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Kyodo news summary -5-

TOKYO, June 5 Kyodo

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Rocks containing rare metals found off eastern Japan

TOKYO - A team led by Japan's marine science agency said Monday
it has found rocks containing cobalt and other rare metals on the
Pacific seafloor off eastern Japan, in an area covering around 950
square kilometers, about half the size of Tokyo.
Rare metals are widely used in high-tech products. As Japan
relies largely on imports, extracting mineral resources from its
waters would help to stabilize supply of rare metals.
----------
Passive smoking bill to be put off until fall Diet session: sources

TOKYO - Passage of a bill to strengthen Japan's legislation
combating passive smoking will be postponed until this fall, as the
health ministry and ruling Liberal Democratic Party could not work
out their differences in time to submit the bill in the current Diet
session.
Sources close to the government and ruling parties said Monday
the ministry and the LDP still cannot agree what kind of eating and
drinking establishments should be designated as exceptions to an
indoor smoking ban.
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Abe pledges cooperation with ASEAN on "free and open" world order

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Monday to cooperate
with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to maintain a free
and open international order in the Indo-Pacific region, in apparent
reference to China's expansionary activities in the South China Sea.
During a meeting in Tokyo with Le Luong Minh, the secretary
general of ASEAN, Abe also expressed Tokyo's desire to support the
regional group in economic fields and to make the bonds between Japan
and the bloc unshakeable through mutual understanding driven by
cultural and interpersonal exchanges, according to the Japanese
Foreign Ministry.
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Abe refuses to examine new documents on scandal-hit friend's school

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that he sees no
need to investigate newly found documents that could indicate he used
his influence for a school operator run by his friend to open a new
university department, despite increasing calls from opposition
parties.
Abe, speaking at a House of Representatives committee, again
denied his influence on the government decision to select Kake
Educational Institution to establish a veterinary medicine department
in a government-designated deregulation zone.
----------
14-year-old boy arrested for creating ransomware

YOKOHAMA - A 14-year-old boy in Osaka Prefecture was charged
Monday for allegedly created ransomware, the first such arrest in
Japan, police said.
The third-year junior high school student is suspected of
combining free encryption software to create ransomware, a type of
malware that encrypts computer files and makes them inaccessible
until the user pays a ransom, the sources said.
----------
Abe offers conditional cooperation with China's Silk Road initiative

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that Japan is
ready to cooperate with China's "One Belt, One Road"
cross-continental infrastructure development scheme under certain
conditions.
Speaking at a forum in Tokyo on Asia's future, Abe said those
conditions would include "harmony with a free and fair Trans-Pacific
economic zone," alluding to the terms of the Trans-Pacific
Partnership free trade pact, to which Japan is a signatory but China
is not.
----------
6 Arab governments cut diplomatic ties with Qatar

CAIRO - Six Arab governments announced Monday they are cutting
diplomatic relations with the Qatar over its alleged support for
Islamist terrorist and extremist groups, which the tiny, gas-rich
emirate denies.
The coordinated move was announced by three of Qatar's fellow
members of the Gulf Cooperation Council -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and
the United Arab Emirates -- followed later by Egypt, Yemen's
internationally recognized government and Libya's eastern-based
government, as well as the Maldives.
----------
Japan, Australia to negotiate return of Ainu remains

TOKYO - The Japanese government said Monday it will start
negotiations with Australia toward returning to Japan the remains of
indigenous Ainu people held by Australian museums.
Australia's ambassador to Japan, Richard Court, is expected to
meet with representatives of the Ainu Association of Hokkaido as soon
as Thursday in Sapporo, Hokkaido's capital, to explain how the
remains have been preserved.
----------
Japan automakers see record sales in China in May

BEIJING - Japan's top three automakers saw sales in China hit
record highs in May from the same month the previous year, according
to sales data announced by Monday.
In the top spot, Honda Motor Co.'s sales in the month totaled
115,584 vehicles, up 16.2 percent on the year, with the Tokyo-based
company reporting strong demand for its Accord and Civic sedans.
----------
Gov't pension fund seeks 3.5 bil. yen in damages from Toshiba auditor

TOKYO - The Japanese government pension fund is seeking around
3.5 billion yen ($32 million) in damages from an auditing firm
previously responsible for troubled Toshiba Corp.'s books, saying it
failed to reveal an accounting scandal that led to huge investment
losses.
The Government Pension Investment Fund argues, through a trust
bank managing its portfolio, that it incurred 12.2 billion yen in
losses after Toshiba shares plunged due to the scandal and is
demanding part of the amount in a lawsuit filed with the Tokyo
District Court on May 17.
----------
U.S., Australia reiterate call on China to put pressure on N. Korea

