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TMCNet:  Kyodo Top12 News (21:30)

[July 20, 2014]

Kyodo Top12 News (21:30)

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ---------- Gov't plans to deploy SDF Osprey aircraft in Saga in FY 2015 TOKYO - Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Sunday the Self-Defense Forces plan to deploy Osprey transport aircraft at Saga airport in southwestern Japan when the U.S. tilt-rotor planes are introduced in fiscal 2015. Onodera told reporters he recently informed Saga Gov. Yasushi Furukawa of the plan, in the first mention of an expected deployment site for SDF-operated Osprey aircraft. The Defense Ministry will send a senior official to Saga Prefecture on Tuesday to start talks with local officials. The ministry plans to purchase 17 Osprey aircraft under its medium-term defense program through fiscal 2018.


---------- Part of Okinawa base relocation plan "hidden from public": U.S. paper TOKYO - The Japanese government has "hidden from public" that a controversial U.S. military base relocation within Okinawa Island is planned in an area larger than publicly disclosed, a U.S. briefing document obtained by Kyodo News showed Saturday. Japan is moving to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station from a crowded residential area in Ginowan to less populated Henoko in Nago. But it was recently revealed facilities would be built not only in the coastal area as publicized, but inland as well. A document compiled by the U.S. military in February 2010 as a briefing paper for key U.S. lawmakers lists the "political challenges" involved, and cites the planned construction of facilities in the inland area of Henoko as among the "sensitivities" for the Japanese government. It also says development of the inland area -- referred to as the "area west of Route 329" -- is "hidden from public." ---------- Abe eyes replacing more than half of ministers in Cabinet reshuffle TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe envisions replacing more than half of his 18 ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle expected in early September, ruling coalition officials said Sunday. Abe plans to retain key Cabinet members including Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as well as Akira Amari, minister in charge of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, while keeping one Cabinet position for his Liberal Democratic Party's coalition ally the New Komeito party, they said. The prime minister is expected to appoint many new ministers when he reshuffles his current Cabinet formed in December 2012, partly to address the ambitions of LDP colleagues hoping to serve in Cabinet posts, they said. Abe will also consider personnel posts for the LDP as the terms of senior party executives will expire in September, they said.

---------- Japan to miss FY 2020 gov't budget surplus goal despite tax hikes TOKYO - Japan is unlikely to meet its international commitment to achieve a government budget surplus by fiscal 2020, even if it proceeds with another consumption tax increase, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday. There is likely to be an 11 trillion yen deficit in the primary balance in fiscal 2020 even if the consumption tax rate, raised last April from 5 percent to 8 percent, is increased to 10 percent in October 2015 as planned, the sources said. That figure is expected to be set for fiscal 2020 in a mid- to long-term estimate to be released this month, the sources said. The forecast deficit is down from a January estimate of 11.9 trillion yen, but still means Japan is unlikely to achieve its goal to turn the balance into a surplus by fiscal 2020.

---------- Panasonic to sell mobile phone base station business to Nokia OSAKA - Panasonic Corp. will sell its mobile phone base station business to Finland's Nokia as it redirects resources to other growing operations, sources close to the matter said Sunday. The Osaka-based electronics manufacturer is expected to sell the business for several billion yen, closing the deal by the end of March 2015, they said. Panasonic provides wireless control systems and related equipment to mobile communication carriers such as NTT Docomo Inc. through a subsidiary, Panasonic System Networks Co. Competition has been intensifying with domestic and overseas providers of base station equipment, including NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. The expected deal with Nokia would lead to a further scaling down of the mobile communication business for Panasonic, which has withdrawn from production of consumer-use smartphones.

---------- Missing girl in Okayama found safe, man arrested for imprisonment OKAYAMA, Japan - An 11-year-old schoolgirl who went missing on July 14 in the western Japan city of Kurashiki was found safe by police late Saturday. The local police arrested Takeshi Fujiwara, 49, for imprisoning her at his house in the neighboring city of Okayama, around 8 kilometers from the girl's home. The Okayama prefectural police said they found the girl watching television when they searched the suspect's house around 10:20 p.m. Saturday. Her mother remembered the license plate number of a car repeatedly seen following the girl in her neighborhood earlier this year. The vehicle belonged to Fujiwara. The girl went missing on July 14 after calling her mother on her way home from school.

