Policy & Politics

Abe to shake up ruling party's top ranks

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to replace the Liberal Democratic Party's secretary-general, the No. 2 man in the ruling party, in conjunction with a cabinet reshuffling next month, according to people familiar with the matter. Abe has...

  • Thai military chief at the helm for the long haul

    BANGKOK -- Thailand's legislature on Thursday elected Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who heads the current military government, as interim prime minister, keeping him at the top at least until the fall 2015 general election. The National ...

  • Japan hopes to sell Asean on defense tech

    TOKYO -- Japan will host a seminar next month for diplomatic and defense officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with an eye toward expanding defense-related exports to Asean members. The seminar will cover key national securit...

  • Tokyo government may start playing the stock market

    TOKYO -- The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will consider using a portion of its 4 trillion yen ($38 billion) in public funds to invest in stocks. The move is part of efforts to turn the capital into a global financial center. But channeling tax m...

  • Indonesian court rejects challenge, says Widowo is president-elect

    JAKARTA (Kyodo) -- Indonesia's Constitutional Court rejected Thursday a legal challenge over the results of the July 9 presidential election filed by former army general Prabowo Subianto, who lost to president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. Amid tig...

  • Robert Taylor: What would Ne Win have thought of today's Myanmar?

    If he were alive today, what would General Ne Win, the dictator of Burma from 1962 to 1988, think of the regime that succeeded his brand of one-party socialist autarky? President Thein Sein and the multi-party politics that in 2011 replaced the State...

  • Thailand army chief Prayuth named as interim PM

    BANGKOK -- General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thailand's army chief who heads the current military government, was voted the country's next prime minister Thursday morning at the National Legislative Assembly. Prayuth was the only candidate nominated; 19...

  • Sankei article generates mixed response in South Korea

    SEOUL -- A controversial piece on South Korean President Park Geun-hye published by the Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun is invoking all types of reactions in the country, from hard criticism to doubts about the government's response. Tatsuya Kato, ...

  • China lets loose antitrust watchdogs

    BEIJING -- China is putting teeth into enforcement of its anti-monopoly law, and foreign companies are feeling the bite. The National Development and Reform Commission on Wednesday found 12 Japanese car parts makers, including Toyota affiliate De...

  • China's Xi evokes Deng's legacy to push economic reform

    BEIJING -- By holding a symposium Wednesday to mark the 110-year anniversary of the birth of Deng Xiaoping, Chinese President Xi Jinping apparently seeks to use the former leader's prestige to bolster his reform efforts. But it is uncertain wheth...

  • Japan mulls 1 trillion yen war chest for stimulus

    TOKYO -- Japan is considering setting aside 1 trillion yen for stimulus measures in fiscal 2015 to help stave off a blow from a consumption tax hike planned for October next year. The cash reserve, to be earmarked in next fiscal year's budget, wo...

  • Japan throttles up work on homegrown fighter jet

    TOKYO -- Japan will begin test flights next year to determine whether the country has the right stuff to build a fighter jet without relying on Western contractors. The Ministry of Defense plans to seek around 40 billion yen ($384 million) in fun...

  • Old stronghold of Khmer Rouge slowly becoming a revived land

    PAILIN, Cambodia -- Pailin Province in western Cambodia has vast stretches of farmland, and a new forest of casino hotels. It is getting ever harder to find signs that this area was not too long ago the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge. But peo...

  • China's antitrust watchdog fines 2 Japanese bearing makers

    TOKYO/BEIJING -- Japanese automotive bearing manufacturers NSK and NTN have been fined by Chinese authorities for violating antitrust regulations, the companies said Tuesday. NSK was hit with a 174 million yuan ($28 million) penalty while NTN fac...

  • Japan looking to buy more stealth fighters in fiscal 2015

    TOKYO -- The Ministry of Defense plans to seek funding for the purchase of six F-35 stealth fighter jets in next fiscal year's budget to strengthen defense of remote southwestern islands against China, which has grown increasingly assertive at sea an...

  • Abe government fixated on stock prices -- for good reasons

    TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking to keep stock prices as high as possible, as his government attempts to stay in power for the long term and overcome difficult policy challenges. Stock prices are widely seen as a key factor that...

  • Abe to retain finance and economy ministers

    TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to keep Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari and Finance Minister Taro Aso in their current positions when he reshuffles his cabinet on Sept. 3. Abe has decided to retain Aso, who is al...

  • Japan stepping up joint development, export of defense equipment

    TOKYO -- A defense equipment agency slated for launch next year will have a department charged with the international development and export of defense technologies, an organizational change that reflects the easing of weapons export bans in April. ...

  • Thai Airways chairman steps away for senior cabinet role

    BANGKOK - Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong has resigned as chairman of Thai Airways International amid widespread expectations that he will assume a position - possibly deputy prime minister - in the unelected interim cabinet that is to be appointed ...

  • Tokyo Gov. Masuzoe to face crunch time later this year

    TOKYO -- Six months since becoming governor of Tokyo, Yoichi Masuzoe has played to his strengths and clearly differentiated himself from his predecessors. But true tests of his political skills are waiting just around the corner. The former inter...