Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, Jan. 12

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MANILA -- The Philippines reported 32,246 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, the second-highest single-day tally since the pandemic began in January 2020, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,058,634.

The Department of Health said the number of active cases or patients still battling the disease soared to 208,164 as the positivity rate rose to 45.7 percent. (Philippines-COVID-19 Cases)

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SEOUL -- South Korea's employment growth hit a seven-year high last year amid the labor market recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn, statistical office data showed on Wednesday.

The number of those employed totaled 27,273,000 in 2021, up 369,000 from the previous year, according to Statistics Korea. (South Korea-Employment)

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TOKYO -- Sentiment in Japan's service sector rose in December to the highest level in 16 years, the government said in a report on Wednesday, as year-end shopping gave retailers a boost.

The monthly Economy Watchers survey's diffusion index, in which a score of more than 50 means people view current economic conditions in a positive light, gained 0.1 point from November to 56.4, marking the highest reading since December 2005, the Cabinet Office said. (Japan-Cabinet Office-Service Sector Sentiment)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan on Tuesday reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases after a period of over three months, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Wednesday.

The NCOC said the country confirmed 2,074 new COVID-19 cases, increasing the overall cases to 1,309,248 so far, including 1,259,699 recoveries. (Pakistan-COVID-19) Enditem

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