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[August 24, 2014]
Kyodo Top12 News (22:00)
(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ---------- China executes 8 "terrorists" in Xinjiang BEIJING - Chinese authorities have executed eight "terrorists" in the restive far western region of Xinjiang, three of whom were sentenced to death for their role in last year's deadly attack near Tiananmen Square, official media reported Sunday. The eight people executed Saturday included Huseyin Guxur, Yusup Wherniyas and Yusup Ehmet, who authorities say masterminded the vehicular attack in front of Beijing's Forbidden City, opposite the square, on Oct. 28 that left five people dead, including three suspected assailants, and 39 injured. The attack involved a sports utility vehicle plowing into a crowd of people, almost in front of a huge portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong, and subsequently catching fire, killing its three occupants. Beijing suspects they were connected to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which is fighting for an independent state for ethnic Uyghurs, many of whom live in Xinjiang.
---------- China rejects U.S. protest over near-miss incident in S. China Sea BEIJING - China has rejected as "totally groundless" the U.S. accusation that a Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy patrol aircraft in the South China Sea last Tuesday. In a statement issued over the weekend, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said the Chinese J-11 fighter "kept a safe distance" while carrying out routine identification and verification of the P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft in airspace about 220 kilometers east of China's southern island of Hainan. Calling the Chinese pilot's actions "professional," Yang put the blame for the incident on the United States. The U.S. military's "large scale and highly frequent close-in reconnaissance" against China, he said, "is the root cause of accidents endangering the sea and air military security between China and the United States." ---------- 4 Chinese gov't ships intrude into Japanese waters near Senkakus NAHA, Japan - Four China Coast Guard vessels intruded Sunday morning into Japanese territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the Japan Coast Guard said. The vessels, identified as the Haijing 2102, 2113, 2146 and 2305, left the waters about two hours later. Japanese patrol ships warned the vessels to leave the waters, with one of the Chinese ships responding with a message that the waters belong to China, according to the coast guard. The Japanese-administered uninhabited islets, located in the East China Sea about 400 kilometers west of Okinawa's main island, are claimed by China and Taiwan, which call them Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai respectively.
---------- Japan considering providing patrol ships to Sri Lanka TOKYO - The Japanese government is considering providing patrol ships to Sri Lanka to help the South Asian country strengthen its maritime surveillance capabilities, a Japanese government source said Sunday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to convey the plan to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he visits the country in early September, the source said. Tokyo expects the move to help improve sea lane security in the Indian Ocean where tankers transporting oil from the Middle East to Japan travel, according to the source. It also comes at a time when China is giving support to Sri Lanka and other countries in South Asia in an apparent bid to expand its reach into the Indian Ocean. Tokyo will decide how many ships to provide after Abe's visit, the source said.
---------- Annual live-fire GSDF exercise held near Mt. Fuji GOTEMBA, Japan - An annual large-scale live-fire exercise for the Ground Self-Defense Force took place Sunday in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, near Mt. Fuji, with the nation's air, sea and ground forces simulating the retaking of an outlying island captured by an enemy. Around 44 tons of live ammunition, worth some 350 million yen, were prepared for the exercise with a scenario reflecting Tokyo's growing emphasis on defending far-flung islands, at a time when China has grown increasingly assertive in pressing its territorial claims in regional waters. In the Fuji Firepower Review, held in the ground force's East Fuji Maneuver Area in the foothills of the nation's highest peak, artillery shells and antitank guided missiles were fired. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera also inspected the annual event, which draws many members of the public.
---------- China's new computer operating system to debut in Oct.: Xinhua BEIJING - A desktop version of China's homegrown operating system may be ready in October, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday, amid concerns about U.S. surveillance and the launch of a monopoly probe of Microsoft. The OS will first appear on desktop computers and later expanded to smartphones and other mobile devices, Xinhua reported, citing comments made by Ni Guangnan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, to an official trade paper run by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Ni said that with the demise of Windows XP, which Microsoft stopped supporting in April, and with the subsequent ban on Windows 8 being installed on government computers due to security concerns, the door has been opened to domestic OS developers. But he said future OS development should be government led as there are currently too many developers pulling in different directions and a lack of research funds.
