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Issue #1712      November 25, 2015

Region Briefs

Japan’s Defence Minister Nakatani Gen and the US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter held a meeting in Malaysia. They agreed to build an Alliance Coordination Mechanism and a Bilateral Planning Mechanism. The two mechanisms, together with Japan’s new war bills, would integrate Japanese Self-Defence Forces (SDF) with the US military, thus putting the SDF under the US control completely. It would also provide a possibility for the SDF to join US-led global wars. An the meeting, Nakatani supported the US’s actions in South China Sea and promised to send troops to the area for conducting joint military exercises.

Nepalese Prime Minister, Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli has asked the Indian government to lift its embargo on the country, resuming petroleum and medicine supply to Nepal, especially after an earthquake badly hit the country recently. The Indian government had put an embargo on Nepal in September, after Nepal promulgated its new constitution that officially transformed the country from a monarchy state into a federal state. The Indian government used its regional influence to interfere with Nepal’s new constitution, assisting ethnic Indians who live in Nepal’s south to set up an Indian state. Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chandra Prakash Mainali, said that “India’s reservation on our new constitution is completely irrational as the constitution is purely an internal document of Nepal”.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs recently organised a conference in Phan Thiet city to encourage women to participate in politics. Participants discussed how cultural and traditional factors had affected the rate of women’s participation in policy-making. The Ministry’s Deputy Minister, Nguyen Trong Dam, said that one of the country’s national strategies was to increase the rate of women in people-elected agencies, and that it would help women to raise their voices. The number of female members in Vietnam’s National Assembly is 24.4 percent, 3.4 percent higher than the global average rate.

The 33rd meeting of the Vietnam-Cuba Inter-governmental Committee was held in Hanoi. The two sides reviewed the implementation of the agreements reached at the 32nd meeting, and then they signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, setting up realistic goals for mid-term cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and benefit. Vietnamese Minister of Construction, Trinh Dinh Dung, said that the document provided a legal foundation for fostering effective implementation in many areas and was in line with people’s demand and parties’ policies. Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, agreed with Trinh and especially thanked Vietnam for its assistance in the areas of medicine and rice production.

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