SYDNEY - The foreign and defense ministers of the United States
and Australia on Monday called anew on North Korea to abandon its
nuclear ambitions and stressed the importance of China, its
benefactor, applying pressure on Pyongyang to that end.
The two allies also reaffirmed their commitment to freedom of
navigation in the South China Sea, over which China claims
sovereignty and in which it has been building artificial islands.
----------
"TPP 11" should unite behind pact, Abe tells Vietnamese PM

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his Vietnamese
counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday that the remaining signatories
of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal should come together
to bring it into force following the United States' withdrawal.
"The 'TPP 11', the eleven (signatories) to the TPP, will unite
to realize (it)," Abe said in Tokyo at a conference on investment in
Vietnam attended by Phuc.

Kyodo news summary -4-

TOKYO, June 5 Kyodo

----------
Gov't pension fund seeks 3.5 bil. yen in damages from Toshiba auditor

TOKYO - The Japanese government pension fund is seeking around
3.5 billion yen ($32 million) in damages from an auditing firm
previously responsible for troubled Toshiba Corp.'s books, saying it
failed to reveal an accounting scandal that led to huge investment
losses.
The Government Pension Investment Fund argues, through a trust
bank managing its portfolio, that it incurred 12.2 billion yen in
losses after Toshiba shares plunged due to the scandal and is
demanding part of the amount in a lawsuit filed with the Tokyo
District Court on May 17.
----------
U.S., Australia reiterate call on China to put pressure on N. Korea

SYDNEY - The foreign and defense ministers of the United States
and Australia on Monday called anew on North Korea to abandon its
nuclear ambitions and stressed the importance of China, its
benefactor, applying pressure on Pyongyang to that end.
The two allies also reaffirmed their commitment to freedom of
navigation in the South China Sea, over which China claims
sovereignty and in which it has been building artificial islands.
----------
"TPP 11" should unite behind pact, Abe tells Vietnamese PM

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his Vietnamese
counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday that the remaining signatories
of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal should come together
to bring it into force following the United States' withdrawal.
"The 'TPP 11', the eleven (signatories) to the TPP, will unite
to realize (it)," Abe said in Tokyo at a conference on investment in
Vietnam attended by Phuc.
----------
U.S. vows engagement in green issues even after Paris accord exit

TOKYO - U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry vowed Monday that
Washington would stay committed to environmental issues even
following President Donald Trump's announcement of his country's
withdrawal from the Paris climate pact.
Perry made the remarks in a meeting with Japanese Economy, Trade
and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, who said that although it is
"regrettable that the United States has exited from the accord," he
feels "encouraged" by the secretary's words, according to a Japanese
industry ministry official.
----------
Australia rebuffs U.S. advice to pick Japan bid in sub deal: report

SYDNEY - A former senior Pentagon official has said the
Australian government "rebuffed" any advice from the United States
over its preference for Japan to win a multibillion-dollar submarine
contract, eventually awarded last year to France, a national
newspaper reported Monday.
Amy Searight, deputy assistant U.S. secretary for defense for
South and Southeast Asia at the time, told The Australian that the
U.S. administration felt Japanese-made submarines had strategic
advantages for the United States and Australia, but the two countries
failed to discuss the matter.
----------
Opposition urges top court to nullify martial law in south Philippines

MANILA - A group of opposition lawmakers filed a petition with
the Supreme Court on Monday to nullify Philippine President Rodrigo
Duterte's recent imposition of martial law in the country's south.
The petition was the first legal challenge against Duterte's
declaration of martial law over Mindanao Island and surrounding areas
on May 23 to quell violence by Islamic State-linked militants in the
predominantly Muslim city of Marawi.
----------
Dollar stays around mid-110 yen after disappointing U.S. jobs data

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar stayed around the mid-110 yen level
Monday in Tokyo after falling more than a full yen in the wake of
downbeat U.S. jobs data that curtailed expectations of future U.S.
interest rate hikes.
At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 110.52-54 yen compared with
110.35-45 yen in New York and 111.56-58 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Friday. It moved between 110.31 yen and 110.73 yen during the day,
changing hands most frequently at 110.56 yen.
----------
Trash-picking event held to promote eco-friendly 2020 Olympics

