Japan could become the world's third-largest gambling market if lawmakers pass a bill legalizing casinos. A drive to boost tourism – especially before the 2020 Olympics – is behind the move, but opponents worry about addiction and social ills.
One in ten Hong Kong citizens participated in an unofficial referendum seeking to give city-state the power to elect its leader. Organizers have threatened to occupy Hong Kong's central financial district.
The US State Department downgraded Thailand to its lowest ranking on its annual report, opening up the possibility of economic sanctions. Police and border guards are accused of working with traffickers.
China defended its right to place an oil rig in disputed waters in a meeting today with Vietnamese officials. China's assertiveness has led several Southeast Asian countries to recently settle old disputes among themselves.