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Your Week in Asia

More reopening in Shanghai, Japan opens to tourists, Singapore security summit

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

People dine outdoors at a restaurant during the Dragon Boat Festival, the first public holiday in the city since the lifting of the lockdown for the COVID-19 outbreak, in Shanghai on June 3.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

Shanghai recently lifted a two-month COVID-19 lockdown, and some students are expected to return to classrooms this week. The impact of the harsh pandemic measures on China's economy will be highlighted later in the week, when it reports trade and inflation figures for May.

On Friday, Japan is expected to welcome international tourists for the first time in two years, albeit with some strict conditions. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will meanwhile join defense ministers from the U.S. and China for the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.

Get the best of our coverage of Asia and much more by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.


Shanghai schools begin to reopen

Shanghai's senior high school students are due to return to classroom study ahead of July's college entrance exam, as the city removes its strict COVID-19 prevention measures. The rest of the students will resume online classes until June 30 before summer break next month.

KMT chairman opens Washington office

Eric Chu, chairman of Taiwan's largest opposition party Kuomintang, will host the opening of KMT's office in Washington, D.C. The event marks a comeback for the party's presence stateside. This is also the first time Chu has visited the U.S. since he was elected as KMT's chairman in September last year. His trip comes as Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party strengthens ties with Washington as tensions with Beijing grow. Taiwan is due to hold local elections in November.

Sedition trial of Olympic protester Koo Sze-yiu begins

Hong Kong activist Koo Sze-yiu is due to go on trial after he pleaded not guilty to committing a seditious act in a planned protest against the Beijing Winter Olympics earlier this year. The 75-year-old faces up to two years in jail for sedition, but the charge sheet made available to the press revealed no details about Koo's alleged crime. A coffin with the words "human rights are above the Winter Olympics" was seized from Koo's apartment during an investigation.

Apple annual developers conference

Apple will kick off its World Wide Developer Conference with a live-streamed keynote by CEO Tim Cook. It's the third year the company is holding the event in an all-virtual format despite the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions in California. The tech giant is expected to unveil new updates to its various operating systems and details of upcoming products. While there will be no new iPhones announced at the mid-year event, Apple has unveiled updates to other products, such as the Mac and Apple Watch, at previous conferences.


Kishida's 'new capitalism' action plan

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will spell out his "new capitalism" economic policy for the first time since taking office in October. He is expected to outline a growth strategy centered on investment in people, science and technology, startups, decarbonization, and digital, Nikkei has reported. His priorities also include strengthening defense capabilities.

Tencent shuts down Penguin eSports streaming platform

Tencent's Penguin Esports video game streaming platform will cease operations at the end of Tuesday, after the tech giant's announcement earlier this year that it will scale down non-core businesses this year. Launched six years ago, Penguin Esports' market share was much smaller than rivals such as Douyu and Huya. Tencent reported zero growth in the March quarter, after the company was under strict scrutiny by Beijing, along with other internet and technology companies since last year. The company has previously stated that the shutdown was due to "changes in corporate growth strategy."

Monetary policy announcement: Australia


Hong Kong legislature votes on copyright bill

A contentious copyright bill, which aims to update existing legislation and expand intellectual property protections, will be read in Hong Kong's legislature on Wednesday. The bill, which has been blocked by opposition lawmakers twice before, is expected to boost the city's status as a hub for intellectual property trading. Critics say the bill has implications for freedom of speech and could punish works of parody or satire, leading to further self-censorship. The bill has undergone a three-month public consultation and should be read and voted through without any opposition, after Beijing overhauled Hong Kong's electoral system to ensure only people deemed "patriots" could be elected.

Japan Q1 revised GDP


Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's biggest contract chipmaker, will host its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday. TSMC is expected to face inquiries from shareholders on its progress on cutting-edge chip production technologies, as well as on the latest situation for its plants in the U.S. and Japan.

Monetary policy announcement: Thailand, India


China trade data

China is to report trade data for May, during which factory production was interrupted because of COVID-19 curbs. The latest monthly consumer price index will also be revealed after a year-on-year jump of 1.5% yearly in April -- the fastest pace in three months.

Thailand legalizes home growing of cannabis

Cannabis and hemp will be taken off Thailand's list of banned narcotics from Thursday, allowing anyone in the kingdom to grow the plants at home. The relaxation of rules on recreational marijuana holds promise for Thailand's tourism-dependent economy, as COVID entry curbs are loosened. While licensing regulations remain for commercial cannabis growing, corporate groups from Charoen Pokphand to Mandarin Oriental hotels have invested huge sums in developing cannabis products and services. The economic windfall may stand to benefit the country's ruling parties, if this year ends with a snap election.

Company earnings: Bilibili, Nio, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery


Japan starts accepting tourists

Japan will resume accepting international tourists for the first time in about two years, starting with package tour groups. Those traveling from 98 countries and regions classified as "blue" -- or low-risk places -- will be allowed. These include most major markets for the country's inbound tourism holidaymaker industry, such as South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand. Ahead of the reopening, Japan doubled the daily cap on the number of visitor arrivals to 20,000 on June 1.

Shangri-La Dialogue

Leaders and defense ministers from the U.S., Europe and Asian countries will gather in Singapore for a three-day security summit, hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a U.K.-based think tank. Attendees include Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe. The summit returns after being canceled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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