Asia Briefs: Seoul slams Tokyo for its claim to islets

Seoul slams Tokyo for its claim to islets

SEOUL • South Korea yesterday slammed Japan for sending a senior government official to an annual ceremony aimed at claiming a pair of disputed islets, called Dokdo by South Korea and Takeshima by Japan.

Japan's Shimane prefecture designated Feb 22 as Takeshima Day in 2005, and has, since 2006, held an event to mark the day. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government has sent a senior Cabinet member to the ceremony since 2013.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said it strongly protests against Japan for its unjust claims to the islets.


Orphanage that sold babies shut down

CHENNAI • Police in eastern India have shut down an orphanage and arrested its owner for illegally selling babies to childless couples, and are investigating whether the adoption racket was part of a wider human trafficking operation, officials said.

The orphanage in West Bengal, run by a non-profit group, sold at least two dozen children for adoption. Police said the orphanage was using forged documents to sell the babies for 100,000 rupees to 200,000 rupees (S$2,100 to S$4,200) each.


Influential Japanese director dies

TOKYO • Japanese B-movie director Seijun Suzuki, whose prolific output from gangster films to fantasies influenced international filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino, has died. He was 93.

Nikkatsu Studio said he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Feb 13. His last film was Operetta Tanukigoten (Princess Raccoon) in 2005, a fantasy in which a prince falls in love with a racoon princess, starring Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe