Philippines foreign minister Albert del Rosario, front left, walks with Vietnam's foreign minister, Pham Binh Minh, front right, during the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 4. (AP Photo)
Southeast Asian nations back halt to China's land reclamation in South China Sea
KUALA LUMPUR--Southeast Asian countries on Aug. 4 backed a U.S. call to halt land reclamation in the South China Sea, underlining unease in the region over Beijing's continued expansion on disputed islands.
Batteries are placed beneath the seat of the Smartscooter, an electric scooter by Gogoro, a Taiwanese start-up (Ayumi Shintaku)
Taiwanese scooter powered by swap-out batteries may be commuting game-changer
TAIPEI--An electric scooter by a Taiwanese start-up could be the ticket to ride around sprawling cities in Asia and elsewhere, allowing a rider to be back on the road in a minute after swapping out batteries.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
China wants no talk of South China Sea at upcoming ASEAN meeting
KUALA LUMPUR--Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said on Aug. 3 the disputed South China Sea should not be discussed at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
A 7-Eleven store in Fukuoka in 2014 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
First 7-Eleven to open in Vietnam in FY 2017 as part of major push into country
Convenience store chain operator Seven & i Holdings Co. will open the first 7-Eleven store in Vietnam in fiscal 2017, the company announced July 30.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Tokyo in June (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Philippines' Aquino endorses interior minister as successor
MANILA--Philippine President Benigno Aquino on July 31 endorsed his interior minister to succeed him when he steps down next June, saying Manuel "Mar" Roxas would drive forward reforms that put the country among the fastest-growing in Asia.
Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF representative to Nepal, discusses the situation in Nepal following a powerful earthquake in April during a briefing in Tokyo on July 27. (Hiroshi Nakano)
U.N. in plea for no letup in international efforts to help quake-ravaged Nepal
A UNICEF representative called on the international community to continue paying attention to quake-stricken Nepal, especially as rebuilding efforts there are falling behind.
Lemuel Yoshimura, left, prepares to hand a petition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 22 in Tokyo, seeking help for Filipino people of Japanese descent. (Maki Okubo)
Nikkei Filipinos ask Abe for help in resolving identity crises
A Filipino group asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 22 to have his government list the names of children with Japanese ancestry who were left behind in the Philippines after World War II.
The Asahi Shimbun
Joint task force urges India to select Shinkansen for its high-speed rail needs
A joint Japanese-Indian survey team recommended July 20 that New Delhi adopt a Shinkansen-like system for its planned rapid-transit railway line that will link Mumbai with Ahmedabad.
A 2013 photo of Cam Ranh Bay, a particular strategic site for Vietnam’s maritime security (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Philippines, Vietnam reviving Cold War bases to combat China’s naval expansion
HANOI--The Philippines and Vietnam are refurbishing key military bases used during the Cold War and bolstering cooperation with Washington to counter Beijing’s maritime expansion in the South China Sea.
Indonesian Muslim men gather during the first Friday pray of the fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on June 19. (AP Photo)
Indonesian vice president wants to hit squelch on 'noise' from mosque loudspeakers
JAKARTA--Fed up with the daily blare from mosque loudspeakers calling the faithful to prayer, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla has set up a team to monitor the volume of cacophony that begins from dawn.
A Maritime Self-Defense Force P-3C patrol aircraft takes off from Palawan Island in the western Philippines on June 23 for a joint exercise with the Philippines military over the South China Sea. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SDF chief says South China Sea surveillance possible
WASHINGTON--Japan's top military commander, Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, said on July 16 he expected China to become increasingly assertive in the South China Sea, and it was possible Japan would conduct patrols and surveillance activities there in the future.
Malala Yousafzai (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Nobel winner Malala opens school for Syrian refugees
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon--Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, celebrated her 18th birthday in Lebanon on July 12 by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls and called on world leaders to invest in "books not bullets".
Australian passengers check for their flight status at Bali's international airport in Indonesia on July 10. A volcanic eruption on Indonesia's main island of Java has created chaos for vacationers as airports close and international airlines cancel flights. (AP Photo)
Eruption of Indonesian volcano creates travel chaos
JAKARTA--Ash spewing from a volcano on Indonesia's main island of Java has created chaos for vacationers as airports close and international airlines cancel flights to tourist hotspot Bali, stranding thousands.
Uighurs living in Turkey and Turkish supporters, some carrying flags of Turkey and East Turkestan, the term separatist Uighurs and Turks use to refer to the Uighurs homeland in China's Xinjiang region, shout slogan to denounce Chinese rule outside the Chinese Embassy in Ankara on June 9. (AP Photo)
Thailand defends decision to send Uighurs back to China
BANGKOK--Thailand's prime minister defended on July 9 a decision to forcibly return nearly 100 Uighur Muslim migrants to China despite rights groups' fears they could face ill-treatment, saying it was not Bangkok's fault if they suffered problems.
A bear is confined in a cage where the animal can hardly move in a bear bile extraction facility in Hanoi. (Manabu Sasaki)
Demand for bile takes inhumane toll on caged bears in Vietnam
HANOI--At a bile farm about 40 kilometers west of Hanoi, most of the bears in the cages were so emaciated, they could barely move.
Protesters display placards during a rally near the Chinese Consulate at the financial district of Makati city, east of Manila, Philippines July 7 on the complaint filed by the Philippines against China's claims of the disputed islands in the South China Sea. (AP Photo)
Philippines asks tribunal to invalidate China's sea claims
MANILA--The Philippines has asked an international tribunal to declare China's claims to virtually all the South China Sea invalid, saying Beijing's actions have trampled other nations' rights and damaged vast coral reefs irreversibly.
President Barack Obama, right, meets with Vietnamese Communist party secretary general Nguyen Phu Trong in the Oval Office of the White House on July 7 in Washington. (AP Photo)
Vietnam: Human rights should not obstruct deeper U.S. ties
WASHINGTON--The head of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party said July 8 that differences with the United States on human rights should not be allowed to obstruct the deepening of relations between the former enemies.
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.

More AJW