Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, April 2

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TOKYO -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is considering urging two heavyweights of its biggest faction to leave the party due to their roles in a political funds scandal, local media reported on Tuesday.

Former education minister Ryu Shionoya, the de facto leader of the faction previously led by the late premier Shinzo Abe, and Hiroshige Seko, another Abe faction member and former LDP secretary general in the House of Councillors, will likely be advised to leave the party, the second-heaviest punishment in the party's eight levels of punitive steps following expulsion, Kyodo News reported, citing sources close to the matter. (Japan-LDP)

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BANGKOK -- Thailand received over 9.37 million foreign tourists in the first three months of 2024, an increase of 44 percent from a year earlier, on course to meet the year-end target of 35 million foreign arrivals, official data showed on Tuesday.

In the January-March period, Thailand welcomed 1.75 million visitors from China, the largest source of tourists to the Southeast Asian country, followed by 1.16 million from Malaysia and 622,813 from Russia, according to data from the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports. (Thailand-Tourists)

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NEW DELHI -- Two girls aged 13 and 15 years died of asphyxiation when a fire broke out inside their house in the Indian capital city on Tuesday, confirmed the local police.

The fire incident was reported from a highly populated area in Delhi's Sadar Bazar area. (India-Delhi-Fire)

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SINGAPORE -- The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday amended the Payment Services Act to expand the regulation scope and prevent digital payment token (DPT) service providers from money laundering and terrorism financing.

The amendment will bring more activities under regulation, including the provision of custodial services for DPTs, facilitation of the transmission and exchange of DPTs, and facilitation of cross-border money transfer between different countries. (Singapore-Law-Finance)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Economists on Tuesday foresaw Malaysia's manufacturing sector to gradually recover this year after its manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to a three-month low of 48.4 in March.

Kenanga Research said in a note that the drop in the PMI reflects that the recovery in manufacturing conditions of Malaysia remains uncertain, which is largely due to subdued demand conditions both in the domestic and international markets. (Malaysia-Manufacture-Outlook) Enditem

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