Asia Briefs: China detains 9 tourists over alleged 'terror' links

Police manning a roadblock leading to the exclusion zone in Kawauchi, Fukushima prefecture, with signs reading "Keep out".
Police manning a roadblock leading to the exclusion zone in Kawauchi, Fukushima prefecture, with signs reading "Keep out".PHOTO: ST FILE

China detains 9 tourists over alleged 'terror' links

BEIJING • China detained nine tourists from South Africa, Britain and India for suspected ties to a "terror group" after the authorities accused them of watching banned videos.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday said 11 others would be deported. All are suspected of violating the law, the ministry said, without specifying what they had done.

Mr Imtiaz Sooliman, head of the Gift of the Givers Foundation, a South African charity, said five South Africans, three Britons and one Indian national were being held.

The South Africans included several doctors and relatives of prominent businessmen.

The group was on a 47-day historical tour of the country when they were detained at an airport in the Inner Mongolian city of Erdos.


Japan's nuclear safety culture 'not good enough'

TOKYO • Japan's atomic regulator yesterday said falsified documents at Chugoku Electric Power Co related to radioactive waste and showed the country's nuclear industry still lagging behind on safety, more than four years after the Fukushima plant meltdown.

Chugoku Electric on June 30 said it had not conducted the mandatory inspection of equipment for handling low-level nuclear waste, yet had recorded that the checks were carried out.

"From a safety culture point of view, if that kind of thing happens, it's not good enough," Nuclear Regulation Authority head Shunichi Tanaka said.

But he added: "It is not a violation under law, so I don't think we would take legal action."

Chugoku has set up a team to investigate the matter and establish measures to prevent a recurrence, the firm said.


Manila seeks to recoup assets in graft scandal

MANILA • The Philippines yesterday said it is seeking to recoup US$12.5 million (S$17 million) in assets from Janet Napoles, a Filipino businesswoman at the centre of a massive corruption scandal, as the United States attempts to seize her possessions.

The US Justice Department filed a civil forfeiture complaint on Tuesday to gain control of assets that were allegedly purchased in the US with money intended for development and disaster relief.

They include a swanky Los Angeles condominium, a motel near Disneyland and a Porsche Boxster that Napoles bought for her daughter.

Napoles, who is already in jail in the Philippines for kidnapping her cousin in 2014, has been charged along with family members in the corruption case.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2015, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: China detains 9 tourists over alleged 'terror' links'. Print Edition | Subscribe