TOKYO - Olympic race walk bronze medalist Hirooki Arai led the
way around the main competition area for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and
Paralympics on Monday in a trash-picking event aimed at increasing
environmental awareness in the buildup to the games.
Athletes, representatives from business partners for the games
and those from the Brazilian Embassy in Tokyo were among the roughly
100 people who took part in the competition-style event, which
coincided with World Environment Day.
----------
Japan's key bond yield falls on weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond ended lower Monday as investors bought the safe-haven debt after
U.S. nonfarm payrolls for May fell short of market expectations.
The yield on the No. 347, 0.1 percent issue, the main barometer
of long-term interest rates, ended interdealer trading at 0.045
percent, down 0.005 percentage point from Friday's close.
----------
1st Japan-assembled F-35 fighter unveiled

NAGOYA - Japan's first domestically assembled F-35 fighter was
unveiled Monday ahead of the delivery by March of two of the aircraft
to the Defense Ministry, which plans to deploy them at Misawa Air
Base in northeastern Japan.
The fighter jet, unveiled at the Komakiminami factory of
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. in Aichi Prefecture, features high
stealth capabilities and mobility, and is expected to collaborate in
surveillance activities with F-35 aircraft operated by U.S. forces.
----------
Osaka teen nabbed for creating ransomware, 1st such arrest in Japan

YOKOHAMA - A 14-year-old boy in Osaka Prefecture was charged
Monday with creating ransomware, the first such arrest in Japan,
police said.
The third-year junior high school student is suspected of
combining free encryption software to create ransomware, a type of
malware that encrypts computer files and makes them inaccessible
until the user pays a ransom, the sources said.
----------
Tokyo stocks end lower as strong yen weighs on exporters

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks ended slightly lower Monday as exporter
issues were weighed down by the yen's firmness against the U.S.
dollar, but losses were limited as the strong performance of U.S.
shares late last week provided support.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 6.46 points, or
0.03 percent, from Friday at 20,170.82. The broader Topix index of
all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 2.23
points, or 0.14 percent, lower at 1,609.97.

Kyodo news summary -3-

TOKYO, June 5 Kyodo

----------
Tokyo stocks end lower as strong yen weighs on exporters

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks ended slightly lower Monday as exporter
issues were weighed down by the yen's firmness against the U.S.
dollar, but losses were limited as the strong performance of U.S.
shares late last week provided support.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 6.46 points, or
0.03 percent, from Friday at 20,170.82. The broader Topix index of
all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 2.23
points, or 0.14 percent, lower at 1,609.97.Drone used to capture
images of Osaka Castle turret for repair+
OSAKA - An architectural office captured images of the rooftop
and walls of a turret at Osaka Castle on Monday using a drone, with
the aim of offering renovation services for cultural assets.
The flying of drones in areas near the castle and other parks in
the western Japan city of Osaka is prohibited, but the Osaka Chamber
of Commerce and Industry helped the office gain special permission
from the city as part of its initiative to promote new businesses.
----------
Cambodia's Hun Sen says local election result a good sign for 2018

PHNOM PENH - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday the
results of the just-ended local elections have boosted the chances of
his ruling Cambodian People's Party in winning the national elections
next year.
The local communal elections held Sunday were seen as a
bellwether test of party support and whether Hun Sen can stay in
power.
----------
4 Arab nations to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar

CAIRO - Four Arab nations said Monday they will cut their
diplomatic ties with Qatar amid heightened tensions over the
gas-rich, Gulf country's support for Islamists.
The move by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab
Emirates comes at a time when a rift among Arab nations is growing
due to factors such as Qatar's support for Egypt's Muslim
Brotherhood, an Islamist group, and reported criticism of the Saudi
royal family.
----------
4 Chinese ships enter Japanese waters near Senkakus

NAHA, Japan - Four China Coast Guard ships entered Japanese
waters around the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea on Monday
morning, the Japan Coast Guard said.
The vessels, including one equipped with what appeared to be
guns, entered into the waters around the Japanese-controlled islets
at around 10:30 a.m., and left the area two hours later.
----------
Green push drives Panasonic's energy storage business in India

NEW DELHI - Cashing in on the demand from India's telecom sector
investing in green-energy solutions, Panasonic Corp.'s local unit has
generated over $100 million in sales in the last three years
supplying lithium-ion battery-based solutions to telecom firms.
In fact, the telecom sector has become the major growth driver
for Panasonic's energy storage solution launched in 2013 in the South
Asian country, top company officials say.
----------
U.S., Australia hold 1st "two-plus-two" security talks under Trump

SYDNEY - The United States and Australia on Monday in Sydney
held their first security talks involving their defense and top
diplomatic representatives under the administration of U.S. President
Donald Trump.
In the so-called two-plus-two talks, U.S. Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met their Australian
counterparts, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister
Marise Payne, to discuss a range of issues including counterterrorism
measures in the wake of Saturday's terrorist attacks in central
London.
----------
U.S. vows engagement in green issues even after Paris accord exit

TOKYO - U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry vowed Monday that
Washington would stay committed to environmental issues even
following President Donald Trump's announcement of his country's
withdrawal from the Paris climate pact.
Perry made the remarks in a meeting with Japan's Economy, Trade
and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, who said that although it is
"regrettable that the United States has exited from the accord," he
feels "encouraged" by the secretary's words, according to a Japanese
industry ministry official.
----------
Vietnam weighing "best options" after U.S. exit from TPP: PM

TOKYO - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Monday
his country is discussing the "best options" for the Trans-Pacific
Partnership with the remaining signatories following the United
States' withdrawal from the multilateral trade deal.
"We are discussing with other members to assess the best options
on a mutually beneficial basis...when there's no United States in the
TPP," Phuc told a business conference in Tokyo. He is on an official
visit to Japan from Sunday to Thursday.
----------
27-yr-old man reported as ringleader of London attack

LONDON - A 27-year-old man who came to Britain from Pakistan as
a child was the ringleader of the terror attacks in central London at
the weekend, British media reported Monday.
The Daily Mirror reported online the man, one of three
assailants who were shot dead after mowing down pedestrians with a
van on London Bridge and going on a stabbing rampage at a nearby
market on Saturday, has been identified by the police only as Abz.
----------
Buddha carving partially destroyed by militants restored in Pakistan

MINGORA, Pakistan - A Buddha carved on a rock in the Swat
district of Pakistan's northwest has been restored after militants
attempted to destroy it in 2007, spurring hopes that tourists will
come back to see a sculpture that has watched over the scenic valley
for over 1,000 years.
Once disfigured by drilling and a blast, the face of the
6-meter-tall sculpture in Jahanabad, known as the "Jahanabad Buddha,"
has now been patched up, the result of repair work that began in 2012
and continued until last fall as part of a project financed through a
Pakistani-Italian debt swap agreement.
----------
Japan, U.S. ministers meet over energy cooperation

TOKYO - Japan's industry minister Hiroshige Seko and U.S. Energy
Secretary Rick Perry met Monday to discuss bilateral cooperation on
developing energy including nuclear power, liquefied natural gas and
renewables.
Their meeting in Tokyo comes after U.S. President Donald Trump
shocked the world, including Japan, with his announcement Thursday of
his country's withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Tokyo
has said it will call on Washington to stay in the deal.

Kyodo news summary -2-

TOKYO, June 5 Kyodo

----------
Tokyo stocks mixed in morning on higher U.S. shares, strong yen

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks were mixed Monday morning as selling in
exporter issues triggered by the stronger yen was offset by buying on
the strong performance of U.S. shares late last week.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 28.37 points, or 0.14
percent, from Friday to 20,205.65. The broader Topix index of all
First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 1.95
points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,610.25.
----------
U.S., Australia hold 1st "two-plus-two" security talks under Trump

SYDNEY - The United States and Australia on Monday in Sydney
held their first security talks involving their defense and top
diplomatic representatives under the administration of U.S. President
Donald Trump.
In the so-called two-plus-two talks, U.S. Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met their Australian
counterparts, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister
Marise Payne, to discuss a range of issues including counterterrorism
measures in the wake of Saturday's terrorist attacks in central
London.
----------
Dollar hovers in mid-110 yen, capped by weak U.S. jobs data

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar hovered in the mid-110 yen range Monday
morning in Tokyo, with its upside capped by worse-than-expected U.S.
jobs data released late last week.
At noon, the dollar fetched 110.55-56 yen compared with
110.35-45 yen in New York and 111.56-58 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.
----------
U.S. vows engagement in green issues even after Paris accord exit

TOKYO - U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry vowed Monday that
Washington would stay committed to environmental issues even
following President Donald Trump's announcement of his country's
withdrawal from the Paris climate pact.
Perry made the remarks in a meeting with Japan's Economy, Trade
and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, who said that although it is
"regrettable that the United States has exited from the accord," he
feels "encouraged" by the secretary's words, according to a Japanese
industry ministry official.
----------
Japan's key bond yield falls in morning following U.S. jobs data

