>End of an Abe era for Japan
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's resignation opened the field for what may be a fierce battle among LDP executives to become his successor.
Abe, the longest-serving prime minister in Japan's history, announced on Friday that he intended to step down after eight years in office, citing health reasons, as the country struggles to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, a severe economic downturn and geopolitical disputes with such neighbors as China, Russia and South Korea.
"The most important thing in politics is results," Abe said at a news conference in Tokyo on Friday. "It is gut-wrenching to have to leave my job before accomplishing my goals."
"We are finalizing plans for selecting a new leader and I hope that decision can be made as soon as possible," Abe said, declining to name a favorite candidate but saying the leading ones were all "promising".
Front-runners in the race include LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida and former defense minister Shigeru Ishiba, both of whom indicated their desire to run shortly after Abe announced his intent to step down.
On Sunday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a close aide to Abe, also joined the race.
Local media reported that the LDP will hold the election around Sept 15.
>Islands welcome COVID-19 tourists
Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago 220 miles off Brazil's northeastern coast famous for abundant sea life, pristine beaches and dramatic mountainsides rising above the coast, is trying a novel method for fighting the coronavirus.
Only tourists who have already had COVID-19 and recovered will be allowed onto the island chain, according to statements released by local and state governments.
The move by the tourism dependent archipelago, which has about 3,100 permanent residents according to the most recent census estimate, speaks to the unique ways that local government is trying to return to a semblance of normal as new COVID-19 cases and deaths stabilize in many parts of the world.
Fernando de Noronha has so far registered 93 confirmed cases of the virus and no deaths.
It prohibited tourism starting in March.
The new rules go into effect Sept 1.
>Small private tours favored
The number of private group tour bookings surged by 385% since cross-provincial tourism resumed about a month ago, according to online travel agency Trip.com Group.
Those small tours usually consist of no more than four travelers each and are increasingly favored by family and young travelers for privacy, freedom and in-depth experiences.
Per capita tour costs are about 4,000 yuan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has enhanced people's safety awareness and private tours can better satisfy their needs through less unnecessary contact and better hygiene standards, says Yu Dan, who runs private tour operations at Trip.com.
Flexible arrangements and better on-tour service are also behind the popularity of small private tours, Yu says.
>'She' to power wealth management
More women on the Chinese mainland are taking center stage in managing wealth and making investment decisions in a field that has been traditionally dominated by men, the highest among their global peers, said a recent industry report.
Swiss bank UBS Group AG said in its Own Your Worth 2020 report on the wealth value of high net worth female individuals that globally about 58% of the women respondents allowed their spouse to take the lead in financial decisions.
The ratio is 54% in the US and 62% in the UK, while it is only 14% on the Chinese mainland.
More than 80% of the women respondents from the mainland were deeply involved in making decisions including managing daily expenses, payment and bills.
Experts said more money is pouring into the hands of women in China, mostly through inheritances in single-child families or via self-made wealth from emerging industries.
And women are more sensitive and rational in managing household finances and investment.
When selecting financial portfolios, women are good at risk-control and less interested in products with high leverage.
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