Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Indonesia rejects Australian proposal of prisoner swap for death row pair
JAKARTA--Indonesia rejected on March 5 an Australian proposal for a prisoner swap made in an 11th hour effort to save the lives of two Australian drug smugglers expected to face a firing squad within days.
Bow of the wartime battleship Musashi (From Paul Allen’s Twitter site)
Wreck of battleship Musashi said found off Philippines
MANILA--Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen announced he has found the sunken battleship Musashi, which with its sister ship Yamato was the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II.
In this Feb. 3, 2015 photo, a visitor looks at photos at a commemorative event for the 70th year of the Battle for Manila at the Ayala Museum in suburban Makati, south of Manila. (AP Photo)
Forgiving but not forgetting: 70 years later, survivors want Battle of Manila remembered
MANILA--Seventy years have not dulled the memories of survivors of the monthlong Battle of Manila. The mass killings by Japanese forces, the loved ones lost and the desperation are etched in their minds, as is the elation when American forces finally rescued them in the closing months of World War II.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
India goes for growth, delays cut in fiscal deficit
NEW DELHI--India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Feb. 28 announced a budget aimed at high growth, saying the pace of cutting the fiscal deficit would slow as he seeks to boost investment and ensure that ordinary people benefit.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani addresses a new conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.  Carter made his international debut Saturday with a visit to Afghanistan to see American troops and commanders, meet with Afghan leaders and assess whether U.S. withdrawal plans are too risky to Afghan security.  (SAP Photos/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)
Afghanistan dialogue with Taliban could begin in March
KABUL--After more than a decade of warfare, negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban are set to begin, officials, diplomats and experts said as President Ashraf Ghani declared that peace is closer now than at any time since the war began following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Peleliu State Governor Temmy Shmull talks about the recovery of wartime remains of Japanese soldiers in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Koror, Palau, on Feb. 18. (Ayako Nakada)
Palau to help with recovery of remains of Japanese soldiers
KOROR, Palau--The governor of Palau’s Peleliu State pledged to cooperate in efforts to recover the remains of wartime Japanese soldiers ahead of a visit in April by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony in Beijing on Oct. 28, 2014. (AP Photo)
Afghans hope China will help persuade Pakistan to press Taliban
KABUL--Afghanistan arrested and handed over several Muslim Uighur militants from China's west in an effort to persuade China to use its influence with Pakistan to help start negotiations with the Taliban, Afghan security officials said on Feb. 20.
In this Jan. 25, 2015 file photo, U.S. President Barack Obama, left, participates in a tree planting ceremony at the Raj Ghat Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, New Delhi, India. (AP Photo)
India insists: Obama's tree is not dead
NEW DELHI--Officials in India want to make one thing clear: The tree that President Barack Obama planted in New Delhi three weeks ago is not dead.
An aerial photo taken over the Gaven Reefs in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Oct. 4, 2014 (Provided by a source)
China to project power from artificial islands in South China Sea
HONG KONG--China's creation of artificial islands in the South China Sea is happening so fast that Beijing will be able to extend the range of its navy, air force, coastguard and fishing fleets before long, much to the alarm of rival claimants to the contested waters.
A soldier provides security in the border town of Lauk Kai in Myanmar's Kokang region in September 2009. (AP file photo)
Myanmar declares martial law in troubled Kokang region
KUNLONG, Myanmar--Myanmar President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in the Kokang region in the east and imposed a three-month period of martial law there in an announcement on state television on the night of Feb. 17.
Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Feb. 16 (AP Photo)
India reaches nuclear energy pact with Sri Lanka in push to curtail China’s influence
NEW DELHI--India sealed a nuclear energy agreement with Sri Lanka on Feb. 16, its first breakthrough with the new government of the tiny Indian Ocean island where China has been expanding its influence.
Myanmar soldiers stand guard in Yangon in October 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Myanmar says 47 soldiers killed in clashes with rebels near China border
YANGON--Forty-seven Myanmar soldiers have been killed this week in fighting with ethnic minority insurgents near the border with China, the military said in a statement issued Feb. 13.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Malaysia's Anwar jailed for 5 years after losing appeal in sodomy trial
KUALA LUMPUR--Malaysia's highest court rejected on Feb. 10 an appeal by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim against a sodomy conviction, sending the politician who poses the greatest threat to the long-ruling coalition back to prison for five years.
Thai Interim Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Feb. 9 (Shinichi Iizuka)
Japan, Thailand to cooperate on railway projects
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Thai Interim Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha agreed on Feb. 9 that their countries will cooperate in constructing or improving railways in Thailand.
Indian youth hold candles during a protest against sexual violence in New Delhi on Feb. 9. (AP Photo)
Indian police search for man who raped Japanese student
JAIPUR, India--Police were searching Feb. 9 for a man who raped a Japanese student sightseeing in northern India, while elsewhere they announced the arrest of eight men suspected of brutally raping and killing a Nepalese woman, as India authorities continue to struggle to address chronic sexual violence.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula at the prime minister's office in Bangkok on Feb. 5 (Ryosuke Ono)
Thailand seeks Japanese know-how to build southern railway
BANGKOK--A railway utilizing Japanese technology may traverse southern Thailand in the near future, according to the Thai deputy prime minister, ahead of an upcoming visit to Japan by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott makes a statement at the government offices in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 6. (AP Photo)
Australia's polarizing, gaffe-prone and unpredictable prime minister faces government revolt
CANBERRA--Australians are quick to criticize their polarizing, gaffe-prone and unpredictable prime minister, Tony Abbott. But his critics within the conservative government have largely held their tongues in the interests of presenting a united administration--until now.
East Timor Prime Minister Gusmao submits resignation
DILI, East Timor--East Timor independence hero Xanana Gusmao resigned as prime minister on Feb. 6, stepping down ahead of an expected restructuring of the government next week.
Chan Lina demonstrates her swing at a golf course in Phnom Penh in November. (Manabu Sasaki)
Cambodian refugee-turned-golfer aiming to tee it up in 2020 Tokyo Olympics
PHNOM PENH--A former Cambodian refugee is working hard on her golf game in hopes of "returning the favor" to her adoptive land of Japan by representing her home country in the sport in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
DVD and publicity material for "The Interview," being sold in Vietnam (Manabu Sasaki)
Pirated copies of 'The Interview' creep into Vietnam, Cambodia
HANOI--A shop tucked inside an alleyway here that deals in pirated DVDs has its shelves filled with copies of "The Interview," a controversial U.S. comedy lambasting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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