Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, July 16

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TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced on Friday to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy to support a still-fragile economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and slightly lower its growth outlook for the current business year through next March.

The BOJ unveiled the decision at a two-day rate review that ended on Friday, and it also released an outline of its new scheme aimed at boosting funding for activities combating climate change. (Japan-Interest rate)

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KABUL -- The Afghan government security forces evicted Taliban militants from a key district in the country's central Bamyan province early Friday, the Ministry of Defense confirmed.

"The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) supported by local Public Uprising Forces liberated the Saighan Friday morning," the ministry said in a statement. (Afghanistan-Taliban)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia has conditionally approved emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm, the Health Ministry said Friday.

The jab produced by the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the China National Biotec Group, is an inactivated vaccine with easy storage requirements, which makes it highly suitable for use in low-resource settings. (Malaysia-China-Sinopharm vaccines)

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NEW DELHI -- India's COVID-19 tally rose to 31,026,829 on Friday as 38,949 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours, showed the federal health ministry's latest data.

Another 542 deaths were recorded since Thursday morning, taking the total death toll to 412,531. There are still 430,422 active cases in the country, down 1,619 during the past 24 hours. (India-COVID-19 tally) Enditem

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