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Kyodo news summary -5-

TOKYO, Sept. 8 Kyodo

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Pakistan's anticorruption body files charges against ex-PM Sharif

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's national anticorruption body on Friday
filed criminal charges against ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and
his children in an anticorruption court as directed by the Supreme
Court in its landmark July 28 decision.
Officials of the National Accountability Bureau said the charges
were filed against Sharif, his two sons Hassan and Hussain, daughter
Maryam, and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar for illegal transfers of money
abroad, purchase of real estate abroad and incorporating offshore
companies, as disclosed in the leaked Panama Papers.
----------
Cambodia gov't shuts down 17 radio stations

PHNOM PENH - The Cambodian government has revoked the licenses
of 17 radio stations in recent weeks, an official confirmed Friday,
amid growing concerns over media freedom ahead of next year's general
election.
Phos Sovann, director general for information and broadcasting
at the Information Ministry, told Kyodo News that the media outlets
violated the terms of their licenses, such as by leasing program time
to U.S.-funded broadcasters Radio Free Asia and Voice of America
without requesting the ministry's authorization.
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Former Niigata Gov. Izumida to run as LDP candidate in by-election

NIIGATA, Japan - Former Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida said
Friday he intends to run with Liberal Democratic Party backing in
next month's by-election for the Niigata No. 5 single-member district
in the House of Representatives.
Izumida told senior local LDP members of his intention to run,
according to sources close to the matter. He also posted the
announcement on his blog and Twitter account.
----------
N. Korean diplomat to attend Swiss roundtable with ex-U.S. officials

BEIJING - A senior North Korean diplomat arrived in Beijing on
Friday, with diplomatic sources saying he is en route to Switzerland
to attend a roundtable next week on security issues with former U.S.
officials and others from countries possibly including China, Japan
and South Korea.
Choe Kang Il, deputy director general for North American affairs
at the country's Foreign Ministry, made no comment to reporters at
Beijing's international airport upon his arrival from Pyongyang.
----------
Japan visa application center to open next week in Jakarta

JAKARTA - The Japanese Embassy on Friday unveiled a visa
application center in Jakarta in a bid to draw more Indonesian
tourists.
The Japan Visa Application Center, located at Lotte Shopping
Avenue, an upscale shopping mall in South Jakarta, will open on Sept.
15.
----------
Taiwan's new premier vows to focus on economy, not elections

TAIPEI - Taiwan's new Premier William Lai and his Cabinet were
officially sworn in on Friday in what is widely being seen an effort
to build political momentum ahead of next year's nationwide local
elections, though he denied his administration will be
"election-oriented."
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, Lai, an old guard of
President Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party, insisted that
his primary task is to develop the economy and improve people's
well-being.
----------
Japanese lawmaker Inoki meets N. Korea's top diplomat

PYONGYANG/BEIJING - Japanese wrestler-turned-lawmaker Antonio
Inoki on Friday held talks with North Korea's top official in charge
of foreign affairs, amid soaring tensions between the country and the
rest of the world over its relentless nuclear and missile tests.
Inoki and Ri Su Yong, a vice chairman of the Workers' Party of
Korea who formerly served as foreign minister, shook hands and hugged
when they met in Pyongyang.
----------
Tokyo eyes basically banning indoor smoking at restaurants, hotels

TOKYO - The Tokyo metropolitan government said Friday it plans
to basically ban indoor smoking at restaurants and other buildings
ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, with smokers
expected to be punished if they break the rule.
According to the plan, smoking would be prohibited inside
facilities such as restaurants, hotels, department stores and
airports, although smoking rooms would be allowed to be set up. Small
bars, however, would be deemed an exception under certain conditions.
----------
Pakistan commissions 5th nuclear power plant

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on
Friday inaugurated the country's fifth nuclear power plant.
The Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-4, having a capacity of 340
megawatts, is located at Chashma in the Mianwali district in southern
Pakistan's Punjab province.
----------
6 gangsters arrested over 2011 shooting of construction worker

KITAKYUSHU, Japan - Six members of Kudo-kai, a major Japanese
crime syndicate, have been arrested over the shooting of a
construction company employee in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, in
2011, police said Friday.
The victim in his 50s was working for Shimizu Corp., which had
refused to pay money to the group. According to the police, the group
of suspects led by Futoshi Urita, 54, a senior member of the
syndicate, fired a handgun at the victim shortly after 7 p.m. on Feb.
9, 2011, hitting him in the abdomen.
----------
Expelled U.S.-Chinese academic leaves Singapore

