Asia briefs: Japan to suspend work for US base relocation

Japan to suspend work for US base relocation

TOKYO • Japan's government will accept a court-mediated settlement plan and suspend construction work for the planned relocation of a US airbase in Okinawa. It will begin a new round of talks with local authorities who want the base moved off the island.

Tokyo wants to move the base to a less populated area but Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga wants the base off the island altogether.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the government's stance - where relocating the Futenma base within the island was the only option - had not changed. However, relocation stalled due to opposition from Okinawa residents worried about noise, pollution and crime.


Pakistani cops rescue girl, 9, from wedding

LAHORE • Pakistani police rescued a nine-year-old girl from being married off to a 14-year-old boy to settle a family dispute yesterday and arrested four village elders who had ordered the "compensation wedding".

The intervention in Punjab province is rare in a country where it is often culturally acceptable to use marriage to build and strengthen alliances, settle disputes or pay off debts. Under existing laws, parents of child brides are punishable by only a month in jail and a fine of 1,000 rupees (S$13).


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Subscribe