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Kyodo news summary -5-

TOKYO, July 18 Kyodo

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Reporters Without Borders says China "murdered" Liu Xiaobo

Taipei - Reporters Without Borders, which advocates freedom of
information around the world, on Tuesday accused Chinese authorities
of having "murdered" Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo
by denying him proper medical care during his incarceration.
"We can clearly state that Liu Xiaobo was murdered by the lack
of care," RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire told a press
conference held to formally launch an RSF bureau in Taipei, the
Paris-headquartered media rights watchdog's first in Asia.
----------
Japan conveys "concern" over China gov't ships sailing thru straits

TOKYO - Tokyo has conveyed its "concern" to Beijing over the
recent passage of two Chinese coast guard ships through straits off
two of Japan's main islands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga
said Tuesday.
But Tokyo has decided not to lodge a protest, as the Chinese
vessels did not violate the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, a
Japanese government source said.
----------
U.S. Navy destroyer monitored Chinese carrier in Taiwan Strait: report

TAIPEI - The U.S. Navy sent an Aegis destroyer and a submarine
to monitor China's first aircraft carrier when it passed through the
Taiwan Strait last week, local media reported on Tuesday.
The China Times reported that it was rare for U.S. naval vessels
to enter the Taiwan Strait, a 160-kilometer-wide body of water
separating Taiwan and mainland China.
----------
Ave. price of new condos sold in metro Tokyo in Jan.-June up 3.5%

TOKYO - The average price of new condominiums in the Tokyo
metropolitan area sold over the half-year through June was up 3.5
percent from the same period last year, a real estate consulting firm
said Tuesday.
The average price of new condominiums sold in Tokyo and
neighboring Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures was 58.84 million
yen ($524,000), the third highest amount ever for that six-month
period, the Real Estate Economic Institute said.
----------
Shigeaki Hinohara, Japan's centenarian doctor, dies at 105

TOKYO - Shigeaki Hinohara, honorary head of St. Luke's
International Hospital in Tokyo who continued practicing as a doctor
after turning 100 and was a well-respected cultural figure, died from
respiratory failure on Tuesday, the hospital said. He was 105.
During his more than half-century as a physician at one of
Tokyo's leading hospitals, Hinohara pioneered comprehensive medical
checkups, which have today become standard for many middle-aged
Japanese, and advocated preventive medicine.
----------
Japan, Mexico agree to work together to bring 11-party TPP into force

TOKYO - The Japanese and Mexican ministers handling the
Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement affirmed Tuesday in Tokyo
that they will work closely to bring the pact into force between its
11 remaining signatories following the withdrawal of the United
States.
"We want to take the discussion forward with a sense of speed,"
Japanese Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Nobuteru Ishihara said
at his meeting with Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo,
eyeing the TPP leaders' attendance at an Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation forum summit in Vietnam in November.
----------
Heavy rain lashes Fukushima, Niigata, hail seen in Tokyo

TOKYO - Heavy rain lashed northeastern Japan's Fukushima and
Niigata prefectures on Tuesday, prompting evacuation orders in
affected areas amid fears of river flooding, while part of Tokyo
observed hail in the afternoon, disrupting traffic.
Strong hail smashed sections of the platform's roof at JR
Komagome Station on the Yamanote loop line in the capital, but no one
was hurt, East Japan Railway Co. said.
----------
Opposition chief shows family register, says dual nationality cleared

TOKYO - Main opposition Democratic Party President Renho
disclosed on Tuesday part of her family register to show she no
longer possesses Taiwanese nationality that she acquired at birth,
aiming to end controversy within and outside her party about dual
nationality.
Renho, who was born in Japan to a Taiwanese father and a
Japanese mother and naturalized as a Japanese citizen at the age of
17 in 1985, came under criticism during her party's leadership
election campaign last year as the possibility of her retaining
Taiwanese nationality emerged.
----------
Japan still far from envisioned FY 2020 primary budget surplus

TOKYO - The Japanese government's stated goal of achieving a
primary balance surplus by fiscal 2020 remains elusive, though the
deficit that year is now forecast to be slightly less, according to
Cabinet Office projections released Tuesday.
The office expects a primary balance deficit of around 8.2
trillion yen ($72 billion) in fiscal 2020, down slightly from the 8.3
trillion yen projected in January.
----------
Female researchers increase in Japan, still low by int'l standard

TOKYO - The number of female researchers at private companies
and other institutions in Japan reached the highest level ever last
year, government data showed, although it remained low by
international standard.
As of March 2016, the number stood at 138,420, up 2,214 from a
year earlier and accounting for 15.3 percent of the total, according
to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.
----------
Reporters Without Borders accuses China of murdering Liu Xiaobo

TAIPEI - Reporters Without Borders, which advocates freedom of
information around the world, on Tuesday accused Chinese authorities
of having "murdered" Nobel Peace Prize-winning Chinese dissident Liu
Xiaobo by denying him proper medical care during his incarceration.
"We can clearly state that Liu Xiaobo was murdered by the lack
of care," RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire told a press
conference in Taipei, held to formally launch an RSF bureau in
Taipei, the Paris-based watchdog's first in Asia.
----------
School teacher tells pupil to jump out of window

SAITAMA, Japan - A public elementary school teacher in eastern
Japan told a fourth grader to jump out of a third-floor classroom
window last week, prompting the boy to stay away from school, a local
education committee said Tuesday.
"Jump out the window," and, "Do not come here from tomorrow,"
the homeroom teacher in his 40s told the boy Wednesday at Yamaguchi
Elementary School in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, the committee
said. The teacher also told the other children in the homeroom class,
"Let's have fun with 33 members from tomorrow," it added.

Kyodo news summary -4-

TOKYO, July 18 Kyodo

----------
Opposition chief shows family register, says dual nationality cleared

TOKYO - Main opposition Democratic Party President Renho
disclosed on Tuesday part of her family register to show she no
longer possesses Taiwanese nationality that she acquired at birth,
aiming to end controversy within and outside her party about dual
nationality.
Renho, who was born in Japan to a Taiwanese father and a
Japanese mother and naturalized as a Japanese citizen at the age of
17 in 1985, came under criticism during her party's leadership
election campaign last year as the possibility of her retaining
Taiwanese nationality emerged.
----------
School teacher tells pupil to jump out of window

SAITAMA, Japan - A public elementary school teacher in eastern
Japan told a fourth grader to jump out of a third-floor classroom
window last week, prompting the boy to stay away from school, a local
education committee said Tuesday.
"Jump out the window," and, "Do not come here from tomorrow,"
the homeroom teacher in his 40s told the boy Wednesday at Yamaguchi
Elementary School in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, the committee
said. The teacher also told the other children in the homeroom class,
"Let's have fun with 33 members from tomorrow," it added.
----------
Japan, U.S. eye 2nd round of high-level economic talks in Oct.

TOKYO - Japan and the United States have begun arrangements to
hold their high-level economic dialogue in October in Washington,
with an eye to U.S. President Donald Trump's first visit to Tokyo
this autumn, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.
At the second round of the bilateral dialogue between Japanese
Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence,
Washington may urge Tokyo to take necessary measures to reduce the
U.S. trade deficit with Japan, the source said.
----------
Dollar falls to lower 112 yen zone on U.S. rate hike uncertainty

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar fell to the lower 112 yen zone Tuesday
in Tokyo due to uncertainty over the timing of the Federal Reserve's
next interest rate hike and concerns that President Donald Trump will
be unable to implement his healthcare reform.
At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 112.23-24 yen compared with
112.58-68 yen in New York at 5 p.m. Monday. It moved between 111.99
yen and 112.65 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at
112.20 yen.
----------
Japan still far from envisioned FY 2020 primary budget surplus

TOKYO - The Japanese government's stated goal of achieving a
primary balance surplus by fiscal 2020 remains elusive, even though a
smaller deficit is now forecast, according to Cabinet Office
projections released Tuesday.
The office expects a deficit of around 8.2 trillion yen ($72
billion) in the primary balance in fiscal 2020, slightly down from
the 8.3 trillion yen projected in January.
----------
Nikkei ends below 20,000 on yen's appreciation

TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index ended below the 20,000 mark
Tuesday as investor sentiment was dented by the yen's appreciation
against the U.S. dollar.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 118.95 points, or
0.59 percent, from Friday at 19,999.91, the lowest close since July
7. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo
Stock Exchange finished 5.00 points, or 0.31 percent, lower at
1,620.48. The market was closed Monday for a national holiday.
----------
Duterte seeks to extend martial law in southern Philippines to Dec. 31

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has requested Congress extend
martial law in the southern Philippines until Dec. 31, as fighting
continues there between government troops and Islamic State-linked
militants, his spokesman said Tuesday.
In a press conference, Ernesto Abella read excerpts of Duterte's
letter to Congress written the night before, saying that the
rebellion cannot be "quelled completely" by July 22, when the 60-day
period of martial law ends.
----------
Shigeaki Hinohara, Japan's centenarian doctor, dies at 105

TOKYO - Shigeaki Hinohara, honorary head of St. Luke's
International Hospital in Tokyo who continued practicing as a doctor
after turning 100 and was a well-respected cultural figure, died from
respiratory failure on Tuesday, the hospital said. He was 105.
During his more than half-century as a physician at one of
Tokyo's leading hospitals, Hinohara pioneered comprehensive medical
checkups, which have today become standard for many middle-aged
Japanese, and advocated preventive medicine.
----------
Australia centralizes national security bodies in antiterrorism fight

SYDNEY - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday that
Australia's key national security bodies will be centralized under a
new portfolio aimed at better coordination in countering the growing
threat of terrorism.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton
will oversee the newly announced Home Affairs portfolio, focused
chiefly on national security and modeled after Britain's Home Office,
Turnbull said at a press conference in Canberra.
----------
Driverless EV developed in France completes 1st test run in Japan

TOKYO - A self-driving electric vehicle developed by a French
company completed its first demonstration test in Japan on Tuesday at
a park in Tokyo, amid efforts to realize fully automated public
transportation services.
The Navya Arma vehicle developed by Navya SAS is designed to
navigate fixed routes for shuttle bus services while avoiding
obstacles. It can carry up to 15 passengers and has a maximum speed
of 45 kilometers per hour.
----------
Electronic device checks launched by Japanese airlines

TOKYO - Major Japanese airlines on Tuesday began implementing
tighter airport security measures on U.S.-bound passengers, checking
for explosives planted in personal computers and other electronic
devices.
Passengers are randomly selected before they board aircraft for
the new screening procedures launched in response to a U.S. request
and covering carry-on electronic devices bigger than smartphones,
including PCs, tablet computers, e-book readers and cameras, some
airport officials said.
----------
Japan vessels leave for minke whale hunt off northeastern coast

AOMORI, Japan - Japanese vessels left a port in northern Japan
on Tuesday to conduct what the government calls research whaling off
the country's northeastern coast, a whaling group and the Fisheries
Agency said.
The vessels plan to catch around 30 minke whales in the
northwestern Pacific, between 50 to 90 kilometers off the Sanriku
coast, until mid-August so they can analyse their stomach contents
and use the gathered data to manage marine resources, according to
the agency and the Association for Community-Based Whaling.

Kyodo news summary -3-

TOKYO, July 18 Kyodo

----------
Nikkei ends below 20,000 on yen's appreciation

TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index ended below the 20,000 mark on
Tuesday as investor sentiment was dented by the yen's appreciation
against the U.S. dollar.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 118.95 points, or
0.59 percent, from Friday at 19,999.91, the lowest close since July
7. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo
Stock Exchange finished 5.00 points, or 0.31 percent, lower at
1,620.48. The market was closed Monday for a national holiday.
----------
Australia centralizes national security bodies in antiterrorism fight

SYDNEY - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday that
Australia's key national security bodies will be centralized under a
new portfolio aimed at better coordination in countering the growing
threat of terrorism.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton
will oversee the newly announced Home Affairs portfolio, focused
chiefly on national security and modeled after Britain's Home Office,
Turnbull said at a press conference in Canberra.
----------
Driverless EV developed in France completes 1st test run in Japan

TOKYO - A self-driving electric vehicle developed by a French
company completed its first demonstration test in Japan on Tuesday at
a park in Tokyo, amid efforts to realize fully automated public
transportation services.
The Navya Arma vehicle developed by Navya SAS is designed to
navigate fixed routes for shuttle bus services while avoiding
obstacles. It can carry up to 15 passengers and has a maximum speed
of 45 kilometers per hour.
----------
Electronic device checks launched by Japanese airlines

TOKYO - Major Japanese airlines on Tuesday began implementing
tighter airport security measures on U.S.-bound passengers, checking
for explosives planted in personal computers and other electronic
devices.
Passengers are randomly selected before they board aircraft for
the new screening procedures launched in response to a U.S. request
and covering carry-on electronic devices bigger than smartphones,
including PCs, tablet computers, e-book readers and cameras, some
airport officials said.
----------
Japan vessels leave for minke whale hunt off northeastern coast

AOMORI, Japan - Japanese vessels left a port in northern Japan
on Tuesday to conduct what the government calls research whaling off
the country's northeastern coast, a whaling group and the Fisheries
Agency said.
The vessels plan to catch around 30 minke whales in the
northwestern Pacific, between 50 to 90 kilometers off the Sanriku
coast, until mid-August so they can analyse their stomach contents
and use the gathered data to manage marine resources, according to
the agency and the Association for Community-Based Whaling.
----------
Court OKs Idemitsu share offering in step forward for merger plan

TOKYO - A Tokyo court on Tuesday approved Idemitsu Kosan Co.'s
plan to issue new shares for a public offering, a decision that could
move forward the oil distributor's stalled plan to merge with Showa
Shell Sekiyu K.K.
Idemitsu's founding family had asked for an injunction against
the share offering on the grounds that it is meant to dilute the
family's stake in the company.
----------
Duterte seeks to extend martial law in south Philippines to Dec. 31

MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has requested
Congress to extend martial law in the country's south until Dec. 31,
his spokesman said Tuesday, amid continued fighting between
government troops and Islamic State-linked militants.
In a press conference, Ernesto Abella read Duterte's letter to
Congress saying the rebellion cannot be quelled by the time the
current period of martial law ends.
----------
Hitachi to boost cash-recycling ATM production in India

NEW DELHI - An Indian local arm of the Hitachi Ltd. group plans
to ramp up production of cash-recycling automated teller machines to
meet growing demand from banks which are considering replacing their
traditional machines to optimize operational costs.
Hitachi Terminal Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., which last October
started producing cash-recycling ATMs, has seized the largest share
in the Indian cash-recycling ATM market and plans to increase the
production in a phased manner, officials say.
----------
Dinosaur fossil teeth unearthed in southwestern Japan

FUKUI, Japan - Fossil teeth of a plant-eating dinosaur have been
discovered in southwestern Japan, offering fresh clues about the
reptile and the ecological system some 81 million years ago, a local
museum said Tuesday.
Thirty-five fossil teeth have been unearthed from a geological
layer of the late Cretaceous period on the west bank of Nagasaki
Peninsula, according to the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and the
city of Nagasaki.
----------
Japan says inter-Korean talks can coexist with pressure on North

