Policy & Politics

Drawing foreign funds

China to start allowing capital transactions in economic zones

BEIJING -- China's State Council aims to start liberalizing yuan-denominated capital transactions in the country's special economic zones to help revive slowing foreign investment. The council issued a statement Friday regarding the development o...

  • Japan's parties on issues

    Election boils down to whether voters feel better off

    TOKYO -- Voter perceptions about the state of the economy and confidence in the Abe government's ability to turn it around will constitute the biggest factor in the coming lower house election. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems happy to make the ele...

  • Japan's snap election

    Abenomics on the ballot

    TOKYO -- Next month's lower house election will be a referendum on Shinzo Abe's grand policy experiment as the prime minister seeks voter support to continue Abenomics and bring about an economic revival. "This election is for the people to decid...

  • Japanese parties' election goals

    Seeking triple digits or just one

    TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers Friday to prepare for a difficult battle for the lower house, where "whichever side lets down its guard will lose." While the official start of campaigning is more ...

  • Corporate governance

    Japan leans Westward on outside director policy

    TOKYO -- The Financial Services Agency and the Tokyo Stock Exchange are drawing up new guidelines on corporate governance to encourage companies to appoint multiple outside directors to oversee management and help promote higher capital efficiency. ...

  • After the coup

    Thai junta struggles to move forward

    BANGKOK -- Six months since the military took power, former army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha's interim government has yet to make headway in restoring democracy or rehabilitating the economy. Five college students interrupted a speech by Prayuth in t...

  • Mongolia's political crisis

    New leader must resuscitate stalling economy

    ULAN BATOR -- Mongolia finally has a new prime minister. Just over two weeks after the dramatic ousting of Norov Altankhuyag, the ruling Democratic Party named his close ally and cabinet secretary to the top job on Nov. 21. The choice of Chimed S...

  • Japan's Diet dissolved

    General election set for December

    TOKYO -- The lower house of Japan's parliament was dissolved Friday afternoon, clearing the way for the first snap election since December 2012. Lower house Speaker Bunmei Ibuki read out the Emperor's dissolution rescript at a Diet meeting that s...

  • Japan's snap election

    Abe looking to learn from predecessors' experiences

    TOKYO -- After two years in office, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided that the time is now right to exercise his prerogative as premier and dissolve the lower house of parliament, effective Friday. In reaching that conclusion, Abe evidently t...

  • Reforming Japanese taxation

    Delaying sales tax hike may ground other changes

    TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to postpone a consumption tax increase looks likely to save an auto tax from the scrap heap for a while and may even limit the size of a corporate tax cut next fiscal year. Many of the tax code change...

  • Japan stimulus

    Ministries in tug of war on spending plan

    TOKYO -- While Tokyo's political hub Nagatacho gets busy for an election next month, ministry bureaucrats continue to grapple with the stimulus measures the government plans to roll out to prop up the faltering economy. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ...

  • Remote island defense

    Japan pushes up landing vehicle purchases by 2 years

    TOKYO -- Japan's Defense Ministry plans to acquire 30 amphibious vehicles in fiscal 2015 and 22 the year after, two years earlier than planned, to beef up the defense of remote islands amid rising tensions in the East China Sea. The vehicles are ...

  • Abe in campaign mode

    LDP to promise early rollout of more child care support

    TOKYO -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party will assure voters that an expansion of child care subsidies and other entitlements will start before a sales tax increase that was supposed to come first. On Thursday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe si...

  • Lower house election

    It's time for robust debate on painful economic measures

    TOKYO -- Economic policies for rejuvenating the economy should be front and center in the campaigns for the upcoming lower house election, as it is clear Japan can no longer afford to shy away from tough structural reforms. "Unfortunately the eco...

  • Chinese listing standards

    Relaxed rules to boost smaller companies

    SHANGHAI -- China's State Council decided Wednesday to ease the requirements for companies going public in order to support the growth of small and midsize enterprises. Companies used to have to log net profits for several years before they could...

  • Japanese election

    Ruling bloc to pledge reduced sales tax on food

    TOKYO -- Japan's ruling coalition will vow to cut taxes on food and other necessities at the same time that an increase in the standard consumption tax kicks in. The lower tax rates will form a plank in a joint platform for the Liberal Democratic...

  • Breaking point?

    Hong Kong violence condemned by all sides

    HONG KONG -- Some pro-democracy protesters tried to storm the legislature early Wednesday, drawing criticism from lawmakers and student leaders alike for compromising the movement's dedication to nonviolence. The protesters were upset by the forc...

  • Japan elections

    After taking flak, ruling coalition sets higher victory target

    TOKYO -- Japan's ruling coalition quickly adjusted its victory target for the Dec. 14 general election after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came under fire for setting a relatively easy goal of winning a simple majority. Liberal Democratic P...

  • Islamic State in Asia

    What happens when the fighters come home?

    JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR -- A total of at least 100 Indonesians and Malaysians are believed to be fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. Several volunteers have died this year as suicide bombers or in combat. Officials from the South...

  • Walter Lohman

    Widodo's early moves suggest continuity, not change

    International leaders gained their first measure of Indonesia's dynamic new president Joko Widodo in the round of Asian summits in mid-November. At home, Widodo has a reputation as a populist, a problem solver, and a regular guy. Abroad, he was -- an...