Abe ally denies secret political donations
TOKYO • An ally of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied yesterday receiving secret political donations from an educational institution at the core of a scandal over suspected favouritism.
Former education minister Hakubun Shimomura, who heads the Tokyo chapter of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said this at a hastily called news conference.
'Golden period' for China-Philippines ties
BEIJING • Relations between China and the Philippines have entered a "golden period of fast development", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said yesterday, touting growth in trade and their efforts to settle disputes in the South China Sea.
After meeting Philippine Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano in Beijing, Mr Wang said the two countries have signed 22 cooperative agreements in less than six months and China has become the Philippines' biggest trading partner for the first time.
US to sell four Black Hawk helicopters to Thailand
BANGKOK • The US plans to sell four Black Hawk helicopters to Thailand after initially suspending their sale following a 2014 military coup, Thailand's army chief said yesterday.
"The United States government has approved our purchase order for the four helicopters," General Chalermchai Sitthisart said, adding that the army already had 12 Black Hawks.
Warning against riding solo in Sri Lanka tuk-tuks
COLOMBO • The US embassy in Colombo yesterday warned its citizens visiting Sri Lanka to avoid travelling alone in tuk-tuks after a spate of sexual harassment complaints.
The embassy advised women against hailing the brightly coloured autorickshaws used widely to get around on the island.
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE