ASIA NEWS BITES: Japan Defense Minister Resigns; NK Cyber Army's New Target; China-India File Rival Claims over Tibetan Medicine

ASIA NEWS BITES: Japan Defense Minister Resigns; NK Cyber Army's New Target; China-India File Rival Claims over Tibetan Medicine
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

What you need to know

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


China and India have jockeyed for centuries over the Himalayas. The two countries’ latest struggle is over which one will be able to formally tie the ancient practice of Tibetan medicine to its national patrimony. The prize: international cachet and the possibility of significant commercial rewards. - The New York Times

China’s Internet-search leader Baidu Inc. posted its first profit increase in three-quarters as it earned more money per advertiser while working to extend its reach beyond its core business. - The Wall Street Journal

China’s next target: U.S. Microchip Hegemony. The semiconductor industry, a stalwart of the global economy, is succumbing to fierce nationalistic competition. - The Wall Street Journal

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. has reclaimed the top spot in China’s fiercely competitive smartphone market, but it still faces a tough fight in its goal to become the world’s top seller of phones.- The Wall Street Journal


Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, a protégé of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was once seen as having a chance to become the nation’s first female prime minister, announced her resignation Friday over a dispute involving peacekeeping operations in South Sudan. - The Wall Street Journal

The head of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has started an on-site inspection at a nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture regarding the restart of two of its reactors. - NHK

A survey in Japan shows that one in six women have suffered violence by their husbands or others but that most of the victims did not contact the police. - NHK

Four of the six Japanese men who were detained in China by local authorities in March have been released and returned to Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday. - The Japan News

Hong Kong:

The restructuring of loss-making media giant Next Digital Limited continued on Thursday as the company announced that its long-running Eat and Travel Weeklymagazine would end its print run next week. - South China Morning Post


Tropical Storm Nesat is expected to make landfall in Taitung, eastern Taiwan, today in the late afternoon or early evening and a sea alert would be issued in the morning at the earliest, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.- The Taipei Times

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密), known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康) outside of Taiwan, on Wednesday announced plans to build a US$10 billion LCD panel plant in Wisconsin, a deal U.S. President Donald Trump said would not have happened without his efforts. - The Taipei Times

Taiwan is suspending operations at its representative offices in Jeddah, Guam and Norway, in an effort to make better use of the country's resources, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday. - Central News Agency

The Taipei City government said Thursday that it will test-run a driverless bus next week as the capital moves toward becoming a smart city, applying information and communication technology to solve urban problems and increase the quality of life for its citizens. - Central News Agency

Five Taiwanese men were sentenced to life imprisonment and fined 4 million pesos (US$80,800) each in the Philippines after a local court found them guilty of illegal possession and manufacture of drugs in a case from five years ago. - Central News Agency

Four Taiwanese nationals arrested by Cambodian authorities earlier this month for suspected involvement in telecom fraud were deported to China Wednesday, according to Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council. - Central News Agency

Taiwan's Fisheries Agency said Thursday that Taiwanese boats had not been fishing illegally in Indonesia's exclusive economic zone as the government of that country has claimed. - Central News Agency

Hong Kong:

Two decades after the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule, predictions, and fears that Hong Kong would gradually and gently push China into a more democratic direction appear to have been ill-founded, activists told RFA in a recent interview. - Radio Free Asia


Authorities in the city of Dawei in southeastern Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region on Thursday ordered all schools closed for five days and more than 20,000 chickens to be culled amid an outbreak of the highly contagious avian influenza. - Radio Free Asia

Myanmar seeks WHO help with deadly swine flu outbreak. - Channel NewsAsia

North Korea:

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed sanctions aimed at deterring North Korea's missile and nuclear development, as part of a package that also targets Russia and Iran. - The Korea Times

North Korea’s Ministry of State Security has secretly ordered local agencies to inform the families of defectors to South Korea that they will face no punitive measures if they return home, as part of a bid to lure them back to the North, according to sources inside the country.- Radio Free Asia

North Korea’s state-sponsored hackers are increasingly going after money rather than secrets, according to a report published on Thursday by a South Korean government-backed institute. - The New York Times

The commander of the United States Pacific Fleet was asked a hypothetical question during a talk on Thursday in Australia: If President Trump ordered a nuclear strike on China, would he comply?“The answer would be yes,” the commander, Adm. Scott H. Swift, replied. - The New York Times

The trial of two women accused of killing the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader will begin on Oct. 2, Malaysia's High Court said today. - Channel NewsAsia


Western governments are warning their citizens against traveling to nearly all of the southern third of the Philippines, citing the rising threats of terror attacks and kidnappings by militants. - Channel NewsAsia

The Philippine president said his threat to launch airstrikes against tribal schools because they allegedly teach subversion would apply only when the buildings are empty, a clarification that still raised concern he was advocating a war crime. - The Philippine Star

The United States on Thursday officially turned over two new aircrafts to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) as part of the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act Building Partnership Capacity Program. - The Philippine Star


Amid a growing number of hotspots in Indonesia, five provinces in Indonesia are on emergency alert for the spread of forest fires in peatlands.- Channel NewsAsia


Authorities in central Vietnam’s coastal Nghe A province have arrested a dissident writer and activist for investigation of activities aimed at overthrowing the country’s one-party state, relatives, and state media reported.- Radio Free Asia


Amazon Prime Now delivery down for the second day after launch: After its highly anticipated launch in Singapore on Thursday, Amazon Prime Now's delivery service continues to be unavailable. - Channel NewsAsia


The Malaysian state of Johor has recorded the highest number of statutory rape cases in the country at 2089 cases or 15.73 percent of the total from 2010 till May this year, said Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim.- Channel NewsAsia

Editor: Olivia Yang