News Column

Kyodo news summary -1-

June 22, 2014


Dollar trades in lower 102 yen in early Tokyo deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded in the lower 102 yen range in Tokyo early Monday, little changed from its levels in New York on Friday.

At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 102.09-13 yen compared with 102.01-11 yen in New York and 101.91-92 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.


U.S. succeeds in missile interception test over ocean

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Defense said Sunday a ground-based interceptor missile has struck a target over the Pacific Ocean, marking the first successful intercept since 2008.

The GBI blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and intercepted a simulated missile launched from Kwajalein Atoll in Marshall Islands in the missile defense test, it said.


Nikkei hits 5-month high in early trade on Wall St. gains

TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index hit a five-month high at the outset of trading on Monday as investor sentiment was lifted by Friday's gains on Wall Street.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 70.98 points, or 0.46 percent, from Friday to 15,420.40, after hitting 15,433.18, its highest level since Jan. 24 on an intraday basis.


Taiwan gives green light to museum exhibitions in Japan

TAIPEI - The exhibition of ancient Chinese artifacts from Taiwan'sNational Palace Museum scheduled to open in Tokyo on Tuesday will go ahead as planned after Japan corrected posters and other promotional materials omitting the word "national" in referring to the museum.

Museum Spokesman Chin Shih-hsien told Kyodo News on the telephone museum Director Feng Ming-chu and the delegation left for Japan on Monday morning to attend the opening ceremony scheduled for Monday afternoon.


Indonesian presidential candidates debate int'l policy, defense

JAKARTA - Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto strongly stresses Indonesia's sovereignty cannot be bargained, while rival Joko Widodo wants to avoid war with other countries if conflict occurs, they said at a televised debate late Sunday.

The presidential hopefuls expressed their opinions on international policy and national defense during the two-hour debate, the third of five planned debates during the monthlong campaign before the July 9 election for the country's top job.


Price of 10-year Japanese bond futures ends almost flat in morning

TOKYO - The price of the key futures contract for 10-year Japanese government bonds ended Monday morning almost flat amid a dearth of trading cues.

The price of the September contract edged down 0.04 point to 145.39 on the Osaka Exchange.


Nikkei hits 5-month high in morning on weaker yen, China data

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks rose Monday morning, with the Nikkei hitting a five-month high as investors took heart from a relatively weaker yen and positive Chinese economic data released in midmorning.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 55.74 points, or 0.36 percent, from Friday to end the morning at 15,405.16, after briefly rising to 15,442.67, its highest level since Jan. 24 on an intraday basis.


Minister apologizes for remark on Fukushima nuclear soil storage

TOKYO - Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara apologized Monday for a remark suggesting the issue of where to store contaminated soil from the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was a matter of money.

Ishihara made the apology to Toshitsuna Watanabe, the mayor of the town of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, one of the candidate sites for the construction of temporary storage facilities for the waste.


Dollar stays near 102 yen line in morning

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar stayed near the 102 yen line Monday morning in Tokyo, receiving little boost from an upbeat private report on China's manufacturing sector, as continuing concerns over geopolitical risks in Iraq and Ukraine capped its upside.

At noon, the dollar fetched 101.97-102.01 yen compared with 102.01-11 yen in New York and 101.91-92 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.


Crown Prince Naruhito returns from Switzerland

TOKYO - Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito returned Monday morning to Tokyo after a trip to Switzerland to commemorate the 150th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

The weeklong visit, which began last Tuesday, was the first official trip to the country by the crown prince, who is honorary president of Japan's celebrations committee.


Record 399 women pass career-track national civil service exam

TOKYO - A record 399 women passed this year's exam for career-track positions in the country's central government offices, with 1,918 men and women passing overall, the National Personnel Authority said Monday.

Women comprised 20.8 percent of the exam passers, up 1.3 percentage points from last year, but below the record 22.9 percent in the year before last. The number of female passers was up 57 from 2013.


