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Your Week in Asia

ASEAN-EU summit, Semicon Japan, Fiji election

Your weekly lineup of Asia's biggest business and political events

Global semiconductor industry group SEMI will hold its annual Japan trade show in Tokyo from Dec. 14 to 16.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

China will likely convene a key economic meeting in the middle of the week to set the tone for its economic development in the coming year.

Global semiconductor industry group SEMI's annual Japan trade show kicks off on Wednesday.

On Friday, the Japanese government is expected to approve three defense-related documents, including a new National Security Strategy, in which it proposes designating China a "strategic challenge" amid a deteriorating security environment in the region.

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BTS member Jin starts military service

K-pop group BTS' oldest member, Jin, enters boot camp close to North Korea. After completing a five-week military training course, he will be dispatched to a camp to serve for a year and a half, like other South Korean men. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to gather at the camp to say goodbye, but his agency asked them not to come, citing safety concerns.


Semicon Japan

Global semiconductor industry group SEMI holds its annual Japan trade show Wednesday through Friday, giving manufacturers of chipmaking equipment and materials a chance to showcase their technology. The event will also feature keynote speeches from industry leaders, including the head of Rapidus, a Japanese government-backed company working to develop next-generation chips.

EU-ASEAN summit

Leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) meet in Brussels. The two sides will discuss expanding trade and infrastructure cooperation as the EU seeks to strengthen ties with the Asian bloc and counter Russian and Chinese influence.

U.S. opens space force unit in South Korea

The U.S. inaugurates its space force unit in South Korea as North Korea raises tensions on the peninsula by firing off intercontinental ballistic missiles. The U.S. military will host the activation ceremony for the U.S. Space Forces Korea at Osan Air Base, south of Seoul. The unit is tasked with monitoring and responding to possible provocations from Pyongyang.

Fiji election

Fiji goes to the polls for a general election that is taking place against a backdrop of big-power competition in the Pacific and concerns about the democratic process in the country. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 military coup and has since been elected twice, but his most recent win in 2018 was less convincing than his first.

Sitiveni Rabuka, another former military strongman, is seen as a formidable challenger. The army has pledged to respect the results, but a messy aftermath could test Western allies' diplomacy as China vies for influence.

BOJ tankan business survey

The Bank of Japan's Tankan quarterly sentiment survey is expected to paint a mixed picture for the Japanese economy, with manufacturers' sentiment ebbing and that of nonmanufacturers improving. The downturn in the global semiconductor cycle is weighing on manufacturers, but the service sector is supported by the COVID reopening and the recovery of the country's tourism industry.


China economic data and conference

China releases key economic data for November on retail sales and industrial production. Figures released last week showed slowing momentum in manufacturing and trade due to subdued demand in global and domestic markets.

The same day, Beijing is expected to kick off the Central Economic Work Conference, the highest-level meeting on economic affairs to be attended by President Xi Jinping, Bloomberg reported. China's top leaders are expected to set the broad economic policy direction for next year at the end of the three-day session.

The annual conference comes as economists call for the government to support the property sector and household consumption to boost economic growth, which has slowed down partly due to COVID restrictions.

Monetary policy announcement: Philippines

New Zealand announces Q3 GDP


Japan to approve national security strategy

The Japanese government is expected to approve three defense-related documents, including the National Security Strategy, which will be updated for the first time since it was adopted in 2013. Revisions to the document will codify the government's decision to develop a military counterattack capability to address the rapid deterioration of the regional security environment.

Japan plans to raise its defense budget to about 43 trillion yen ($318 billion) for fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2027, an increase of more than 50% from its current five-year spending plan. This will also be mentioned in the Five-year Defense Program, which specifies development plans and necessary spending.


World Cup final

Soccer's premier international tournament draws to a close on Sunday in Qatar. Teams from Asia made their presence felt with success against European powerhouses in the group stage: Japan beat Germany and Spain, while South Korea defeated Portugal. But both countries fell in the round of 16, leaving the competition without Asian representation heading into the final.

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