Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, July 11

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that management of population growth is key to socio-economic development for countries around the world, especially developing countries including Pakistan.

"Population remains at the heart of effective national planning...No country, however resourceful, can deal with population explosion. Drawing a balance between population and resources is fundamental to the fulfillment of the needs of teeming millions," Sharif said in his message on the World Population Day. (Pakistan-Population Management)

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JAKARTA -- Foreign ministers from 10 ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste, and ASEAN partner countries discussed challenges faced by the bloc and its cooperation with other countries at the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Post Ministerial Conference (AMM-PMC) which kicked off here Tuesday.

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi in the opening remarks called on the leaders of the bloc to together show the world that ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) can navigate the regional and global dynamics and continue to create the paradigm of collaboration. (ASEAN-FM-Meeting)

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TOKYO -- Fisheries associations in Fukushima Prefecture said Tuesday they remain opposed to releasing radioactive water from the crippled nuclear power plant into the sea despite the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s safety assurance on the plan, local media reported.

Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura briefed the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations in northeastern Japan about the recent IAEA report on the planned ocean release, in a bid to seek their understanding as Japan aims to start releasing the water around this summer, Kyodo News said. (Japan-Fukushima nuclear water-Fishermen-Opposition)

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KATHMANDU -- All six people, including five Mexican tourists and a Nepali pilot, were killed after their helicopter crashed on Tuesday in a mountain district in eastern Nepal, the authorities said.

"The five passengers and a pilot in the helicopter have lost their lives in the crash," Jagannath Niroula, spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, told Xinhua. (Nepal-Helicopter Crash,1st LD)

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MANILA -- At least 114,663 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines from January to June this year, according to the data from the Philippines' Department of Tourism (DOT).

The tourism agency data showed South Koreans were the top foreign arrivals during the first semester of 2023, with 673,841 arrivals. (Philippines-Chinese Tourists)

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BANGKOK -- Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Tuesday his retirement from politics and resignation as a political party member.

"I am announcing my retirement from politics and resigning as a member of the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party (United Thai Nation Party)," he said in a statement released by his party. (Thailand-Politics-Prayut) Enditem

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