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Kyodo news summary -5-

TOKYO, Oct. 12 Kyodo

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Plans for high-speed rail tender on track: Malaysian minister

SINGAPORE - Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai on
Thursday affirmed that plans are on track to call for a tender for a
high-speed rail project linking Singapore with Kuala Lumpur by the
end of this year.
"We would like to get started hopefully by the end of the year
for this open tender," he said. "Looks like (it's) on schedule."
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Cambodian democracy under threat, U.N. envoy warns

PHNOM PENH - A U.N. special envoy warned Thursday that civil and
political rights in Cambodia are deteriorating rapidly, with deeply
worrying implications for forthcoming elections and the future of
democracy in the country.
The stark warning from the U.N. special rapporteur on human
rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, came after the Interior Ministry
began legal proceedings to dissolve the main opposition party, the
Cambodia National Rescue Party, whose leader is in custody, and amid
possible moves to strip the party of its existing seats in parliament.
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Asahi looks to sell 20% stake in China's Tsingtao Brewery

TOKYO - Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. said Thursday it is looking to
sell some or all of its 20 percent stake in Tsingtao Brewery Co.,
China's second-largest beer maker, to focus resources on growing its
European business.
Asahi, Japan's largest brewery, acquired the stake in 2009 from
Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, becoming the Chinese company's
second-largest shareholder.
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Japan ex-defense chief urges patience on Taiwan independence

TAIPEI - Former Japanese defense chief Tokuichiro Tamazawa said
Taiwan enjoys de facto independence and its best policy for now is to
maintain the status quo.
"Taiwan is already an independent, democratic and free country,"
Tamazawa said. "To protect your country, it will be a good idea to
refrain from acting with undue haste."
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China says N. Korean affairs in "vicious circle"

BEIJING - China said Thursday that North Korean affairs are
caught in a "vicious circle" of escalating tensions and that they can
only be eased by restarting dialogue.
"The root cause lies in animosity, and a lack of trust and a
sense of security between North Korea and the United States, the
direct parties (of the issue)," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua
Chunying told a press briefing.
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British rights activist says China is threat to Sino-British ties

HONG KONG - British Conservative Party activist Benedict Rogers,
who was on Wednesday barred from entering Hong Kong, is "increasingly
concerned about the erosion of Hong Kong's freedoms and the rule of
law," according to an opinion piece he published in the Guardian on
Thursday.
"One country, two systems is supposed to mean Hong Kong people
ruling Hong Kong. Yet it is overwhelmingly clear that the decision to
deny me entry was not taken in Hong Kong, but by the Chinese regime,"
Rogers wrote.
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Tokai University solar car finishes 4th in world challenge

ADELAIDE - Solar cars from the top five teams to finish the
3,000-kilometer World Solar Challenge endurance race crossed the
finish line in the southern Australian city of Adelaide Thursday
evening, with Japan's Tokai University placing fourth.
Thirty-eight solar cars from 19 countries and regions set out
from the northern city of Darwin on Sunday, crossing the continent in
the world's largest solar race.
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Video in Kim murder trial shows suspects who allegedly provided VX

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia - A Malaysian policeman testified Thursday
in the trial of two women accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam that two
men shown in airport surveillance camera footage are suspected of
having given them the lethal nerve agent used to kill the estranged
half-brother of North Korea's leader.
Investigating officer Wan Azirul Nizam, the ninth prosecution
witness to testify in the trial that began on Oct. 2 at the Shah Alam
High Court, produced two short video clips showing the two men,
identified in court as "Mr. Chang" and "Mr. Y.," at Kuala Lumpur
International Airport in the hours before Kim was assassinated there
on Feb. 13.
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Fast Retailing posts record group net profit on brisk Asian sales

TOKYO - Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the Uniqlo casual
clothing chain, said Thursday its group net profit in the year
through August more than doubled from the previous year to a record
119.28 billion yen ($1.06 billion), boosted by its brisk business in
Asia.
Fast Retailing said its group operating profit soared 38.6
percent to 176.41 billion yen, on sales of 1.86 trillion yen, up 4.2
percent, both also record highs.
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Dollar slips to lower 112 yen on Fed minutes, inflation data awaited

