Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, Jan. 12

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TOKYO -- At least 13 people died and around 250 were injured as record snowfall blanketed regions along the Sea of Japan coast, according to the latest report by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

According to the agency and as reported by local media, three people aged in their 60s and 80s died in Fukui Prefecture, while 47 people were injured in the prefecture in snow-linked accidents.(Japan-Snowfall)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Tuesday that King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has consented to declaring a state of emergency in the country to stop the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a televised speech, Muhyiddin said the emergency would last till Aug. 1 or earlier depending on the COVID-19 situation.(Malaysia-Emergency state)

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SYDNEY -- Australia's biggest city of Sydney recorded five locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as authorities urged the public to get tested and increase openness and transparency with contact tracers.

Two of the cases were flagged on Monday, and involved a man who attended a hospital emergency department and his household contact, with investigations continuing into how they contracted the disease.(Australia-COVID-19)

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WELLINGTON -- The New Zealand government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said on Tuesday.

The minister announced that passengers from any destination excluding Australia, Antarctica and some Pacific Island nations will be required to undergo Day 0/1 testing upon arrival in New Zealand. This expands on measures already in place for passengers from Britain and the United States.(New Zealand-COVID-19) Enditem

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