South China Morning Post : International (117)

US, Japan and South Korea vow to step up joint air drills over Korean Peninsula

The US, Japanese and South Korean governments pledged to conduct more joint air drills over the Korean Peninsula to improve their ability to launch coordinated responses to military threats by Pyongyang. US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera and South ...

Tillerson says room for Taliban in Afghan government

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday there is a place for moderate elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan’s government as long as they renounce violence and terrorism and commit to stability. He also delivered a blunt warning to neighbouring Pakistan, insisting Islamabad must ...

Singapore to stop adding cars to the roads from February 2018

Singapore, one of the world’s most expensive places to own a vehicle, will not allow any growth in its car population from February, citing the small city state’s land scarcity and billions of dollars in planned public transport investments. The Land Transport Authority said it was ...

Rohingya refugee count approaches 1 million as UN donor conference opens

The UN opened a major fundraising conference on Monday aimed at securing hundreds of millions of dollars aid groups say is needed to care for Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. More than 600,000 people from the Muslim minority group have fled violence in Myanmar’s northern ...

Refugees refuse to leave Papua New Guinea detention centre

More than 600 asylum seekers are refusing to leave an immigration camp on Papua New Guinea that Australia wants to close next week, Australian officials said on Monday. Australia pays Papua New Guinea, its nearest neighbour, and the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru to house asylum seekers who try ...

Explainer: five things to know about Japan’s pacifist constitution

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s long-held dream to change the pacifist constitution got a big boost this weekend as his conservative coalition won a crucial two-thirds majority in a snap election. Nationalists like Abe dismiss the constitution as a humiliating relic imposed by US ...

US apologises for denying top Indonesian general entry, but Jakarta still wants explanation

Indonesia on Monday said it had made “urgent” requests for an explanation why the United States barred its military chief from travelling to the US, as anger simmered in Jakarta over the diplomatic incident. Armed forces commander General Gatot Nurmantyo was stopped on Saturday from ...

1MDB scandal: Malaysia asks Interpol to find Jho Low, financier linked to missing US$4.5 billion

Malaysia has asked Interpol to try to locate a Malaysian financier for questioning over his suspected involvement in a multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad , the deputy prime minister said on Monday. The US Justice Department is seeking to seize US$1.7 billion ...

Battle over: Philippines declares end of Marawi siege after dozens of militants are killed in final bloody showdown

The Philippines declared an end on Monday to five months of fierce urban warfare in a southern city held by pro-Islamic State militants, a battle that has marked the country’s biggest security crisis in years. Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said combat operations had been terminated, after ...

Top Indonesian general denied entry to US in embarrassing blunder now welcome after embassy apology

A US diplomat apologised to Indonesia’s government after the country’s top general was prevented from travelling to Washington and said Monday the military commander is welcome in the US. Erin McKee, the deputy US ambassador to Indonesia, did not explain why General Gatot Nurmantyo was ...

Five dead as Typhoon Lan lashes Japan with 160km/h winds and heavy rain

A powerful typhoon left five dead, one missing and scores injured in Japan Monday, moving northward off the Pacific coast after millions struggled to the polls for a national election. Authorities advised thousands living in coastal areas or near rivers to evacuate to shelters before Typhoon Lan, ...

Koike’s Party of Hope flops as Japan's new liberal party grabs top opposition post

A new liberal party has become the main opposition force after edging ahead of another novice party led by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike in Sunday’s general election, a significant accomplishment for the party hastily formed amid an abrupt opposition realignment. With Prime Minister Shinzo ...

Abe’s election super majority puts Japan’s pacifist constitution in his crosshairs

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, buoyed by a huge election win for lawmakers who favour revising Japan’s post-war, pacifist constitution, signalled a push towards his long-held goal on Monday but will need to convince a divided public to succeed. Parties in favour of amending the US-drafted charter ...

Abe’s election super majority puts Japan’s pacifist constitution in his crosshairs again

The big win for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc in Sunday’s election will re-energise his push to revise the pacifist constitution. The hefty win also means his “Abenomics” growth strategy centred on the hyper-easy monetary policy will likely continue. ...

Abe promises to deal with North Korea ‘firmly’ after landslide win in Japan’s election

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swept to a resounding victory in a snap election Sunday and immediately vowed to “deal firmly” with threats from North Korea that dominated the campaign. Abe’s conservative coalition won 312 seats in the 465-seat parliament, retaining a two-thirds ...

Former US president Jimmy Carter says he would travel to Pyongyang for talks

Former US president Jimmy Carter says he has offered to go to North Korea on behalf of the White House to try to allay rising tensions, but has not been asked, The New York Times reported on Sunday. “I would go, yes,” Carter told the Times in an interview at his home when asked if he ...

Indonesia demands answers after top general denied entry to US

Indonesia intends to send a diplomatic note to the US secretary of state and summon Washington’s deputy ambassador in Jakarta to explain why the head of its military was denied entry to the United States, Indonesian officials said on Sunday. Armed Forces Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo was ...