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar edged down to the lower 112 yen zone
Thursday in Tokyo after minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy
meeting suggested persistent concern among policymakers about the
country's low inflation.
At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 112.22-24 yen compared with
112.43-53 yen in New York and 112.28-30 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Wednesday. It moved between 112.21 yen and 112.52 yen during the day,
changing hands most frequently at 112.38 yen.
----------
U.S. military to ground CH-53 helicopters after accident in Okinawa

NAHA, Japan - The U.S. forces in Japan will ground all CH-53E
helicopters to confirm their safety after the same type of chopper
crash-landed near a U.S. military training area in Okinawa on
Wednesday, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said.
The minister said that Maj. Gen. Charles Chiarotti, deputy
commander of U.S. Forces Japan, told him of the decision during their
talks in Tokyo on Thursday. An official of the Defense Ministry's
local bureau, meanwhile, said the accident site was found to have
been about 300 meters away from residential houses.
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Nuclear fuel reprocessing operator violated safety rules: regulator

TOKYO - Japanese nuclear regulators concluded Wednesday that
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. violated legally binding safety rules by
failing to conduct necessary checks for over a decade at its
uncompleted spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the country's
northeast.
The failure of checks at an underground portion of the plant in
the village of Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture for some 14 years
eventually resulted in about 800 liters of rainwater flowing into a
building housing an emergency diesel generator in August this year.
The generator is a crucial device in times of crisis such as the loss
of external power.

Kyodo news summary -4-

TOKYO, Oct. 12 Kyodo

----------
Fast Retailing posts record group net profit on brisk Asian sales

TOKYO - Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the Uniqlo casual
clothing chain, said Thursday its group net profit in the year
through August more than doubled from the previous year to a record
119.28 billion yen ($1.06 billion), boosted by its brisk business in
Asia.
Fast Retailing said its group operating profit soared 38.6
percent to 176.41 billion yen, on sales of 1.86 trillion yen, up 4.2
percent, both also record highs.
----------
Dollar slips to lower 112 yen on Fed minutes, inflation data awaited

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar edged down to the lower 112 yen zone
Thursday in Tokyo after minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy
meeting suggested persistent concern among policymakers about the
country's low inflation.
At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 112.22-24 yen compared with
112.43-53 yen in New York and 112.28-30 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Wednesday. It moved between 112.21 yen and 112.52 yen during the day,
changing hands most frequently at 112.38 yen.
----------
U.S. military to ground CH-53 helicopters after accident in Okinawa

NAHA, Japan - The U.S. forces in Japan will ground all CH-53E
helicopters to confirm their safety after the same type of chopper
crash-landed near a U.S. military training area in Okinawa on
Wednesday, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said.
The minister said that Maj. Gen. Charles Chiarotti, deputy
commander of U.S. Forces Japan, told him of the decision during their
talks in Tokyo on Thursday. An official of the Defense Ministry's
local bureau, meanwhile, said the accident site was found to have
been about 300 meters away from residential houses.
----------
Nuclear fuel reprocessing operator violated safety rules: regulator

TOKYO - Japanese nuclear regulators concluded Wednesday that
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. violated legally binding safety rules by
failing to conduct necessary checks for over a decade at its
uncompleted spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the country's
northeast.
The failure of checks at an underground portion of the plant in
the village of Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture for some 14 years
eventually resulted in about 800 liters of rainwater flowing into a
building housing an emergency diesel generator in August this year.
The generator is a crucial device in times of crisis such as the loss
of external power.
----------
Japan's key bond yield ends flat

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond ended flat Thursday as buying on hopes the Bank of Japan's
ultra-easy monetary policy involving large monthly bond purchases
will continue for a long time was later offset by selling on higher
Tokyo stocks.
The yield on the No. 348, 0.1 percent issue, the main yardstick
of long-term interest rates, ended interdealer trading at 0.060
percent, unchanged from Wednesday's close.
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Hundreds of thousands fed by Australian rescued food market

SYDNEY - After almost six months of operations, proceeds from
Australia's first "rescued food" supermarket have been used to
distribute a further 100,000 meals to hungry Australians.
Operating since April in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, the
OzHarvest Market receives surplus food that would otherwise be thrown
away by supermarket chains, airlines, cafes and bakeries, and gives
it away for free under the store's "take what you need, give what you
can" philosophy.
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Nikkei climbs for 8th straight day on U.S. shares, election outlook

TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index finished higher in an eight-day
winning streak Thursday on strong U.S. shares and expectations of a
firm showing by the ruling coalition in Japan's Oct. 22 general
election.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 73.45 points, or
0.35 percent, from Wednesday at 20,954.72, its highest close since
November 1996. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on
the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 3.32 points, or 0.20 percent,
higher at 1,700.13.
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N. Korea to participate in Winter Paralympics: S. Korea minister

SEOUL - South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha said
Thursday that North Korea has expressed its intent to participate in
the Pyeongchang Winter Paralypmic Games to be held in March in South
Korea.
It is still unclear whether North Korean athletes will take part
in the first Winter Olympic Games to be hosted in South Korea, which
is set for Feb. 9-25.
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Japan arranges meeting between Trump and kin of N. Korea abduction
victim

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday Tokyo is
arranging a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and the
parents of a Japanese national abducted by North Korean agents during
the president's planned visit to Japan early next month.
"When I asked President Trump (in September) to meet the parents
of Megumi (Yokota) and the families of (other) abduction victims
during his visit to Japan, he accepted on the spot. He promised he
will do his best to rescue the Japanese abduction victims," Abe said
in a campaign rally in Niigata Prefecture for the lower house
election on Oct. 22.
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Kobe Steel may find more wrongdoings in falsified data scandal

TOKYO - Kobe Steel Ltd. Chairman and President Hiroya Kawasaki
said Thursday further cases of misconduct by Japan's third-largest
steelmaker may emerge as part of the burgeoning scandal over its
falsification of inspection data for iron powder, aluminum and copper
that has affected automakers and airplane manufacturers.
"There are suspicious cases in Japan and abroad" that could
involve further wrongdoing, as the ongoing investigation has not been
completed, Kawasaki told reporters after meeting with a senior
industry ministry official in Tokyo.
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Okinawa gov. visits U.S. military chopper accident site

NAHA, Japan - Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga on Thursday visited the
site where a U.S. military transport helicopter went up in flames
after an emergency landing the previous day, reigniting local
concerns about the presence of U.S. forces in the southern island
prefecture.
The Japanese government demanded the United States clarify the
cause and prevent similar accidents after the CH-53E transport
helicopter burst into flames in a grazing field near the military's
training ground in northern Okinawa on Wednesday afternoon. The
aircraft belongs to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
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Man confesses to road rage in fatal expressway accident

YOKOHAMA - A fatal expressway collision in June in eastern Japan
appears to have been caused by road rage, with a man arrested over
the crash confessing to losing his temper and chasing the victims'
car after an argument, investigative sources said Thursday.
Kazuho Ishibashi, 25, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of
causing the accident in which Yoshihisa Hagiyama, 45, and his wife
Yuka, 39, died on the Tomei Expressway in Kanagawa Prefecture, on
June 5. Their two daughters, high school and elementary school
students, sustained minor injuries as well.

Kyodo news summary -3-

TOKYO, Oct. 12 Kyodo

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Nikkei climbs for 8th straight day on U.S. shares, election outlook

TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index finished higher in an eight-day
winning streak Thursday on strong U.S. shares and expectations of a
firm showing by the ruling coalition in Japan's Oct. 22 general
election.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 73.45 points, or
0.35 percent, from Wednesday at 20,954.72, its highest close since
November 1996. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on
the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 3.32 points, or 0.20 percent,
higher at 1,700.13.
----------
Fast Retailing posts record group net profit on brisk Asian sales

TOKYO - Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the Uniqlo casual
clothing chain, said Thursday its group net profit in the year
through August more than doubled from the previous year to a record
119.28 billion yen ($1.06 billion), boosted by its brisk business in
Asia.
Fast Retailing said its group operating profit soared 38.6
percent to 176.41 billion yen, on sales of 1.86 trillion yen, up 4.2
percent, both also record highs.
----------
Japan's draft U.N. motion makes no mention of nuke ban pact

NEW YORK - A draft U.N. resolution on the elimination of nuclear
weapons circulated by Japan makes no mention of the recently adopted
landmark treaty banning nuclear weapons, according to a copy obtained
Wednesday by Kyodo News.
The draft came after an international group last week won this
year's Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts leading to the adoption in
July of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
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Mazda to export Malaysia-assembled new SUV to other ASEAN nations

KUALA LUMPUR - Mazda Motor Corp. is launching a locally
assembled new model of the Mazda CX-5 sport utility vehicle in
Malaysia to leverage domestic sales and export it to other members of
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The Japanese automaker aims to sell 500 to 600 units monthly and
boost overall sales of the SUV model by 50 percent from a year before
in the country. It also plans to export the new model to Indonesia,
the Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar later this year, in addition to
the current market of Thailand.
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Volcano continues to erupt in southwestern Japan

MIYAZAKI, Japan - A volcano in southwestern Japan continued to
erupt for a second day Thursday, with the plume rising about 2,000
meters above the crater, a government agency said.
Mt. Shinmoe, straddling the borders of Kagoshima and Miyazaki
prefectures, erupted for the first time in six years early Wednesday,
prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to raise its volcanic alert
level.