---------- Death toll from mudslides in Hiroshima rises to 50 HIROSHIMA - The death toll from the deadly mudslides in the city of Hiroshima rose to 50 on Sunday, with 38 still missing, as rain forced rescue workers to suspend operations in the early hours due to safety concerns. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called off his inspection of the disaster area planned for Sunday due to bad weather, the prime minister's office said. The trip is expected to be rescheduled. Police said the death toll from the mudslides rose to 50, up from 49 on Saturday, while 38 people remained missing, down from 41 the previous day, after the whereabouts of three people were determined. Four days after mudslides caused by heavy downpours between late Tuesday and early Wednesday buried and washed away houses and apartments in the mountainous area in the northern part of the city, about 1,700 residents remained in shelters on Sunday.
---------- 2 dead in landslide on remote Rebun Island off coast of Hokkaido ASAHIKAWA, Japan - Two people died Sunday afternoon in a landslide triggered by heavy rain on remote Rebun Island off the coast of Hokkaido, municipal officials said. The two residents of the town of Rebun showed no signs of life when pulled from rubble of a home destroyed by the landslide, the officials said. Landslides had also occurred in other parts of the town, with residents evacuating to an elementary school and other shelters, they said. Over the 24-hour period from 1:40 p.m. Saturday, 183 millimeters of rain fell in the town, the most since record-keeping began in 2003, according to the Sapporo branch of the Japan Meteorological Agency.
---------- Kuroda wants BOJ easing to provide basis for wage hikes TOKYO - The Bank of Japan's aggressive monetary easing should provide a basis for companies to raise wages as the country struggles to emerge from chronic deflation, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told a meeting of economists and central bankers this weekend. In his speech Saturday at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Kuroda said Japan faces "a troublesome problem" in which wages for regular workers do not reflect labor market conditions sufficiently in the short term, according to the script of his speech released by the BOJ. A proper mechanism for negotiating wage hikes annually stopped functioning as prolonged deflation forced companies to cut costs, while workers accepted falling wages in exchange for job security, Kuroda said at the symposium held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. But Kuroda said this year, more companies raised base wages as well as bonuses in response to government prompting, and the BOJ wants to accelerate that trend.
---------- Boarding school in Japan seeks to produce tomorrow's global leaders KARUIZAWA, Japan - A new international boarding school aims to foster the next generation of global leaders in a unique setting in the heart of Japan. The International School of Asia, Karuizawa opened on Sunday, on a campus in the resort town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, just over an hour north of Tokyo by high-speed train. Of the inaugural group of 49 first-year students starting classes on Monday, 18 are from Japan and the rest hail from 14 countries around the world. Education minister Hakubun Shimomura, attending the opening ceremony, said the school is the perfect place to foster the government's goals of globalizing the education on offer in Japan. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, aims to increase the number of exchange students studying in Japan.
"This school serves as an ideal symbol of what we are trying to do," Shimomura said.
---------- Murakami's latest novel becomes New York Times best seller NEW YORK - Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami's book "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" topped the New York Times best-selling hardcover fiction list in the first week after an English-language translation went on sale Aug. 12. The book, originally published in Japanese in April last year, depicts a 36-year-old man who visits his old friends in his quest to find out why he was banished from them.
---------- Weather for key cities in Japan TOKYO - Forecast for Monday: Tokyo=cloudy, occasional rain; Osaka=cloudy, occasional rain; Nagoya=cloudy, occasional rain; Sapporo=rain, then fair; Sendai=cloudy, occasionally fair; Niigata=cloudy; Hiroshima=cloudy, occasional rain; Takamatsu=cloudy; Fukuoka=cloudy, occasional rain; Naha=fair.
(c) 2014 Kyodo News
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