News Column

Kyodo Top12 News (10:50)

May 3, 2014


ADB annual meeting to discuss boosting lending capacity

TOKYO - Financial leaders and delegates from the Asia-Pacific region are set to discuss strengthening the lending capacity of the Asian Development Bank at the organization's two-day meeting to begin Sunday. At a press conference on Friday, ADB President Takehiko Nakao said he wants to share a proposal to combine the bank's two lending windows so as to increase its lending capacity by over 20 percent and provide greater support to lower income countries. The member nations are also expected to boost cooperation in such areas as poverty reduction, inclusive economic growth, the environment and climate change, as well as infrastructure development, which are listed as among the 10 strategic priorities to spur growth in the region by 2020.


ASEAN-plus-3 agree to boost cooperation to strengthen Asian bond markets

ASTANA - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea agreed in the Kazakh capital on Saturday to boost financial cooperation in the region to prevent any recurrence of an Asian currency crisis. The financial ministers and central bank governors affirmed the importance of developing resilient local currency bond markets across the region to allow the area's large savings to be channeled into financing its own investment needs. To develop resilient and safe bond markets in the region, the leaders confirmed they would link the nations' settlement systems, which is expected to help increase regional investment.


China mulls impact of N. Korea regime collapse on border area

TOKYO - Contingency planners from China's People's Liberation Army have formulated a set of emergency measures to cope with the ramifications of a collapse of North Korea's regime for the border area, including a possible massive influx of refugees, according to internal PLA documents. The documents -- which Chinese military sources say were compiled in the summer of last year, or several months after North Korea carried out its third nuclear test -- call for boosting China's monitoring capacity along the two countries' 1,416-kilometer-long border. They also call for setting up camps on the Chinese side of the border to handle any influx of North Korean refugees. The crisis management plans do not mention North Korea by name but refer to it otherwise, such as "our country's northeastern neighbor."


2,500 feared dead after Afghan landslides: governor

ISLAMABAD - Around 2,500 people are feared dead after landslides triggered by heavy rain in northeastern Afghanistan on Friday, the local governor said Saturday. Badakhshan province Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb told Kyodo News about 300 of around 1,000 homes in the affected area were buried in the disaster, which occurred in Nowabad area of Abi-Barak village, Argo district, shortly before noon Friday. The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said provincial authorities report more than 350 people have been confirmed dead. It now appears there were actually two landslides, with the second one causing more losses as it hit after many people had rushed to the scene to rescue victims of the first one.


Swarm of shallow earthquakes hit central Japan

NAGOYA - An area in central Japan's Gifu Prefecture was hit by an earthquake swarm on Saturday. By Saturday evening there had been more than two dozen quakes registering 1 or higher on the Japanese intensity scale in the area encompassing Hida and Takayama cities, including several reaching 3 on the scale, felt by most people indoors. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the quakes all originated from very shallow spots in the same area, raising the possibility some may have been aftershocks. The area is renowned for its hot springs and has been known to experience light earthquakes.


Thai opposition leader calls for election delay, urges PM to resign

BANGKOK - Thai opposition leader and former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva proposed Saturday the next election scheduled for July 20 be delayed for about six months while a new interim government carries out reforms aimed at ending the country's political deadlock. Abhisit also called for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her caretaker government to resign to pave the way for the interim government to handle the reform process before the new election takes place. He suggested that she and her Cabinet resign before a Constitutional Court ruling set for later this month on whether she has lost her status as caretaker prime minister.


Dozens killed in fire during clashes in southern Ukraine city

DONETSK, Ukraine - As many as 41 people died in a fire Friday at a labor union building in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa in the latest clash between supporters of the pro-western Ukraine government and pro-Russia activists, city officials said. The incident, which claimed the largest number of casualties since the change of government in February, is an indication that violence in Ukraine is spreading from its eastern to its southern regions. Many of the victims are believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning or after jumping from the building. More than 170 people were also hurt with 25 sustaining serious injuries. Ukraine and Russia have traded barbs over the clash and the cause of the fire.


N. Korea military's former de facto No. 2 reappears in media

BEIJING - North Korea's official media provided further confirmation Saturday that the military's former No. 2, Choe Ryong Hae, has moved down in the pecking order after his replacement by Hwang Pyong So as director of the Korean People's Army General Political Bureau. Reporting on top leader Kim Jong Un's attendance at a children's camp remodeling completion ceremony Friday, the official Korean Central News Agency also reported the presence of Hwang and Choe, with Choe's name coming after those of Hwang and Kim Ki Nam, a secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. It was the first time since April 15 for Choe's activities to be mentioned in the official media.


U.S. to levy antidumping duty on steel from Japan

WASHINGTON - The U.S. International Trade Commission said Friday it has decided to levy an antidumping duty on some imported Japanese steel products, saying they were sold at an unreasonably cheap price in the U.S. market. With the decision, the Commerce Department will tell customs authorities to impose a 77.7 percent duty on products of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. and a 45.42 percent duty on those of Toyo Kohan Co. and other companies. The material in question was nickel-plated flat-rolled steel used for products such as batteries, according to the commission. The imports of the Japanese steel products concerned in 2012 increased around 23 percent from a year earlier to $24.1 million, the department said.


Baseball: Tanaka guts it out for 4th win as Yankees come back to down Rays

NEW YORK - Masahiro Tanaka had trouble locating his fastball on Saturday afternoon, but hung on to go seven innings and earn his fourth win in the New York Yankees' 9-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Tanaka (4-0) allowed three runs on eight hits, while striking out five and walking none. For the first four innings before 43,325 at Yankee Stadium, he could not get ahead in counts with either his fastball or his slider and could not put batters away with his splitter. "The good thing about today was that I managed to battle so well. None of my pitches were any good," said Tanaka, who is now 32-0 in regular-season decisions since his last defeat on Aug. 19, 2012.


Soccer: Reysol sack disobedient Domingues

KASHIWA, Japan - Kashiwa Reysol have terminated their contract with 2011 J-League MVP Leandro Domingues for disciplinary reasons, sources at the club said Saturday. They said the 30-year-old midfielder is already fielding offers from other J1 teams, with Nagoya Grampus among those being linked by Brazilian media, which have also mentioned a possible return to Brazil. Domingues had not trained with Kashiwa since April 10, eight days after he had some choice words for his manager Nelsinho during a heated argument after he was sent off in a Nabisco Cup game against Ventforet Kofu. Domingues helped Reysol return to the top flight in 2010, and led Reysol to their first league championship the following year.


Weather forecast for key cities in Japan

TOKYO - Weather forecast for Sunday: Tokyo=fair, then cloudy; Osaka=fair, then cloudy; Nagoya=fair, then cloudy; Sapporo=cloudy, then fair; Sendai=fair; Niigata=fair, then cloudy; Hiroshima=fair, then cloudy; Takamatsu=fair, then cloudy; Fukuoka=fair, then cloudy; Naha=cloudy.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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