SINGAPORE - A Chinese-born U.S. academic whose appeal against
expulsion from Singapore for trying to influence its foreign policy
on behalf of an unidentified foreign government was rejected, has
left the city-state, the Ministry of Home Affairs said Friday.
The ministry confirmed in an emailed statement that Huang Jing
and his wife, Yang Xiuping, have left the country.
----------
M8.1 quake strikes off Mexico coast, at least 6 dead

LOS ANGELES - An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 struck off
the southwestern coast of Mexico late Thursday, the U.S. Geological
Survey said.
At least five people in southern Mexico and one person in
neighboring Guatemala were killed in the quake that struck at 11:49
p.m. local time, local media reported.

Kyodo news summary -4-

TOKYO, Sept. 8 Kyodo

----------
M8.1 quake strikes off Mexico coast, at least 6 dead

LOS ANGELES - An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 struck off
the southwestern coast of Mexico late Thursday, the U.S. Geological
Survey said.
At least five people in southern Mexico and one person in
neighboring Guatemala were killed in the quake that struck at 11:49
p.m. local time, local media reported.
----------
Dollar sinks to 10-month low on hurricane, N. Korea woes

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar sank to a 10-month low in the upper 107
yen zone on Friday in Tokyo amid heightened tensions on the Korean
Peninsula and anxiety over the impact of hurricanes on the U.S.
economy.
At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 107.74-75 yen compared with
108.37-47 yen in New York and 108.99-109.01 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Thursday. It moved between 107.59 yen and 108.48 yen during the day,
changing hands most frequently at 108.36 yen.
----------
Japan's key bond yield falls into negative territory

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond ended lower Friday, falling into negative territory, as
investors bought the safe-haven debt on concerns about North Korean
provocations such as a possible ballistic missile launch over the
weekend.
The yield on the No. 348, 0.1 percent issue, the main barometer
of long-term interest rates, ended interdealer trading at minus 0.010
percent, down 0.020 percentage point from Thursday's close.
----------
Toyo Tire unveils airless tire

OSAKA - Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. unveiled Friday a pilot model of
an airless tire that eliminates the risk of a flat tire and time to
pump air.
The company has not decided on when to put the airless tire
"noair" into practical use but is working to market the prospective
next-generation product at an early date, company officials said.
----------
Apple mulling 50 bil. yen investment in Toshiba chip unit

TOKYO - Apple Inc. is considering joining a Western Digital
Corp. group bidding for Toshiba Corp.'s chip unit and investing
around 50 billion yen ($460 million), sources close to the matter
said Friday.
Western Digital, Toshiba's chip business partner, has approached
Apple as the U.S. data storage company does not plan to invest in
Toshiba Memory Corp. initially to help speed up antitrust reviews,
while demanding an expanded role in the chip plant it jointly
operates with Toshiba in central Japan.
----------
Tokyo stocks drop on yen's appreciation, N. Korea risks

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks dropped Friday as investor sentiment was
affected by the yen's rise against the U.S. dollar and concerns about
tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 121.70 points, or
0.63 percent, from Thursday at 19,274.82, its lowest close since late
April. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 4.70 points, or 0.29 percent, lower at
1,593.54.
----------
Economy watcher index flat in Aug. amid bad weather, N. Korea tension

TOKYO - Business confidence among Japanese workers with jobs
sensitive to economic conditions stayed flat in August as the
negative impact of unstable weather conditions was offset by
improvements in employment, government data showed Friday.
The diffusion index of sentiment regarding current economic
conditions among so-called economy watchers, such as taxi drivers and
restaurant employees, remained unchanged from July at 49.7, the
Cabinet Office said.
----------
Gangsters arrested over 2011 construction worker shooting

KITAKYUSHU, Japan - Several members of Kudo-kai, one of Japan's
major crime syndicates, have been arrested over the shooting of a man
at a construction site in the city of Kitakyushu in 2011,
investigators said Friday.
The victim in his 50's was working for Shimizu Corp., which said
it had refused to pay money to the group. According to police, the
gangsters fired a handgun and the victim received a gunshot wound to
the abdomen in Kokura-kita Ward shortly after 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2011.
----------
Taiwan's new premier sworn in, promises a "pragmatic" Cabinet

