TOKYO , Jan. 16 -- ( Kyodo ) _ ---------- Vice Pres. Shindo to assume Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal presidency TOKYO - Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. has decided to name Vice President Kosei Shindo as president on April 1 , replacing Hiroshi Tomono , the company said Thursday. As the company has performed favorably since the merger of Nippon Steel Corp. and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. in October 2012 , it now aims to promote its overseas operations under a new leadership, according to company sources. ---------- Key bond yield rises in morning on stocks' continued gains TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose Thursday morning, with bond selling prompted by overnight falls in U.S. Treasury prices and Tokyo stocks' continued gains. The yield on the No. 332, 0.6 percent issue, the main yardstick of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at 0.670 percent, up 0.010 percentage point from Wednesday's close. ---------- Tokyo stocks advance in morning on positive machinery report TOKYO - Tokyo stocks advanced Thursday morning, with investors hailing a better-than-expected Japanese machinery orders report, as well as continued rises on Wall Street in the wake of positive U.S. economic reports. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 71.08 points, or 0.45 percent, from Wednesday to 15,879.81. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 10.70 points, or 0.83 percent, to 1,305.22. ---------- Japanese diplomat in Jordan took home classified files TOKYO - A diplomat at the Japanese Embassy in Jordan repeatedly took home classified documents, potentially placing dignitaries at risk, a source close to the matter said Thursday. The 30-year-old second secretary at the embassy was found to have taken home classified documents dozens of pages long on several occasions at least as far back as October 2012 , the source said. ---------- Japan's core machinery orders up 9.3% on month in November TOKYO - Japan's core private-sector machinery orders rose a seasonally adjusted 9.3 percent on month in November to their highest level in over five years, the government said Thursday, with many companies eager to bolster investment ahead of a planned sales tax hike. The orders, excluding those for ships as well as those from utilities because of their volatility, came to 882.6 billion yen , the highest since July 2008 , before the country's economy waned against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, the Cabinet Office said. ---------- Deputy U.S. secretary of state to visit Japan , S. Korea, China WASHINGTON - The deputy U.S. secretary of state will visit Japan , South Korea and China next week to discuss North Korea -related issues and regional tensions among other topics, people familiar with the itinerary said Wednesday. William Burns plans to visit Seoul on the first leg of a five-day trip starting Monday, then move to Beijing and stay in Tokyo on Thursday and Friday, according to the sources, including a State Department official. ---------- S. Korea rebutts N. Korea's call to cancel joint exercises with U.S. SEOUL - South Korea on Thursday dismissed North Korea's call for joint military exercises with the United States to be called off. "The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises will be held as scheduled," Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok said in a press briefing, adding the exercises are "annual and defensive in nature." ---------- Trial starts of ex-AUM member who spent 17 yrs on run TOKYO - The trial of a former senior member of the AUM Shinrikyo cult who turned himself in to police after nearly 17 years on the run began on Thursday. Makoto Hirata , 48, is charged with involvement in the abduction and confinement of Kiyoshi Kariya , 68, in February 1995 in conspiracy with AUM founder Shoko Asahara , 58. Kariya later died after being injected with an anesthetic drug by AUM members. ---------- 2 file candidacy in Nagasaki gubernatorial election NAGASAKI - Official campaigning for the Feb. 2 Nagasaki gubernatorial election began Thursday, with the incumbent and a challenger filing candidacy. Hodo Nakamura , 63, who seeks a second term as an independent, is supported by the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito party. He is challenged by Toshihiko Haraguchi , 52, a senior member of the Japanese Communist Party's Nagasaki chapter. ---------- Japan's wholesale prices up 1.3% in 2013 TOKYO - Japan's wholesale prices rose 1.3 percent in 2013 after declining 0.9 percent the previous year due to a weaker yen, which pushed up prices of oil and coal products, the Bank of Japan said Thursday. The index of corporate goods prices stood at 101.9 against the 2010 base of 100, the central bank said in a preliminary report. ---------- No. of suicides down for 4th straight year TOKYO - The number of suicides in Japan last year fell 2.4 percent from the previous year to 27,195, marking the fourth straight year of decline and remaining below 30,000 for the second consecutive year, the National Police Agency said Thursday in a preliminary report. In the 11 months from January to November there were year-on-year falls in all age groups other than persons in their 70s or older, with fewer people killing themselves due to economic and health problems, according to the NPA.
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