TOKYO - The Japanese government said Tuesday South Korea's
proposal to hold inter-Korean military talks does not contradict the
policy of putting more pressure on North Korea that was confirmed by
the leaders of Tokyo, Washington and Seoul earlier this month.
"We understand that South Korea's proposals are aimed at
reuniting divided families and halting hostile acts on the Military
Demarcation Line," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a
press conference, referring to the line that bisects the two Koreas.
----------
Pub owner nabbed for allegedly hurting patron with "flamethrower"

SAPPORO - A pub owner in Sapporo was arrested Monday for
allegedly inflicting burns on a male patron, using a hairspray as a
flamethrower, police said.
"I did it to wake up a sleeping patron and get him to leave the
bar. I played a trick on him because it would not be fun to wake him
up in a normal way," the suspect Kazuaki Yamazaki was quoted by the
police as telling investigators.
----------
Japan seeks early adoption of new U.N. resolution against N. Korea

NEW YORK - Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday
called for an early adoption of a fresh U.N. resolution imposing
stricter sanctions on North Korea, his ministry said.
In his 40-minute talks with U.N. Secretary General Antonio
Guterres in New York, Kishida was quoted by the Japanese Foreign
Ministry as telling Guterres that the threat from Pyongyang "has
entered a new stage" as the North continues to test-fire advanced
ballistic missiles.

Kyodo news summary -2-

TOKYO, July 18 Kyodo

----------
Japan says inter-Korean talks can coexist with pressure on North

TOKYO - The Japanese government said Tuesday South Korea's
proposal to hold inter-Korean military talks does not contradict the
policy of putting more pressure on North Korea that was confirmed by
the leaders of Tokyo, Washington and Seoul earlier this month.
"We understand that South Korea's proposals are aimed at
reuniting divided families and halting hostile acts on the Military
Demarcation Line," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a
press conference, referring to the line that bisects the two Koreas.
----------
Pub owner nabbed for allegedly hurting patron with "flamethrower"

SAPPORO - A pub owner in Sapporo was arrested Monday for
allegedly inflicting burns on a male patron, using a hairspray as a
flamethrower, police said.
"I did it to wake up a sleeping patron and get him to leave the
bar. I played a trick on him because it would not be fun to wake him
up in a normal way," the suspect Kazuaki Yamazaki was quoted by the
police as telling investigators.
----------
Dollar falls to lower 112 yen zone, weighed on by soft U.S. inflation

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar fell to the lower 112 yen zone Tuesday
morning in Tokyo, as market expectations of early monetary tightening
by the Federal Reserve receded following recent disappointing U.S.
inflation data.
At noon, the dollar fetched 112.14-15 yen compared with
112.58-68 yen in New York at 5 p.m. Monday. Japanese financial
markets were closed Monday for a national holiday.
----------
Japan seeks early adoption of new U.N. resolution against N. Korea

NEW YORK - Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday
called for an early adoption of a fresh U.N. resolution imposing
stricter sanctions on North Korea, his ministry said.
In his 40-minute talks with U.N. Secretary General Antonio
Guterres in New York, Kishida was quoted by the Japanese Foreign
Ministry as telling Guterres that the threat from Pyongyang "has
entered a new stage" as the North continues to test-fire advanced
ballistic missiles.
----------
Dinosaur fossil teeth unearthed in southwestern Japan

FUKUI, Japan - Fossil teeth of a plant-eating dinosaur have been
discovered in southwestern Japan, offering fresh clues about the
animal and the ecological system some 81 million years ago, a local
museum said Tuesday.
Thirty-five fossil teeth have been unearthed from a geological
layer of the late Cretaceous period on the west bank of Nagasaki
Peninsula, according to the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and the
city of Nagasaki.
----------
Japan's key bond yield falls in morning on lower Tokyo stocks

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond fell Tuesday morning as investors bought the safe-haven asset
after the Nikkei stock index briefly slipped below the 20,000 mark.
The yield on the No. 347, 0.1 percent issue, the main barometer
of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at
0.070 percent, down 0.005 percentage point from Friday's close. The
market was closed Monday for a national holiday.
----------
Nikkei drops below 20,000 for 1st time in week on stronger yen

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks sank Tuesday morning, with the Nikkei index
dropping below the 20,000 mark for the first time in a little over a
week, as investor sentiment was dented by the yen's advance against
the U.S. dollar.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 127.00 points, or 0.63
percent, from Friday to 19,991.86. The broader Topix index of all
First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 9.14
points, or 0.56 percent, to 1,616.34. The market was closed Monday
for a national holiday.
----------
Heavy rain lashes Fukushima, Niigata, residents ordered to evacuate

TOKYO - Heavy rain lashed northeastern Japan's Fukushima and
Niigata prefectures on Tuesday, prompting evacuation orders in
affected areas amid fears of river flooding.
The town of Tadami in western Fukushima ordered over 4,300
residents to evacuate, warning against river flooding and landslides.
A local train service has been partially suspended, according to East
Japan Railway Co.
----------
U.S. aims to cut trade deficits via NAFTA renegotiation: USTR

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump's administration aims to
shrink U.S. goods trade deficits with Mexico and Canada through a
planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement,
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Monday.
"In addition to President Trump being the first American
president to begin renegotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement
like NAFTA, for the first time USTR has included deficit reduction as
a specific objective for the NAFTA negotiations," the Office of the
USTR said as Lighthizer released a summary of the negotiating
objectives for renegotiation of the three-nation pact.
----------
Shigeaki Hinohara, Japan's centenarian doctor, dies at 105

TOKYO - Shigeaki Hinohara, honorary head of St. Luke's
International Hospital in Tokyo who continued practicing as a doctor
after turning 100 and was a well-respected cultural figure, died from
respiration failure on Tuesday, the hospital said. He was 105.
During his more than half-century as a physician at one of
Tokyo's leading hospitals, Hinohara pioneered comprehensive medical
checkups, which have today become standard for many middle-aged
Japanese, and advocated preventive medicine.
----------
PPAP star Piko Taro performs at U.N. to promote development goals

NEW YORK - YouTube star Piko Taro performed a version of his
quirky hit song "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen" at the United Nations on
Monday to promote the organization's Sustainable Development Goals
toward eradicating poverty and inequality.
He appeared at a reception hosted by the Japanese delegation and
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of a U.N. political
forum on SDGs, which Kishida promised Japan would implement
"rigorously" for the sake of "a world that leaves no one behind."
----------
U.S., Malaysia agree to set up working groups on trade

WASHINGTON - The United States and Malaysia have agreed to set
up working groups as part of efforts to reduce the U.S. trade deficit
with the Southeast Asian nation, the Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative said Monday.
During a meeting the same day in Kuala Lumpur held under the two
countries' trade and investment framework agreement, officials
explored ways to promote "free, fair and balanced trade" between
them, the USTR said in a statement.

Kyodo news summary -1-

TOKYO, July 18 Kyodo

----------
PPAP star Piko Taro performs at U.N. to promote development goals

NEW YORK - YouTube star Piko Taro performed a version of his
quirky hit song "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen" at the United Nations on
Monday to promote the organization's Sustainable Development Goals
toward eradicating poverty and inequality.
He appeared at a reception hosted by the Japanese delegation and
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of a U.N. political
forum on SDGs, which Kishida promised Japan would implement
"rigorously" for the sake of "a world that leaves no one behind."
----------
U.S., Malaysia agree to set up working groups on trade

WASHINGTON - The United States and Malaysia have agreed to set
up working groups as part of efforts to reduce the U.S. trade deficit
with the Southeast Asian nation, the Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative said Monday.
During a meeting the same day in Kuala Lumpur held under the two
countries' trade and investment framework agreement, officials
explored ways to promote "free, fair and balanced trade" between
them, the USTR said in a statement.
----------
Tokyo stocks open lower on yen's advance

