Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, April 19

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KUALA LUMPUR-- Cultural exchanges between Malaysia and China, with the support of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), are entering a new phase with a practical and commercial cooperation, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said Friday.

Speaking after witnessing the signing ceremony between Malaysian animation company Les' Copaque Production and China's Cultural Investment Holdings Co. Ltd (CIH) over the distribution of a Malaysian animated film in China, Gobind said cooperation in the creative industry would benefit both countries. (Malaysia-Belt and Road)

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HERAT, Afghanistan -- Three Afghan intelligence agency personnel were killed and two others wounded in a car bomb blast outside a provincial intelligence agency building in Herat city, capital of western province of Herat, on Friday, the agency said.

"A National Directorate of Security (NDS) technical team was defusing a found suspected vehicle roughly at 4:50 p.m. local time in Herat city. The personnel defused parts of explosives in the car, but unfortunately a blast occurred leaving the casualties," the NDS, the country's primary intelligence agency, said in a statement. (Afghanistan-Blast)

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KABUL -- At least five militants were killed following an airstrike in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar on Thursday, the command of Afghan special forces said on Friday.

"About five Taliban militants were killed as a result of an airstrike conducted by the Afghan National Army Special Operations Corps (ANASOC) in Achin district, Nangarhar province," the corps in a statement. (Afghanistan-Taliban)

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TOKYO -- Japan enacted legislation on Friday recognizing the Ainu ethnic group in northern Japan as an indigenous people of the nation.

The legislation, approved at an Upper House plenary session on Friday, is aimed at supporting the culture of the Ainu people through state-backed financial assistance at central and local levels and promoting Ainu culture and heritage. (Japan-Ethnic Group) Enditem

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