The news helped spur mainland Chinese shares higher. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9 percent to 2,403.59 and the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index gained 2.2 percent to 954.23.
Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo added 1 percent to close at 9,554 — its highest finish in more than six months, as a weakening yen boosted the prospects of Japan's critical export sector. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent to 21,549.28.
Oil prices were slightly lower though near nine-month highs. Concerns over Iran's nuclear program have pushed oil prices higher in recent weeks. Benchmark crude for April delivery was down 25 cents to $106 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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