered operators of URLs and pages that were believed to have breached Thai law to remove illegal content within 15 days, he said.So far, 1,276 URLs and pages have been blocked and another 1,024 pages and URLs are due to be barred access...

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Sep 18
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Thai prime minister discourages protests in name of COVID

Thai prime minister discourages protests in name of COVID

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BANGKOK -- Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is citing the global resurgence of the coronavirus to discourage protesters from attending pro-democracy rallies scheduled for the days ahead, though his argument does not take into account Thailand's own success at keeping COVID-19 at bay."With the resurgence of the virus around the world," the prime minister said in a televised address on Thursday. "I would now like to ask everyone to double up their alertness and not to relax and let down their guard.""Let me also take this opportunity to speak...

nikkei.com
Sep 17
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Suga elected prime minister, opening new chapter for Japan

Suga elected prime minister, opening new chapter for Japan

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Yoshihide Suga was elected Japan's prime minister in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday, marking a new chapter in the nation's politics after a record seven years and eight months under Shinzo Abe.Suga, 71, will confront the immediate challenges of keeping COVID-19 under control, jump-starting the economy and paving the way for Tokyo to host the delayed Olympics next year. His selection after years as Abe's right-hand man is seen as a move to ensure a smooth transition of power and avoid a policy vacuum in the middle of the pandemic crisis.But...

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Mitsuru Obe
Sep 16
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China's quiet brucellosis outbreak sickens thousands in northwest

China's quiet brucellosis outbreak sickens thousands in northwest

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.Editor's note: Pseudonyms are used in this story to protect the privacy of people affected by the disease in Yanchangbao.Last September, 40-year-old shopkeeper Gao Hong in Northwest China's Lanzhou city was hit with crippling joint pain and persistent fever. It took nearly six months for doctors to diagnose her condition as brucellosis, an animal-borne bacterial disease.By then, she had missed the window for the most effective treatment, leaving her with a hard-to-cure chronic condition that requires long-term medication. Since July, it's been hard...

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Sep 15
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Japan stationery maker targets Marie Kondo crowd with '80s remake

Japan stationery maker targets Marie Kondo crowd with '80s remake

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Four decades ago, Japanese stationery maker Plus Corporation released a compact box that held a plethora of stationery supplies. While small in size, the box was a massive hit, selling 6.5 million units after its release in 1984.Now, after a 19-year hiatus, the Tokyo-based company has revealed a revised "team-demi" that it hopes can seize on the popularity of minimalist living that has sparked joy with Marie Kondo followers."We wanted to create stationery that is a delight to own," the company said on its website.Along with the original...

nikkei.com
Sep 11
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Indonesian government moves to block COVID 'emergency brake'

Indonesian government moves to block COVID 'emergency brake'

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.JAKARTA -- Indonesian central government officials are trying to thwart the Jakarta governor's plan to reinstate large-scale movement restrictions in the Indonesian capital from Monday, refuting his claim that hospitals are running out of beds for coronavirus patients.Chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto told reporters Thursday that senior cabinet members and the governors of Jakarta and its surrounding provinces agreed there should be a "balance between COVID-19 preventive measures and economic recovery considerations.""Employees in government...

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Erwida Maulia
Sep 10
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Japan companies line up for 'China exit' subsidies to come home

Japan companies line up for 'China exit' subsidies to come home

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- The Japanese government has seen an overwhelming surge of interest in subsidies to bring manufacturing back as the coronavirus pandemic highlights the risk of having supply chains concentrated in a single region, particularly China.The program to promote domestic manufacturing had 220 billion yen ($2.07 billion) earmarked in the supplementary fiscal 2020 budget. In the first round, which ended in June, the government approved 57 projects totaling 57.4 billion yen, or over half the 90 applications.The second round of applications, which closed...

nikkei.com
Sep 8
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