Kyodo news summary -2-

TOKYO, Oct. 12 Kyodo

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Nikkei hits 21-yr intraday high on strong U.S. shares

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks rose Thursday morning, with the Nikkei
index briefly hitting the highest intraday level since December 1996
on strong U.S. shares and investors' relief over polls showing
Japan's ruling coalition holding a solid lead ahead of the Oct. 22
election.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 97.29 points, or 0.47
percent, from Wednesday to 20,978.56. The broader Topix index of all
First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 5.56 points,
or 0.33 percent, to 1,702.37.
Japan's key bond yield falls on election polls+
TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bond fell Thursday morning as investors bought the debt on relief
over polls showing Japan's ruling coalition holding a lead ahead of
the general election later this month.
The yield on the No. 348, 0.1 percent issue, the main yardstick
of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at
0.055 percent, down 0.005 percentage point from Wednesday's close.
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Dollar stays in lower 112 yen range backed by firmer stocks

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar held steady in the lower 112 yen range
Thursday morning in Tokyo, underpinned by firmer Japanese and U.S.
stocks.
At noon, the dollar fetched 112.41-42 yen compared with
112.43-53 yen in New York and 112.28-30 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Wednesday.
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New species of clione sea slug found in Toyama Bay

TOYAMA, Japan - A new species of clione sea slug has been found
in Toyama Bay, central Japan, a local university said Thursday.
The discovery was made by a team of researchers led by Zhang
Jing, a professor at the University of Toyama's graduate school, who
has been studying the ecological system in Toyama Bay. Researchers in
Japan have confirmed that the species -- the fifth of its kind -- has
previously not been seen.
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FEATURE: More Japanese firms eager to recruit foreigners, disabled

TOKYO - Japanese companies have become more active in hiring
foreigners and disabled people, in response to a chronic labor
shortage, legal change on the employment of the disabled and for
overseas expansion, prompting the job placement industry to organize
various job fairs to that end.
Foreign students in Japan are drawing attention as potential
manpower, along with women and elderly people, while companies are
expected to recruit more people with mental illness, as well as those
with physical and intellectual disabilities -- ahead of the
enforcement next April of the revised law for employment of disabled
persons.
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Japan's Sept. wholesale prices rise at fastest pace in 9 years

TOKYO - Japan's wholesale prices rose 3.0 percent in September
from a year earlier, gaining at the fastest pace in about nine years
amid higher oil prices, the Bank of Japan said Thursday.
Prices in transactions of goods among companies climbed for the
ninth straight month, logging the biggest increase since October 2008
after stripping out the effect of a 3-percentage-point consumption
tax hike in 2014.
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Trump denies seeking 10-fold increase in U.S. nuclear arsenal

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied a media
report that he told senior national security officials in July he
wants to increase the U.S. nuclear arsenal nearly tenfold.
"I never discussed increasing it...That was just fake news by
NBC," Trump told reporters, dismissing an NBC News report that the
president's alleged remark surprised Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
and other security advisers.
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Aso, Pence likely to be at odds over U.S. calls for Japan-U.S. FTA

WASHINGTON - Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S.
Vice President Mike Pence are likely to be at odds next week over
U.S. calls to launch negotiations for a bilateral free trade
agreement, Japanese government officials said Wednesday.
A second round of the high-level economic dialogue, slated for
Monday in Washington, comes as the United States is pushing Japan to
further open its agriculture and automobile markets as part of an
effort to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with the world's
third-largest economy.
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LDP eyes solid victory as Koike's party lags behind: Kyodo poll

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party is
heading for a solid victory in the Oct. 22 general election while the
party led by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike is lagging behind even after
grabbing the spotlight upon its launch, a Kyodo News survey showed
Wednesday.
The LDP and its coalition ally Komeito party are expected to win
over 300 seats in the 465-seat lower house, the survey suggests.
Koike's Party of Hope may win around 60 seats, while another new
face, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, may take 30 seats
or more.
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N. Korea's top diplomat threatens to "shower fire" on U.S.

