U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week that the Trump administration will stick to the previous U.S. stance that the U.S.-Japan security treaty applies to defending Japan's continued administration of the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, which are contested by China. In response, China's Foreign Ministry reasserted its claim of sovereignty over the tiny, uninhabited islands and called on the U.S. to cease "making wrong remarks" over the issue. Mattis held a series of high-level meetings in Seoul and Tokyo on his first overseas trip as Pentagon chief.
In other images from the Asia-Pacific region last week, demonstrators protested President Donald Trump's immigration policy outside U.S. embassies in several Asian capitals, including Tokyo, Jakarta and Manila.
With a series of key state elections beginning this past Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity " and his surprise currency decree that sparked months of financial uproar " is being tested. While the five state elections will not decide whether Modi remains in office, a loss would be seen as a serious blow to his political image.
Millions of Chinese returned to work following the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday.
Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal in five sets in the Australian Open final to capture his 18th Grand Slam title.
The 35-year-old was back in his first tour-level tournament after six months off letting his injured left knee recover, and he hadn't won any of the big four events in tennis since Wimbledon 2012.
Iris Mittenaere, a 24-year-old French dental student, won the Miss Universe crown in a pageant held in the Philippines, saying her triumph will make the beauty contest more popular in Europe and help her efforts to put more underprivileged children in school.
This gallery was curated by Associated Press photo editor Masayo Yoshida in Tokyo.
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings