Nguyen Thanh Nhung at the sewing machine she purchased with a loan provided by microfinance in the Soc Son district in Hanoi (Manabu Sasaki)
Impact Journalism Day: Microfinance links Japanese investors with small businesses in Southeast Asia
Bangladesh's Grameen Bank and its managing director Muhammad Yunus were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for making small loans without requiring collateral to impoverished people whose dream was to start a small business. Ever since, microfinance funds have grown and have been connecting Japanese investors with small business people in Southeast Asia.
Closed tanks of growing Spirulina bubble away on a Bangkok rooftop.
Impact Journalism Day: Urban farming reaches new heights
The urban farming movement has come a long way from the pots of herbs and hydroponic lettuces grown by hobbyists on condo balconies. A team of entrepreneurs at start-up company EnerGaia has succeeded in producing commercial quantities of Spirulina, an eco-friendly superfood, using the sun-baked dead space on the top of Bangkok high rises for a farm.
The ruined tower in the fortified settlement of Kherlen Bars in June (Provided by Tetsuo Shoji)
Crumbling tower in ancient Mongolian ruins offers clues about Khitan history
Japanese researchers who made the first comprehensive study in six decades of a crumbling brick tower from an 11th-century fortress town in eastern Mongolia say their findings shed light on the little-known nomadic Khitan people.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping, upon his arrival at a hotel in Ahmadabad, India, on Sept. 17. (AP Photo)
Xi sees factory China and back office India as global engine
AHMEDABAD, India--The "world's factory" and the "world's back office" could together drive global economic growth, Chinese President Xi Jinping said as he began a rare visit to India on Sept. 17, playing down mistrust that has long kept the Asian giants apart.
Anti-terror police stand guard after a raid on a suspected militants' hideout in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, on Jan. 20. (AP Photo)
Indonesia anti-terror police question four foreigners
JAKARTA--Indonesian anti-terror police are questioning four foreign nationals in a sign of tightening security in the country with the world's largest Muslim population, officials confirmed Sept. 16.
Indian policemen stand next to a welcome hoarding being erected ahead of an anticipated visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping as they review security arrangements in Ahmadabad, India, on Sept. 15. (AP Photo)
India says it will defend China border after standoff ahead of Xi visit
NEW DELHI--India said Sept. 16 it would firmly defend its 3,500-kilometer long border with China after domestic media reported a new face-off on the disputed frontier, just days ahead of a visit by President Xi Jinping.
Vietnamese students at a Japanese language school in Ho Chi Minh City study kanji in April. (Manabu Sasaki)
Vietnam job hopefuls pin dreams on Japanese
HANOI--A growing Japanese business presence in Vietnam has triggered a surge of interest in the Japanese language to bolster job prospects.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian counterpart Tony Abbott on July 8 in Canberra. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Australia risks national security with Japan sub deal, says opposition leader
SYDNEY--Australia would be risking its national security and damaging its economy by buying next-generation submarines from Japan instead of building them at home, the opposition leader said Sept. 9, amid growing speculation over a possible deal.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa after their summit meeting in Colombo on Sept. 7. (Shuichi Honda)
Abe becomes first Japanese PM to visit Sri Lanka in 24 years
COLOMBO/DHAKA--Shinzo Abe on September 7 became the first Japanese prime minister to visit Sri Lanka in 24 years, on the second leg of a South Asian tour that sought to assert Tokyo's interest in a region where it has ceded influence to China.
Yasuhisa Kawamura, right, minister of the Japanese Embassy in India, writes a message in the Imphal War Museum on June 27. Next to him is Angamba Arambam. (Yoshihiro Kando)
In India, a rush to preserve memories of the Battle of Imphal
IMPHAL, India--Rusting helmets and rifles, water canteens with kanji characters and photos of loved ones: They are among the few relics of the Battle of Imphal, fought here 70 years ago at a cost of more than 30,000 Japanese lives.
A JICA handbook that keeps track of the health of mothers and their babies in Vietnam (Manabu Sasaki)
JICA seeks advertisers to continue maternal handbook in Vietnamese
HANOI--A shortage of funds has forced the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to turn to advertisers to continue a handbook project in Vietnam that has helped mothers safely raise their babies.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
South Africa denies Dalai Lama visa again
CAPE TOWN--South Africa has denied a visa to the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, for the third time in five years, his local representative said on Sept. 4, intensifying speculation about the extent of Beijing's sway over Pretoria.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave to the gathering after a meeting and signing of agreements in New Delhi on Sept. 5.
India and Australia seal civil nuclear deal for uranium trade
NEW DELHI--Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott sealed a civil nuclear deal to sell uranium to India on Sept. 5 and also offered to increase supplies of conventional fuel to help it overcome chronic shortages.
Festival lanterns with patriotic illustrations of the flag of Vietnam, a sailor and a national patrol vessel are on offer at a shop in Hanoi in August. (Manabu Sasaki)
Anti-Beijing feelings cast cloud over Chinese items in Vietnam ahead of moon festival
HANOI--Fueled by a growing anti-Beijing sentiment, few retailers are stocking lanterns and goods from China for a traditional mid-autumn festival here and replaced them instead with patriotic items that are "made in Vietnam."
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sept. 5 (AP Photo)
Australia to sign uranium export deal with India
NEW DELHI--Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with his Indian counterpart on Sept. 5 ahead of an expected deal to allow the export of Australian uranium to India for use in power generation.
Mongolia's President Elbegdorj Tsakhia, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, walk past honor guards at Genghis Khan Square, named after the 13th century founder of the Mongol Empire, during a welcome ceremony in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on Sept. 3. (AP Photo)
Putin hails Soviet victory over Japan in courting Mongolia
ULAN BATOR--Russian President Vladimir Putin cited a 1939 Soviet victory over the Japanese army as a foundation of relations with Mongolia during a visit to Ulan Bator on September 3, despite a risk of upsetting Tokyo.
National Bureau of Investigation agents secure alleged leader Grandeur Pepito Guerrero, center, of a group who call themselves as USAFE as he arrives for inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice in Manila on Sept. 2. (AP Photo)
Anti-China group nabbed for planned Manila attacks
MANILA--Philippine authorities said on Sept. 2 that they arrested three men linked to a group that was planning to set off firebombs at Manila's international airport and a major mall in the city to protest the government's alleged "soft" stance in its territorial dispute with China. The military, however, downplayed the planned attacks, saying the men were just seeking attention.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the State Guest House in Tokyo on Sept. 1 (Pool)
Japan and India vow to boost strategic ties during summit
Japan and India agreed on Sept. 1 to strengthen strategic ties as Asia's second and third biggest economies keep a wary eye on a rising China, and said they would accelerate talks on the possible sale of an amphibious aircraft to India's navy.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Kyoto State Guest House on Aug. 30. (Pool)
INSIGHT: Japan, India joining hands to counter China’s ‘String of Pearls’
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a centuries-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto known for its five-storied pagoda and its tranquillity.
In Aug. 25, 2014 file this photo released by Thai Spokesman Office, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks after he accepted a written royal command issued by King Bhumibol Adulyadej certifying his appointment as the country's 29th premier in Bangkok. (AP Photo)
Thai junta leader stacks Cabinet with military men
BANGKOK--The general who transitioned from Thailand's junta leader to prime minister has awarded key Cabinet posts to his trusted allies from the armed forces, the latest in a series of moves that critics say will prolong the military's grip on power.

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