Asia Briefs: S. Korea's 'right to rest' drive hits bump

S. Korea's 'right to rest' drive hits bump

SEOUL • President Moon Jae In's drive to give South Koreans their "right to rest" by slashing work hours is making little headway as lawmakers and unions fail to agree on whether to double pay rates for weekends.

The long hours were once considered necessary to fuel economic growth, but it is now seen as the source of the country's social problems, including low birth rate and productivity. South Koreans work 2,069 hours a year.

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Japan's 2017 birth figure hits record low

TOKYO • The number of births in Japan this year has fallen to its lowest since records began more than a century ago with about 941,000 new babies, the Health Ministry said yesterday.

The number of births will be about 4 per cent lower than last year and the lowest since the government started compiling data in 1899, the ministry said.

REUTERS

Govt meeting in Bali to reassure tourists

JAKARTA • Indonesian President Joko Widodo held a Cabinet meeting in Bali yesterday in a bid to reassure visitors that there is nothing to worry about from the rumbling Mount Agung volcano.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said this week that Indonesia was expecting an estimated 15 trillion rupiah (S$1.4 billion) in lost income and around one million fewer tourists because of the volcano.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: S. Korea's 'right to rest' drive hits bump'. Print Edition | Subscribe