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  • Second in command

    Seoul's new chief of staff could warm ties with Tokyo

    SEOUL -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye tapped a former ambassador to Japan as her new chief of staff Friday, fueling hopes in Tokyo for positive developments in what are now frosty bilateral ties. Lee Byung-kee was chosen for his expertis

    February 28, 2015 07:32 am JST
  • South Korean diplomacy

    Park's principles trump relations with Pyongyang, Tokyo

    SEOUL -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye appears resolved to stick to certain principles, even if doing so limits her maneuvering room for improving relations with North Korea and Japan. Recent talk of a potential summit between the leader

    February 27, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Asian airports

    Narita fights for business with landing fee discounts

    TOKYO -- Discount duels between airlines are nothing new. But airports also have rivalries. Japan's Narita International Airport is cutting fees in hopes of keeping up with the competition in Asia. From April, airlines new to the Tokyo hub will

    February 27, 2015 06:16 am JST
  • S. Korean court rules adultery law unconstitutional

    SEOUL (Kyodo) -- South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled unconstitutional an adultery law regarding marital infidelity as a criminal act, abolishing a law enacted in 1953. In the nine-member apex court, seven justices voted to scrap

    February 26, 2015 06:00 pm JST
  • Petrochemicals

    Spot ethylene, propylene prices rebound in Asia

    TOKYO -- With the price of crude oil settling after a months-long slide, Asian spot prices of ethylene and other basic petrochemicals have turned upward. Ethylene has risen to around $950 per ton, about 9% higher than a month ago. Propylene is u

    February 26, 2015 01:57 am JST
  • Boon of cheaper crude

    South Korean shares up on hopes for stronger consumer spending

    SEOUL -- South Korea's benchmark stock index continued its winning streak Wednesday on heavy buying by foreigners anticipating that lower crude oil prices will leave consumers with more money to spend. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose

    February 26, 2015 01:50 am JST
  • American hospitals ahead, at least in terms of market value

    BANGKOK -- U.S. medical companies are ahead of the pack, at least on the markets. Asian companies such as Malaysia's IHH Healthcare and Bangkok Dusit Medical Services of Thailand also rank high in terms of market capitalization. But American ope

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Some out of luck with nip-and-tuck in South Korea

    SEOUL -- South Korea has become one of the world's favorite destinations to get those nip-and-tuck jobs done, thanks to the government's strong advocacy for medical tourism. But despite Seoul's reputation for being a miracle factory, the number of b

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • South Korea experiences economic pain

    SEOUL -- Vast swaths of South Korean industry saw earnings plummet last year. Major export-oriented manufacturers in sectors such as shipbuilding and chemicals, retailers and other domestic demand-oriented service companies were hit in the fiscal ye

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Retailer Shinsegae makes plans to grow

    SEOUL -- South Korean retailer Shinsegae this year plans capital investments totaling 3.35 trillion won ($3.04 billion), 50% more than in 2014, mostly on shopping malls and logistics centers. New shopping complexes will house department stores,

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Kicking the habit in Seoul

    SEOUL -- South Korean smokers beware. "This area is a designated smoke-free zone; smokers lighting up will be fined." The message is blared out over a speaker system in the area around Sindorim Station, where many commuters transfer. A large sho

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Bob Carr: Asia infrastructure bank: Better in than out

    It was sad that Australia announced on Oct. 31 last year that it would not be part of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the new regional development institution being organized by China. It was sadder that the announcement was made follo

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Yoshino, Morgan, Wignaraja: Why Asia needs more financial education

    In the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, financial literacy and financial education are gaining more attention around the world. There were sobering lessons, for example, in how the misselling of financial products contributed d

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Tejraj M. Aminabhavi: Eating our way to a healthier world

    A balanced diet is essential for not only providing energy and nutrients but also preventing disease. Changes in lifestyles and what we eat have greatly influenced human health, resulting in higher risks of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, d

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • After 14 years, Tokyo and Seoul end currency swap program

    TOKYO -- Japan and South Korea have let their 14-year-old currency swap program expire amid chilly bilateral relations. While the accord was aimed at enabling each country to secure foreign currencies from the other in times of crisis, diplomati

    February 26, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • South Korean president under fire

    Park marks 3rd year in office amid plunging approval ratings

    SEOUL -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye is facing a tough time as she marks her third year in office. Senior members of the ruling Saenuri Party voiced concerns about Park's plunging popularity at their meeting on Jan. 14. "She failed to m

    February 25, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Fortune global rankings

    Only three Asian companies among 50 most admired

    SINGAPORE -- Only Singapore Airlines (SIA), Toyota and Samsung have been ranked among the top 50 most admired companies in the world in a list compiled by Fortune, the U.S. business magazine. Apple was ranked by Fortune as the world's most admir

    February 24, 2015 10:50 pm JST
  • Frederic Neumann

    Asia needs to go easy on rate cuts

    Asia is staring at deflation. And central bankers are responding. In recent weeks, officials from India to Australia unexpectedly eased monetary policy. Indonesia is just the latest country to cut interest rates -- a glaring current-account deficit

    February 24, 2015 01:20 pm JST
  • Chilly Japan-S. Korea relations

    Tokyo, Seoul end 14-year currency swap program amid chilled ties

    TOKYO -- Japan and South Korea have let their 14-year-old currency swap program expire amid chilled bilateral relations. While a currency swap accord between two countries is aimed at enabling each country to secure foreign currencies in need fr

    February 24, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Diplomatic disengagement

    Japan, South Korea let currency accord expire

    TOKYO -- The currency swap arrangement between Japan and South Korea ended Monday, raising concern that the two countries may be a bit more vulnerable to financial emergencies. The program, which let each partner use its currency to secure doll

    February 24, 2015 04:31 am JST