Policy & Politics

Ashraf Ghani © AP

Afghan election body names Ghani president-elect

KABUL (Kyodo) -- Afghanistan's election commission on Sunday named former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani as the country's president-elect in announcing the final result of June's second round run-off vote. "The Independent Election Commission of A...

  • 2 parties merge to form Japan's 2nd largest opposition party

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Two of Japan's small opposition parties merged and launched a new political party Sunday, the country's third largest, in a bid to stir political realignment. Ishin no To, officially known in English as the Japan Innovation Party...

  • Japan to increase intelligence staff by one-third

    TOKYO -- The Japanese government plans to boost the number of employees at its Public Security Intelligence Agency from the current 1,500 to 2,000 by 2020 to step up antiterrorism measures ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As the first step towar...

  • Afghan election candidates reach agreement on unity government : reports

    KABUL (Kyodo) -- The two rival candidates in Afghanistan's heavily disputed presidential election have agreed on the framework of a "national unity government," local media reported Saturday. In addition, the country's Electoral Commission announ...

  • New Zealand's National Party wins general election

    SYDNEY (Kyodo) -- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was reelected to a third term in office on Saturday, with his center-right National Party winning the country's general election by a wide margin. "Three more years," Key said in his victory s...

  • EU's big pond emboldens would-be little fish

    LONDON -- Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, may have lost this week's referendum on independence, but he won the battle for greater powers of self-governance. Scots will gain even more autonomy over fiscal matters, health care and other police...

  • Taiwan arrests put spotlight on gambling fund flows

    TAIPEI/HONG KONG -- When Taipei District Prosecutors Office swooped down on a company they accused of illegally transferring large sums to a Macau casino, it stirred up a hornet's nest by poking into a world of shadowy transactions that have helped c...

  • Plan to dump local elections riles Indonesians

    SOLO, Indonesia -- Two months on from the election that made Joko Widodo president-elect, posters and billboards backing the local hero are still a common sight around this provincial Central Java city. Jokowi, as the president-elect is widely kn...

  • Scotland votes to remain within the U.K.

    LONDON (Kyodo) -- Residents of Scotland have voted to remain within the United Kingdom in a referendum on independence, officials results showed Friday. With all 32 councils having declared following Thursday's referendum, a total of 2,001,926 (...

  • Japan wants fit folks to pay less for health care

    TOKYO -- Japan's health ministry is craftng a plan to offer discounts on public medical insurance premiums as an incentive for scoring higher on screenings. Officials hope such rewards will keep more people free from Type 2 diabetes and other pre...

  • Development Bank of Japan's privatization could be delayed

    TOKYO -- The Japanese government may push back the timeline for privatizing the Development Bank of Japan to keep public funds flowing into infrastructure construction and other fields that could boost the sluggish economy. The DBJ is currently w...

  • Chinese investment a divisive issue in upcoming New Zealand vote

    SYDNEY -- Tighter restrictions on foreign ownership of homes and land have become a key issue in the upcoming general election in New Zealand, where speculative money from China and other countries is pushing up housing prices. The opposition par...

  • Pushback against tax avoidance takes shape

    TOKYO -- A think tank for industrialized countries has put forward a plan for deterring multinationals from shifting their profits to low-tax jurisdictions. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development proposed a set of rules Tuesda...

  • Sinopec to sell 30% stake in gasoline sales subsidiary

    BEIJING -- Chinese oil giant Sinopec said it will sell a 30% stake in its gasoline marketing subsidiary to a group of 25 domestic and foreign companies for more than 107 billion yuan ($17.4 billion). The subsidiary, Sinopec Marketing, operates mo...

  • Japan helping improve freight train efficiency in Myanmar

    TOKYO -- Japan's transport ministry will begin a field test in Myanmar on Sept. 25 aimed at increasing the efficiency of shipping freight by rail in the Southeast Asian nation. In the test, containers unloaded at the Port of Yangon will be loaded...

  • November pain may be in store for Taiwan's ruling party

    CHIAYI, Taiwan -- The governing party of Taiwan is struggling to drum up public support prior to unified local elections scheduled for late November. President Ma Ying-jeou, who leads the ruling Kuomintang, or Chinese Nationalist Party, presented...

  • Will lessons be learned from Taiwan's latest 'gutter oil' scandal?

    TAIPEI -- When Taiwanese investigators busted Kaohsiung-based Chang Guann in southern Taiwan in early September for mixing recycled oil from leather factories and food waste in its cooking oil products, few realized the ramifications the incident wou...

  • For Australia, Japanese submarine debate smooths history but riles industry

    SYDNEY -- With the crack of a mallet opening a keg of sake aboard a Japanese warship in Sydney Harbour, Japan and Australia celebrated their tightening strategic cooperation in the face of a rising China. For the 129 young Japanese ensigns such a...

  • China taking steady steps toward Indian Ocean sea lane

    BEIJING -- China is steadily advancing efforts to create a sea lane through the Indian Ocean by actively investing in port facilities of South Asian countries. Under its "string of pearls" strategy, China wants to build a network of port and logi...

  • Japan, Russia to run naval rescue exercises as planned

    TOKYO -- Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Russian navy are expected to conduct joint search-and-rescue exercises off the coast of Vladivostok as early as late this month. These will mark the first joint exercises between Japan's Self-D...