Policy & Politics

Park has seen her poll numbers tumble in the wake of the ferry disaster. © Yonhap/Kyodo

Korea's Park sees approval rating go down after ferry disaster

SEOUL -- The South Korean government's bungled rescue efforts after the sinking of a ferry last week have started to damage the public's opinion of President Park Geun-hye. Park's approval rating initially rose to 71% on April 18, nearly 10 point...

  • India's BJP-led coalition looks set to take power

    TOKYO -- India's 814.5 million voters took to the nation's 930,000 polling stations from April 7, as the world's largest democracy set out to choose a new government. Three weeks will pass before they start counting of votes on May 16. A hazy pic...

  • Kansai Electric nuclear plant unlikely to restart this year

    OSAKA -- Kansai Electric Power is expected to face protracted delays in its bid to bring the idled Oi nuclear power plant back online as it tries to comply with tougher safety measures demanded by regulators. The Japanese utility has applied for ...

  • Japan's nuclear fuel policy is starting to give us the willies

    TOKYO -- Governments often use phrases so vague they can be interpreted in many ways. Here are two examples: Minimization of nuclear materials. This was used during the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, in March. Strategic flexibilit...

  • Japan weighs easing workday regulations

    TOKYO -- Japan is trying to adopt more flexible work hours, aiming to ease the way for workers disadvantaged by rigid schedules and maintain a vibrant labor force. "We need a new framework that would encourage workers to focus on results instead ...

  • Immigration rules may hit Singapore back-office business: report

    SINGAPORE -- Tighter restrictions on who may work in Singapore may lead some global banks to shut down their back-office operations in the city-state, Standard Chartered Bank warned in a recent equity research report. Government regulations aimed...

  • Anger mounts as South Korea botches response to ferry accident

    SEOUL -- Public frustration is reaching a boiling point over South Korea's handling of the ferry disaster last week, as delayed rescue efforts and misinformation add to families' despair. The government's response was mired in confusion from the ...

  • Japan wants more outsiders sitting on corporate boards

    TOKYO -- Japanese companies should draw at least a third of board members from outside their own management teams in order to bolster corporate oversight and increase foreign investment, the government urged in a report released Monday. An adviso...

  • Abe sends offering to Yasukuni Shrine, but to refrain from visiting

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday sent an offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, a move that suggests he will refrain from visiting it during its spring festival from Monday through Wednesday. The premier dedicate...

  • Japan to push green tech in Asia via fund

    TOKYO -- Japan is working with the Asian Development Bank to create a fund that will help get the nation's environmentally friendly technologies adopted in Asian infrastructure development. The Environment Ministry will contribute 1.8 billion yen...

  • Ground broken to build GSDF facility on Yonaguni Island near Senkakus

    YONAGUNI (Kyodo) -- The Defense Ministry broke ground Saturday on a facility for a coastal surveillance unit to be deployed on Yonaguni Island, the westernmost Japanese island not far from a group of islands whose ownership is contested by China. ...

  • Japan to fund cancer-screening ventures in Asia, South America

    TOKYO -- The Japanese government will provide funding and other support for domestic companies looking to sell preventive health care equipment and services in emerging markets. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will select seven projec...

  • Japan aiming to grow nuclear plant exports with new pacts

    TOKYO -- Japan is discussing nuclear energy agreements with five more countries, making progress on a key component of the government's plan to boost exports of infrastructure, including nuclear power plants. It has already signed such deals with...

  • China readying subsidy for hybrid cars

    BEIJING -- The Chinese government is weighing financial aid for buyers of hybrid cars as a weapon against the country's chronic air pollution. Plug-in hybrids and electric cars already qualify for subsidies in China. The expansion of government s...

  • Japan mulls easing interest rules for nonbank lenders

    TOKYO -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is thinking about loosening restrictions on moneylenders to make it easier for smaller businesses shunned by banks to procure funds. The relevant law was revised in 2006 to lower the interest rate ...

  • Japan to continue whaling in Pacific this year

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan has decided to continue whaling in the Pacific Ocean, despite a U.N. court ordering Tokyo last month to halt its program in the Antarctic, sources familiar with the matter said Friday. But the government plans to reduce the...

  • Turnout high as Indians vote for change

    NEW DELHI-- Voters in 12 Indian states went to the polls Thursday on the biggest day of the country's general election, with 121 parliamentary seats up for grabs. Indians fed up with lackluster economic growth and rampant corruption are looking f...

  • Indian parties out in force on social media stump

    With 200 million of India's 800-million-strong electorate online, political parties are turning eagerly to the Internet to get out the vote in an election of epic proportions. Parties have high hopes for social media's ability to help them connec...

  • Japan seeking foreign consultants to lure overseas businesses

    TOKYO -- The Japan External Trade Organization said Thursday that it will recruit several dozen specialists from businesses and consultancies throughout the world to bring foreign investment to Japan. Jetro plans to employ 60 industry specialists...

  • U.S. offers to cut tariffs on 99.5% of goods under TPP

    WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- The United States has proposed eliminating tariffs on 99.5 percent of goods imported from Japan, as it presses Tokyo to scrap tariffs even on agricultural products to clinch a 12-nation Pacific free trade deal, a Japanese govern...