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TMCNet:  Kyodo Top12 News (13:10)

[July 18, 2014]

Kyodo Top12 News (13:10)

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ---------- Malaysia Airlines plane with 298 aboard feared shot down in Ukraine KIEV - A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane is feared to have been shot down Thursday over eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, apparently killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew aboard, Ukrainian and Russian officials said. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was an act of terror and not an accident, and denied his country's military was involved. The Donetsk People's Republic, a state proclaimed by pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, also denied its forces downed the Boeing 777-200. U.S. media quoted U.S. intelligence sources as saying that the plane was brought down by a land-to-air missile.


---------- U.S. criticizes Russia over Malaysian aircraft crash WASHINGTON - The U.S. government on Thursday criticized Russia over the reported downing of a Malaysia Airlines aircraft in Ukraine the same day and called on forces concerned for an immediate cease-fire. "We do know that this incident occurred in the context of a crisis in Ukraine that is fueled by Russian support for the separatists, including through arms, materiel, and training," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement. "We urge all concerned -- Russia, the pro-Russian separatists, and Ukraine -- to support an immediate cease-fire in order to ensure safe and unfettered access to the crash site for international investigators," he said.

---------- Airlines avoid airspace over eastern Ukraine after plane crash LONDON - Major European airlines such as Lufthansa German Airlines and Air France said Thursday that they will avoid flying airspace over eastern Ukraine for the time being following the crash of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in the region. Eurocontrol, Europe's air navigation control body, also asked airlines to avoid the airspace and instructed aircrafts bound for the region to reroute. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, a codeshare partner of the Malaysia Airlines flight, MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, also said, "As a precautionary measure KLM avoids flying over the concerned territory." ---------- Japan's Kishida, in Ukraine, orders ministry to probe plane crash KIEV - Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, now visiting Ukraine, said Thursday night he has ordered his ministry to verify reports of the crash of a Malaysia Airlines flight in Ukraine. Speaking to reporters, Kishida said, "I have ordered (the ministry) to confirm the facts," adding that he has also asked the ministry whether any Japanese citizens were onboard. "At this moment, I have not received any solid information," he said. The minister has asked the Ukrainian government to provide information and he is also having the Japanese Embassy in the Netherlands check the passenger list. The flight, MH17, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

---------- Security Council condemns recent wave of N. Korean missile launches NEW YORK - The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned the recent series of short range missiles that have been launched in late June and July by North Korea. "The members of the Security Council condemn these launches as violations of Security Council resolutions... and urged the DPRK (North Korea) to fully comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions," said Rwandan Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana. As the current rotating president of the month, he read the brief statement, the elements of which were agreed by the 15 member council. The adding of the North Korean issue to the agenda was requested by South Korea, diplomats said, and comes after the short-range Scud missiles launches have prompted concerns about their frequency.

---------- Japan condemns Russia's annexation of Crimea KIEV - Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday met with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and condemned Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, saying, "Japan will never tolerate any attempt to alter the status quo by force." "Japan has consistently called for respecting the rule of law, Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Kishida said at the meeting in Kiev, the start of which was open to journalists. Kishida became the first Japanese Cabinet member to visit Ukraine after Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula, an act Japan and other major democracies condemned as a violation of the fundamental principles of international law.

---------- Thai junta seeks Japan's understanding, support to restore democracy BANGKOK - Thailand's acting foreign minister said Thursday that last May's military coup was undertaken as a "last resort" to avoid bloodshed, while he sought understanding and support from Japan and other countries that have frowned on the army's seizure of power from a democratically elected government. Sihasak Puangketkaew, permanent secretary of the Foreign Ministry, told Kyodo News in an interview that without military intervention, the political and security situation in the kingdom was likely to become more chaotic and unstable. "That's why we had what happened on May 22," he said. "We understand why our Western and Japanese friends have to take the position that they took," Sihasak said, alluding partly to Japan's having criticized the coup as "deeply regrettable" and its having strongly urged junta to quickly restore democracy.

---------- N. Korea walks out of inter-Korean talks on Asian Games: Yonhap SEOUL - Inter-Korean talks on North Korea's planned participation in the Asian Games to be held in South Korea later this year broke down Thursday, with the North Korean delegation walking out of the meeting in the truce village of Panmunjeon, Yonhap News Agency reported. At the one-day talks, attended by sports officials from each side, the North reportedly revealed its plan to send 350 athletes and an equal number of cheerleaders to the sport event to be held in Incheon from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4. A South Korean official was quoted as saying Pyongyang's negotiators demanded Seoul provide "a range of support" for its delegation, but Seoul demurred, saying its basic principle is to follow international practice -- a break from its tradition of financially supporting visiting sporting delegations from the North.

---------- Okinawa Gov. Nakaima plans to seek 3rd term in Nov. election NAHA, Japan - Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima plans to run for a third term in the gubernatorial election on Nov. 16, sources close to him said Thursday. The 74-year-old governor, who decided last December to allow landfill work necessary for relocating the U.S. Marines Corps' Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture despite strong local opposition, will announce his candidacy at a press conference in early August, the sources said. The major focus in the Okinawa gubernatorial election is likely to be the relocation of the Futenma base from densely populated Ginowan to a coastal area of the city of Nago.

---------- Fujitsu to end chip production, sell plants to Taiwan, U.S. firms TOKYO - Fujitsu Ltd. will end its production of semiconductors by selling two main factories in Japan to Taiwanese and U.S. companies, sources close to the matter said Friday. The major electronics firm is in talks with Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. and ON Semiconductor Corp. of the United States to sell the factories, the sources said. Fujitsu will not completely withdraw from the chip business, continuing with reduced research and development of semiconductors. UMC is close to buying a plant in Mie Prefecture, central Japan, which produces large-scale system integrated circuits that support high-tech devices such as mobile phones.

---------- Tokyo stocks drop in morning, dollar trades in lower 101 yen zone TOKYO - Tokyo stocks dropped Friday morning as a risk-averse mood spread among market participants due to the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine and the escalating conflict in Gaza. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 167.71 points, or 1.09 percent, from Thursday to 15,202.55. At 1 p.m., the Nikkei index was down 177.16 points, or 1.16 percent, at 15,192.63. The broader Topix index was down 11.91 points, or 0.94 percent, at 1,261.47. On the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 101 yen range. At 1 p.m., the dollar fetched 101.32-33 yen compared with 101.12-22 yen in New York late Thursday afternoon. The euro was quoted at 137.05-06 yen against 136.82-92 yen in New York.

---------- Weather forecast for key cities in Japan TOKYO - Weather forecast for Saturday: Tokyo=cloudy, then rain; Osaka=cloudy; Nagoya=cloudy, then occasionally rain; Sapporo=cloudy; Sendai=cloudy, occasionally rain; Niigata=rain; Hiroshima=cloudy, then occasionally rain; Takamatsu=cloudy; Fukuoka=cloudy, then fair; Naha=fair.

(c) 2014 Kyodo News

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