Asia Briefs: 4 killed, 7 hurt in Japan building fire

4 killed, 7 hurt in Japan building fire

TOKYO • Four people were killed and seven injured in a fire at an establishment near Tokyo offering sexual services, Japanese police said.

Aerial footage on public broadcaster NHK showed grey smoke pouring from a concrete building in the city of Saitama, 25km north of Tokyo yesterday, as dozens of firefighters battled the blaze.


Test flight for China's second jet prototype

BEIJING • A second prototype of China's home-built C-919 passenger jet took off for a test flight in Shanghai yesterday, state television reported, marking another step forward in the country's ambitions to muscle in on the global jet market.

A total of six prototypes will eventually conduct test flights, China Central Television reported, with engine tests to be a particular focus. The aircraft, which will compete with Boeing's 737 and the Airbus A-320, is a symbol of China's ambitions to penetrate the global passenger jet market, estimated to be worth US$2 trillion (S$2.7 trillion) over the next 20 years.


Duterte offers support for same-sex unions

MANILA • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his support for same-sex unions, after previously declaring his opposition to gay marriage, in an about-face that may displease bishops in the mainly Roman Catholic country.

Speaking at a gathering of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Davao City yesterday, Mr Duterte vowed to protect the rights of homosexuals and invited them to nominate a representative to work in his government.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe