Sumitomo Mitsui to buy 12% stake in Cambodia'sAcleda Bank
TOKYO - Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. said Monday it will buy a 12.25 percent stake in Cambodia'sAcleda Bank Plc., becoming the first Japanese bank to invest in a bank in the Southeast Asian country.
The core banking unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. will acquire the stake in September for some 10 billion yen from International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group, and become Acleda's largest shareholder, Sumitomo Mitsui sources said.
Philippines protests Chinese "intrusions" in disputed waters
MANILA - The Philippines on Monday protested the presence of two Chinese ships in Reed Bank, an oil and gas-rich area of the South China Sea that Manila says lies well within its exclusive economic zone.
"We are protesting the conduct of sovereignty patrols by Chinese vessels on Recto Bank," Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said at a press briefing, using the local name for the land feature, known to China as Liyue Bank, that is mostly submerged at high tide.
Gov't to set up fund to support regional healthcare businesses
TOKYO - The government plans to set up a fund to nurture healthcare businesses in rural areas in September at the earliest in an effort to revitalize the regional economy, according to the outline of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's related measures compiled by Monday.
The fund will supply money to new businesses offering services and products for disease prevention in rural areas, such as the sale of healthy foods and instruction at sport clubs, with the aim of preventing the outflow of the workforce from such areas.
Lawson to open elderly support-oriented convenience store in 2015
TOKYO - Lawson Inc. will open in 2015 a new type of convenience store catering to elderly people, with specialized staff to help customers choose daycare facilities and nursing services, a company official said Monday.
Lawson plans to introduce 30 such new stores mostly in metropolitan areas including Osaka in western Japan and Nagoya in central Japan by the end of the fiscal year ending March 2018. The stores will have specialist care managers on duty during daytime hours.
Japan lawmakers, China's vice president agree to seek improved ties
BEIJING - A group of Japanese lawmakers agreed Monday with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao that the two countries both need to make efforts to mend bilateral relations badly damaged over territorial and historical issues.
"At least three times Vice President Li said that we should overlook minor disagreements for the sake of common interests. That's important for Japan and China," Kiyohiko Toyama, a New Komeito lawmaker, who heads the cross-party group, told a press conference in Beijing after the meeting.
Chugoku Electric to acquire 10% interest in Australian coal mine
HIROSHIMA - Chugoku Electric Power Co. said Monday that it will acquire a 10 percent interest in an Australian coal mine owned by a Japanese oil refiner to stably procure high-quality fossil fuel needed for power generation.
Under the contract concluded with Idemitsu Kosan Co. the same day, the Hiroshima-based utility will buy the interest in the Boggabri mine in New South Wales for an undisclosed sum, and purchase coal produced in the mine for a long period of time.
Former No. 2 leader urges China to allow real democracy in H.K.
HONG KONG - Hong Kong's former No. 2 leader Anson Chan, an influential figure in pro-democracy camp, urged China on Monday to be sincere in allowing Hong Kong real democracy in the upcoming leadership election.
"There is no point in exercising 'one man, one vote' if all the candidates are Beijing nominees," Chan, who was chief secretary in both the British colonial government and in the first post-handover administration, told a press conference while releasing the results of a public survey commissioned by her advocacy group Hong Kong 2020.