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond fell Monday morning as investors bought the safe-haven debt
following weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data for May.
The yield on the No. 347, 0.1 percent issue, the main barometer
of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at
0.045 percent, down 0.005 percentage point from Friday's close.
----------
Vietnam weighing "best options" after U.S. exit from TPP: PM

TOKYO - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Monday
his country is discussing the "best options" for the Trans-Pacific
Partnership with the remaining signatories following the United
States' withdrawal from the multilateral trade deal.
"We are discussing with other members to assess the best options
on a mutually beneficial basis...when there's no United States in the
TPP," Phuc told a business conference in Tokyo. He is on an official
visit to Japan from Sunday to Thursday.
----------
27-yr-old man reported as ringleader of London attack

LONDON - A 27-year-old man who came to Britain from Pakistan as
a child was the ringleader of the terror attacks in central London at
the weekend, British media reported Monday.
The Daily Mirror reported online the man, one of three
assailants who were shot dead after mowing down pedestrians with a
van on London Bridge and going on a stabbing rampage at a nearby
market on Saturday, has been identified by the police only as Abz.
----------
Buddha carving partially destroyed by militants restored in Pakistan

MINGORA, Pakistan - A Buddha carved on a rock in the Swat
district of Pakistan's northwest has been restored after militants
attempted to destroy it in 2007, spurring hopes that tourists will
come back to see a sculpture that has watched over the scenic valley
for over 1,000 years.
Once disfigured by drilling and a blast, the face of the
6-meter-tall sculpture in Jahanabad, known as the "Jahanabad Buddha,"
has now been patched up, the result of repair work that began in 2012
and continued until last fall as part of a project financed through a
Pakistani-Italian debt swap agreement.
----------
Japan, U.S. ministers meet over energy cooperation

TOKYO - Japan's industry minister Hiroshige Seko and U.S. Energy
Secretary Rick Perry met Monday to discuss bilateral cooperation on
developing energy including nuclear power, liquefied natural gas and
renewables.
Their meeting in Tokyo comes after U.S. President Donald Trump
shocked the world, including Japan, with his announcement Thursday of
his country's withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Tokyo
has said it will call on Washington to stay in the deal.
----------
World Bank lifts Japan growth to 1.5% on exports, Olympics spending

WASHINGTON - The World Bank on Sunday raised its forecast for
Japan's economic growth this year to 1.5 percent, up 0.6 percentage
point from its estimate in January due to rising exports and a pickup
in capital spending in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"Growth has picked up in 2017, supported by a recovery in
external demand. Exports have strengthened," the bank said of the
significant upgrade in Japan's outlook in its semiannual Global
Economic Prospects report. "The pickup in capital spending has been
supported by elevated corporate profits as well as preparations for
the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."
----------
Local communal election ends in Cambodia, CPP claims victory

PHNOM PENH - Local communal elections were held Sunday
throughout Cambodia, with millions of voters casting ballots in
elections seen as a bellwether test of party support ahead of next
year's national elections.
After voting ended at 22,148 polling stations across the nation
that were opened from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the ruling Cambodian People's
Party led by Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed that it had won 1,163 of
the 1,646 commune council head chief posts.
----------
H.K. commemorates the 1989 Tiananmen massacre in China

HONG KONG - Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong attended a
candlelight vigil Sunday commemorating those killed 28 years ago in
the bloody military crackdown of a student-led pro-democracy protest
in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Despite growing anti-China sentiment in Hong Kong, especially
among young people, attendance at the annual event has been falling
in recent years from a record 180,000 in 2014, as estimated by the
organizer, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic
Movements of China.


Kyodo news summary -1-

TOKYO, June 5 Kyodo

----------
Tokyo stocks open lower as strong yen weighs on exporters

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks opened slightly lower Monday as
export-related issues were weighed down by the yen's advance against
the U.S. dollar following weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data for May.
In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock
Average fell 24.42 points, or 0.12 percent, from Friday to 20,152.86.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo
Stock Exchange was down 5.66 points, or 0.35 percent, to 1,606.54.
----------
Dollar trades in mid-110 yen range in early Tokyo deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded in the mid-110 yen range early
Monday in Tokyo, slightly up from its levels in New York late last
week.
At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 110.52-53 yen compared with
110.35-45 yen in New York and 111.56-58 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.
----------
Japan, U.S. ministers meet over energy cooperation