TAIPEI - Taiwan's new Premier William Lai and his Cabinet were
officially sworn in on Friday, ushering in a new political era that
he vows will be "down-to-earth and pragmatic."
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony at the Executive Yuan, Lai
said his primary task is to develop the economy and improve people's
wellbeing rather than to build political momentum ahead of the next
election.
----------
U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan leaves base in Japan

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
Ronald Reagan on Friday left its home base in Yokosuka on a long-term
patrol "to ensure safety and security of the Indo-Asia-Pacific
region," the U.S. Navy said.
Its departure comes at a time when Washington and Seoul have
agreed to deploy more nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and strategic
bombers in and around South Korea in the wake of heightened tensions
over North Korea's missile and nuclear development activities.
----------
Gov't approves rule change to vary school summer holidays

TOKYO - The Japanese government approved Friday a change to
guidelines to allow local education boards to set summer holidays at
different times of the year to encourage more family time in the
chronically overworked country.
Under the Kids' Week initiative, which the government aims to
begin in the next fiscal year starting April, the guidelines will
include a provision for "holidays for educational experiences in the
home or local region."
----------
China's No. 4 leader meets Japanese on diplomatic anniversary

BEIJING - China's fourth-highest ranking leader Yu Zhengsheng on
Friday held talks with Japanese political and business figures on the
occasion of the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic
ties, thanking them for their efforts in promoting bilateral
cooperation.
"I admire all of you for having made sustained efforts, even
when the relationship between the two countries has been in trouble,"
Yu told Yohei Kono, who served as lower house speaker from 2003 to
2009 and in numerous other key posts, and other figures including
Sadayuki Sakakibara, head of the Japan Business Federation, at
Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Kyodo news summary -3-

TOKYO, Sept. 8 Kyodo

----------
Tokyo stocks drop on yen's appreciation, N. Korea risks

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks dropped Friday as investor sentiment was
affected by the yen's rise against the U.S. dollar and concerns about
tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 121.70 points, or
0.63 percent, from Thursday at 19,274.82. The broader Topix index of
all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 4.70
points, or 0.29 percent, lower at 1,593.54.
----------
Taiwan's new premier sworn in, promises a "pragmatic" Cabinet

TAIPEI - Taiwan's new Premier William Lai and his Cabinet were
officially sworn in on Friday, ushering in a new political era that
he vows will be "down-to-earth and pragmatic."
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony at the Executive Yuan, Lai
said his primary task is to develop the economy and improve people's
wellbeing rather than to build political momentum ahead of the next
election.
----------
M8.1 quake strikes off Mexico coast, at least 2 dead

LOS ANGELES - An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 struck off
the southwestern coast of Mexico late Thursday, the U.S. Geological
Survey said.
As least two people were killed in the quake, which struck at
11:49 p.m. local time off the southern Mexican state of Chiapas,
Reuters reported, citing the Mexican interior minister.
----------
U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan leaves base in Japan

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
Ronald Reagan on Friday left its home base in Yokosuka on a long-term
patrol "to ensure safety and security of the Indo-Asia-Pacific
region," the U.S. Navy said.
Its departure comes at a time when Washington and Seoul have
agreed to deploy more nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and strategic
bombers in and around South Korea in the wake of heightened tensions
over North Korea's missile and nuclear development activities.
----------
Gov't approves rule change to vary school summer holidays

TOKYO - The Japanese government approved Friday a change to
guidelines to allow local education boards to set summer holidays at
different times of the year to encourage more family time in the
chronically overworked country.
Under the Kids' Week initiative, which the government aims to
begin in the next fiscal year starting April, the guidelines will
include a provision for "holidays for educational experiences in the
home or local region."
----------
China's No. 4 leader meets Japanese on diplomatic anniversary

BEIJING - China's fourth-highest ranking leader Yu Zhengsheng on
Friday held talks with Japanese political and business figures on the
occasion of the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic
ties, thanking them for their efforts in promoting bilateral
cooperation.
"I admire all of you for having made sustained efforts, even
when the relationship between the two countries has been in trouble,"
Yu told Yohei Kono, who served as lower house speaker from 2003 to
2009 and in numerous other key posts, and other figures including
Sadayuki Sakakibara, head of the Japan Business Federation, at
Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
----------
Mexico expels N. Korean ambassador over nuclear test

LOS ANGELES - The Mexican government announced Thursday that it
has declared the North Korean ambassador "persona non grata" and
ordered him to leave the country within 72 hours in response to
Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test.
The expulsion order following Sunday's nuclear test, which North
Korea said was of a hydrogen bomb that can be mounted on an
intercontinental ballistic missile, brings Mexico closer to the
United States in its treatment of Pyongyang.
----------
Japan upholds non-nuclear principles despite N. Korea threat: Kono

TOKYO - Japan has no plan to review its three non-nuclear
principles, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Friday, rejecting the
view of some lawmakers that Tokyo should deploy U.S. nuclear weapons
in the country to further deter North Korea.
While relying on the U.S. nuclear umbrella for protection,
Japan, which suffered atomic bombings during World War II, has upheld
since 1967 the three principles of not possessing, not producing and
not allowing the introduction of nuclear weapons into the country.
----------
Japan eyes new system to alert fishing vessels of missile launches

TOKYO - The Fisheries Agency plans to install a wireless system
to automatically alert fishing vessels of missile launches in the
wake of North Korea's repeated ballistic missile tests, agency
officials said Friday.
The system, to be introduced possibly in fiscal 2018, aims to
ensure the safety of vessels fishing at the time of the missile test
to convey crucial information faster and with certainty, the
officials said.
----------
Japan aims to more than quadruple rice exports in 2019

TOKYO - Japan's agriculture ministry said Friday it is aiming to
more than quadruple the country's annual rice and rice product
exports to 100,000 tons in 2019, ministry officials said Friday.
On the back of falling domestic demand, the Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has launched a project to expand
overseas sales to raise rice farmers' income.
----------
Foreign minister to visit Mideast to drum up pressure on N. Korea

TOKYO - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Friday he will
depart later in the day for a six-day trip to five Middle Eastern
nations to seek their cooperation in tackling North Korea, which
conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet last weekend.
Kono is scheduled to visit Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia
and Egypt in his first trip to the region since he became foreign
minister last month.
----------
Fuji Xerox teams with Malaysian NGO to improve kids' language skills

KUALA LUMPUR - Fuji Xerox Co.'s Malaysian arm has partnered with
a local nongovernmental organization to promote an education outreach
program in impoverished communities in the country as well as
elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.
A workbook titled "Reading English Made Easy," prepared by the
NGO, MYReaders, and printed by Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
(Malaysia Operations), will be distributed to children in inland
areas across the nation to improve their English language skills.

Kyodo news summary -2-

TOKYO, Sept. 8 Kyodo

----------
China's No. 4 leader meets Japanese figures on diplomatic anniversary

BEIJING - China's fourth-highest ranking leader Yu Zhengsheng on
Friday held talks with leading Japanese political and business
figures on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the normalization
of diplomatic relations.
The meeting between Yu and the figures including Yohei Kono, who
served as lower house speaker from 2003 to 2009 and in numerous other
key posts, and Sadayuki Sakakibara, head of the Japan Business
Federation, took place at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
----------
Dollar edges down in lower 108 yen on hurricane, N. Korea woes

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar edged down in the lower 108 yen range
Friday morning in Tokyo, amid concerns over the impact of Hurricane
Irma and escalating tensions over the Korean Peninsula.
At noon, the dollar fetched 108.20-21 yen compared with
108.37-47 yen in New York and 108.99-109.01 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Thursday.
----------
Tokyo stocks fall in morning as strong yen hurts sentiment

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks fell slightly Friday morning as sentiment
was weighed down by the yen's rise against the U.S. dollar and
investors remained cautious about tensions on the Korean peninsula.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 73.78 points, or 0.38
percent, from Thursday to 19,322.74. The broader Topix index of all
First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 0.37
points, or 0.02 percent, to 1,597.87.
----------
Japan's key bond yield falls amid North Korea concerns

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond fell Friday morning as investors bought the safe-haven debt amid
concerns over the possibility of another missile launch by North
Korea to mark its national foundation day.
The yield on the No. 348, 0.1 percent issue, the main barometer
of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at
0.005 percent, down 0.005 percentage point from Thursday's close.
----------
Japan's April-June GDP cut to 2.5% rise on weaker-than-expected capex

TOKYO - Japan's economy grew an annualized 2.5 percent in the
April-June period, a sharp downgrade from preliminary data, due
mainly to a weaker-than-expected rise in capital spending, the
government said Friday.
The revised figure on GDP in annual terms slightly undershot the
average market consensus for 2.8 percent growth. Growth in private
consumption, a key driver of the Japanese economy, was also revised
downward to 0.8 percent from the initially estimated 0.9 percent,
partly due to a decline in people dining out.
----------
Prosecutors, university collaborate to secure interpreters

TOKYO - The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors' Office has begun
collaborating with the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies to secure
interpreters for criminal investigations involving foreign nationals,
a senior official said Friday.
The overall number of criminal cases involving foreigners has
neither risen nor fallen in recent years, but there has been a jump
in cases involving languages for which only a limited number of
interpreters are available, according to the official.
----------
Japan logs record-high 2.32 tril. yen current account surplus in July

TOKYO - Japan's current account surplus expanded to 2.32
trillion yen ($21 billion), a record-high for July, boosted by a jump
in income from foreign investments, government data showed Friday.
The country marked its 37th straight month of black ink, even as
both the trade and travel surpluses narrowed from a year earlier.
----------
Rising-star lawmaker quits main opposition party over reported affair

TOKYO - Rising-star lower house lawmaker Shiori Yamao left the
main opposition Democratic Party on Friday after a weekly magazine
alleged she had an extramarital affair.
The prosecutor-turned-lawmaker had gained fame for giving voice
to anger felt by mothers unable to return to work due to a shortage
of day care facilities.
----------
GOP leader aims for mid- to low-20% U.S. corporate tax rate

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that
congressional Republicans will aim to reduce the U.S. corporate tax
rate to mid- to low-20 percent, a smaller cut than what President
Donald Trump has been calling for.
Citing the industrialized world average of 22.5 percent, Ryan
said at an event in Washington that he aims to have the U.S. rate at
or below that level. He said the mid- to low-20s would be an
"achievable goal."
----------
Trump says hopes to avoid military option on N. Korea

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that
while military action against North Korea remains an option, it is
one he hopes will not be necessary.
"Military action would certainly be an option. Is it inevitable?
Nothing is inevitable," Trump told reporters at the White House. "I
would prefer not going to the route of the military, but it's
something, certainly, that could happen."
----------
NATO chief to visit Japan in Oct.

BRUSSELS - NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg will travel to Japan in
October for talks on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile
ambitions, a NATO official said Thursday.
Stoltenberg also plans to visit South Korea at the time, the
official said. The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization has said NATO will closely collaborate with Tokyo and
Seoul on the threat posed by North Korea's weapons programs.
----------
Abe, Putin slam N. Korea nuke test, differ on denuclearization path

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday condemned the latest
nuclear test by North Korea as a "grave threat" to the region but
remained at odds over the path toward its denuclearization.
Meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in the
Russian Far East city of Vladivostok, Abe and Putin also agreed to
conduct joint economic activities on disputed islands off Japan's
northernmost main island of Hokkaido in five areas -- aquaculture,
greenhouse farming, tourism, wind power, and waste reduction.


Kyodo news summary -1-

TOKYO, Sept. 8 Kyodo

----------
Japan's April-June GDP cut to 2.5% rise on weaker-than-expected capex

TOKYO - Japan's economy grew an annualized 2.5 percent in the
April-June period, a sharp downgrade from preliminary data, due
mainly to a weaker-than-expected rise in capital spending, the
government said Friday.
The revised figure on GDP in annual terms slightly undershot the
average market consensus for 2.8 percent growth. Growth in private
consumption, a key driver of the Japanese economy, was also revised
downward to 0.8 percent from the initially estimated 0.9 percent.
----------
GOP leader aims for mid- to low-20% U.S. corporate tax rate

