Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, March 11

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TOKYO -- Ceremonies were held across Japan on Monday to mark the eighth anniversary of a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami, which obliterated swathes of the nation's northeastern seaboard and triggered the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

A moment of silence was observed at a ceremony held in Tokyo and supported by the government. (Japan-Nuclear crisis)

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SEOUL -- South Korea's economy slowed down for five months in a row due to weak investment and export, the country's state-run economic think tank said Monday.

The Korea Development Institute (KDI) said in its monthly economic assessment report that the economy maintained a slowdown on investment and export weakness, keeping its negative evaluation for the fifth consecutive month.(S. Korea-Slow down)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's new King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah called for national unity on Monday during his first parliamentary address.

Abdullah, who was sworn in as Malaysia's 16th king in January, urged Malaysians to work towards unity in a meaningful way, which he said was especially important in a multicultural and multiracial country.(Malaysia-National unity)

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BANGKOK -- Security measures have been stepped up in southern Thailand following the weekend's token bombings in which nobody was reportedly killed or injured, said a government official on Monday.

Military and police forces have launched missions to track down the suspected bomb attackers, who might have been politically motivated to sow unrest, Col. Pramote said. (Thailand-Security) Enditem

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