Abe promises to deal with North Korea ‘firmly’ after landslide win predicted in Japan’s election

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swept to a resounding victory in a snap election Sunday and immediately vowed to “deal firmly” with threats from North Korea that dominated the campaign. Abe’s conservative coalition was on track to win 311 seats in the 465-seat parliament, ...

Last stand: Philippine army battles final 30 Muslim militants in Marawi

Philippine troops on Sunday were battling a final group of about 30 pro-Islamic State group militants who were surrounded in one building with all their hostages gone as a nearly five-month siege neared its end in southern Marawi city, a military official said. Army Colonel Romeo Brawner said troops ...

Shinzo Abe’s party forecast to win big in Japan’s snap election

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swept to a comfortable victory in a snap election on Sunday, handing him a mandate to harden his already hawkish stance on North Korea and re-energise the world’s number-three economy. Abe’s conservative coalition was on track to win 311 seats in the ...

Seizures of yaba, Asia’s ‘crazy medicine’, shoot up in Myanmar's crisis-hit Rakhine

Myanmar police have seized more than US$5 million worth of methamphetamine pills in the north of violence-racked Rakhine state this month, an officer said Sunday. Millions of the caffeine-laced meth tablets were intercepted in Maungdaw district, the centre of an army-led crackdown that has ...

Stranded Australian diver swam gruelling 7.5km to shore stalked by four-metre shark

A diver separated from his boat off the coast of Australia said Sunday he was lucky to be alive after being forced to swim 7.5km back to shore – shadowed by a large tiger shark. The spear fisherman, named in local media as John Craig, was underwater off Western Australia state Friday when his ...

South Korea’s Moon defies public opinion with pledge to phase out nuclear power

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday the government would continue to phase out nuclear-generated electricity, following a public opinion survey that dealt a blow to his plans to do so. “We will completely stop all plans for the construction of new nuclear reactors like the ...

Myanmar expelled a North Korean diplomat earlier this year, UN report says

The Myanmar government expelled a North Korean diplomat earlier this year for links to a company subject to UN Security Council sanctions, according to a UN report. “The government took necessary action against Mr Kim Chol-nam, a national of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ...

If Singapore’s metro is improving, why the delays?

Official data shows the reliability of Singapore’s metro network has improved threefold in the past two years, but tell that to ordinary commuters in the Lion City and you are likely to get baffled looks. Ask the republic’s public transport officials, however, and they will tell you the ...

Hundreds of flights cancelled as powerful Typhoon Lan drenches Japan

Tens of thousands across Japan were advised to evacuate, hundreds of flights were cancelled and rail services disrupted as heavy rain and wind lashed a wide swathe of Japan on Sunday, a national election day, as a powerful typhoon neared. Typhoon Lan, classified as an intense Category 4 storm by the ...

Mystery ‘hair-chopping’ attacks fuel deadly backlash and hysteria in Kashmir

A wave of brutal, deadly panic has swept Indian-administered Kashmir after more than 100 women said they were victims of attackers who chopped off their hair. Despite suggestions the cases may have been fabricated or fuelled by hysteria, the consequences have been all too real. One 70-year-old man ...

How Indonesian unicorn Go-Jek went from 20 bikes to US$2.5 billion and an e-money revolution

Ten years ago, few could have predicted the mobile payment revolution in Indonesia would be driven not by the banking industry, but by a firm that started out as a motorcycle-taxi booking operation with just 20 riders. But the home-grown technology start-up Go-Jek has come far from its humble ...

What Shinzo Abe’s election win will mean for China-Japan relations

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, together with its ally Komeito, is tipped to cruise to victory in today’s snap parliamentary election, with major implications for China – not all of them negative. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision last month to dissolve the lower ...

Could anti-Chinese violence flare again in Indonesia?

At the Orion Plaza in the North Jakarta suburb of Glodok, Along Jenggot solders a connector onto a satellite dish cable. He has worked here since before 1998, when rioters stormed the mall, looted its shops and set it ablaze. The ceiling fell in, Jenggot recalls. The walls are still charred in ...

Voting under way in Japan election, polls predict Abe’s gamble likely to pay off

More than 100 million voters began casting ballots on Sunday in an election that may clear the way for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to become Japan’s longest-serving leader. Voting opened at 7am and closes at 8pm , when major domestic media outlets will publish the results of their exit polls. In ...

Why tech giants see Singapore as the next Artificial Intelligence hub

Singapore is attracting the world’s leading artificial intelligence talent because of its status as a cosmopolitan society and strong state backing for technology research, according to the head of the private equity firm building a mega hub in the city for start ups involved in the sector. ...

Japan’s ‘silent minority’ has its say about national election

As Sunday’s general election looms with the public contemplating a range of complex issues facing the nation, Japan’s “silent minority” also want their voices to be heard, even if it is not at the ballot box. For foreign residents of Japan, who are not extended the right to ...

Japan waters down anti-nuclear resolution due to US pressure, government sources say

Japan’s annual diplomatic effort to demonstrate its anti-nuclear credentials and create momentum for disarmament has run into a major obstacle in the form of its most important ally, as well as an atmosphere of division between states possessing atomic weapons and those without them. A draft ...

