Japan to withdraw troops from S. Sudan
TOKYO • Japan's Self-Defence Force will withdraw from the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan when its troops there return home around the end of May, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday. The primary task of Japan's 350-strong military contingent, based in Juba for the past five years, has been to build infrastructure in the war-torn country.
India's paid maternity goes up to 26 weeks
NEW DELHI • India's Parliament has passed a law that increases paid maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks for a mother's first two children, reported the Hindustan Times. The new law will apply to all organisations that employ more than 10 people.
No physical contact at Anwar's jail visits
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's High Court yesterday dismissed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's bid to be allowed physical contact with his family when they visit him in prison.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Industry opposes plan for Japan smoking ban
TOKYO • Japan is moving to pass its strictest smoking laws, but the country's powerful tobacco lobby wants to stub out measures that were adopted years ago by other developed nations. The proposed law would ban smoking in many restaurants as well as public facilities.