Japan's key bond yield ends flat at 0.61%
TOKYO - The yield on the bellwether 10-year Japanese government bond ended flat Thursday as trading lacked a clear sense of direction.
The yield on the No. 333, 0.6 percent issue, the main yardstick of long-term interest rates, ended interdealer trading at 0.610 percent, unchanged from Wednesday's close.
Pirate attacks on ships worldwide on downward trend, watchdog says
KUALA LUMPUR - Shipping piracy worldwide continues to decline with the first quarter of 2014 recording its lowest level since 2007 with 49 cases, the International Maritime Bureau said in a report released Thursday.
In the first quarter of 2007, 41 incidents were reported while in the same period last year, IMB noted 66 cases.
MMC hits record net profit in FY2013, resuming dividend for 1st time in 16 years
TOKYO - Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Thursday its group net profit for fiscal 2013 ended in March surged 175.6 percent from the previous year to a record 104.66 billion yen, aided by the impact of the yen's slide and cost-cutting measures.
As its business recovers from a sales slump caused by the revelation of a coverup of vehicle defects in 2000, the company is planning to resume dividend payments for the first time in over 16 years for fiscal 2013.
Obama pledges to work with Japan on abductions in meeting with kin
TOKYO - Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama pledged at a meeting in Tokyo on Thursday with relatives of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea that the United States will work with Japan in addressing the long-running issue, one of the attendees said.
Sakie and Shigeru Yokota, the parents of Megumi Yokota, who was snatched away at age 13, and Shigeo Iizuka, who heads a group of families of Japanese abductees, were among those at the meeting at the Akasaka Palace state guesthouse. So was Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
China reacts sharply to Obama-Abe talks on Senkakus
BEIJING - China on Thursday reacted sharply to U.S. President Barack Obama's restated commitment to defend Japan in the event of a conflict with Beijing over a group of islands at the heart of a bitter dispute between the two Asian countries.
"We are firmly opposed to the inclusion" of the islands to the U.S.-Japan security treaty, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a press conference.
Obama vows U.S. will defend Japan over Senkakus
TOKYO - Standing alongside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday the Senkaku Islands fall under the Japan-U.S. security treaty in a show of U.S. commitment to defending the Japanese-administered islands against any attempt by China to seize them by force.
Speaking after a summit in Tokyo, Obama said the islands in the East China Sea, a source of heightened tensions between Tokyo and Beijing, have historically been administered by Japan. "We do not believe that they should be subject to change unilaterally," he said at a joint press conference with Abe.
Death toll from S. Korea ferry disaster tops 170
SEOUL - The death toll from last week's sinking of a multistory ferry that carried 476 passengers reached 171 on Thursday afternoon, with 131 people still missing, according to South Korean authorities.
The recovery operation is focused mainly on cabins on the ferry's third and fourth decks where the bodies of many passengers are expected to be found inside, senior coast guard official Koh Myung Seok said earlier in the day.
Tokyo stocks fall on elusive Japan-U.S. trade pact
TOKYO - Tokyo shares fell Thursday amid disappointment that Japan and the United States failed to reach a broad agreement for a large-scale Pacific free trade pact at their leaders' meeting during the day.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 141.28 points, or 0.97 percent, from Wednesday at 14,404.99. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 8.91 points, or 0.76 percent, lower at 1,164.90.