News Column

Kyodo Top12 News (13:30)

July 29, 2014


U.S. announces additional sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON - The United States announced Tuesday that it will impose additional sanctions on Russian energy, arms and financial sectors to increase pressure on Moscow to end its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. "Today, and building on the measures we announced two weeks ago, the United States is imposing new sanctions in key sectors of the Russian economy -- energy, arms and finance," President Barack Obama told a press conference. "We're blocking the exports of specific goods and technologies to the Russian energy sector, we're expanding our sanctions to more Russian banks and defense companies, and we're formally suspending credit that encourages exports to Russia and financing for economic development projects in Russia," he said.


Abbott skips new sanctions on Russia, says focus still on victims

SYDNEY - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott ruled out new sanctions on Russia on Wednesday, with his government focusing on operations to retrieve the bodies of the deceased from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 shot down in the Ukraine almost two weeks ago. "Our focus is not on sanctions, our focus is on bringing home our dead as quickly as we humanly can," Abbott said. He said the Australian focus is to enter the crash site, perform a recovery mission and "get out," a view he has reiterated numerous times since the plane was shot down. Abbott's comments come as the United States and Europe announced tough new sanctions on Russia overnight following their support of rebels in Ukraine, a group believed responsible for the downing of the commercial plane, killing all 239 people on board.


EU countries agree on new sanctions against Russia

BRUSSELS - The European Union on Tuesday agreed to impose additional sanctions against Russia, including restrictions on financial transactions, over its continued support for pro-Russian groups in Ukraine. Ambassadors from the 28 member states agreed on measures that also cover energy and military affairs. They are in addition to the bloc's asset freeze and travel bans introduced in March on senior Russian government officials. To restrict Russia's access to the EU capital markets, the EU is banning purchases by EU nationals and companies of new bonds and equity issued by banks owned 50 percent or more by the Russian government.


Last survivor of 12-member Enola Gay bomber crew dies at 93

NEW YORK - The last survivor of the 12-member crew of the Enola Gay, the U.S. bomber that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in the final days of World War II in 1945, has died at the age of 93, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Theodore Van Kirk, the navigator on the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, died Monday of old age at a retirement home in Georgia, AP said, quoting his son Tom Van Kirk. All crewmembers of the Bockscar, the B-29 that dropped an A-bomb on Nagasaki three days later, have already died. Van Kirk joined the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1941 and took part in several bombing missions before becoming part of the crew that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.


Japan, U.S. must talk with China over Asian investment bank

WASHINGTON - Holding dialogue with China over its plan to set up a new infrastructure bank will help quell concerns Japan and the United States have regarding Beijing's initiative, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Tuesday. Lagarde told a group of reporters that Tokyo and Washington should "talk and cooperate" with Beijing about the planned establishment of the China-initiated "Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank." Her remarks come amid Japanese and U.S. concerns that China could use the bank to expand its political clout and violate rules of the global financial system. Lagarde said she sees the initiative as "obviously for the purpose of financing infrastructure."


Dozens killed in mob violence in Xinjiang

BEIJING - Dozens of civilians were killed or injured by a mob early Monday morning in China's far western region of Xinjiang, and police responded by shooting dead dozens of the attackers, official media reported late Tuesday evening. Describing the incident as a "premeditated terror attack," the official Xinhua News Agency said a gang armed with knives attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku, a township in Kashgar Prefecture, and then some of them moved on to nearby Huangdi Township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles as they passed. Citing local police, Xinhua said dozens of civilians of both Uyghur and Han ethnicities were killed or injured, while police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob. Over 30 cars were vandalized, some of which were set on fire, the report said.


Japan agrees with Colombia to enhance ties with Pacific Alliance

BOGOTA - Japan has agreed to strengthen its ties with the Pacific Alliance, a forum for economic cooperation comprising Colombia and three other Latin American countries, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday after talks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The two leaders also agreed to "accelerate negotiations" toward concluding a free trade agreement between Japan and Colombia, Abe told a joint press conference. The Pacific Alliance was created in June 2012 and also includes Mexico, Peru and Chile. Japan has observer status with the group, which it sees as having potential as a supplier of natural resources and foodstuffs.


Japan June industrial output falls at fastest pace in over 3 years

TOKYO - Japan's industrial production in June weakened at the fastest pace in more than three years as companies adjusted their output due to a build-up in inventories following the April 1 sales tax hike, government data showed Wednesday. Production dropped a seasonally adjusted 3.3 percent from the previous month, the biggest fall since March 2011, when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami devastated northeastern Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report. In March 2011, output plunged 16.5 percent. In June, the ministry cut its assessment of production, saying it has "weakened," but added that output is expected to bounce back in the coming months as demand will likely consolidate.


Toyota group sells record 5.09 mil. cars globally in 1st half of 2014

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday its global auto sales reached 5.09 million units in the first half of 2014, likely becoming the world's best-selling automaker in the period for the third consecutive year. The sales volume, including Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd. vehicles, gained 3.8 percent from a year earlier in the January to June period. Germany'sVolkswagen AG said it sold about 4.97 million vehicles excluding some commercial vehicles in the six-month period, while General Motors Co. of the Unites States sold 4.92 million units, up 1.4 percent from a year before.


Sony, Panasonic, Japan Display to form new company to develop OLED

TOKYO - Sony Corp., Panasonic Corp., and Japan Display Inc. plan to set up a new company later this year to develop small and medium-sized organic light-emitting diode displays for use in tablet devices, sources close to the matter said Wednesday. The new company will receive investment from the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, a public-private investment fund, and its establishment plan is expected to be announced later this month, the sources said. The Japanese makers aim to better compete with South Korean rivals by combining their technological strength under the joint venture, as OLED has potential to become a next-generation display, given its ability to provide clearer images using thinner panels than liquid crystal displays.


Tokyo stocks edge up, dollar trades in lower 102 yen level

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks rose slightly Wednesday morning on positive earnings reports. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 42.33 points, or 0.27 percent, from Tuesday to 15,660.40. At 1 p.m., the Nikkei index was up 32.63 points, or 0.21 percent, at 15,650.70. The broader Topix index was up 1.69 points, or 0.13 percent, at 1,292.10. On the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 102 yen zone. At 1 p.m., the dollar fetched 102.09-10 yen compared with 102.07-17 yen in New York late Tuesday afternoon. The euro was quoted at 136.89-92 yen against 136.88-98 yen in New York.


Weather forecast for key cities in Japan

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

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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