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Kyodo news summary -5-

TOKYO, April 13 Kyodo

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At least 47,000 evacuees remain 1 year after Kumamoto quakes

KUMAMOTO, Japan - Tens of thousands of people are still living
in temporary housing and shelters a year after powerful earthquakes
struck Kumamoto and its neighboring areas of southwestern Japan,
local officials said Thursday.
The Kumamoto prefectural government estimates 47,725 people
still have yet to return to their homes as of the end of March,
marking an increase of about 4,300 from estimates released late last
year.
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OECD urges Japan to promote labor reforms, calls wage growth "muted"

TOKYO - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development on Thursday called for Japan to promote labor reforms by
imposing a binding cap on overtime work and removing obstacles to
women's employment as the country's jobs market is tight.
Wage growth remains "surprisingly muted" despite labor
shortages, the OECD said in its report, adding the pace of wage
growth is a short-term uncertainty for the Japanese economy, which is
expected to grow 1.2 percent in 2017.
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Japan scrambled jets a record 1,168 times in FY 2016

TOKYO - Japan scrambled fighter jets to head off aircraft
approaching its airspace 1,168 times in fiscal 2016 amid China's
increasing military activity, with the number exceeding the previous
record set during the Cold War, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
The overall number of incidents was up 295 from a year before
but no aircraft violated Japanese airspace in the year through March
31, according to the ministry.
----------
Western Digital asks for exclusive talks to buy Toshiba chip unit

TOKYO - Western Digital Corp. is demanding exclusive
negotiations for purchasing Toshiba Corp.'s prized chip unit, which
the embattled company has put up for sale amid huge losses at its
U.S. nuclear unit, sources close to the matter said Thursday.
A Toshiba executive said the company had concluded after
reviewing its joint-venture contract with Western Digital for its
Yokkaichi flash memory plant in central Japan that the chip unit
could be sold to any buyer as long as the unit's business would not
be disrupted.
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Japan crown prince arrives in Malaysia to celebrate diplomatic ties

KUALA LUMPUR - Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito arrived Thursday at
Kuala Lumpur international airport in Malaysia on his first official
overseas trip since Emperor Akihito indicated last year his wish to
abdicate.
The five-day trip, the prince's first to the Southeast Asian
nation, will mark the 60th anniversary this year of the establishment
of bilateral diplomatic ties. Crown Princess Masako did not accompany
her husband despite an invitation from Malaysia, as she has been
receiving treatment for stress-induced illness since 2003.
----------
China opposes use of force in dealing with North Korean tensions

BEIJING - China's foreign minister on Thursday expressed
opposition to the use of any military force in dealing with rising
North Korean tensions.
"Force of arms cannot solve problems," Wang Yi told reporters in
Beijing. "So China is against chaos and war to break out on the
(Korean) Peninsula."
----------
Defense in Kim Jong Nam murder trial compromised: lawyers

SEPANG, Malaysia - Lawyers for two women charged with the murder
of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un, complained Thursday their defense has been compromised
by Malaysian authorities allowing three North Korean suspects to
leave the country.
During pre-trial proceedings at the Sepang Magistrate Court, the
lawyers for Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi
Huong, 28, also said the prosecution had denied requests for copies
of statements by the three North Koreans that police recorded just
before they were allowed to leave Malaysia on March 30.
----------
Japan's greenhouse gas emissions fall 2.9% in FY 2015

TOKYO - Japan's greenhouse gas emissions during fiscal 2015
dropped 2.9 percent from a year earlier, falling for the second
consecutive year, the Environment Ministry said Thursday.
The gas emissions totaled the equivalent of 1,325 million tons
of carbon dioxide in the fiscal year ending March 2016. Compared with
levels in fiscal 2013, the base year for the country's emission
reduction target under the Paris Agreement, emissions declined 6.0
percent.
----------
Fast Retailing net profit more than doubles in 1st half

TOKYO - Fast Retailing Co. said Thursday its group net profit in
the fiscal first half through February more than doubled from a year
earlier to 97.23 billion yen ($891.53 million), helped by brisk sales
both at home and abroad, and cost-cutting efforts.
The operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain posted a 31.5
percent rise in group operating profit to 130.66 billion yen in the
six-month period on sales of 1.02 trillion yen, up 0.6 percent.
----------
N. Korea may be able to attack with sarin-tipped missiles: Abe

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that
North Korea may already possess the ability to attack with missiles
tipped with warheads containing the deadly chemical agent sarin.
Abe's remark in a parliamentary committee meeting comes as
Japan's ally the United States has deployed an aircraft carrier and
accompanying battle ships near the Korean Peninsula in a show of
force amid signs North Korea may conduct another nuclear test.
----------
Dollar hits 5-month low in upper 108 yen on Trump's warnings

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar hit a fresh five-month low in the upper
108 yen range on Thursday in Tokyo following President Donald Trump's
remarks overnight that warned of the firmness of the currency.
At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 109.01-03 yen compared with
109.05-15 yen in New York and 109.66-68 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Wednesday. It moved between 108.73 yen and 109.24 yen during the day,
changing hands most frequently at 108.85 yen.
----------
High court upholds obscenity over 3-D genitalia scans by artist

TOKYO - The Tokyo High Court upheld Thursday a lower court
decision finding a female artist guilty of obscenity for distributing
3-D scans of her genitalia, ordering her to pay a fine of 400,000 yen
($3,700).
Megumi Igarashi, a 45-year-old artist who works under the
pseudonym "Rokudenashi-ko" (good-for-nothing girl), was found guilty
over the scan data distribution but not guilty of obscenity for
displaying vagina-shaped plaster artworks.

Kyodo news summary -4-

TOKYO, April 13 Kyodo

----------
N. Korea may be able to attack with sarin-tipped missiles: Abe

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that
North Korea may already possess the ability to attack with missiles
tipped with warheads containing the deadly chemical agent sarin.
Abe's remark in a parliamentary committee meeting comes as
Japan's ally the United States has deployed an aircraft carrier and
accompanying battle ships near the Korean Peninsula in a show of
force amid signs North Korea may conduct another nuclear test.
----------
Dollar hits 5-month low in upper 108 yen on Trump's warnings

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar hit a fresh five-month low in the upper
108 yen range on Thursday in Tokyo following President Donald Trump's
remarks overnight that warned of the firmness of the currency.
At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 109.01-03 yen compared with
109.05-15 yen in New York and 109.66-68 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Wednesday. It moved between 108.73 yen and 109.24 yen during the day,
changing hands most frequently at 108.85 yen.
----------
OECD urges Japan to promote labor reforms, calls wage growth "muted"

TOKYO - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development called on Thursday for Japan to promote labor reforms by
imposing a binding cap on overtime work and removing obstacles to
women's employment as the country's jobs market is tight.
Wage growth remains "surprisingly muted" despite labor
shortages, the OECD said in its report, adding the pace of wage
growth is a short-term uncertainty for the Japanese economy, which is
expected to grow 1.2 percent in 2017.
----------
High court upholds obscenity over 3-D genitalia scans by artist

TOKYO - The Tokyo High Court upheld Thursday a lower court
decision finding a female artist guilty of obscenity for distributing
3-D scans of her genitalia, ordering her to pay a fine of 400,000 yen
($3,700).
Megumi Igarashi, a 45-year-old artist who works under the
pseudonym "Rokudenashi-ko" (good-for-nothing girl), was found guilty
over the scan data distribution but not guilty of obscenity for
displaying vagina-shaped plaster artworks.
----------
Japan's key bond yield rebounds from 5-month low as gains locked in

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond ended higher Thursday after briefly falling to a five-month low
of 0.005 percent as investors sold the debt to lock in gains.
The yield on the No. 346, 0.1 percent issue, the main barometer
of long-term interest rates, ended interdealer trading at 0.020
percent, up 0.005 percentage point from Wednesday's close.
----------
Nikkei ends at 4-month low as Trump remarks lift yen

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks continued to fall Thursday, with the Nikkei
index hitting a four-month low, as market sentiment was hurt by the
yen's rise after U.S. President Donald Trump expressed caution about
the strength of the dollar.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 125.77 points, or
0.68 percent, from Wednesday at 18,426.84, its lowest close since
Dec. 6. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 11.23 points, or 0.76 percent, lower at
1,468.31.
----------
Japan scrambled jets a record 1,168 times in FY 2016

TOKYO - Japan scrambled fighter jets to intercept aircraft
approaching its airspace 1,168 times during the fiscal year that
ended March 31, exceeding the previous record of 944 logged during
the Cold War, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
The deployments were mostly in response to movements of Chinese
aircraft, with 851, also a record-high, involving the country's
planes. The record number is a sign of increased Chinese military
activity in airspace above waters close to Japan.
----------
Fast Retailing net profit more than doubles in 1st half

TOKYO - Fast Retailing Co. said Thursday its group net profit
more than doubled from a year earlier to 97.23 billion yen ($891.53
million) for the first fiscal half through February, helped by brisk
sales both at home and abroad and cost-cutting efforts.
The operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain posted a 31.5
percent rise in group operating profit to 130.66 billion yen in the
six-month period on sales of 1.02 trillion yen, up 0.6 percent.
----------
China's March total trade rises at fastest pace since 2013

BEIJING - China's total value of exports and imports increased
at the fastest pace in more than four years, adding to signs of a
pickup in the world's second-largest economy, official data showed
Thursday.
The total value in U.S. dollar-denominated terms increased 18.2
percent from a year before, marking the biggest expansion since the
27 percent recorded in January 2013, according to the data released
by the General Administration of Customs.
----------
Police draft rules for driverless-car tests on public roads

TOKYO - The National Police Agency on Thursday unveiled draft
rules for testing driverless vehicles on public roads while the
vehicles are being monitored remotely.
At present no vehicle can proceed along a public road without
someone in the driver's seat. Once the rules are officially in place,
the agency will start accepting applications to conduct tests this
summer at the earliest.
----------
China's economic growth to continue to slow in 2017: World Bank

SINGAPORE - The World Bank on Thursday projected that the growth
of Chinese economy will continue to slow this year but said it
expects East Asia as a whole to remain resilient, while also warning
of risks posed by the global environment and domestic vulnerabilities.
The bank maintained the forecast made in its previous report six
months ago that the Chinese economy might grow 6.5 percent this year,
down from 6.7 percent last year and 6.9 percent in 2015, while a
group of developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific as a
whole, including China, could expand 6.2 percent this year.
----------
Japanese noodle restaurant chain Ippudo makes debut in Myanmar

YANGON - Popular Japanese noodle restaurant chain Ippudo is
making its debut in Myanmar with a branch in Yangon's newly opened
Junction City Shopping Mall.
Chikaranomoto Holdings Co., the Fukuoka-based operator of the
ramen restaurant chain, held a soft opening on April 11 ahead of a
grand opening in May.

Kyodo news summary -3-

TOKYO, April 13 Kyodo

----------
Fast Retailing net profit more than doubles in 1st half

TOKYO - Fast Retailing Co. said Thursday its group net profit
more than doubled from a year earlier to 97.23 billion yen ($891.53
million) for the first fiscal half through February, helped by brisk
sales both at home and abroad and cost-cutting efforts.
The operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain posted a 31.5
percent rise in group operating profit to 130.66 billion yen in the
six-month period on sales of 1.02 trillion yen, up 0.6 percent.
----------
China's March total trade rises at fastest pace since 2013

BEIJING - China's total value of exports and imports increased
at the fastest pace in more than four years, adding to signs of a
pickup in the world's second-largest economy, official data showed
Thursday.
The total value in U.S. dollar-denominated terms increased 18.2
percent from a year before, marking the biggest expansion since the
27 percent recorded in January 2013, according to the data released
by the General Administration of Customs.
----------
Police draft rules for driverless-car tests on public roads

TOKYO - The National Police Agency on Thursday unveiled draft
rules for testing driverless vehicles on public roads while the
vehicles are being monitored remotely.
At present no vehicle can proceed along a public road without
someone in the driver's seat. Once the rules are officially in place,
the agency will start accepting applications to conduct tests this
summer at the earliest.
----------
Tokyo stocks fall as yen advances after Trump's remarks

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks continued to fall on Thursday, with the
Nikkei index hitting a fresh four-month low, as market sentiment was
hurt by the yen's rise after U.S. President Donald Trump expressed
caution about the strength of the dollar.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 125.77 points, or
0.68 percent, from Wednesday at 18,426.84, its lowest close since
Dec. 6. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 11.23 points, or 0.76 percent, lower at
1,468.31.
----------
China's economic growth to continue to slow in 2017: World Bank

SINGAPORE - The World Bank on Thursday projected that the growth
of Chinese economy will continue to slow this year but said it
expects East Asia as a whole to remain resilient, while also warning
of risks posed by the global environment and domestic vulnerabilities.
The bank maintained the forecast made in its previous report six
months ago that the Chinese economy might grow 6.5 percent this year,
down from 6.7 percent last year and 6.9 percent in 2015, while a
group of developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific as a
whole, including China, could expand 6.2 percent this year.
----------
Japanese noodle restaurant chain Ippudo makes debut in Myanmar

YANGON - Popular Japanese noodle restaurant chain Ippudo is
making its debut in Myanmar with a branch in Yangon's newly opened
Junction City Shopping Mall.
Chikaranomoto Holdings Co., the Fukuoka-based operator of the
ramen restaurant chain, held a soft opening on April 11 ahead of a
grand opening in May.
----------
Japan crown prince leaves for Malaysia to celebrate diplomatic ties

TOKYO - Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito departed Thursday for
Malaysia on his first official trip overseas since Emperor Akihito
indicated his wish to abdicate last year.
The five-day trip, the prince's first to the Southeast Asian
nation, will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of
bilateral diplomatic ties this year. Crown Princess Masako did not
accompany her husband despite an invitation from Malaysia, as she has
been receiving treatment for stress-induced illness since 2003.
----------
N. Korea may be able to attack with sarin-tipped missiles: Abe

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday said
North Korea may already possess the ability to attack with missiles
tipped with warheads containing the deadly chemical agent sarin.
Abe's remark in a parliamentary committee comes as Japan's ally
the United States has deployed an aircraft carrier and accompanying
battle ships near the Korean Peninsula in a show of force amid signs
North Korea may conduct another nuclear test.
----------
Pair of mangoes fetches record 400,000 yen at season's 1st auction

MIYAZAKI, Japan - A pair of premium mangoes from Miyazaki
Prefecture in southwestern Japan fetched a record 400,000 yen
($3,675) at the season's first auction at a local wholesale market on
Thursday, shattering the previous high of 300,000 yen set in 2014 and
2015.
High-end mangoes called "Taiyo no Tamago" (Egg of the Sun) weigh
at least 350 grams and possess a high level of sugar content among
other attributes, according to the Miyazaki Agricultural Economic
Federation.
----------
Abe to tack visits to Britain, Scandinavia onto Russia trip

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to visit Britain,
Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in addition to his scheduled trip
to Russia at the end of this month, Japanese government sources said
Thursday.
The visit to the four Scandinavian countries would be Abe's
first as prime minister, including during his first turn at power
between 2006 and 2007.
----------
Japan disappointed with Security Council failure to agree on Syria

TOKYO - The Japanese government expressed disappointment
Thursday with the U.N. Security Council's failure to pass a
resolution condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad's regime after Russia vetoed the move.
"It is highly regrettable that the Security Council was unable
to send a united message," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga,
the government's top spokesman, told a press conference.
----------
Japan's key bond yield briefly falls to 5-month low in morning

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond briefly fell to a five-month low of 0.005 percent Thursday
morning, as investors bought the debt tracking lower U.S. Treasury
yields overnight, while a drop in Tokyo stocks accelerated the buying.
The yield on the No. 346, 0.1 percent issue, the main barometer
of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at
0.010 percent, down 0.005 percentage point from Wednesday's close.

Kyodo news summary -2-

TOKYO, April 13 Kyodo

----------
Abe to tack visits to Britain, Scandinavia onto Russia trip

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to visit Britain,
Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in addition to his scheduled trip
to Russia at the end of this month, Japanese government sources said
Thursday.
The visit to the four Scandinavian countries would be Abe's
first as prime minister, including during his first turn at power
between 2006 and 2007.
----------
Japan disappointed with Security Council failure to agree on Syria

TOKYO - The Japanese government expressed disappointment
Thursday with the U.N. Security Council's failure to pass a
resolution condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad's regime after Russia vetoed the move.
"It is highly regrettable that the Security Council was unable
to send a united message," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga,
the government's top spokesman, told a press conference.
----------
Tokyo stocks drop in morning as Trump's remarks push yen higher

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks fell Thursday morning, with the Nikkei
index hitting a four-month intraday low, as exporters remained under
pressure from the yen's rise, accelerated by U.S. President Donald
Trump's caution about the strength of the dollar.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 212.17 points, or 1.14
percent, from Wednesday to 18,340.44, its lowest intraday level since
early December. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues
on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 16.94 points, or 1.14 percent,
to 1,462.60.
----------
Japan's key bond yield briefly falls to 5-month low in morning

