Policy & Politics

Japan's Aegis destroyer Kirishima

Mission expansion

Japan eyeing 5 trillion yen defense budget

TOKYO -- Japan's Ministry of Defense will likely make a record budget request for fiscal 2016 as it seeks to buy new airborne refueling aircraft and continue building an Aegis destroyer. Soaring procurement costs due to the weaker yen will also be fa...

  • Cambodian politics

    Hun Sen's dynastic designs

    HANOI -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has been consolidating power since the death of his long-time rival, Chea Sim, in June. Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party had been losing its appeal. That was highlighted in 2013, when the Cambodia Natio...

  • Armed forces reform coming

    China expels ex-military chief, appoints 10 new generals

    BEIJING -- China has expelled a former military chief from the Communist Party while promoting 10 officers to the rank of general, moves that reflect President Xi Jinping's attempt to tighten his grip on the nation's military. Guo Boxiong, who se...

  • Philippines presidency

    Aquino finally anoints Roxas

    MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino's Liberal Party formally endorsed Manuel Roxas, the interior and local government secretary, as its candidate in next year's presidential elections. "We will go with someone who is certain to continue the 'strai...

  • Gunmen open fire at Sri Lanka rally, one dead

    COLOMBO (Reuters) -- One person was killed and 15 wounded on Friday in a drive-by shooting at a Sri Lankan election rally attended by the finance minister, police said, the latest political violence to hit the nation still recovering from civil war. ...

  • Aquino backs interior minister for 2016 Philippine presidential polls

    MANILA (Kyodo) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Friday formally endorsed Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas as the standard-bearer of their political party in next year's presidential election. "I bring you, who i...

  • Price stability at risk?

    Plan to curtail Indian central bank independence stirs worry

    NEW DELHI -- India's conservative government has proposed a draft bill that would strip the country's central bank of its independence by putting the power to set interest rates in the hands of politicians. The plan has created a backlash among e...

  • Pursuit of stability

    China leaders reaffirm commitment to stock market, economy

    BEIJING -- Top Communist Party leaders have reaffirmed Beijing's commitment to continue taking action needed to stabilize the Chinese financial market and underpin the economy. The party's Politburo -- the steering committee comprising President ...

  • State ordered to suspend flights at Atsugi base over plane noise

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A high court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that ordered the state to suspend nighttime and early morning flights by Self-Defense Forces aircraft at a base near Tokyo due to noise, while dismissing the plaintiffs' call to ha...

  • Blowback from market intervention

    Market-rescue efforts feared to hamper Chinese reforms

    BEIJING -- The Shanghai stock exchange may strike foreigners as a "government-controlled" market in which the powers that be can push stock prices up or down at will. A July 17 incident serves as a telling example. President Xi Jinping visited a ...

  • Former senior Chinese military officer to be prosecuted for graft

    BEIJING (Reuters) - A former senior Chinese military officer, Guo Boxiong, has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party for taking bribes, and his case will be handed over to military prosecutors, state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday.

  • Life expectancy

    Japanese longevity reaches record

    TOKYO -- The average life expectancy of the Japanese population hit a new record in 2014, with women attaining the ripe old age of 86.83 years and men living 80.5 years, according to a government report released Thursday. "Declining death rates f...

  • Atsugi ruling covers SDF, not US

    Japanese court puts residents' health first by banning nighttime flights

    TOKYO -- By upholding a lower court ban on late night and early morning flights at a Kanagawa air base, the Tokyo High Court sent a clear message that protecting the health of residents outweighs the need to maintain nonurgent Self-Defense Forces fli...

  • Mumbai bombings

    Accountant hanged for deadliest terrorist attacks on Indian soil

    NEW DELHI -- India on Thursday executed a chartered accountant for his involvement in a series of bombings that struck Mumbai in 1993. The explosions killed 257 -- 84 of them at the Bombay Stock Exchange -- and injured more than 700. The coordina...

  • BOJ Watch

    Can Kuroda stay bullish even if China stocks stay on the floor?

    TOKYO -- With China's equity market continuing its roller-coaster ride, the outlook for the Chinese economy is worrying senior officials at the Bank of Japan. The central bank is at a critical juncture in its drive to keep inflation rising, and it is...

  • Fed says economy improving; September rate hike in view

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. economy and job market continue to strengthen, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, leaving the door open for a possible interest rate hike when central bank policymakers next meet in September. Following their ...

  • Myanmar politics

    Thein Sein eyes second term and more reforms

    NAYPYITAW -- Myanmar's President Thein Sein signaled that he intends to pursue his ambitious reform program beyond national elections in November to the end of his current term in early 2016, and rejected recent charges that reforms had stalled and t...

  • Julio S. Amador III

    Aquino's successor faces challenge building on recent success

    As the Philippines heads into an election next year, there are questions as to whether its current performance is sustainable, or if changes in political leadership will cause policy swings that derail the country's growth and development. The Ph...

  • Philippines presidency

    Will personality trump policy in the next election?

    Less than a year before the Philippines elects a new president, the leadership race is gathering pace as contenders jockey for the chance to build on recent economic gains. Under President Benigno Aquino, economic growth in the former "sick man o...

  • Parliamentary debate on defense

    Abe's ruling party plays up potential threats in security debate

    TOKYO -- The Japanese parliament's upper house started deliberating national security bills that would let the country's troops fight in conflicts overseas. A wide gap between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the main opposition Democratic Par...