Nikkei opens slightly lower after recent rallies
TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index opened slightly lower Wednesday as investors locked in gains after their recent rallies.
In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 6.31 points, or 0.04 percent, from Tuesday to 15,388.85. Meanwhile, the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 1.60 points, or 0.13 percent, at 1,275.28.
Child poverty, elderly in care of others in old age on rise: survey
TOKYO - The proportion of children living below the poverty line in Japan increased to 16.3 percent in 2012, the worst on record, marking a 0.6 percentage point rise from the previous survey in 2009, according to an extensive survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor Welfare Ministry.
The national livelihood survey also showed 51.2 percent of those households with elderly people -- defined as 65 or older -- in need of nursing care were shared by similarly aged caregivers as of 2013.
Dollar in upper 101 yen zone in early Tokyo deals
TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded in the upper 101 yen zone early Wednesday in Tokyo, little changed from its levels the previous day in New York.
At 9 a.m., the dollar changed hands at 101.64-72 yen compared with 101.63-73 yen in New York and 101.56-58 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
FEATURE: Japan UNICEF officer fights for children in S. Sudan
TOKYO - Masumi Yamashina, 36, became a UNICEF officer in South Sudan with the hope of supporting the nation-building efforts of the world's youngest country, but an unexpectedly harsh reality awaited her there.
In February, Yamashina, who was stationed in a U.N. compound in the northeastern city of Malakal, was forced to flee fierce fighting between government and antigovernment forces amid a flurry of stray bullets.
U.S. Fed chief tells Congress of likely end to stimulus in October
WASHINGTON - The U.S. central bank is likely to finish its stimulus program in October, Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen told Congress on Tuesday, brushing aside fears of an asset bubble.
Speaking at the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Yellen said the Fed will maintain its ultralow interest rates at least for the time being to prop up the economy.
BBC'sWorld War II drama "Tenko" worried Foreign Office: gov't files
LONDON - Britain's Foreign Office criticized the timing of a BBC drama set in a World War II internment camp, fearing it could provoke anti-Japanese sentiment just as a major exhibition of art from Japan was opening in London, newly declassified government files reveal.
The Foreign Office expressed concern to the broadcaster that the serial drama "Tenko", which was first televised on Oct. 22, 1981, could undermine the Great Japan Exhibition which had opened in London the day before.
Regulators to unveil draft report for restart of Kyushu nuclear plant
TOKYO - Regulators are set to unveil on Wednesday a draft safety screening report required to restart two reactors at a nuclear plant in the southwestern region of Kyushu, in what is seen as a key step to reviving the country's nuclear power generation amid persistent safety concerns following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Finalization of the Nuclear Regulation Agency report after a monthlong public consultation period would effectively give the green light for restarting Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s two-reactor Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, making the nuclear complex the first to meet a new set of safety standards introduced in July last year.