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Comfort Women

Japan to Re-examine ‘Comfort Women’ Apology

3 March 2014

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Yingluck Voting

Thailand: Election results to be announced after 27 April

12 February 2014

Thailand’s February 2 elections have not brought about conclusive results yet. It was announced today that re-runs of the elections will be held on 27 April in constituencies where voting was obstructed.

According to unofficial results, voter turnout on 2 February was only around 47% of the 43 million eligible voters in Thailand. The opposition Democrat Party had boycotted the elections. However, the low turnout also indicates that Prime Minister Yingluck’s Pheu Thai Party lost support.

Claims by the Democrat Party that the elections had violated the constitution were dismissed by Thailand’s constitutional court. It remains unclear what will be done in the 28 constituencies where the registration process of candidates was blocked.

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Yang Ashton

EU-China Strategic Dialogue

28 January 2014

Catherine Ashton held talks on 27 January with Yang Jiechi, state councillor responsible for foreign policy. This was the fourth session of the EU-China Strategic Dialogue which should have taken place in 2013 but was postponed due to the leadership changes. Yang, the former foreign minister, was using the visit to prepare the landmark visit of President Xi Jinping to the EU on 31 March. Apart from Ashton, Yang met with President van Rompuy who described current developments in the EU and his ideas for the Xi visit.

EU officials said the talks had been productive. The focus was on next steps to implement the EU-China 2020 Agenda that was agreed at the November summit in Beijing. Ashton said that both sides shared similar priorities including promoting peace and security, sustainable green growth, innovation, and an inclusive social model. She welcomed the opening of negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty.

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