News Column

Kyodo news summary -2-

February 24, 2014

TOKYO, Feb. 25 -- (Kyodo) _ ---------- Kyushu farm producers join forces for upcoming Hong Kong export fair

FUKUOKA - Producers of agricultural and fishery goods in the seven prefectures of Kyushu island are jointly holding their first export promotion event in Hong Kong on Wednesday and Thursday to promote a regional brand in place of lesser known local names for their wide-ranging commodities.

About 60 organizations will exhibit products such as vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood and processed foods, expecting to attract at least 200 visitors such as buyers and restaurant chefs.

---------- Nikkei recovers to 15,000 level in early trading

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks opened higher Tuesday, with the Nikkei index briefly regaining the 15,000 threshold for the first time in about a month, as buying was encouraged by a strong overnight performance on Wall Street.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 150.55 points, or 1.01 percent, from Monday to 14,988.23, after topping 15,000 for the first time since Jan. 31. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 9.05 points, or 0.74 percent, to 1,228.12.

---------- Potential cure for multiple sclerosis to be tested on patients

TOKYO - The National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry has developed a drug that it says could provide a cure to multiple sclerosis.

The center announced Monday that it will start a three-month clinical trial next month on nine patients. If the drug's efficacy is confirmed, it will move on to a large-scale trial.

---------- 5 restaurants with Japanese chefs in France earn Michelin star

PARIS - Five restaurants with Japanese chefs have earned a star in the 2014 French edition of the Michelin guide, raising the total number of starred restaurants led by Japanese cooks to 20 in France, according to its publisher.

Of the five new restaurants, three are based in Paris -- Jin, Okuda and Es. Japanese restaurant Jin opened in January last year. "I'm glad my desire to serve authentic Japanese cuisine has been accepted in France," said owner Nina Nikkhou.

---------- U.S. defense chief vows continued Asia-Pacific focus under tight budget

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday that the United States will downsize its military amid a tight budgetary situation but keep its strategic focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

The Defense Department "will continue to shift its operational focus and forces to the Asia-Pacific," Hagel told reporters, revealing the basic thinking behind the department's proposed defense budget for fiscal 2015 from October.

---------- Dollar hovers in mid-102 yen range in early Tokyo deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar moved narrowly around 102.50 yen early Tuesday in Tokyo as traders waited for market-moving news.

At 9 a.m., the dollar was quoted at 102.51-52 yen compared with 102.45-55 yen in New York and 102.28-29 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Monday.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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