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  • Vatican head visits new 'frontier'

    BANGKOK -- Pope Francis, the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, hoped to put his stamp on Asia during his recent six-day visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Of Asia's 140 million Catholics, an estimated 73 million are Filipino. Eas

    January 22, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Pakistan seeks growth while fighting terrorists who 'do not have religion'

    TOKYO -- The cabinet of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, formed in June 2013, is attempting to spark economic growth while dealing with extremists within and around the nation's borders. In two conversations with The Nikkei, Finance Minister I

    January 22, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Stephen Grenville: Low oil prices provide a fleeting chance for reform

    If the global price of oil had jumped by 50%, there is little doubt that economic commentators would be calling it a disaster for world growth. The price has in fact fallen by more than 50% since last June, but this ray of good news has not yet pier

    January 22, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Executive women in Asia

    Philippines leads the region with its women in management

    SINGAPORE -- The Philippines is leading Asia with its high percentage of women in management positions, according to a recent report by the International Labor Organization. A ranking complied by the ILO shows the Philippines to be the only Asian co

    January 19, 2015 07:30 pm JST
  • Healing divisions

    Pope's jungle foray a sign of peace

    MADHU, Sri Lanka -- As the helicopter carrying Pope Francis hovered Wednesday over a small Catholic church located deep inside a thick forest in northwest Sri Lanka, thousands of devotees who had packed into an open field in front of the cream-color

    January 19, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • China's rising global influence

    Japan in a pickle over Beijing-led AIIB

    TOKYO -- Japan will soon have to make up its mind about joining China's efforts to get the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank up and running. "Why is there no plan to set up a board?" a high ranking official of Japan's Ministry of Finance aske

    January 19, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Pope Francis in Asia

    Vatican head visits 'new frontier'

    BANGKOK -- Pope Francis, the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, this week hopes to put his stamp on Asia. The pope's six-day trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines aims to convey the church's message to billions of potential converts. A

    January 16, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Sri Lankan election

    Improved governance, reconciliation high on new president's agenda

    TOKYO -- In the Jan. 8 presidential poll in Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, former health minister, beat expectations and scored a victory over Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent president who had ruled the South Asian country for nine years. Raj

    January 15, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Change at the top

    The downfall of Sri Lanka's strongman

    COLOMBO -- A crowd of nearly 150, many of them women, gathered outside a high school polling station in a Colombo suburb when voting came to a close at 4 p.m. on Jan. 8. Looking stern and purposeful, they were there out of a civic duty to ensure tha

    January 15, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Living with terror: In South Asia, say 'Je suis Charlie' at your own risk

    Attacks on staff at Charlie Hebdo and shoppers at a kosher supermarket in Paris this month have left Europe stunned and uneasy. Many felt, while they mourned, that this type of attack could happen again. Then it did. Only two days after the sati

    January 15, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • The downfall of Sri Lanka's strongman

    COLOMBO -- A crowd of nearly 150, many of them women, gathered outside a high school polling station in a Colombo suburb when voting came to a close at 4 p.m. on Jan. 8. Looking stern and purposeful, they were there out of a civic duty to ensure tha

    January 15, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Economy, China ties to be focus under new leader

    COLOMBO/NEW DELHI -- Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka's new president, says he will not seek a second term in office. So with six years to leave his mark, there is no time to waste. On the economic front, Sri Lanka did well during former Presiden

    January 15, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Bhutan weighs value of tourist income against disruption

    THIMPHU -- Bhutan, the Himalayan kingdom often described as the world's last unspoiled travel destination, is thinking of easing regulations that limit visitor numbers. But it is divided over whether the costs of liberalization outweigh the economic

    January 15, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Ishaq Dar interview

    Finance minister wants investors to bet on Pakistan -- and feel safe doing so

    TOKYO -- Pakistan's government has its hands full. The cabinet of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, formed in June 2013, is simultaneously attempting to spark economic growth, privatize state-owned companies, resolve energy shortages and deal with extrem

    January 14, 2015 09:30 pm JST
  • Journalists in the crosshairs

    In South Asia, say 'Je suis Charlie' at your own risk

    Attacks on staff at Charlie Hebdo and shoppers at a kosher supermarket in Paris this month have left Europe stunned and uneasy. Many felt, while they mourned, that this type of attack could happen again. Then it did. Only two days after the sati

    January 14, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Sirisena's scrutiny

    Sri Lanka's China-backed projects hang in balance

    HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka/NEW DELHI -- Sri Lanka's Hambantota port, a cherished project of recently defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is aimed at improving conditions in the tsunami-ravaged southern part of the island nation. It is also one of the m

    January 14, 2015 02:20 pm JST
  • As many as 59 dead in bus-oil tanker collision in southern Pakistan

    ISLAMABAD (Kyodo) -- As many as 59 people were killed in a head-on collision between a passenger bus and an oil tanker early Sunday morning in a Karachi neighborhood, rescue workers and administration official said. All the passengers and the d

    January 11, 2015 03:14 pm JST
  • Pivot away from China

    Sri Lanka may boost ties with India, Japan under new leader

    COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka might exit its honeymoon phase with China under newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena, and instead pursue stronger security ties with India and Japan. The United Nations is investigating alleged war crimes by former P

    January 10, 2015 05:09 am JST
  • Sirisena rising

    Sri Lanka's new president a beacon of change

    COLOMBO -- Maithripala Sirisena won the Sri Lankan presidency on a stand against corruption and nepotism that resonated with a public seeking change after a decade under an autocratic presidency. While many of the nation's politicians are known

    January 10, 2015 01:53 am JST
  • Sri Lanka Presidential poll

    Incumbent Rajapaksa concedes defeat

    COLOMBO -- Mahinda Rajapaksa, South Asia's longest-serving leader, conceded defeat Friday in the Sri Lankan presidential election amid signs of a clear victory for his challenger and former ally Maithripala Sirisena . Rajapaksa left the Temple T

    January 9, 2015 04:27 pm JST