Philippine Vice President and now opposition presidential candidate Jejomar Binay, second from right front row, raises the hands of senatorial candidate Filipino boxer and Congressman Manny Pacquiao, right, at the start of the official campaign period for the May 9 presidential elections at suburban Mandaluyong city, east of Manila, Philippines, on Feb. 9. (AP Photo)
Closely fought Philippine presidential race begins
MANILA, Philippines--Philippine presidential candidates launched their campaigns Tuesday in festive showbiz-style rallies to draw in the crowds in what is emerging as a closely fought contest to lead one of Asia's most unwieldy democracies.
A baby boy is rescued from a collapsed building after an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, on Saturday. (AP Photo)
UPDATE: 7 dead, hundreds rescued and injured in Taiwan quake
TAINAN, Taiwan--Rescuers raced to find additional survivors after a powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday and collapsed a high-rise residential complex, killing at least seven people and sending scores to hospital.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg answers questions from the media during a forum Wednesday on Feb. 3, 2016, at Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Goldberg talked about the issue in the South China Sea involving the Philippines and China as well as the global fight against terrorism. (AP Photo)
Ambassador: U.S. to continue South China Sea flights, sail-bys
MANILA--The U.S. ambassador said Wednesday joint patrols with the Philippines are possible in the South China Sea, where the United States has asserted its freedom to navigate by sending planes and ships into China-claimed areas.
Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, arrives for the inauguration session of Myanmar's lower house parliament on Feb. 1 in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. (AP Photo)
Myanmar house begins new session dominated by Suu Kyi party
NAYPYITAW, Myanmar--Myanmar's parliament dominated by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party on Monday began a new and historic session that will install the country's first democratically elected government in more than 50 years.
A Chinese coast guard vessel navigates near a Chinese oil rig in waters off the Paracel Islands in 2014. (The Asahi Shimbun)
U.S. warship sails near island claimed by China in South China Sea
WASHINGTON--A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of an island claimed by China and two other nations in the South China Sea on Jan 30, in an operation the Pentagon said aimed to challenge efforts to restrict freedom of navigation.
An H-2A rocket carrying a commercial satellite lifts off from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on Nov. 24, 2015. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Japanese rocket maker: Metal on Thai beach likely to be rocket, not plane part
A Japanese rocket maker said on Jan. 25 that a large piece of metal that washed up on a beach in Thailand is likely part of a rocket launched by Japan, not a missing Malaysian plane.
A 23-year-old Syrian asylum seeker, identified as "Jamal," was granted refugee status in March last year after filing a refugee application in October 2013. (Kazutaka Ito)
Refugee applicants jumped by 50% to a record 7,586 in 2015
The number of foreigners who applied for refugee status in Japan hit a record high of 7,586 in 2015, up 50 percent from the previous year, according to preliminary figures released by the Justice Ministry on Jan. 23.
China's Hexie high-speed train (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Indonesia starts construction of high-speed rail line
WALINI, Indonesia--Indonesia broke ground on a high-speed rail line between the capital Jakarta and Bandung, officially marking the start of the three-year construction project.
Pakistani troops arrive at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, some 35 kilometers outside the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, on Jan. 20. (AP Photo)
Pakistan Taliban kill at least 19 as they storm university
PESHAWAR, Pakistan--Islamist Taliban militants stormed a university in volatile northwestern Pakistan on Jan. 20, killing at least 19 people and wounding dozens as the army hunted for any gunmen still holed up on the campus, officials said.
Catholic nuns shout slogans during an interfaith rally against radicalism, terrorism and drug abuse in Jakarta on Jan. 17. (AP photo)
Police say man killed in Jakarta was a civilian, not a bomber
JAKARTA--One of the eight men killed in an audacious attack by Muslim militants in the heart of Indonesia’s capital was a civilian and not one of the bombers as first thought, police said Jan. 17.
Indonesians lay flowers near the police post where an attack took place in Jakarta on Jan. 14. (AP Photo)
Islamic State militants claim responsibility for deadly attack in Jakarta
JAKARTA--The scene had echoes of the Paris attacks: A bustling shopping area shaken by the blasts of suicide bombers and gunfire as onlookers fled in terror.
Police officers examine debris at the site where an explosion went off in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 14. (AP Photo)
Brazen attacks in Jakarta leave 4 gunmen, 3 others dead
JAKARTA--Attackers set off explosions at a Starbucks cafe in a bustling shopping area in Indonesia's capital and waged gunbattles with police on Jan. 14, leaving bodies in the streets as office workers watched in terror from high-rise windows.
A Vietnam Airlines airplane (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
ANA purchases 9 percent stake in Vietnam’s national carrier
ANA Holdings Inc. announced on Jan. 12 it will invest 13 billion yen ($110.7 million) in nationally owned Vietnam Airlines to expand its operations in Southeast Asia.
Philippine Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te briefs the media on the highest court's decision declaring the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA, in Manila on Jan. 12. (AP Photo)
Philippine court OKs pact allowing U.S. troops in local camps
MANILA--The Philippine Supreme Court on Jan. 12 declared as constitutional a defense pact that allows American forces, warships and planes to temporarily base in local military camps, in a boost to U.S. efforts to reassert its presence in Asia as China rises to regional dominance.
A graphic shows Chinese vessels engaging in reclamation work at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands in February 2015. (Provided by the Philippine military)
Xinhua reports China again lands planes on man-made island in South China Sea
BEIJING—China landed two test flights on an island it has built in the South China Sea on Jan. 6, four days after it angered Vietnam with a landing on the same runway in the disputed territory, the Xinhua state news agency said.
A photograph showing an island that China is building on the Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea is displayed by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, an Arizona Republican, during the committee's hearing on maritime security strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 17, 2015. (AP Photo)
Philippines follows Vietnam in opposing China's runway test
MANILA--The Philippine government said on Jan. 4 that like Vietnam, it opposes China's recent test of a newly completed runway on one of seven islands Beijing has constructed in the disputed South China Sea.
A document shows Chinese vessels engaging in reclamation work at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands in February 2015. (Provided by the Philippine military)
Vietnam protests after China lands plane on disputed Spratlys
HANOI--Vietnam formally accused China of violating its sovereignty and a recent confidence-building pact on Jan. 2 by landing a plane on an airstrip Beijing has built in a contested part of the South China Sea.
The US-2 amphibious rescue plane (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan, Indonesia pursue military partnership at first '2+2' meeting
Japan moved a step forward in plans to sell defense equipment to Indonesia and enhance military cooperation at sea during the nations’ first “2+2” security talks in Tokyo on Dec. 17.
Subi Reef of the Spratly Islands in South China Sea in June (Provided by Center for Strategic and International Studies and DigitalGlobe)
Australia says no plan to stop surveillance flights over South China Sea
SYDNEY--Australia will not bow to Chinese pressure to halt surveillance flights over disputed islands in the South China Sea at the center of rival claims between China and some of its neighbors, Defense Minister Marise Payne said on Dec. 17.
Activists of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and All India Students' Association (AISA) hold banners during a sit-in protest against the nuclear power talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, in New Delhi, India, on Dec. 12. (AP Photo)
Japan's nuclear power deal in principle with India a first with an NPT non-signer
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's agreement in principle to supply nuclear power technology to India may run counter to Japan's stated commitment against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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