Ex-head of scandal-hit Japanese school operator arrested over subsidy fraud

Prosecutors on Monday arrested the former chief of the scandal-hit Moritomo Gakuen over the illegal receipt of public subsidies for its school businesses.
The arrest of Yasunori Kagoike, 64, followed a scandal involving a controversial land deal linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The school operator won a huge discount for the state-owned land to build an junior school, for which Abe’s wife Akie was named honorary principal.
Prosecutors questioned Kagoike and his wife Junko, 60, on…

After all that embracing, has US left India out in the cold over standoff with China?

For nearly two months, troops from the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been deployed at close quarters on the Doklam plateau near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction. Amid much feverish commentary on the risks of a wider conflict, there has been a deafening silence on one critical issue – the role of the United States. Apart from one very anodyne – not to mention obvious – response from the US Department of State that India and China should seek…

Rajinikanth: The Tamil star who has a cult following in…Japan

Hiroyoshi takeda is not a typical Japanese man. Instead of a suit and tie, the 39-year-old Tokyoite wears T-shirts with technicolour caricatures of a moustachioed south Indian movie star. Rather than bowing, he dances. He doesn’t ride the metro, but travels the streets in a gaudily adorned auto rickshaw imported from Tamil Nadu.
Not for him the hushed tones and constricted body language that are the Japanese standard. Takeda talks loudly, waggling his index finger at the sky. And the…

Hong Kong leader states hope for stronger ties with Southeast Asia ahead of first official trip overseas

Ahead of her maiden overseas trip, Hong Kong’s leader is hoping to strengthen the city’s ties with its Southeast Asian neighbours and learn from competitor Singapore.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor confirmed on Sunday that a long-awaited free-trade agreement between Asean and Hong Kong was on track to be signed by the end of this year. She also hinted that she would like to visit all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the coming years.
Hong Kong’s leader…

Fish Symboled Stamp: Mongolian hip-hop duo splices traditional singing with dope beats

Ulan Bator’s urban music scene is buzzing with a new vibe created by a hip-hop duo mixing into their sound the traditional art of throat singing, or “khoomei”, as Mongolians call it.
Rap group Fish Symboled Stamp, named after a fish-shaped seal traditionally used to brand horses in the landlocked nation, incorporates the nearly 1,000-year-old vocal tradition of communities across Siberia and Central Asia.
Khoomei means “pharynx”, and performers imitate the sounds…

Southeast Asian states vow cooperation on ‘growing’ militant threat

Southeast Asian nations will cooperate more closely with intelligence and law enforcement authorities from the Middle East amid “grave concerns” about an elevated threat from Islamic State (IS) in the region.
Representatives from four Southeast Asian nations, Australia and New Zealand met in the Indonesian city of Manado on Saturday to develop a response to the increased danger posed by IS, highlighted by the occupation of parts of the southern Philippines city of Marawi by…