Southeast Asia Bureau Chief
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Mar 15, 2011

Radiation fears spark panic, evacuations in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Scores of people fled Tokyo on Tuesday and residents stayed indoors over fears that radiation from an earthquake-stricken nuclear plant could waft over one of the world’s biggest and most densely populated cities.

Despite assurances from the city government that low levels of radioactivity detected in Tokyo were for now “not a problem,” residents, expatriates and tourists decided staying in Japan’s capital was simply too risky.

Mar 15, 2011

Radiation fears spark panic buying, evacuations in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Radiation wafted from an earthquake-stricken nuclear power plant toward Tokyo on Tuesday, sparking panic in one of the world’s biggest and most densely populated cities.

Women and children packed into the departure lounge at an airport, supermarkets ran low on rice and other supplies and frightened residents, tourists and expatriates either stayed indoors or simply left the city.

Mar 2, 2011

Thailand risks growing old before it gets rich

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Earning $6 (3.7 pounds) a day from her food stall outside her home next to a railway track, Lumyai Rungruang is sceptical of news that Thailand’s wages are rising. The 54-year-old is too busy contending with spiralling inflation.

Coconut juice has doubled in price. Egg prices are up 50 percent at 90 baht (2 pounds) a dozen. Doubtful her income can keep pace, she bristles when pressed about her future.

Feb 23, 2011

Exclusive: Thai PM says has the edge in “close” election

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s prime minister said on Wednesday his Democrat Party would have the edge in a mid-year election but he would probably need to form a coalition to govern, signaling a close and potentially volatile poll.

In an interview with Reuters, 46-year-old, Oxford University-educated Abhisit Vejjajiva said he expected the election to bring stability to the troubled country, regardless of who wins, and an alliance with smaller parties would probably pave the way for him to form a government.

Feb 23, 2011

Exclusive – Thai PM says has edge in coming election,

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s prime minister said on Wednesday he expected his party to have the edge in a mid-year general election but he would probably need to form a coalition to govern, signalling a close and potentially volatile poll.

“We are looking at some time around the first half of this year,” Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told Reuters in an interview. “It is a close election like last time, except that we are slightly ahead. The latest polls show we are ahead in all polls except the northeast.”

Feb 23, 2011

Thai PM says has edge in coming election

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s prime minister said on Wednesday he expected his party to have the edge in a mid-year general election but he would probably need to form a coalition to govern, signaling a close and potentially volatile poll.

“We are looking at some time around the first half of this year,” Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told Reuters in an interview. “It is a close election like last time, except that we are slightly ahead. The latest polls show we are ahead in all polls except the northeast.”

Feb 7, 2011

Thai, Cambodia troops clash for fourth day on disputed border

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai and Cambodian troops clashed for a fourth straight day on Monday over a disputed border area surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu temple as Cambodia urged the U.N. Security Council to intervene.

Shelling and machine gunfire resounded in the morning in the 4.6-sq-km (two-sq-mile) contested area around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on a escarpment covered in jungle and claimed by both Southeast Asian neighbours, witnesses said.

Feb 7, 2011

Thai, Cambodia troops clash for fourth day on border

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai and Cambodian troops clashed for a fourth straight day Monday over a disputed border area surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu temple as Cambodia urged the U.N. Security Council to intervene.

Shelling and machine gunfire resounded in the morning in the 4.6-sq-km (two-sq-mile) contested area around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on a escarpment covered in jungle and claimed by both Southeast Asian neighbors, witnesses said.

Feb 6, 2011

Thai, Cambodia troops clash again on disputed border

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai and Cambodian soldiers fought with rockets, guns and tanks on Sunday in a third day of clashes over disputed territory surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu temple, the area’s worst fighting in years.

Tracer bullets cut through the dark and shelling could be heard from a 4.6-sq-km (two-sq-mile) contested area around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on a jungle-clad escarpment claimed by both Southeast Asian neighbors, witnesses said.

Jan 28, 2011

Analysis – Asian rice buys raise spectre of scramble for supply

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Fresh demand for rice in two big Asian countries is sending a worrying signal the region’s main staple may join a surge in prices for other grains, worsening Asia’s spiralling food inflation.

Asian rice traders say aggressive buying in heavily populated Indonesia and Bangladesh could spread, pushing up world rice prices even though bumper crops in Thailand and Vietnam should mean ample supplies.

    • About Jason

      "As Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, Jason Szep manages text, pictures and television news operations across 10 countries for Reuters. He has been a Reuters correspondent, bureau chief and editor since 1990 and won the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award in 2007. He is a Boston native and has had postings with Reuters in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Boston and Bangkok. His assignments have ranged from Kabul and Islamabad to the U.S. presidential campaign trail during the 2008 election."
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