TOKYO, Feb. 14 -- (Kyodo) _ ---------- Tokyo stocks erase early gains to end morning lower
TOKYO - Tokyo stocks erased early gains to end Friday morning lower as investors were reluctant to chase higher ground amid a pause in the yen's depreciation and sluggish Asian stock markets.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 99.67 points, or 0.69 percent, from Thursday to 14,435.07. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 11.68 points, or 0.97 percent, at 1,188.06.
---------- Atom bomb victims call for end to nuclear arms at Mexico conference
NUEVO VALLARTA, Mexico - Victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called on the international community to increase its efforts toward abolishing nuclear weapons at a conference that started Thursday.
Toshiki Fujimori, assistant secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, said many atomic bombing victims, known as hibakusha in Japanese, have suffered from leukemia and other illness for many years.
---------- Volcano erupts in Indonesia, 3 airports closed
JAKARTA - A volcano on Java Island erupted late Thursday, less than two hours after Indonesian authorities raised its alert status to the highest level, forcing more than 200,000 people to flee their homes.
Officials said three main airports had to be closed Friday morning due to poor visibility and other safety concerns.
---------- Toyota city to earn 5 times more corporate tax in fiscal 2014
NAGOYA - The city of Toyota, where Toyota Motor Corp. is headquartered, is expecting over five times more corporate tax income in fiscal 2014 than the previous year, thanks to the leading Japanese carmaker's robust performance.
The city office in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture expects 26.2 billion yen in local tax from resident companies in the fiscal year starting April, against 4.5 billion yen in fiscal 2013, it said in a draft budget revealed Friday.
---------- Gov't, Okinawa to hold 1st meeting to study base closure in 5 yrs
TOKYO - The government will hold its first meeting Tuesday with officials from Okinawa to examine the prefecture's request for a major local U.S. base to stop operating in five years, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday.
The committee will discuss how to reduce the burden on Okinawa of hosting the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan, after Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima made a series of requests to the government when he approved in December coastal landfill work necessary to relocate the U.S. Marines' Futenma air base within his prefecture.
---------- Japan's key bond yield rises slightly in morning
TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose slightly Friday morning amid a wait-and-see mood ahead of the release of the outcome of a five-year bond auction.
The yield on the No. 332, 0.6 percent issue, the main yardstick of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at 0.600 percent, up 0.005 percentage point from Thursday's close.
---------- Dollar falls below 102 yen line after weak U.S. retail data
TOKYO - The U.S. dollar fell below the 102 yen line Friday morning in Tokyo, pressured by weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales data released overnight.
At noon, the dollar fetched 101.97-98 yen compared with 102.11-21 yen in New York and 102.11-12 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Thursday.
---------- Police reclaim protest sites in Bangkok as antigov't rally continues
BANGKOK - Thai police on Friday began operations to reclaim some protest sites near government buildings in the capital Bangkok, while demonstrators demanding Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's resignation continued their rally in large parts of the city.
According to police, at least two protest sites near Government House have been cleared of protesters with the aim of easing traffic around the government compounds and paving the way for Yingluck to return to work at her office.
---------- Snow hits Japan archipelago, disrupting traffic
TOKYO - Snow hit the Pacific coast of eastern and western Japan on Friday, leading to cancellations and delays of air, railway and road traffic.
Snowfall reached 7 centimeters in Nagoya, 4 cm in Osaka and 1 cm in central Tokyo in the morning. Late last week, heavy snow hit Tokyo and its vicinity.
---------- Panasonic to procure 4K liquid crystal display panel from LG
OSAKA - Panasonic Corp. is planning to procure liquid crystal display panels for business-use "4K" televisions from LG Electronics Inc., sources close to the matter said Friday.
The Japanese company aims to slash production costs by expanding outsourcing while bolstering ties with the South Korean electronics maker, which has provided Panasonic with LCD panels for TVs.