Policy & Politics

Public approval ratings tend to rise after a natural disaster that necessitates a government response.

Abe's public approval rises on quake response

TOKYO -- Public support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet recovered to 53% in the latest public opinion survey, with respondents largely applauding the response to the recent earthquakes on the southern island of Kyushu.The approval ra...

  • Hong Kong protest against 'parallel traders' abruptly cancelled

    HONG KONG -- A planned protest against cross-border bulk shoppers in northern Hong Kong was abruptly cancelled at the last minute on Sunday afternoon. The organizer cited unexplained "safety concerns," but some would-be participants proceeded on thei...

  • Joint drills with expanded SDF role postponed until after summer poll

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government has decided to postpone drills with foreign troops, based on security legislation that expanded the activities of Japan's Self-Defense Forces, until after the upper house election in the summer, sources close to the ma...

  • China's tax overhaul aims to cut business costs

    BEIJING (Reuters) -- China has rolled out a value-added tax (VAT) system across all industries that previously had a business tax, in the most ambitious overhaul of its tax regime in three decades.The world's second-largest economy is stumbling throu...

  • Iraqi protesters breach Green Zone, storm parliament

    BAGHDAD (AP) -- Hundreds of protesters climbed over the blast walls surrounding Baghdad's highly-fortified Green Zone for the first time on Saturday and stormed into parliament, carrying Iraqi flags and chanting against the government.The breach mark...

  • Tibetans in exile re-elect Harvard Law grad as leader

    NEW DELHI -- Lobsang Sangay has been re-elected as prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile amid hopes that the Harvard-educated lawyer will vigorously pursue the cause of Tibetan autonomy.Sangay was first elected in 2011, after the Dalai La...

  • Panama Papers furor highlights Japan's struggle with tax dodgers

    TOKYO -- Leaked documents on offshore tax havens of prominent figures worldwide now raise the question in Japan of how to handle tax policy in the age of globalization.A law firm here has fielded a wave of calls from wealthy clients worried that they...

  • Abe reaffirms push for constitutional changes to defense powers

    TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pressed his case for revising Japan's war-renouncing constitution in a TV interview aired Friday, stressing the need to eventually confront the issue."I question the validity of thinking that we cannot touch the con...

  • Australia rejects massive Kidman farmland sale to China

    SYDNEY -- With a general election just months away and a growing unease among the public toward property purchases by Chinese interests, the Australian government has decided to block a sale of huge cattle farm holdings to a China-led consortium.Fede...

  • Commentary

    Daniel Twining : Trilateral bloc could defend a fraying liberal order

    The US, Japan and Europe as a bloc could go where individual Asian governments do not, militarily as well as diplomatically.

  • Independence catching on among Hong Kong's youth

    HONG KONG -- Frustration with the mainland Chinese government is growing among younger generations here, even leading to Hong Kong's first-ever political party that makes a break from Beijing its main objective.Chan Ho-tin, who launched the Hong Kong...

  • North Korean midrange missile tests fail: Seoul

    SEOUL -- A pair of North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missile launches apparently failed Thursday, South Korean military sources say.A projectile thought to be a Musudan missile was fired around 6:40 a.m. near the eastern coastal city of Wonsa...

  • China toughens oversight of foreign NGOs

    BEIJING -- The Chinese government further tightened its grip on civil society Thursday by passing new legislation granting the nation's security agency direct oversight of foreign nongovernmental organizations operating inside the country.Citing the ...

  • Panama Papers reveal dubious wealth of dictators, cronies

    CAIRO -- The litany of secrets that has been exposed by the Panama Papers includes sordid stories about people close to dictators who are subject to international economic sanctions.These revelations show how tax havens have shielded strongmen from i...

  • Longstanding Mahathir-Najib feud heating up

    SINGAPORE -- A political battle has been heating up in Malaysia between former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the country's current leader, Najib Razak.Mahathir, who held the reins for 22 years (1981-2003), has been ratcheting up criticism of Na...

  • Duterte fails to calm nervous investors

    MANILA -- Rodrigo Duterte, the frontrunner in the Philippine presidential election, talked with businessmen about killing criminals and tackling drug problems on Wednesday at an event intended for him to spell out his economic policies.At the Preside...

  • Team Tsai takes shape in Taiwan

    TAIPEI -- Taiwanese President-elect Tsai Ing-wen has announced a string of appointments she hopes will help her navigate cross-strait relations and stimulate the economy. Tsai won the Jan. 16 election, in part, on a promise to protect Taiwan's so...

  • Clinton, Trump gain ground toward fall presidential matchup

    WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, increasingly confident of securing the Democratic presidential nomination, is already looking past the primaries, calling for party unity in order to prevail in the general election in Nov...

  • North Korea's Kim seen consolidating power at May congress

    SEOUL -- The upcoming congress of the Workers' Party of Korea has attracted much speculation, with some anticipating economic reforms and a generational change in the top ranks alongside Kim Jong Un's efforts to drive home his status as the North's s...

  • Regulator says fault below central Japan reactor may be active

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The nuclear safety body said Wednesday it has accepted the conclusion by geological experts that a fault below a reactor at Hokuriku Electric Power Co.'s Shika nuclear plant in central Japan may be active, a decision that could lead ...