TOKYO - Japan's industry minister Hiroshige Seko and U.S. Energy
Secretary Rick Perry met Monday to discuss bilateral cooperation on
developing energy including nuclear power, liquefied natural gas and
renewables.
Their meeting in Tokyo comes after U.S. President Donald Trump
shocked the world, including Japan, with his announcement Thursday of
his country's withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Tokyo
has said it will call on Washington to stay in the deal.
----------
World Bank lifts Japan growth to 1.5% on exports, Olympics spending

WASHINGTON - The World Bank on Sunday raised its forecast for
Japan's economic growth this year to 1.5 percent, up 0.6 percentage
point from its estimate in January due to rising exports and a pickup
in capital spending in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"Growth has picked up in 2017, supported by a recovery in
external demand. Exports have strengthened," the bank said of the
significant upgrade in Japan's outlook in its semiannual Global
Economic Prospects report. "The pickup in capital spending has been
supported by elevated corporate profits as well as preparations for
the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."
----------
Local communal election ends in Cambodia, CPP claims victory

PHNOM PENH - Local communal elections were held Sunday
throughout Cambodia, with millions of voters casting ballots in
elections seen as a bellwether test of party support ahead of next
year's national elections.
After voting ended at 22,148 polling stations across the nation
that were opened from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the ruling Cambodian People's
Party led by Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed that it had won 1,163 of
the 1,646 commune council head chief posts.
----------
H.K. commemorates the 1989 Tiananmen massacre in China

HONG KONG - Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong attended a
candlelight vigil Sunday commemorating those killed 28 years ago in
the bloody military crackdown of a student-led pro-democracy protest
in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Despite growing anti-China sentiment in Hong Kong, especially
among young people, attendance at the annual event has been falling
in recent years from a record 180,000 in 2014, as estimated by the
organizer, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic
Movements of China.
----------
7 dead, 48 injured in terrorist attacks in central London

LONDON - Seven people were killed and at least 48 injured in
terrorist attacks in central London on Saturday, British authorities
said, prompting Prime Minister Theresa May to vow a tough response to
Islamist extremism.
A van was driven at pedestrians on London Bridge shortly after
10 p.m. Saturday, before three assailants emerged from the vehicle
and went on a stabbing rampage at nearby Borough Market. Police shot
and killed all three assailants, they said.
----------
N. Korea denounces new U.N. sanctions imposed over missile launch

BEIJING - North Korea on Sunday denounced the new sanctions
imposed two days earlier by the U.N. Security Council after Pyongyang
conducted a ninth ballistic missile test this year in defiance of
earlier U.N. resolutions.
On Friday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved adding
14 North Korean individuals and four North Korean companies or
organizations to its blacklist over the country's weapons program.
----------
U.S. defense chief reassures ASEAN of U.S. commitment to region

SINGAPORE - In his talks with defense ministers from the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim
Mattis on Sunday sought to reassure those 10 nations of Washington's
commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
The meeting, held on the sidelines of the Asia Security Summit
in Singapore, came amid uncertainty over Washington's stance toward
the region under President Donald Trump, who has declared -- and
already demonstrated in less than five months in office -- a
commitment to reviewing the most basic aspects of U.S. foreign policy.
----------
Taiwan urges China to embrace democracy, offers to show how

TAIPEI - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen urged Beijing to embrace
democracy on Sunday, the 28th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on
pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Writing on her Facebook page, Tsai called on the Chinese
government to reexamine, with an open mind, the Tiananmen Square
massacre. She also wrote only a democratic country can gain the
respect of the international community.
----------
2 Japanese MSDF ships arrive in Philippines on 4-day visit

SUBIC BAY, Philippines - A helicopter carrier and a
guided-missile destroyer of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force
arrived Sunday on a four-day visit to the Philippines aimed at
deepening relations between the two countries.
The 25,000-ton helicopter carrier Izumo and the 6,500-ton
guided-missile destroyer Sazanami docked mid-morning at the Subic Bay
Freeport Zone in Olongapo city, 125 kilometers northwest of Metro
Manila.
----------
Police identify gunman in Manila casino attack that left 37 dead

MANILA - The Philippine police Sunday identified the lone gunman
in the June 2 attack on a casino complex in the capital Manila that
left 37 people dead and 78 injured.
Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said the attacker was
Jessie Carlos, 42, a Filipino father of three and former government
employee whose life was unraveling under huge debts from gambling.