S. Korea, U.S. to create combined division in early 2015 for war operations
SEOUL - South Korea and the United States have agreed to establish a combined division of their troops early next year, which would be tasked with carrying out wartime operations, Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday, citing South Korea'sDefense Ministry.
The unit, slated to be set up in the first half of next year, will be comprised of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division located in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, and a South Korean brigade-level unit.
Japan's key bond yield edges higher to 0.530% in morning
TOKYO - The yield on the bellwether 10-year Japanese government bond ended slightly higher Thursday morning in directionless trading as the Tokyo stock market fluctuated.
The yield on the No. 335, 0.5 percent issue, the main yardstick of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at 0.530 percent, up 0.005 percentage point from Wednesday's close.
Tokyo stocks edge lower in morning on selling after rally
TOKYO - Tokyo stocks ended slightly lower Thursday morning as investors moved to cash in on profits after a recent market rally.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 24.46 points, or 0.16 percent, from Wednesday to 15,703.89. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 2.71 points, or 0.21 percent, to 1,298.81.
Toyota's Aqua best-selling car in August
TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp.'s Aqua hybrid remained the best-selling car in Japan in August, maintaining the top spot for the second straight month, industry bodies said Thursday.
Aqua's sales in the month, however, fell 31.2 percent from a year earlier to 14,543 units, while the second-best selling car, Honda Motor Co.'s Fit, jumped 115.9 percent to 13,369 units, according to data released by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.
Al-Qaida leader announces creation of South Asia branch: BBC
CAIRO - Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced the creation of a South Asian branch of the terrorist group to "raise the flag of jihad" across the region, specifically in India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, the BBC reported Thursday.
Zawahiri, in a video message posted online Wednesday, said "al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent," will be headed by Asim Umar, chief of al-Qaida's Sharia Committee in Pakistan.
BOJ keeps policy steady, says Japan economy recovering
TOKYO - The Bank of Japan on Thursday kept its policy steady while saying the economy has been recovering despite some weakness caused by the April consumption tax hike.
The central bank will continue its massive asset purchases from financial institutions to flood the economy with more money and raise the nation's inflation rate to 2 percent, it said after the Policy Board ended a two-day meeting. The decision by the nine-member body was unanimous.
Dollar firm at upper 104 yen before U.S. jobs data
TOKYO - The U.S. dollar was firm in the upper 104 yen range Thursday morning in Tokyo as traders awaited jobs data that could push the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise its key interest rate sooner than expected.
At noon, the dollar fetched 104.88-93 yen compared with 104.76-86 yen in New York and 104.95-97 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.