Gas pipeline blast claims 14 lives in south India
NEW DELHI - At least 14 people were killed and 15 injured in a gas pipeline explosion Friday in India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh, according to local media reports.
The incident occurred around 5:30 a.m. at a pipeline operated by state-owned energy company Gas Authority of India Ltd. at Nagaram village in the state's East Godavari District.
Japan's key bond yield falls to 14-month low
TOKYO - The yield on the bellwether 10-year Japanese government bond ended at a 14-month low Friday on buying spurred by higher U.S. government bond prices on Thursday and sharp falls in Tokyo stocks.
The yield on the No. 334, 0.6 percent issue, the main yardstick of long-term interest rates, ended interdealer trading at 0.555 percent, down 0.010 percentage point from Thursday's close.
Ruling bloc eyes deal as gov't drafts decision on collective defense
TOKYO - The government compiled Friday its final draft of a Cabinet decision that would mark a major security policy change in the postwar era as the ruling bloc haggled over differences to pave the way for Japan's exercise of the right to collective self-defense.
Japan would impose three new conditions on the use of force by the Self-Defense Forces to defend allies under armed attack in collective self-defense, leaving the door open for Japan's potential participation in U.N. collective security measures such as minesweeping.
Mexico welcomes "Abenomics" policy mix
TOKYO - Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade on Friday welcomed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy mix of aggressive monetary easing, massive fiscal spending and growth strategy.
In a meeting with Abe in Tokyo, Meade said the so-called "Abenomics" draws "high attention in Central and South America," and that the policy has borne fruits, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
Japanese minister holds talks with Chinese vice premier
BEIJING - Japanese transport minister Akihiro Ota met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong on Friday to discuss bilateral relations that have been badly damaged over territorial and historical issues.
It is the first time a Japanese minister has visited Beijing since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government was formed in Tokyo in December 2012.
Tokyo stocks fall sharply on higher yen
TOKYO - Tokyo stocks fell sharply Friday, with the Nikkei reaching a 10-day closing low as selling hit the market due to the yen's appreciation.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 213.49 points, or 1.39 percent, from Thursday at 15,095.00. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 10.28 points, or 0.81 percent, lower at 1,253.15.