Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, third from left, greets the leaders of five Mekong region nations before their July 4 meeting in Tokyo. The other leaders are, from left, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Laotian Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Myanmar President Thein Sein, Thai Interim Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. (Pool)
Japan to provide 750 billion yen in ODA to Mekong region
Japan will provide 750 billion yen ($6.1 billion) in official development assistance for the construction of infrastructure in five nations in the Mekong region under the "New Tokyo Strategy 2015.”
Missile launchers move past a portrait of Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Kuomingtang, during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, held at an army base in Hsinchu county, Taiwan, on July 4. (Satoshi Ukai)
Taiwan military stages parade for 70th anniversary of 'victory over Japan'
HSINCHU, Taiwan--Taiwan kicked off a series of events to mark the 70th anniversary of the “victory in the anti-Japanese war” by staging a big military parade on July 4.
Vietnamse Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong gestures during a meeting with Western press in Hanoi, Vietnam July 3. (AP Photo/Tran Van Minh)
Vietnam Communist Party chief to make first US visit
HANOI--The powerful head of Vietnam's Communist Party will travel to the United States for the first time next week, and said he expects President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam later this year.
Indonesian military personnel search for victims at the site where an air force cargo plane crashed in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, June 30.  (AP Photo/Hafiz)
Indonesian military plane crashes in northern city, killing at least 30
MEDAN, Indonesia--At least 30 people were killed when a military transport plane crashed into a residential area two minutes after take-off in northern Indonesia on June 30, putting a fresh spotlight on the country's woeful air safety record.
Officers from the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Philippine Navy walk on Palawan Island in the western Philippines on June 23 after flying over the South China Sea on an MSDF P-3C patrol aircraft. (Manabu Sasaki)
Joint exercise in South China Sea reflects Japan's 'strong concern' about Beijing
PALAWAN ISLAND, Philippines--Tokyo’s growing partner in the field of security appeared impressed by the equipment of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Concert spectators tend to injured victims after an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan, June 27. (Central News Agency via AP)
More than 500 injured as fire hits Taiwan water park party
TAIPEI, Taiwan--A fire on a music stage spread into a crowd of spectators at a Saturday night party at a Taiwan water park, injuring more than 500 people, including eight in critical condition, authorities said on June 28.
A Chinese oil drilling rig looms in the distance as a Chinese Coast Guard vessel patrols near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on May 28, 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
China moves controversial oil rig in South China Sea toward Vietnam coast
BEIJING--China has moved an oil rig at the center of last year's violent dispute with Vietnam closer to Vietnam's coast in the disputed South China Sea, just weeks ahead of the first visit by a chief of Vietnam's Communist Party to Washington.
Sunai Phasuk, Human Rights Watch’s senior researcher in Asia, holds a written order to cancel a scheduled news conference in Bangkok on June 26. (Ryosuke Ono/ The Asahi Shimbun)
Thai regime bans human rights group report on Vietnamese ethnic minority
BANGKOK--Thailand's military government forced a human rights group to cancel the public launch of its report on the Vietnamese government's persecution of an ethnic minority June 26, saying it could affect national security and bilateral relations.
Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the People’s Democratic Party, in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey (Photo by Yoshiaki Kasuga)
Leader of Turkish party backed by Kurds strives for equality for all ethnic groups
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey--A political party supported by minority Kurds increased its number of seats in the Turkish parliament from 29 to 80 in the June 7 general election, meaning the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) now holds the “casting vote” among bigger parties to establish a coalition government.
A foreign delegate photographs damaged buildings at the Basantapur Durbar Square heritage site in Kathmandu, Nepal, on June 24.(AP Photo)
India, China pledge nearly $1.5 billion in Nepal quake aid
KATHMANDU--India and China pledged nearly $1.5 billion in aid for earthquake reconstruction in impoverished Nepal on June 25, as the Asian giants try to help it back on its feet and expand influence in the buffer state.
A scene from “Tomorrow We Will See” shows girls chatting in Lebanon. (Provided by Soraya Umewaka)
Documentary portrays artists in Lebanon dealing with social upheaval
In a scene in a documentary about conflict-torn Lebanon, the camera pans across new buildings standing next to bullet-ridden structures in the capital city of Beirut.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left front, performs yoga along with thousands of Indians in New Delhi June 21. (Yoshihiro Kando/ The Asahi Shimbun)
Millions of people bend and twist their bodies for Yoga Day
NEW DELHI--Millions of yoga enthusiasts across the world bent and twisted their bodies in complex postures June 21 to mark the first International Yoga Day.
Doan Thi Thanh’s 32-year-old daughter uses a tile bed donated by Mayu Ino's nonprofit organization. The daughter suffers from hydrocephalus believed to be caused by Agent Orange. (Provided by Mayu Ino)
Impact Journalism Day: Japanese NPO chief deals with Vietnamese poverty one animal at a time
HANOI--Phan Van Be and his wife, Mai, have advanced from the duck bank to the cow bank in their efforts to escape poverty in their village in southern Vietnam.
A firefighter from Balikpapan, Indonesia, sprays a foam extinguishing agent on a burning object at a test site in Mie Prefecture. (Provided by the Kitakyushu Foundation for the Advancement of Industry, Science and Technology)
Impact Journalism Day: Public-private effort in Kita-Kyushu jointly develops foam to contain fires in Indonesian peatlands
A foam extinguishing agent to contain forest fires that occur frequently on peatlands in Indonesia has been jointly developed by the city government, a private company and a university in Kita-Kyushu.
Boys who became Buddhist monks are absorbed in picture story books from the mobile library, in the background, in Myanmar. (Makoto Igarashi)
Impact Journalism Day: Mobile library on wheels brings smiles to children in rural Myanmar
PYAY, Myanmar--A crowd of children reach for books on a full shelve and start reading their selections on sheets and benches placed in the shade of trees on a school ground.
A sign raising awareness for the MERS virus is posted on a door at the building where a 75-year-old man is being quarantined for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) along with three family members at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi, Thailand, June 19. (AP Photo)
Thailand says 175 people had exposure to its MERS case
BANGKOK--A total of 175 people were exposed to Thailand's only case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the patient's condition has improved, the health ministry said in June 20.
Aung Aung lives in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, through the kindness of friends because his provisional release status does not allow him to work. (Rei Kishitsu)
Rohingya live in limbo in Japan, fear for those floating in boats at sea
On just two hours of sleep, a nervous Aung Aung went through the now-familiar ritual of traveling from Gunma Prefecture to Tokyo to hear strangers decide if he had any future in Japan.
The main shrine of the Prambanan Temple Compounds in Central Java, Indonesia (Provided by Mie University)
Japanese scientists go high-tech to repair ancient Indonesian temple
Japanese researchers using cosmic radiation have helped to restore a ninth-century Hindu temple complex in Indonesia from damage caused by a major earthquake in 2006.
An aircraft is parked on the tarmac of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in May. (AP Photo)
Japan to bear costs for air traffic control in Afghanistan under ODA
Japan, at Washington's behest, will shoulder the expenses for air traffic control services for civilian aircraft in Afghanistan starting in July.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Top leaders to host Suu Kyi on her 1st visit to China
BEIJING--Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will meet with Chinese leaders in Beijing this week to build ties with her country's giant neighbor, while China hopes to shore up its declining influence in the Southeast Asian nation following recent democratic reforms there.

More AJW