Policy & Politics

Japan's peacekeeping role

Tokyo eyes looser interpretation of cease-fire rule

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is discussing possible changes to Japan's official stance on peacekeeping operations, seeking flexibility under a rule that lets Japanese forces deploy only to areas where a cease-fire holds. The id...

  • Made in China

    Plan laid out to become manufacturing powerhouse by 2025

    BEIJING -- One of the centerpieces of China's new strategies for promoting industry to achieve stable growth is a 10-year plan for transforming the manufacturing sector. The "Made in China 2025" strategy was outlined by Premier Li Keqiang on Thur...

  • Consolidating power

    Xi uses anti-graft effort to tighten grip on army

    BEIJING -- China's anti-corruption crusade has ensnared 30 top military officers and brought the People's Liberation Army's budget under closer government scrutiny as President Xi Jinping aims to strengthen his control on two fronts.

  • Keeping tabs on capital

    Japan eyes early warnings to big banks

    TOKYO -- Japanese regulators plan to tell large banks to take pre-emptive action before their capital cushions reach a minimum threshold deemed necessary for financial soundness. The Financial Services Agency assesses banks' financial strength ba...

  • India's innovation platform

    Modi holds contest to develop app for prime minister's office

    NEW DELHI -- Narendra Modi, India's tech-savvy prime minister who is active on social media, wants a mobile app for his office and is inviting innovative ideas from Indian citizens, the best of which will be developed in association with Google. ...

  • Major parties submit bill to lower voting age to 18 next year

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's major political parties submitted a bill on Thursday seeking to amend the electoral law to lower the voting age for national elections to 18 from the current 20. Six parties, including the ruling coalition of the Liberal ...

  • Build-up continues

    China's 2015 defense budget to grow 10%

    BEIJING -- China will likely remain the world's second biggest military spender after the U.S. in 2015, with its annual defense budget set to hit another record. Year-on-year growth in China's defense spending will come to around 10%, Fu Ying, a ...

  • Lowering language barriers

    Japanese characters to be allowed as international trademarks

    TOKYO -- A global framework for trademark registration will be changed to permit the use of Chinese and Japanese characters, making it easier to protect Japan's brands as its culture takes off in Asia and beyond. Francis Gurry, director general o...

  • Decades-long vendetta

    Feud between leading ladies could threaten Bangladesh's apparel industry

    NEW DELHI -- A decades-long vendetta between two leading political figures could spiral out of control and threaten Bangladesh's fragile democracy. If law and order break down, the country's textile industry may grind to a halt, sending shockwaves th...

  • National People's Congress

    China hints at 10% defense budget rise

    Beijing -- China's military spending this year will rise around 10%, an official said Wednesday. The growth rate will be slightly lower than last year's 12.2%. "There is a need for China to protect our country and offer our people a sense of secu...

  • China's 2015 military spending to rise about 10%

    BEIJING (Kyodo) -- China will increase its military spending by around 10 percent this year, a spokeswoman of China's top legislature said Wednesday. Fu Ying told a press conference the country's specific defense budget figures will be released T...

  • Utility deregulation

    Bill offers Japanese consumers new choices

    TOKYO -- Japan's cabinet approved a bill Tuesday that would end more than 60 years of regional monopolies on the sale of electricity and natural gas. The bill, likely to be enacted during the current parliament, would create open markets for resi...

  • Quake reconstruction

    Tokyo could start asking local governments to chip in

    TOKYO -- Municipal governments affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami may have to start shouldering some of the rebuilding costs in fiscal 2016, Japan's minister for reconstruction told reporters Tuesday. Wataru Takeshita said that the curre...

  • China's political world gathers

    Opening session affirms economy in transition

    BEIJING -- China should pursue stable economic growth and structural reforms in parallel, a top official said Tuesday at the start of meetings this week that will outline President Xi Jinping's policy agenda. China will adapt spontaneously to the...

  • Route postponed, altered

    Taiwan, China clear up aviation rift

    TAIPEI -- A senior Taiwanese official said Taiwan and China have resolved some of their differences over new Chinese flight routes that Taipei claims could endanger the safety of flights departing the island. The reconciliation may help recently ...

  • PM Abe's local chapter received donations from subsidized firms

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The ruling Liberal Democratic Party's local chapter headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received 620,000 yen ($5,176) in donations in 2012 and 2013 from companies already selected for government subsidies, political funds reports sho...

  • Driving growth

    Restructuring of state-owned companies gains focus in China

    BEIJING -- With China's annual congressional session kicking off Thursday, there is a growing focus on the future of President Xi Jinping's massive campaign to reorganize state-owned enterprises. At last year's meeting, Xi stressed the need to tu...

  • Promoting inbound investment

    Japan to ease rules on foreigners launching businesses

    TOKYO -- Japan will drop a requirement that at least one representative of a newly established company reside in the country, lowering the hurdle for foreigners hoping to start businesses here. Under the new rules, a new company could have a mana...

  • Indonesian police chief nomination

    Widodo's political brinkmanship backfires

    JAKARTA -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo is in a tricky position. The opposition controls parliament. And it made the most of his controversial first nominee for the nation's next police chief. The president has brought in reforms to rebuild t...

  • Russian opposition leader Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow

    MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin and Russia's involvement in the war in Ukraine, was shot dead steps from the Kremlin in central Moscow late on Friday. Nemtsov, 55, w...