---------- 5 Japanese students win awards in Physics Olympiad TOKYO - Four Japanese high school students have won silver medals and another a bronze at this year's International Physics Olympiad in Kazakhstan, the education ministry said Sunday. All five Japanese teenagers who competed in the annual physics competition for high school students received medals, according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The Japanese silver medal winners are Koichi Oyakawa, 18, from Osaka Seiko Gakuin High School, Yasuhito Sugiura, 17, from Kaisei High School, Tatsuya Hayashi, 17, from Gifu Kita High School and Yoshiki Maruyama, 17, from Miyazaki Nishi High School. The bronze medal winner is Kazuki Hamada, 16, of Nada High School. In the competition up to five students from a country or territory solved problems during theoretical and practical sessions lasting five hours each.

---------- Sumo: Hakuho prevails against upset-minded Osunaarashi NAGOYA - Yokozuna Hakuho won a tough match against Egyptian giant killer Osunaarashi on Sunday to maintain his share of the lead at the 15-day Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. Hakuho, chasing his 30th career championship, got all he bargained for from Osunaarashi, who had already defeated both yokozuna opponents he had faced at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. The yokozuna was joined at the head of the class by ozeki Kotoshigiku and No. 11 maegashira Takayasu. Yokozuna Kakuryu was the sole wrestler with just a single loss after eight days. Although he surrendered the initial advantage, Osunaarashi (4-4), fended off one attack after another from the yokozuna, who had to keep his wits about him to cope with the 22-year-old's strength and quickness. But experience eventually told in a match that lasted more than a minute. Hakuho easily threw Osunaarashi while the maegashira made a rash, lunging counterattack.

---------- Baseball: Hawks righties Arakaki, Yamanaka dealt to Swallows TOKYO - Softbank Hawks right-handers Nagisa Arakaki and Hirofumi Yamanaka have been dealt to the Yakult Swallows in a 2-for-2 trade for shortstop Keizo Kawashima and lefty Ryo Hidaka, sources familiar with the matter confirmed Sunday. The Hawks are hoping to bolster their roster as they aim for their first Pacific League pennant in three years, while the Swallows, currently last in the Central League, face the task of remodeling their pitching staff in the second half of the season. Arakaki, 34, joined the then-Daiei Hawks as a premium pre-draft signing in 2002. He has not pitched this season but owns a 60-50 record with a 3.82 career earned run average. Second-year Yamanaka, 28, is 0-2 in 18 career appearances. Kawashima, 30, has played in 433 career games in stints with the Nippon Ham Fighters and Yakult. Hidaka, 24, is 5-3 in a total of 85 games lifetime.

---------- Baseball: Red Sox's Uehara notches 20th save for 2nd straight year BOSTON - Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara posted 20 saves for the second year in a row after pitching a scoreless ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals in a 2-1 victory at home on Saturday night. Uehara, who holds a 1.58 ERA, became the third Japanese pitcher to register 20 saves in consecutive years. He got a fly out and a groundout sandwiched between a strikeout of Mike Moustakas swinging. Royals right fielder Norichika Aoki was hitless in two at-bats. "This year I've been struggling with control -- it still isn't there yet," said Uehara. "It's good to finish getting one out at a time, and win one by one so that the team can move up." ---------- Golf: Matsuyama drops to 38th, McIlroy opens lead at British Open HOYLAKE, England - Japan's Hideki Matsuyama failed to gain any ground in the third round of the British Open on Saturday as he dropped into a share of 38th place with sole leader Rory McIlroy extending his advantage to six shots. Matsuyama, who teed off in 24th, had three birdies canceled by four bogeys, putting him at even par 216. "I didn't have a food feeling for my shots at all. I couldn't make adjustments," said Matsuyama, who used his wedge to get within six feet of the pin on the par-4, 11th, only to three-putt for bogey. The 25-year-old McIlroy, who is seeking his third major and has led since the opening round, was on fire again and stepped it up with two eagles after the turn en route to shooting a 68 to move him to 16-under 200.

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

(c) 2014 Kyodo News

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