ASIA NEWS BITES: Jakarta Shows Support for Ahok; Guangdong Protesters Hail Victory; Rice Planting in Fukushima; Xinjiang Quake

ASIA NEWS BITES: Jakarta Shows Support for Ahok; Guangdong Protesters Hail Victory; Rice Planting in Fukushima; Xinjiang Quake
Screenshot from Jarkata Globe.
What you need to know

A quick roundup of the most important news from around the region.

Indonesia:

Dressed in red and white, Jakarta residents arrived at the City Hall on Wednesday morning to sing the national anthem, led by conductor and composer Addie MS, in a show of solidarity with Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.- Jakarta Globe

The European Union delegation to Indonesia called on the government to continue its "long-standing tradition of tolerance and pluralism," following the sentencing of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to two years in prison for blasphemy. - Jakarta Globe

China:

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong vowed on Wednesday to cancel plans for a waste incinerator plant near Qingyuan city, as local people celebrated with firecrackers following several days of mass protests in the area. - Radio Free Asia

A Chinese rights lawyer detained in a nationwide crackdown in July 2015 has finally been allowed to return home following his release from jail after he was found guilty of subversion charges. - Radio Free Asia

Rich, young Chinese are buying overseas properties on their smartphones. Millennials acquire real estate in other countries as a hedge against a weakening currency, homes for their own children when they study abroad. - The Wall Street Journal

China’s prosperity eludes a generation of aging workers, laborers who helped build modern China face toiling into twilight years; ‘No one will feed me if I don’t work’. - The Wall Street Journal

South Korea:

President Moon Jae-in took the oath of office Wednesday, and offered to visit Pyongyang if conditions were met to help resolve the deadlock over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. - Korea Times

Ten Korean kindergarten students were among 12 people killed in a bus blaze in a tunnel in Weihai, China, Tuesday, according to the South Korean Embassy in China.- Korea Times

Xinjiang:

Eight people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 struck in China’s northwest Xinjiang region on Thursday, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, with photographs online also showing damaged buildings. - Reuters via South China Morning Post

A coalition of human rights groups and organizations representing minority peoples around the world released a letter this week condemning the expulsion of a Uyghur rights activist and NGO member from a U.N. forum in April, calling the move an expression of “domination” by an unnamed U.N. member state.- Radio Free Asia

Hong Kong:

Hong Kong’s annual pro-democracy march on July 1 may be unable to start at Victoria Park because a pro-Beijing group celebrating the 20th anniversary of the city’s ­return to China has been given priority. - South China Morning Post

Three out of five Hong Kong domestic workers made to live in bathrooms, closets, on balconies and roofs. Hong Kong Free Press

Cambodia:

Cambodia is to send a team from the Defense Ministry to investigate an attack that killed four Cambodians attached to a U.N. peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic (CAR), Prime Minister Hun Sen said. - The Cambodia Daily

Less than a month before Cambodia goes to the polls, the country’s top election body on Wednesday acknowledged it had paid nearly $800,000 for indelible ink that its own tests showed could be removed using hair care products, an issue one opposition leader called a “huge matter” that could undermine voter trust in the June 4 commune elections. - The Cambodia Daily

Japan:

Rice planting for commercial sales began on Wednesday in a village in Fukushima Prefecture for the first time since the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. - The Japan Times

Yamagata town to test using dogs to detect cancers. Dogs are not only loving companions. They could also be our most reliable weapon against cancer.- The Japan Times

Toyota Motor Corp said Wednesday that its net profit declined for the first time in five years in the business year that ended in March, a downward trend it expects to continue in the near future amid a stronger yen and global political uncertainty. - The Japan Times

Taiwan:

Taiwanese officials ready to work from WHA sidelines. Beijing has spurned Taipei’s attempt to communicate about its bid to join the World Health Assembly (WHA) this year, but a delegation is prepared to interact with other nations on the sidelines of the meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, even if Taiwan fails to secure an invitation, the Mainland Affairs Council and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. - Taipei Times

Tibet:

Authorities in northwestern China’s Gansu province have imposed restrictions on the family of a Tibetan self-immolation protester, preventing them from holding prayer services and blocking visits by relatives and friends, a source in the region says.- Radio Free Asia

North Korea:

Kim Jong Un has made a public visit to a factory run by disabled soldiers, just days after the U.N. Special Rapporteur for disability rights visits Pyongyang. - North Korea News

Philipines:

“Shoot on sight” is how President Duterte wants the military to deal with Abu Sayyaf bandits, as the United States and Britain have alerted their citizens to threats of kidnapping of foreigners by the terror group in some resorts in Palawan. - Philippine Star

Thailand:

Thailand should work with its neighbors to bag drug kingpins instead of chasing dealers, users or mid-management players to truly solve narcotics problems in the region, according to senior officials at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). - Bangkok Post

A spate of live-stream suicides in Thailand in recent weeks has drawn grave concerns from health experts and the broadcast regulator over incidents of copycat behavior. - Bangkok Post