Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Aug. 10

TOKYO -- Japan logged 250,403 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a daily record high, amid concerns over a strain on the medical system due to a new wave of the pandemic.

Fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron BA.5 subvariant, the daily tally surpassed the previous record of 249,830 on Aug. 3. A total of 251 new fatalities linked to COVID-19 were confirmed nationwide. (Japan-COVID-19)

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CANBERRA -- Chinese Ambassador to Australia Xiao Qian said here on Wednesday that the positive progress in China-Australia relations "is an encouraging start" and it's important for both sides to strive to bring the bilateral relations back on the right track.

Xiao made the remarks while addressing the National Press Club of Australia, the country's well-known and regular platform in Canberra for influential figures to deliver speeches and answer media's questions. (Australia-China-Speech)

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TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reshuffled his Cabinet and the executive lineup of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Wednesday as the administration faces slipping public support.

Calling his new team "a Cabinet that pushes through policies," Kishida said he chose "experienced and capable" members to swiftly deliver results in times of crises. (Japan-Cabinet-Reshuffle)

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VIENTIANE -- The Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), a joint venture based in Lao capital Vientiane responsible for the operation of the Railway's Lao section, told Xinhua Wednesday that since its opening last December, the cross-border goods transported by the China-Laos Railway have exceeded 1 million tons.

Since the opening of the China-Laos Railway, freight transport has shown a rising trend, with goods such as daily life commodities, fertilizers, electronics, photovoltaics, textiles and vegetables, among others, shipped from China to Laos, while iron and zinc ore, cassava flour, barley rice, charcoal, rubber, potash and fruits were transported from Laos and neighboring countries to China. (Laos-China-Railway)

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SEOUL -- South Korea recorded 151,792 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Tuesday compared to 24 hours ago, taking the total number of infections to 20,845,973, the health authorities said Wednesday.

The daily caseload was up from 149,897 in the previous day as a highly transmissible Omicron sub-variant continued to spread in the country, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). (S.Korea-COVID-19)

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