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond briefly fell to a five-month low of 0.005 percent Thursday
morning, as investors bought the debt tracking lower U.S. Treasury
yields overnight, while a drop in Tokyo stocks accelerated the buying.
The yield on the No. 346, 0.1 percent issue, the main barometer
of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at
0.010 percent, down 0.005 percentage point from Wednesday's close.
----------
Dollar at 5-month low in upper 108 yen as Trump bashes strong dollar

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded at its lowest level in five
months in the upper 108 yen range Thursday morning in Tokyo after
President Donald Trump's remarks complaining about the strength of
his country's currency rattled global financial markets.
At noon, the dollar fetched 108.82-83 yen compared with
109.05-15 yen in New York and 109.66-68 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Wednesday.
----------
Japan to introduce English road signs ahead of Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO - Japan will introduce new bilingual traffic signs in July
amid an increase in the number of foreign visitors ahead of Tokyo
hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.
The National Police Agency on Thursday unveiled stop and
slowdown signs, each with English translations beneath Japanese
words. The new versions will gradually replace the roughly 1.7
million stop signs and 1,000 slowdown signs in Japan.
----------
FEATURE: Tokyo's monk-run bar loosens inhibitions, teaches Buddhism

TOKYO - Drinking at your neighborhood bar would appear to be
inconsistent with a Buddhist's quest for clarity of mind and
enlightenment.
Intoxicants, after all, have the effect of clouding the senses,
not to mention one's judgment. But for Buddhist monk Yoshinobu
Fujioka, who operates a bar in central Tokyo with other clergy of his
faith, nirvana -- it appears -- is just a sip away.
----------
Russia vetoes U.N. resolution on alleged Syria chemical attack

NEW YORK - Russia on Wednesday vetoed a Western-led U.N.
Security Council resolution that condemns the alleged use of chemical
weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and urges the
Syrian government to cooperate with international inquiries into the
deadly attack.
The resolution was drafted by Britain, France and the United
States after the U.S. military carried out a missile strike in Syria
last week in the wake of the chemical weapons attack believed to have
killed more than 80 people including 30 children.
----------
Trump expects China to steadily implement U.N. sanctions on N. Korea

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump expressed confidence
Wednesday that China will steadily implement U.N. sanctions on North
Korea in a concerted effort to curb its aggressive development of
nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
"I really think that China is going to try very hard and has
already started," Trump said at a news conference, referring to
Beijing's suspension of coal imports from Pyongyang until the end of
this year in line with U.N. sanctions on the country.
----------
FEATURE: Emergency room overcrowding an ailment local doctor aims to
cure

MATSUSAKA, Japan - A 31-year-old doctor is endeavoring to
alleviate the problem of emergency room overcrowding in his central
Japan city by running a night and holiday first-aid clinic.
Masashi Ryosetsu opened the clinic in November 2015 hoping to
stop people treating hospitals like "a convenience store" for minor
ailments, and particularly to stop those with such problems calling
upon the already stretched ambulance service.
----------
Duterte bows to China's demand not to raise flag on disputed island

MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he
will not push through with a proposal to raise the national flag on a
disputed island in the South China Sea after Beijing asked him to
abandon the plan.
"Because of our friendship with China and because we value your
friendship, we will not, I will not go there to raise the Philippine
flag," Duterte said in a speech to Filipino residents in Saudi Arabia
on the first day of his official visit there.
----------
U.S. views war crimes charge against Syrian president as possible

MOSCOW - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday
increased evidence showing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's regime has
engaged in war crimes could reach the threshold needed to bring a
case against him.
"As time goes by, and more and more evidence continues to be
gathered, it is possible that the threshold necessary to charge
individuals, including Bashar al-Assad, may be achieved," Tillerson
said at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey
Lavrov after their meeting in Moscow.

Kyodo news summary -1-

TOKYO, April 13 Kyodo

----------
Tokyo stocks open lower on stronger yen after Trump remarks

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks opened sharply lower Thursday, with
export-led issues further dented by the yen's continued strength
against the U.S. dollar, after U.S. President Donald Trump said in an
interview that his country's currency "is getting too strong."
In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock
Average fell 164.22 points, or 0.89 percent, from Wednesday to
18,388.39. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 13.23 points, or 0.89 percent, to
1,466.31.
----------
Dollar trades just below 109 yen in early Tokyo deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded just below 109 yen early Thursday
in Tokyo following its fall to a five-month low in New York after
President Donald Trump cautioned against the strength of his
country's currency.
At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 108.90-91 yen compared with
109.05-15 yen in New York and 109.66-68 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Wednesday.
----------
Trump says dollar getting too strong, China no currency manipulator

