Asian Insider, Oct 22: Japan's new emperor, Jokowi's cabinet, fall of Thai royal consort

Asian Insider brings you insights into a fast-changing region from our network of correspondents.


In today's bulletin: Japan's Emperor Naruhito proclaims his enthronement, details begin to emerge of Indonesian President Joko Widodo's new cabinet, Thai King dismisses his royal consort, alarm grows in Malaysia over possible release of former Jemaah Islamiah militant linked to 9/11 attacks, Singapore considers allowing women to freeze their eggs and more.

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Japan's Emperor Naruhito, who took the throne earlier this year after his father Akihito abdicated, officially proclaimed his enthronement, in a sacred and elaborate ceremony. He is the first Japanese emperor born after World War Two and the first Emperor to be educated in the West, spending two years at the University of Oxford.

In ancient throne ritual, Japanese emperor vows to fulfil duty

Gold, silk, lacquer: The elaborate fittings of Japan's imperial ceremony

Philippine leader Duterte in 'unbearable pain', forced to cut short Japan trip

Japan imperial couple face heavy burden of tradition


Indonesian President Joko Widodo will retain Sri Mulyani Indrawati as his Finance Minister, during his second term in office, from 2019 to 2024. He has tasked her with focusing on creating jobs and opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises. The President, who has been interviewing candidates this month, intends to retain a third of his 34-member Cabinet. One of his new members will be Nadiem Makarim, the co-founder of ride-hailing firm Gojek. The full list is still to be announced.

Indonesian President Jokowi to retain Sri Mulyani as finance minister

Opposition leader Prabowo Subianto, Gojek CEO Nadiem Makarim to join Indonesian President Jokowi's Cabinet

Indonesian President Joko Widodo faces test of leadership in second term


Less than four months after she was appointed Royal Consort by Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Ms Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi has lost her title and military ranks. A two-page announcement said she was trying to sabotage the appointment of Queen Suthida, who married the King in May this year, and had overstepped in the affairs of the royal couple. There were other complaints too.

Thai King dismisses royal consort for being 'ungrateful', trying to sabotage Queen's appointment

Thai consort stripped of title for sabotaging Queen's appointment: Who are the 2 women?

How Thailand's new king has shown his assertive reign

Camo and crop top: Thai palace publishes consort pictures, website crashes


Malaysia is to decide on releasing militant Yazid Sufaat, who once tried producing weapons of mass destruction for Al-Qaeda, our Malaysia Correspondent Nadirah H. Rodzi, reports. The 9/11 linked militant has been imprisoned three times in the past 17 years on terrorism related charges and his current detention expires in November.

Malaysian terrorist with 9/11 link could be freed from prison next month


Singapore is reviewing whether to allow women to freeze eggs, on non-medical grounds, to give them a chance to be mothers later in life. Currently, women are allowed to do so only for medical reasons. Read more here:

Government 'carefully reviewing' whether to let women freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons


SEOUL SCRAMBLES FIGHTERS: South Korea scrambled fighter jets after six Russian military aircraft repeatedly entered the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ), over six hours. This was the 20th breach of KADIZ by a Russian military plane this year, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

CHINA'S UNICORN START-UPS EXCEED US: China now boasts of 206 privately held start-ups valued by investors at over US$ 1 billion, research firm Hurun Report. This is slightly over the 203 such companies in the United States, making China the country with the largest number of unicorns.

PAS DEPUTY CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING: Former Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa claimed trial to three counts of money laundering and 30 counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) amounting to about RM4 million (S$1.3 million) at the Sessions Court in Malaysia.

That's it for today. We'll be back with you tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

- Shefali

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