PYONGYANG - North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho threatened
Wednesday to "shower fire" on the United States with "unprecedented
strategic force," the official Korean Central News Agency reported.
Ri made the remarks in a meeting with the head of Russia's Tass
news agency as tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have
heightened in recent weeks over the North's nuclear and missile
programs.

Kyodo news summary -1-

TOKYO, Oct. 12 Kyodo

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LDP eyes solid victory as Koike's party lags behind: Kyodo poll

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party is
heading for a solid victory in the Oct. 22 general election while the
party led by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike is lagging behind even after
grabbing the spotlight upon its launch, a Kyodo News survey showed
Wednesday.
The LDP and its coalition ally Komeito party are expected to win
over 300 seats in the 465-seat lower house, the survey suggests.
Koike's Party of Hope may win around 60 seats, while another new
face, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, may take 30 seats
or more.
----------
N. Korea's top diplomat threatens to "shower fire" on U.S.

PYONGYANG - North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho threatened
Wednesday to "shower fire" on the United States with "unprecedented
strategic force," the official Korean Central News Agency reported.
Ri made the remarks in a meeting with the head of Russia's Tass
news agency as tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have
heightened in recent weeks over the North's nuclear and missile
programs.
----------
British rights activist denied entry to H.K.

HONG KONG - British Conservative Party activist Benedict Rogers,
who has criticized China's encroaching on Hong Kong's autonomy, was
on Wednesday barred from entering the territory, according to media
reports and the British government.
Rogers, the deputy chair of the party's Human Rights Commission,
arrived in Hong Kong from Thailand in the morning and was escorted
onto a flight out of the former British colony by immigration
officers in the afternoon.
----------
Indonesia's Jokowi maintains high approval, new poll confirms

JAKARTA - A fresh survey confirmed Wednesday that the approval
rating of Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is still high,
showing nearly 70 percent satisfaction with how the country is being
run, despite ongoing negative campaigns by his political opponents.
The level of public satisfaction with his administration, now
approaching the end of its third year, stood at 68.3 percent
according to the survey conducted from Sept. 17-24 by pollster
Indikator Politik Indonesia.
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Fire forces U.S. military chopper to make emergency landing in Okinawa

TOKYO - A U.S. CH-53E transport helicopter made an emergency
landing near the military's training area in the northern part of
Okinawa's main island on Wednesday due to fire that broke out when
the chopper was in the sky, the U.S. Marines said.
The chopper belonging to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the
southern Japan prefecture burst into flames on grazing land near the
Northern Training Area after making the landing at around 5:20 p.m.,
reigniting safety concerns about the U.S. military presence in the
prefecture. The site in Higashi village was only several hundred
meters away from a residential area.
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Ex-Philippine vice president calls for closer cooperation with Taiwan

TAIPEI - A former vice president of the Philippines said
Wednesday that Taiwan and the Philippines should strengthen bilateral
ties by further cooperating in trade.
"For Taiwan, the Philippines is a gateway to Asia," Teofisto T.
Guingona, who served as the vice president from 2001 to 2004, said at
a forum organized by a Taiwanese government-affiliated foundation to
promote President Tsai Ing-wen's New Southbound Policy.
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Japan ex-defense chief says Taiwan has what it takes to be independent

TAIPEI - Former Japanese defense chief Kazuo Aichi said
Wednesday that Taiwan is fully qualified to become an independent
country, but has not been able to do for political reasons.
Speaking at luncheon organized by the Taiwanese
government-affiliated Prospect Foundation, the 80-year-old veteran
lawmaker who retired from politics in 2009 said he fully understands
how many Taiwanese are dedicated to pursuing Taiwan independence but
are unable to see their dreams fulfilled.
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Indonesia signs MoU with Japan Institute of Design Promotion

JAKARTA - Indonesia on Wednesday signed a cooperation agreement
with the Japan Institute of Design Promotion as part of the country's
efforts to improve the quality of its products exported to Japan.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by Arlinda Imbang
Jaya, director general of national export development at the Trade
Ministry, and Atsushi Oi, president of the Japan Institute of Design
Promotion, a public interest incorporated foundation, on the
sidelines of Trade Expo Indonesia held in Tangerang on the outskirts
of Jakarta.