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that
congressional Republicans will aim to reduce the U.S. corporate tax
rate to mid- to low-20 percent, a smaller cut than what President
Donald Trump has been calling for.
Citing the industrialized world average of 22.5 percent, Ryan
said at an event in Washington that he aims to have the U.S. rate at
or below that level. He said the mid- to low-20s would be an
"achievable goal."
----------
Japan logs record-high 2.32 tril. yen current account surplus in July

TOKYO - Japan's current account surplus expanded to 2.32
trillion yen ($21 billion), a record-high for July, boosted by a jump
in income from foreign investments, government data showed Friday.
The country marked its 37th straight month of black ink, even as
both the trade and travel surpluses narrowed from a year earlier.
----------
Tokyo stocks open lower on firm yen after ECB policy meeting

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks opened lower Friday as the U.S. dollar
weakened against the yen after the European Central Bank signaled
overnight that it may start scaling back its stimulus program as soon
as October amid solid economic growth in the eurozone.
In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock
Average fell 55.26 points, or 0.28 percent, from Thursday to
19,341.26. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 1.36 points, or 0.09 percent, to
1,596.88.
----------
Dollar trades in lower 108 yen range in early Tokyo deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded in the lower 108 yen range early
Friday in Tokyo after dipping to 108.05 yen, its lowest level in
about 10 months, in New York overnight.
At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 108.26-27 yen compared with
108.37-47 yen in New York and 108.99-109.01 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Thursday.
----------
Trump says hopes to avoid military option on N. Korea

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that
while military action against North Korea remains an option, it is
one he hopes will not be necessary.
"Military action would certainly be an option. Is it inevitable?
Nothing is inevitable," Trump told reporters at the White House. "I
would prefer not going to the route of the military, but it's
something, certainly, that could happen."
----------
NATO chief to visit Japan in Oct.

BRUSSELS - NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg will travel to Japan in
October for talks on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile
ambitions, a NATO official said Thursday.
Stoltenberg also plans to visit South Korea at the time, the
official said. The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization has said NATO will closely collaborate with Tokyo and
Seoul on the threat posed by North Korea's weapons programs.
----------
Abe, Putin slam N. Korea nuke test, differ on denuclearization path

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday condemned the latest
nuclear test by North Korea as a "grave threat" to the region but
remained at odds over the path toward its denuclearization.
Meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in the
Russian Far East city of Vladivostok, Abe and Putin also agreed to
conduct joint economic activities on disputed islands off Japan's
northernmost main island of Hokkaido in five areas -- aquaculture,
greenhouse farming, tourism, wind power, and waste reduction.
----------
Up-and-coming opposition lawmaker to quit party over reported affair

TOKYO - Shiori Yamao, a prosecutor-turned-lawmaker and rising
star within the main opposition Democratic Party, said Thursday she
decided to leave the party after a magazine reported that she had an
extramarital affair.
The scandal is a blow to the party that has just elected a new
leader, Seiji Maehara, as it tries to turn itself into a viable
alternative to the Liberal Democratic Party led by Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe. Maehara was eager to put Yamao at the forefront of
election campaigning ahead of a trio of by-elections on Oct. 22.
----------
Malaysia foils tanker hijack, nabs 10 Indonesian pirates

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's coast guard on Thursday captured 10
Indonesian pirates who briefly hijacked a Thai-flagged tanker laden
with 2.2 million liters of diesel.
The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a statement
that a special task force boarded the MT MGT1 off the coast of the
northeastern state of Terengganu in a predawn operation, some 8 hours
after the ship was reported missing with its 14 Thai crew.
----------
ECB leaves easy monetary policy unchanged

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank left its easy monetary
policy unchanged at its governing council meeting Thursday.
The central bank for eurozone member countries kept its deposit
rate at minus 0.4 percent and its purchases of bonds and other assets
at 60 billion euros ($71.9 billion) per month.
----------
2 IS sympathizers arrested in Singapore in July

SINGAPORE - Two Singaporeans were separately arrested in July on
suspicion of being Islamic State sympathizers, including one who
allegedly planned to attack Singapore military personnel overseas,
the Ministry of Home Affairs said Thursday.
Imran Kassim, a 34-year-old managing director of a logistics
company, and Shakirah Begam Abdul Wahab, a 23-year-old administrative
assistant, were arrested under the Internal Security Act, which
allows for detention without trial.