Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Sept. 9

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TOKYO -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will dispatch a team of experts to Japan's Fukushima Prefecture in December to review the country's plan to dump radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the sea, an IAEA official said Thursday.

The plan was proposed after China and South Korea, as well as local fishing communities, have voiced strong criticism against releasing the contaminated water accumulated at the plant since the 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami catastrophe in northeastern Japan. (Japan-IAEA-Nuclear Contaminated Water)

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PHNOM PENH -- The National Assembly of Cambodia on Thursday ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's largest free trade agreement (FTA), which comprises 15 Asia-Pacific countries.

Ninety-three lawmakers, who were present during the parliamentary session, unanimously adopted the pact, which will be next reviewed by the Senate before being submitted to King Norodom Sihamoni for endorsement. (Cambodia-RCEP-National Assembly Ratification)

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DHAKA -- People lined up in long queues to receive the Chinese Sinopharm jabs outside a COVID-19 vaccination center on Tuesday morning in Bangladesh's Chandpur district, as the inoculation of the second doses started in the area.

"Chinese Sinopharm vaccine doses are being given here through our union Parishad. People are very much satisfied with the first doses of the Chinese (Sinopharm) vaccine," said Md Billal Hossain Patwari, chairman of Chandpur's Ashikati Union Parishad, the smallest rural administrative and local government unit in the country. (Bangladesh-China-Vaccination)

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MANILA -- The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 22,820 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic began, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 2,161,892.

The DOH also reported 61 coronavirus-related deaths, raising the country's death toll to 34,733. Thursday's caseload surpassed the previous record detected on Sept. 6 when the DOH reported 22,415 cases. (Philippines-COVID-19 infections) Enditem

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