Abe posits new Cabinet post for regional economic recovery

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to establish a post of state minister for boosting regional economies, a government source said Monday.

Abe is considering having an incumbent Cabinet member concurrently take the position as part of his plans to reshuffle his Cabinet and senior executives of his Liberal Democratic Party in late August or later, according to the source.


FOCUS: Losing fight for Alstom shadows Mitsubishi Heavy's global ambition

TOKYO - The failure of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to acquire the energy-system assets of France'sAlstom SA has put the Japanese engineering group at the risk of being left far behind U.S. rival General Electric Co.

"It will be troubling for us if GE wins (the bid for Alstom). It's a great threat," a senior Mitsubishi Heavy official said earlier this month.


Greece match got fewest ever viewers in Tokyo for Japan World Cup game

TOKYO - The television viewer rating for Japan'sWorld Cup match Friday against Greece in greater Tokyo was the lowest since Japan's 1998 debut in the tournament, apparently due to the live broadcast taking place during morning commuting hours.

The average rating of the group-stage match aired by Nippon Television stood at 33.6 percent in the Kanto region centered on Tokyo, and 33.1 percent in the Kansai region centered on Osaka, ratings agency Video Research Ltd. said Monday.


ANA chief denies public stock offering to buy 70 new aircraft

TOKYO - ANA Holdings Inc. President Shinichiro Ito said Monday his company is not planning a public stock offering to fund 70 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, whose list prices amount to more than 1.7 trillion yen.

"We are not short of funds," Ito said at a general shareholders' meeting in Tokyo, shrugging off concerns about dilution after a possible stock offering.


Japan to fetch 1 mil.-year-old Antarctic ice for weather survey

TOKYO - Japan plans to collect samples of one million-year-old ice from Antarctica to help predict future climate changes such as global warming, government officials said Monday.

The ice contains various substances contained in the air at that time, said the Headquarters for the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.


Minister visits World Heritage Tomioka Silk Mill

TOKYO - Culture minister Hakubun Shimomura on Monday visited the Tomioka Silk Mill after the historic factory building was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list over the weekend.

The minister toured the mill complex, which includes timber-frame brick masonry buildings for cocoon warehouses and silk-reeling plant, as he looked for ways to spark tourism there.


China sacks brother of ex-president's aide over alleged corruption

BEIJING - China'sCommunist Party has decided to dismiss a senior political adviser in the country's northern province Shanxi, the elder brother of former President Hu Jintao's top aide, from his post on suspicion of corruption, state media said Monday.

The party's organizational department made the announcement of Ling Zhengce's removal for "suspected serious discipline violations, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.


S. Korea summons Japanese envoy to protest against Kono statement

SEOUL - South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae Yong on Monday summoned Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Koro Bessho to protest Japan's unveiling the outcome of an investigation last Friday into how Japan composed a 1993 apology to women forced into wartime Japanese military brothels.

The move came after South Korea on Friday voiced "deep regret" over the Japanese government's review of the so-called Kono statement, saying it could undermine the credibility of Japan's landmark apology.


Ex-Cabinet legislation chief Komatsu dies at 63

TOKYO - Former chief of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau Ichiro Komatsu has died, a government source said Monday. He was 63.

Komatsu served as a senior legal aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the premier's efforts to reinterpret Japan's pacifist Constitution to play a greater security role overseas.


LDP Tokyo assembly member admits sexist heckling

TOKYO - A male Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has admitted heckling an assemblywoman with sexist remarks in a session last week, the LDP group in the assembly said Monday.

Akihiro Suzuki, 51, has offered to quit the group, the group's secretary general Osamu Yoshihara told a press conference.


Japanese foreign minister to visit Cambodia

PHNOM PENH - Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is to make a three-day visit to Cambodia from Sunday, Cambodia'sForeign Ministry said Monday.

While in Cambodia, he will pay courtesy calls and meet with King Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong, the ministry said in a statement.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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