News Column

Kyodo Top12 News (13:15)

June 8, 2014


Gunmen attack Karachi international airport, leaving 23 people dead

ISLAMABAD - Ten militants armed with machine guns and hand-held rockets attacked Karachi'sJinnah International Airport on Sunday night, leaving 23 people dead in a gun battle with security forces, media reports said. Security forces killed all 10 militants, while security personnel and airline employees were among the other casualties, according to the media reports. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The military cordoned off the area and sealed all roads leading to the airport, Pakistan's main international gateway. According to media reports, the firefight occurred near the terminal for Haj pilgrims, which is located several kilometers away from the main passenger terminal.


Japan's current account surplus plummets 76.1% in April

TOKYO - Japan's current account surplus plunged 76.1 percent from a year earlier to 187.4 billion yen in April, the smallest in 32 years for the month, with a surge in fossil fuel imports and the yen's slide boosting the trade deficit, government data showed Monday. But the nation's current account balance remained in the black for the third straight month, as the travel balance -- which compares the spending by visitors to Japan with that by Japanese overseas -- turning into a surplus for the first time in around 44 years. The balance -- one of the widest gauges of international trade -- was the lowest for the month of April since the 137.6 billion yen logged in 1982, the Finance Ministry said.


Japan's Jan.-March GDP growth upgraded to annual 6.7%

TOKYO - Japan's economy grew an annualized 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014 in inflation adjusted terms, upgraded from preliminary data due mainly to an upward revision to corporate capital spending, the government said Monday. The January-March expansion in real gross domestic product, the total value of goods and services produced at home, corresponded to a 1.6 percent increase from the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office said. The government said in the initial report released May 15 that the economy grew an annualized 5.9 percent in the three-month period. Corporate capital spending, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet sees as key for shoring up the economy, jumped 7.6 percent from the previous quarter, upgraded from a 4.9 percent increase in the preliminary report.


24 students washed away in north India river

NEW DELHI - Twenty-four college students were washed away in a river in India's northern state of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday night, when a sudden release of dam water led to a surge in the river water level, authorities said. Rescuers have so far recovered three bodies. The incident occurred in the state's Mandi district. Senior district official Pankaj Rai said that the students -- 18 men and six women aged between 20 and 21 -- belonged to a private engineering college and were on holiday in the area. TV reports quoted local residents as saying no warning was given about the release of dam water on Sunday.


Nissan unveils commercial EV to be launched in Oct. in Japan

YOKOHAMA - Nissan Motor Co. unveiled on Monday the e-NV 200, a commercial electric vehicle that can travel up to about 190 kilometers per charge, ahead of its launch in Europe this month and in Japan in October. The company's second zero-emission vehicle following the Leaf car is equipped with electric outlets that can supply a maximum 1,500 watts of power from its storage battery for use by electric devices. The automaker is targeting business customers such as delivery services and pet groomers as well as municipal governments with the e-NV 200. To be manufactured in Barcelona, Spain, the electric vehicle will hit the European market in June, while the automaker is also considering selling it in the United States in the future.


Veteran actor Ryuzo Hayashi dies at 70

TOKYO - Film and television actor Ryuzo Hayashi, known as a versatile performer with a distinctive voice, died last Wednesday in Tokyo of kidney failure, his agent said. He was 70. After training at acting school, the Tokyo native starred in the 1970 television drama "Niwaka" directed by Keisuke Kinoshita, followed by roles in dramas including "Onimotsu Konimotsu." Hayashi made his big-screen debut in 1974 with "Imoto" and became sought-after in films and on the stage, as well as on television. His performances included 1985's "Early Spring Story" directed by Shinichiro Sawai, and dramas "Yumechiyo Nikki" and "Tsumiki Kuzushi."


Japan presents list of possible abductees to N. Korea

TOKYO - The Japanese government has presented North Korea a list of roughly 470 Japanese nationals it believes may have been abducted by Pyongyang, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Sunday. "The list of abductees, including possible ones, has been handed to North Korea through a diplomatic channel," Suga said in a television program, referring to a recent agreement with North Korea that the country will reinvestigate the fate of Japanese citizens it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s. The Japanese government says North Korea abducted 17 Japanese nationals. In addition to these, there are thought to be many missing Japanese people whose disappearance might possibly be linked to Pyongyang.


China, India foreign ministers hold talks in New Delhi

NEW DELHI - Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met for more than three hours in New Delhi on Sunday to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues. Wang is in India as special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The meeting is being seen as a big step in forging a long relationship between the two sides, as this was the first foreign engagement after the new government under Narendra Modi took charge in New Delhi. "Today's talks set the agenda for dialogue between the two sides for the next six months. The talks were cordial, useful, productive and substantive. There will be a host of senior-level bilateral visits between the two sides in the coming months," ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.


Prince Katsura, cousin of Emperor Akihito, dies at 66

TOKYO - Prince Katsura, a cousin of Emperor Akihito, died of acute heart failure at a Tokyo hospital Sunday morning, the Imperial Household Agency said. He was 66. He was taken to the University of Tokyo Hospital in critical condition shortly after 9 a.m. and was pronounced dead at 10:55 a.m. after efforts to resuscitate him failed. His body was returned to his home in Tokyo at around 1 p.m., the agency said. As the second son of Prince Mikasa, a 98-year-old uncle of the emperor, and Princess Yuriko, 91, Prince Katsura, named Yoshihito, was the sixth in line to the imperial throne. His funeral will take place June 17 at the Toshimagaoka gravesite for imperial family members in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward, agency said.


Japan train in front of thousands at 1st practice in Brazil

SOROCABA, Brazil - As a police helicopter circled overhead to keep a watchful eye on scores of anti-World Cup demonstrators outside the stadium, over 5,000 fans turned out to watch Japan's first practice session Sunday, a day after the Asian champions arrived in Brazil for the soccer's showpiece tournament. Huge cheers went up as the likes of AC Milan attacker Keisuke Honda and Manchester United'sShinji Kagawa came up the steps from the dressing room and walked out onto the sunbathed pitch at Sorocaba Municipal Stadium. Looking relaxed after arriving from a training camp in Florida on Saturday, the players greeted local Japanese schoolchildren and posed for photos on the pitch before they were put through their paces by coach Alberto Zaccheroni.


Nikkei hits 3-month high in morning on brisk Japan, U.S. data+

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks rose Monday morning, with the Nikkei stock index hitting a three-month intraday high, on brisk Japan and U.S. economic data. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 79.08 points, or 0.52 percent, from Friday to end the morning at 15,156.32, after briefly rising to 15,206.57, its highest intraday level since March 11. The broader Topix index was up 3.71 points, or 0.30 percent, at 1,238.28. On the currency market, the dollar fetched 102.52-53 yen at noon in Tokyo compared with 102.42-52 yen in New York and 102.26-27 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday. The euro was quoted at $1.3642-3642 and 139.85-86 yen against $1.3639-3649 and 139.79-89 yen in New York and $1.3647-3648 and 139.56-60 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.


Weather for key cities in Japan

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

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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