PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said on Thursday that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement will be a key driver for regional economic recovery and integration when it enters into force.
He made the remarks during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat, which was held via videoconference, the foreign ministry said in a press statement released after the meeting. (Cambodia-RCEP)
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TOKYO -- Japan on Thursday confirmed 5,652 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nation's cumulative total of infections to 352,688.
According to health officials, 94 people died across the country, with the death toll rising to a total of 4,873 people. The latest figures also showed that the number of infected patients designated as being "seriously ill" stood at 1,014 nationwide, equaling the previous day's record. (Japan-COVID-19 Cases)
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MANILA -- An offshore earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 jolted Davao Occidental province in the southern Philippines on Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) said.
The institute said the quake, which struck at 8:23 p.m. local time, hit at a depth of 116 km, about 231 km southeast of Jose Abad Santos town. The institute said the quake will trigger aftershocks but will not cause damage. (Philippines-Earthquake)
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COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka fully reopened its borders to tourists and international arrivals from all countries on Thursday.
An Oman Air flight carrying 50 Sri Lankans arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo early Thursday. Speaking to media in the commercial capital Colombo, Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga thanked President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for reviving the COVID-19-affected tourism industry which employs three million people. (Sri Lanka-Border Reopening-Tourists)
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HONG KONG -- Secretary for Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government John Lee said Thursday that the national security law in the HKSAR has stopped the serious violence and reversed the chaotic situation in Hong Kong.
Thanks to the law's strong deterrent effect against radicals advocating "Hong Kong independence" and colluding with foreign forces, the national security risk and violent activities have been greatly reduced, Lee said at a meeting of the Legislative Council, citing that the number of people arrested for destructive activities was halved five months after the law took effect on June 30, 2020. (Hong Kong-National Security Law)