Tokyo stocks edge lower on declines in European, U.S. shares
TOKYO - Tokyo stocks continued to drop Wednesday as overnight declines in major European and U.S. bourses hurt investor sentiment.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 11.76 points, or 0.08 percent, from Tuesday at 15,302.65. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 4.88 points, or 0.38 percent, lower at 1,270.82.
Indonesians vote to elect new president in tight race
JAKARTA - Indonesians voted Wednesday in the third direct presidential election since the collapse of authoritarian rule in 1998, with Jakarta's hugely popular governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo locked in a tight race with former army general Prabowo Subianto.
Voters cast their ballots at 478,685 polling stations set up across the sprawling archipelago of some 17,000 islands.
FOCUS: Indonesian presidential contender, activist talk on democracy
JAKARTA - Sixteen years ago, at which time Indonesia was beset by political upheaval and economic crisis, the paths of two men -- student activist Mugiyanto and then army general Prabowo Subianto, a contender in Wednesday's presidential election -- collided as each sought to determine the country's future.
Mugiyanto, who was then a 25-year-old student at Gadjah Mada University, had joined thousands of other students and activists to fight for democracy, trying to end the decades-long rule of Suharto.
N. Korea's nuclear developer Jon Pyong Ho dies at 88
BEIJING - Jon Pyong Ho, a senior North Korean official who had played a major role in developing the country's nuclear and missile programs, died of acute myocardial infarction on Monday, the official media said Wednesday. He was 88.
North Korea has set up a committee led by Kim Jong Un to prepare for Jon's state funeral, the country's Korean Central News Agency said. The funeral is likely to be held on Thursday.
Japan protests China paper showing Japan map with mushroom clouds
TOKYO - Japan has lodged a protest with a Chinese weekly paper for carrying a map of Japan showing mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the top government spokesman said Wednesday.
"We lodged a strong protest Tuesday with the editor in chief of the Chongqing Youth News through our consulate general in Chongqing," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.
Mitsui O.S.K. to pioneer Arctic shipping route to transport LNG
TOKYO - Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. will start transporting liquefied natural gas through the Arctic Ocean in 2018, becoming the first in the world to tap the sea as a regular shipping route, company sources said Wednesday.
Using icebreaker tankers, the company plans to deliver LNG to Europe and Asia from a gas plant to be built on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Russia, where Russian natural gas producer Novatek is engaged in a joint-venture LNG project.
China, U.S. hold annual high-level talks after year of growing tensions
BEIJING - Chinese and U.S. foreign policy and economic chiefs met Wednesday in Beijing for the latest in a series of high-level talks intended to map out areas of cooperation and smooth over points of conflict that have frayed the two countries' relations during the past year.
The sixth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue, led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and their Chinese counterparts State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Premier Wang Yang, is expected to highlight the potential for bilateral collaboration while glossing over contentious issues.
Japan may buy additional F-35 fighters if prices fall: Onodera
FORT WORTH, Texas - Japan may purchase additional F-35 joint strike fighters if their procurement costs fall, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Tuesday after visiting a Lockheed Martin Corp. fighter jet production plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
"If the unit price falls, it may be important to reconsider the number of fighters (Japan will buy)," Onodera told reporters. He held talks with senior officials from Lockheed Martin at the factory.
Powerful typhoon may hit Kyushu early Thursday
TOKYO - A powerful typhoon could hit the main island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan on Thursday, causing heavy rain over a wide area of the Japanese archipelago, the weather agency warned Wednesday morning.
Typhoon Neoguri, the season's eighth typhoon, is now forecast to turn eastward over the East China Sea, approaching the southwestern tip of Kyushu island by 9 a.m. Thursday with gusts of up to 126 kilometers per hour and waves as high as 10 meters, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.