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks opened lower Tuesday as sentiment was hurt
by the Japanese yen's advance against the U.S. dollar.
In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock
Average fell 76.95 points, or 0.38 percent, from Friday to 20,041.91.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo
Stock Exchange was down 6.08 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,619.40.
The market was closed Monday for a national holiday.
----------
Dollar trades in upper 112 yen range in early Tokyo deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded in the upper 112 yen range early
Tuesday in Tokyo, little changed from its overnight levels in New
York.
At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 112.60-61 yen compared with
112.58-68 yen in New York at 5 p.m. Monday. Japanese financial
markets were closed Monday for a national holiday.
----------
Japan to give $1 bil. in assistance to help children: Kishida

NEW YORK - Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced
Monday that Tokyo will contribute $1 billion over two years through
March 2019 to assist children and youth as part of U.N. efforts to
combat poverty and hunger.
"Today, I am pleased to announce that the government of Japan
commits to provide $1 billion of assistance...focusing on children
and youth, particularly in the areas of education, health, disaster
risk reduction and gender equality," he said at a U.N. high-level
political forum being held on sustainable development.
----------
Indonesia names House speaker suspect in megaproject graft case

JAKARTA - Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission on
Monday named the House of Representatives speaker a suspect in a
mega-project of upgrading the country's identity card system.
The commission's Chairman Agus Rahardjo told a press conference
that after getting some facts revealed during the trials of other
suspects at court, the commission "found early evidence that is
enough to declare" House Speaker Setya Novanto as suspect in the case.
----------
India's ruling bloc names Venkiah Naidu as vice president candidate

NEW DELHI - India's ruling National Democratic Alliance, led by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, on Monday
named Venkiah Naidu as its candidate for vice president.
BJP president Amit Shah announced that Naidu, presently a senior
minister in the Modi government, will be the NDA candidate in the
vice-presidential election to be held Aug. 5.
----------
Philippine gov't receives draft of law creating autonomous region

MANILA - The draft of a law to create a semi-autonomous region
in a primarily Muslim area in the southern Philippines was submitted
Monday to the government.
The more than 100-page draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law,
legislation to create a new autonomous region in Mindanao, was
presented to the office of President Rodrigo Duterte during a formal
ceremony in Manila.
----------
Taiwan to conditionally lift 16-year-old import ban on Japanese beef

TAIPEI - Taiwan has decided in principle to lift a ban since
2001 on beef imported from Japan, action taken following the
discovery there of cattle with mad cow disease, the Food and Drug
Administration said in a statement posted Monday on its website.
The statement also indicated Taiwan will also lift bans imposed
for the same reason on beef imports from Sweden and the Netherlands.
----------
Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai to sell off tabloid magazines

HONG KONG - Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai is selling a number
of magazines -- including the once top-selling Next Magazine -- to a
local businessman, his media group said Monday.
In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, listed company
Next Digital Ltd. said it is negotiating to sell the group's Hong
Kong and Taiwan business interests in Next Magazine, Sudden Weekly,
Face, ME! and Next+One for HK$500 million ($64 million) to a company
owned by Kenny Wee.
----------
4 Pakistan soldiers killed in 2 suicide bombings near Afghan border

ISLAMABAD - Four paramilitary personnel were killed and 10
people injured, including four soldiers, in two separate terrorist
attacks Monday in areas of western Pakistan near the Afghan border.
In one incident, a Pakistan army officer and his aide were
killed in Peshawar when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself
up near their vehicle.
----------
Malaysia hopes opening of 1st MRT line will ease congestion

KUALA LUMPUR - A 51-kilometer commuter rail line connecting the
Malaysia capital to outlying areas began operating Monday, with the
government hoping it will ease Kuala Lumpur's notorious traffic
congestion.
The Mass Rapid Transit system, eventually comprising three
lines, is Malaysia's biggest infrastructure project to date. The
first line - connecting Kuala Lumpur to Sungai Buloh in the northeast
and Kajang in the southwest - took six years to build and cost 21
billion ringgit ($4.89 billion).