Welcome to Your Week in Asia.
The environment will be on the agenda Thursday as leaders from 40 of the world's top greenhouse gas-emitting countries mark Earth Day at a climate summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, things are looking up for the travel industry, as a quarantine-free travel bubble opens between Australia and New Zealand, and Chinese online travel booking company Trip.com makes its stock debut in Hong Kong on Monday.
Keep up with our reporting all week by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.
Trans-Tasman travel bubble opens
After multiple delays, Australians and Kiwis will be able to cross borders without quarantine from Monday -- a milestone for two countries that have kept COVID-19 in check. The trans-Tasman bubble, as it is known, technically opens at 11:59 p.m. New Zealand time Sunday night. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it the "start of a new chapter in our COVID response and recovery" and a move that makes the neighbors "relatively unique," though she warned it will work on the principle of "flyer beware." Any outbreaks could result in disruptions.
HK Democracy Council conference
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. politicians, and Hong Kong activists in exile will deliver speeches at HKDC 2021, the largest policy gathering for Hong Kong overseas. The online forum is expected to discuss U.S. upcoming policies for the city, including a "safe harbour" scheme for political dissidents to seek refuge in the U.S.
China hosts in-person Boao Forum
China will hold the Boao Forum of Asia, one of the few international organizations led by the country. The 20th installment of the forum 's annual meeting, to be held in Hainan Province, is expected to cover the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as post-pandemic recovery cooperation. Guests will come from the forum's 25 Asian members and Australia. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and the newly appointed director generator of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will attend via video call.
U.S. senators consider China competition law
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will take up bipartisan legislation to align America's strategic, economic and diplomatic resources to counter China in the Indo-Pacific. The Strategic Competition Act would see continued defense transfers to Taiwan and remove restrictions on U.S. government interactions with the island. It would also require an intelligence report on the origins of COVID-19, and allocate funding for the State Department to engage with the Quad and ASEAN countries.
South Korea ruling on comfort women lawsuit
A Seoul district court will rule Wednesday on a lawsuit filed by 20 former comfort women for compensation from the Japanese government. Three months ago, the same court ordered the Japanese government to pay 100 million won ($89,000) each to 12 plaintiffs for their suffering during World War II.
Luxshare annual results
Luxshare Precision Industry, which China hopes will one day challenge Taiwan's Foxconn, will report full year earnings on Wednesday. The Chinese electronics maker, which assembles AirPods, has issued positive profit guidance to investors after a strong year. Luxshare last year acquired iPhone assembler Wistron's plants in the Chinese city of Kunshan and began making the new iPhones in the autumn, becoming the first mainland company to make iPhones.
Shanghai Auto Show
The 19th Auto Shanghai exhibition opens to the public on Wednesday, following a record year for electric vehicle sales. Local and foreign automakers, including BMW and Honda, are expected to unveil new EV models at the weeklong show to capture growth in the Chinese market, where Tesla currently leads.
Verdict for Bao Choy
Hong Kong court will hand down judgement to Bao Choy, a freelance reporter for public broadcaster RTHK, who allegedly made false statements when she obtained vehicle license plate information for a documentary that revealed police's delayed response to a mob attack during anti-government protests in 2019. If convicted, Choy could face up to two years in jail.
Climate leaders' summit
Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders for a virtual check-in on national climate strategies, ahead of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference in November. Biden's guests are from the major economies that produce about 80% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. South Korea's Moon Jae-in and Japan's Yoshihide Suga will attend, buoyed by their landmark commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. China's Xi Jinping has not committed to the meeting, although John Kerry, Biden's climate envoy, had meetings in Shanghai last week.
Nidec annual results
Japanese motor maker Nidec is expected to post strong annual earnings as global auto demand recovers. Investors will focus on the company's new initiative of building main motors for electric vehicles - a promising business in the long term. In the short term, the company faces questions such as how fast the EV market will grow and how it will compete against traditional suppliers.
Japan special elections
Three by-elections will be held in Japan on Sunday -- two upper house seats for Hiroshima and Nagano, and one lower house seat for Hokkaido. These will be the first national-level elections since Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga came into power in September, and the Hiroshima contest in particular will be a test of his popularity before general elections in October. Suga's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has abstained in the Hokkaido race and faces an uphill battle in the opposition-controlled district in Nagano.