News Column

Kyodo Top12 News (13:00)

July 5, 2014


M5.8 quake hits northeastern Japan, no tsunami warning issued

TOKYO - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 struck northeastern Japan centering on Iwate Prefecture on Saturday morning, but no tsunami alert was issued, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The 7:42 a.m. quake, which originated off Iwate at a depth of about 50 kilometers, registered an intensity of lower 5 on the Japanese seismic scale of 7 in the city of Miyako, it said. The quake had smaller impacts in other parts of Iwate and neighboring prefectures, according to the agency.


Banking group drafts guidelines for online theft compensation

TOKYO - Japan's top banking industry group has drafted new guidelines on how banks should compensate companies, especially small and midsize ones, for damage from online money theft, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday. The draft guidelines, scheduled to be released after being formally approved by the Japanese Bankers Association on July 17, stipulate that banks will consider paying compensation if companies that suffer from online theft took necessary countermeasures, they said. The recommended countermeasures include using security software, shunning computer operating systems whose support has already ended, and changing passwords for online banking on a regular basis, they said. Online theft damage so far this year amounted to 1.4 billion yen as of May 9, eclipsing the amount for the whole of last year.


N. Korea announces launch of abduction probe unit

PYONGYANG - North Korea announced Friday the launch of a new organization aimed at looking into the whereabouts of missing Japanese nationals suspected of being in its territory. North Korea said, as agreed with Japan, its "all-inclusive and comprehensive investigation" will start from Friday with the new organization given a "special mandate" from the National Defense Commission headed by the country's leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea for the first time released the details of the so-called "Special Investigation Committee" through its official Korean Central News Agency. "We will make efforts to the maximum extent possible," North Korea's top negotiator in the talks with Japan, Song Il Ho, told a press conference later in the day in Pyongyang, in reference to the restart of the investigation.


N. Korea urged to probe missing Japanese highly likely abducted

TOKYO - Japan has urged that North Korea intensively investigate the whereabouts of missing Japanese who are highly likely to have been abducted by Pyongyang, along with the 12 who are officially recognized by Tokyo as abduction victims and not yet returned to Japan, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Friday. Junichi Ihara, director general of the ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, said at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that he made the demand in talks Tuesday in Beijing with Song Il Ho, North Korea's ambassador for talks to normalize relations with Japan. Ihara was apparently referring to 77 missing Japanese that a Tokyo-based civic group believes are highly likely to have been abducted by North Korea.


Thai junta to retain power under a provisional Constitution

BANGKOK - Thailand's junta will remain in power to collaborate with a prospective interim government, legislative body and reform council until its "mission is completed," the military government's deputy leader Prajin Juntong said Friday. The National Council for Peace and Order, as the junta styles itself, in principle, even after the interim government is installed under a provisional Constitution, "will carry on its job" together with other instituted bodies, Prajin said. "Everything goes in accordance with the junta chief's roadmap. In the second phase, a temporary charter will be enacted and a National Legislation Assembly, interim administrations and a National Reform Council will consequently set up. These establishments will work in parallel with NCPO until the end of duty," he added.


Indian nurses freed in Iraq, to arrive home Sat.

NEW DELHI - A group of 46 Indian nurses held in Iraq since last month have been set free and are likely to arrive back home by Saturday morning, Indian authorities said Friday. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said that diplomatic tools apart from conventional diplomatic tools were used to secure their release. "A multiplicity of contacts helped us in rescuing the nurses. India has friends both in Iraq and outside Iraq, and all possible substantial support we got from every contact," said the spokesman. He declined to comment on whether any bargaining was carried out between Sunni insurgents and the Indian government.


Soccer: Brazil lose Neymar, defeat Colombia to set up semi with Germany

FORTALEZA, Brazil - Brazil held off a late resurgence by Colombia to secure a 2-1 win on Friday and set up a World Cup semifinal with Germany. The victory came at a cost, as influential forward Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra in the closing minutes and will miss the remainder of the tournament. It took only seven minutes for the hosts to establish supremacy at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, when Neymar swung in a corner over the top of the Colombian back line that everyone missed but for captain Thiago Silva, who shook off his marker at the far post to bundle the ball in off his thigh. The early setback sparked Colombia into life, Juan Cuadrado driving in a shot from the edge of box in the 10th minute that was just deflected wide.


Soccer: Hummels nods Germany into 4th straight semifinal

RIO DE JANEIRO - Mats Hummels beat the flu and France to help send Germany into the World Cup semifinals with a 1-0 victory in a clash of former champions on Friday. Hummels' first-half header booked Germany a place in the last four for the fourth consecutive World Cup, where the three-time winners will face Brazil -- 2-1 victors over Colombia in the day's other quarterfinal -- in Belo Horizonte on Monday. Hummels had missed the 2-1 extra-time win over Algeria in the round of 16 on Monday due to the flu, but the Borussia Dortmund defender returned in time for Germany's first meeting with France at the World Cup since the 1986 semis.


Soccer: Costa Rica coach asks FIFA to keep eye on diver Robben

SALVADOR, Brazil - Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto has called on soccer's world governing body to keep a close eye on Arjen Robben after the Bayern Munich star admitted to diving in the Netherlands' second-round 2-1 win over Mexico. Robben avoided retroactive punishment from FIFA after he admitted he had gone to ground too easily during a first-half incident in Sunday's dramatic win. The winger said he had "taken a dive" but that he did not cheat to win a decisive injury-time penalty scored by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to earn a quarterfinal meeting against Costa Rica.


Rugby: Ex-Wallaby Cummins just part of Coca-Cola's national fizz

TOKYO - The acquisition of Australia winger Nick Cummins is just part of a broad-front advance by Japan Top League side Coca Cola, according to the team's general manager. The acquisition of Western Force and Wallaby Cummins marks the Red Sparks' expansion toward a broader base of support and a bigger share of the spotlight as Japan builds to host the 2019 World Cup. Former Japan coach Shogo Mukai, the club's general manager said, "We're pushing to evolve into a powerhouse, so that when the 2019 World Cup comes, we will be providing many of the players for the national team." Part of that evolution will be a national identity. Although the club will remain based in Fukuoka, the Red Sparks' name will change from Coca-Cola West to simply "Coca-Cola."


Las Vegas woman wins N.Y. hot dog eating title

NEW YORK - Miki Sudo of Las Vegas won the women's division of New York's annual Independence Day hot dog eating competition Friday after gobbling 34 franks and buns in the designated 10 minutes. A New York native who used to live in Tokyo in her childhood, Sudo, 28, said she is very happy to win the title but added that weather conditions got in the way of her goal of eating more than 50. In the men's division, Joey Chestnut, 30, devoured 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win his eighth consecutive championship.


Weather for key cities in Japan

TOKYO - Forecast for Sunday: Tokyo=cloudy, sometimes fair; Osaka=cloudy, sometimes fair; Nagoya=cloudy, sometimes fair; Sapporo=cloudy, sometimes fair; Sendai=cloudy, sometimes fair; Niigata=fair, sometimes cloudy; Hiroshima=cloudy; Takamatsu=cloudy; Fukuoka=cloudy, then rain; Naha=fair.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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