Japan opens the door to debate on female succession to the Chrysanthemum throne

New law includes resolution calling on government to swiftly analyse ways to secure a stable imperial succession including prospect of a future empress Japans parliament has passed a statute allowing ruler Akihito to become the countrys first monarch to abdicate in more than 200 years, but left the door open to a debate regarding the…

Virtually a third of Japan’s girls ‘sexually harassed at work’

Survey presenting women were touched inappropriately and pressed for sexuality deals blow to efforts to support female workers Almost a third of Japanese women have been sexually harassed at work, according to a government report that deals another jolt to attempts to boost women role in the workplace. More than half of those women said…

Thai police investigate assert that US ambassador ‘defamed the monarchy’

No charges expected over remarks made by Glyn Davies in which he said the US is concerned about long prison sentences given to civilians by military courts Thai police have said they are investigating commentaries made by the US ambassador about a law that bans criticism of the monarchy, but dont expect to bring charges…

As Bangkok sinks, could this anti-flood park be the answer?

Vast underground reservoirs beneath the citys Centenary Park can store 1m gallons of water Bangkok is sinking- fast. As urban planning continues unabated, this city of more than 10 million people is get lower by 2cm a year, according to Greenpeace estimates. Meanwhile, the surface of the Gulf of Thailand is rising by 4mm a…

Japan’s Emperor Akihito not preparing to renounce, palace insists

Royal household says shock reports are not true as country grapples with idea of beloved ruler stepping aside to make way for son Uncertainty is swirling around the immediate future of Japans autocracy, as palace officials dismissed media reports that Akihito will become the first ruler in two centuries to abdicate. The imperial household agency,…

Nuclear weapons hazard greater than in cold war, says ex-Pentagon chief

William Perry listings a series of factors that he says mean the chance of a cataclysm is higher today than in the 1970 s and 80 s The risks of a nuclear catastrophe in a regional war, terrorist attack, by accident or miscalculation is greater than it was during the cold war and rising, a…

China considers paying couples to have a second child

After abolishing the one-child policy, Communist party mulls financial incentives to parents who have more than one baby China is considering introducing birth rewards and subsidies to encourage people to have a second child, after surveys indicated economic constraints were constructing many reluctant to expand their families, the state-owned China Daily has reported. The notion…

Women seek islands of refuge in Papua New Guinea’s sea of violence | Helen Davidson

For women in Papua New Guinea, violence at home is horribly normal. Local charities are trying to provide shelters in the absence of government support In a room in Lae, Paula sits on the floor, Julie on a lounge. Caseworkers and support staff are on seats, and barefoot children peer at the newcomers. The children…

Samsung boss faces arrest as South Korea corruption scandal grows

Special attorneys be argued that Jay Y Lee paid $36 m in bribes to disgraced friend of impeached chairwoman Park Geun-hye for business favours Prosecutors investigating a corruption scandal that has plunged South Korea into its biggest political crisis in decades are seeking a warrant for the arrest of the acting head of Samsung, the…

New Zealand health minister denies taking ‘fake cocaine’ at primary school event

School board apologises after Vegas-themed fundraiser at Northcote primary in Jonathan Colemans electorate had icing sugar and razors on trays as props The New Zealand health pastor has procured himself in the position of having to deny he took fake cocaine at a primary school fundraising event. Northcote school in Auckland ran a Las Vegas-themed…