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TMCNet:  Kyodo news summary -8-

[May 08, 2014]

Kyodo news summary -8-

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ---------- Daikin's Inoue to retire as CEO OSAKA - Daikin Industries Ltd. said Thursday that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Noriyuki Inoue will step down as CEO to be succeeded by President and Chief Operating Officer Masanori Togawa.


Inoue, who became the chairman and CEO in 2002, will continue to serve as chairman and assume a new post to promote closer coordination with group companies overseas.

---------- Japanese city to introduce popular U.S. talk event for ideas NAGANO, Japan - A talk event will be held in a small city in central Japan on Sunday styled after the popular U.S. "TED Conference" which introduces innovative ideas through short lectures and presentations, organizers said Thursday.

"I want many people to know that there are many interesting things going on in our place," said Rui Zakoji, the brain behind bringing the TED event to her city of Saku in Nagano Prefecture.

---------- Chinese court sentences H.K. publisher to prison HONG KONG - A Hong Kong publisher who helped print books censored by Beijing has been sentenced in southern China's Shenzhen City to 10 years in prison after being convicted of "smuggling common goods," local media reported Thursday.

Yiu Man-tin, 73, was also fined 250,000 yuan ($41,000) by the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court on Wednesday, the Apple Daily said.

---------- Questions surround reporter's revisionist take on Japan's history TOKYO - Former New York Times Tokyo bureau chief Henry S. Stokes should have reason to celebrate. His latest book "Eikokujin Kisha Ga Mita Rengokoku Sensho Shikan no Kyomou" (Falsehoods of the Allied Nations' Victorious View of History, as Seen by a British Journalist) has moved 100,000 copies in the five months since its December release, according to its publisher Shodensha.

The mashup of journalistic anecdotes from the front lines of Japan's modern history and hard-nosed arguments against its responsibility for World War II atrocities has made the 75-year-old Stokes a darling of the country's resurgent right wing. With the slim volume popping up on bestseller lists across the nation, its author has found himself in the brightest spotlight of his career.

---------- Japan's secrecy law needs amending for free speech: U.S. expert TOKYO - Japan's new state secrets law is so broad as to be self-defeating and must be amended before it comes into force in December to prevent a chilling effect on free speech, U.S. national security and civil liberties expert Morton Halperin said Thursday.

Halperin said in an interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo that the legislation, enacted in December 2013, is "far out of step with the rest of the world" and should be amended immediately to provide protections for journalists, other private citizens and government whistle-blowers.

---------- Toyota's FY 2013 group operating profit hits record 2.29 tril. yen TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday its group operating profit for fiscal 2013 surged 73.5 percent from the previous year to a record 2.29 trillion yen, driven by the yen's slide and robust sales in Japan and North America, but the automaker expects a lackluster performance for the current fiscal year partly due to negative impact from the sales tax hike in Japan.

Operating profit in the fiscal year to March 31 exceeded the previous record of 2.27 trillion yen set in fiscal 2007 before the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008.

---------- Japanese actress donates 1 mil. yen to Haiyan rebuilding MANILA - The United Nations said Thursday that Japanese actress and writer Misako Konno has donated 1 million yen (around $9,800) to the agency for the rehabilitation of people and areas in the Philippines affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit in November last year.

In a statement, the U.N. Development Program said Konno, who is one of its Goodwill Ambassadors, showed her "true dedication to the cause of sustainable development" with her "sizeable donation, combined with her long-term support for UNDP for many years now." (c) 2014 Kyodo News

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