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday the
dollar "is getting too strong," burdening American firms in the
global market, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In an interview with the major daily, Trump also disclosed plans
not to name China as a currency manipulator in a Treasury Department
report to be announced shortly.
----------
FOCUS: PM Sharif's future hangs in balance over Panama Papers leaks

ISLAMABAD - The political fate of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif hangs in the balance as the nation awaits a Supreme Court
verdict on a case in which opponents accuse his family of using
offshore tax havens to launder tainted money and evade taxes.
The case related to the "Panama Papers" leaked last year that
revealed that three of three-time-elected prime minister's three
children owned offshore companies incorporated in Panama and real
estate in Britain.
----------
Toyota debuts new SUV at New York auto show

NEW YORK - Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled the FT-4X concept, a
sport utility vehicle, on Wednesday as it and other Japanese
automakers aim to boost sales in the U.S. market.
Toyota showcased the FT-4X, or "Future Toyota Four-Wheel Drive
Crossover," intended for young people who love the outdoors, during
the first day of a two-day media preview at the New York
International Auto Show.
----------
Trump vowed to consult Abe before any attack on N. Korea: sources

TOKYO - U.S. President Donald Trump promised Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe in telephone talks earlier this month to consult
with Japan before taking action -- including military action --
against North Korea, bilateral diplomatic sources said Wednesday.
Trump also indicated to Abe that the United States will tighten
sanctions on Chinese firms doing business with North Korea if China
does not cooperate in addressing the threat presented by Pyongyang's
nuclear and missile development programs, the sources said.
----------
Emperor's abdication ceremony likely to be held for 1st time in 200
yrs

TOKYO - The Japanese government is planning to hold a ceremony
for Emperor Akihito's envisioned abdication in December 2018, in what
would be the nation's first such ceremony in around 200 years,
government sources said Wednesday.
The last time Japan held a ceremony for an emperor's abdication
was 1817, when Emperor Kokaku relinquished the Chrysanthemum throne.
The government will consider how to materialize the plan by studying
documents describing ceremonial manners for abdications in the past.
----------
Toshiba selects 4 overseas bidders as potential buyer of its chip unit

TOKYO - Toshiba Corp. has selected four overseas bidders as a
potential buyer of its chip-making unit following an auction, sources
close to the matter said Wednesday.
The four potential buyers of Toshiba Memory Corp. are Hon Hai
Precision Industry Co. of Taiwan, SK Hynix Inc. of South Korea, U.S.
chipmaker Broadcom Ltd. and Western Digital Corp. of the United
States, which has jointly invested in Toshiba's Yokkaichi flash
memory plant in central Japan.
----------
Crown prince to meet son of Malaysian A-bomb survivor

TOKYO - The Imperial Household Agency said Wednesday that Crown
Prince Naruhito will meet during his trip to Malaysia from Thursday
with the son of a former exchange student to Japan from the Southeast
Asian country who survived the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
The crown prince will visit the University of Malaya to meet
with Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, former vice chancellor of the University
of Science, Malaysia, and the son of Abdul Razak, one of three
Malaysians who were studying in Hiroshima when the city was
devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in World War II.
----------
1 player injured in blasts targeted at Dortmund soccer team bus

DORTMUND, Germany - Three explosions went off near a bus
carrying soccer players belonging to the Borussia Dortmund team
Tuesday, injuring a player and forcing the postponement of a
Champions League quarterfinal first-leg match at the German team's
home stadium.
The blasts, described by German police as a "targeted attack on
Borussia Dortmund's team" occurred around 7 p.m. shortly after the
bus departed from the team's hotel to the Westfalenstadion, the
Bundesliga club's stadium.
----------
Vietnam president seeks Japanese investment in infrastructure,
agriculture

HANOI - Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang expressed strong
expectation Wednesday for Japanese investment in infrastructure,
supporting industries including component production, and hi-tech
agriculture.
Quang, in an exclusive interview with Kyodo News, also invited
Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises to actively participate
in his country's development.
----------
Japan, Sri Lanka PMs vow further cooperation on maritime security

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Sri Lankan
counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed Wednesday to further advance
their cooperation in maritime security.
According to a joint statement released after their talks in
Tokyo, the leaders emphasized the "special importance of maintaining
a maritime order based on the rule of law, including the freedom of
navigation and overflight and unobstructed trade."