Philippine President Duterte says he will shoot criminals himself, calls police officers ‘apes’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he will shoot criminals himself, while warning he may bring police back to the front lines of his deadly war on drugs. Duterte made the comments late on Friday following his announcement on October 11 to withdraw the police from his anti-drugs war after they ...

Mystery of ‘silk king’ Jim Thompson’s disappearance finally solved, filmmakers claim

A new documentary is set to stir fresh debate over one of Asia’s most enduring mysteries: what happened to Jim Thompson, Thailand’s legendary silk king. The former American intelligence officer turned textile tycoon went for a walk in the Malaysian jungle 50 years ago and never returned. ...

Will Trump’s Beijing visit bring new sanctions against Chinese banks in US?

The US could pressure China to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea by blocking more Chinese banks and companies doing business in America during Donald Trump’s upcoming Beijing visit, analysts say. Anthony Ruggiero, an expert in the use of targeted financial measures ...

Three workers dead, 11 missing in landslide at Penang building site

Three foreign workers were killed and 11 others were missing after a landslide at a building site in George Town, capital of the northwest Malaysian state of Penang, authorities said on Saturday. The bodies of two Indonesians and one worker from Myanmar were pulled from the debris, while two others ...

What a controversy over the Taj Mahal says about a changing India

It is an instantly recognisable symbol of India. When filmmakers want to show they are shooting in London, they use Big Ben. In Paris, it is the Eiffel Tower. In Rome, it is the Colosseum. And when they want a symbol of India, it is always the Taj Mahal. Of course, the Taj is more than just a ...

Will Trump’s Beijing visit bring new sanctions against the US’s Chinese banks?

The US could pressure China to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea by blocking more Chinese banks and companies doing business in America during Donald Trump’s upcoming Beijing visit, analysts say. Anthony Ruggiero, an expert in the use of targeted financial measures ...

Philippines says top Malaysian militant killed in Marawi, but ‘there will be more’

A top Malaysian terrorist, who allegedly conspired with Filipino militants to create an Islamic caliphate in the southern Philippines, has been killed in a military operation in Marawi City, a military spokesman said on Friday. “He died during the assault of our troops the other night, where ...

Philippines says top Malaysian terrorist killed in Marawi, but ‘there will be more’

A top Malaysian terrorist, who allegedly conspired with Filipino militants to create an Islamic caliphate in the southern Philippines, has been killed in a military operation in Marawi City, a military spokesman said on Friday. “He died during the assault of our troops the other night, where ...

Uncovered: American porn star Sunny Leone’s amazing journey to Bollywood fame

Like all pearls of supposed wisdom, the contention that there is no such thing as bad publicity contains a grain of truth, and it certainly seems to be the case for Sunny Leone, the hardcore porn star turned mainstream Indian film phenomenon. Born in Canada to immigrant Sikh parents – her late ...

Singapore PM ‘not sure’ if family feud resolved … from brother’s response, it seems not

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said in an interview he is “not sure” the dispute earlier this year with his younger siblings over their father Lee Kuan Yew’s estate has been resolved, triggering an immediate response from the opposing camp. In an interview with CNBC, ...

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dismisses North Korea letter as ‘rant against Trump’

Australia’s prime minister on Friday dismissed an extraordinary letter from North Korea to the country’s parliament and other nations as a “rant” against President Donald Trump and a sign that Pyongyang was “starting to feel the squeeze” of escalated sanctions. ...

Asia in 3 minutes: If Kim dies, don’t ask CIA; if he fires a missile, read manga

If Kim Jong-un suddenly dies, don’t ask me: CIA chief Pompeo The US Central Intelligence Agency thinks North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is a rational actor who is focused on staying in power and “waking up in his own bed” each day. But if Kim should suddenly not show up for work, ...

Oxford college removes Aung San Suu Kyi from common room name

Undergraduates at the Oxford college where Aung San Suu Kyi studied have voted to remove the de facto leader of Myanmar’s name from the title of their junior common room because of her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. In a vote on Thursday evening, students at St Hugh’s ...

Tencent ‘mini-me’ debuts in US as battle for Southeast Asian e-commerce dominance intensifies

Sea Ltd, Southeast Asia’s most valuable tech start-up, is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. The latest in a growing number of Asian firms choosing to list in the US to tap a broader investor base and potentially better valuations, Sea will be a test case for other regional ...

Australian state edges towards allowing euthanasia

The parliament of Australia’s second largest state passed legislation on Friday to allow terminally ill patients to seek medical help to end their lives, a bill that is expected to act as a catalyst for the rest of the country to adopt similar laws. Any resident of Victoria state over 18, with ...

Japan’s emperor likely to abdicate in March 2019, paper says

Japan’s Emperor Akihito is likely to abdicate at the end of March 2019 and Crown Prince Naruhito is expected to ascend the throne in April, the first abdication by a Japanese monarch in nearly two centuries, the Asahi newspaper reported on Friday. The government is in the final stage of ...