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TMCNet:  Kyodo Top12 News (16:30)

[August 15, 2014]

Kyodo Top12 News (16:30)

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ---------- Abe reiterates peace pledge on end-of-war anniversary TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated his pledge Friday to contribute to world peace at a ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of the end of World War II, amid concern that Japan may be shifting away from pacifism under his leadership. The ceremony followed the decision of Abe's Cabinet on July 1 to approve reinterpreting the Constitution to allow the Self-Defense Forces to defend allies under armed attack through collective self-defense. "Today is a day to reiterate that pledge toward peace," Abe said at the ceremony attended by Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and about 4,700 relatives of the war dead. "We will make contributions to lasting world peace to the greatest possible extent and spare no effort in working to bring about a world in which all people are able to live enriched lives," he said.


---------- Abe sends ritual offering, 3 Cabinet ministers visit war-linked shrine TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo and three of his Cabinet ministers visited there Friday, drawing criticism from South Korea -- an Asian neighbor that suffered Japan's aggression along with China -- as Friday marked the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II. Leaving room for mending fences with Beijing and Seoul, however, Abe was expected not to go to the controversial shrine this time after his December visit infuriated the two neighbors, which see the Shinto shrine as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, and disappointed Washington, Tokyo's security ally. On Friday morning, Abe sent his aide to make the offering at his own expense and as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, seen as an attempt to appease his conservative supporters who want him to visit there.

---------- China "resolutely opposes" Abe's offering to Yasukuni Shrine BEIJING - China said Friday it "resolutely opposes" Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ritual offering to the war-related Yasukuni Shrine on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II. "We again urge the Japanese side to seriously take a responsible attitude" and "take practical action to gain the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement. Three of the Abe government's Cabinet ministers visited the Tokyo shrine, which honors Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals, along with millions of war dead.

---------- Park urges Japan to make next year "starting point for new era" SEOUL - South Korean President Park Geun Hye urged Japan on Friday to work with South Korea to make next year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties, a "new starting point for a new era" of relations between the two countries. Meanwhile, South Korea's Foreign Ministry criticized as "deplorable" Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's latest ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo and the visits there by two of his Cabinet ministers earlier Friday, the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II. "Based on friendship, I hope both countries make next year as a new starting point for a new era," Park said at a speech marking the anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's colonial rule on Aug. 15, 1945.

---------- Park proposes creation of nuclear safety body in Northeast Asia SEOUL - South Korean President Park Geun Hye on Friday proposed the creation of a body to ensure nuclear plants in Northeast Asia are operated safely, involving mainly South Korea, China and Japan. "I propose creating a consultative body for nuclear safety in Northeast Asia with South Korea, China and Japan being the central participants," Park said in a speech delivered on National Liberation Day, marking the end of Japan's colonial rule in 1945. "The United States, Russia, North Korea and Mongolia are also to take part in the body," she said. She said the idea is to follow an example of how the European Union has forged multilateral cooperation and created the European Atomic Energy Community.

---------- Park invites N. Korea to int'l confab on biodiversity in Oct.

SEOUL - South Korean President Park Geun Hye on Friday extended an invitation to North Korea to send a delegation to an international conference on biological diversity set to be held in South Korea in October. "First of all, we need to build a channel for environmental cooperation, through which both Koreas can connect and restore the ecosystem on the Korean Peninsula," Park said in a speech on National Liberation Day, marking the end of Japan's colonial rule in 1945. In this regard, she expressed her hope that North Korea will take part in the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity set to be held Oct. 6-17 in Pyeongchang in Gangwon Province.

---------- Modi invites foreigners to invest, manufacture in India NEW DELHI - Foreign investors should invest in India and manufacture goods here, as manufacturing is key to development and overall economic growth, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday on the occasion of the country's 68th Independence Day. Delivering his first Independence Day speech since being elected in May, Modi vowed to encourage the country's manufacturing sector, while he urged manufacturers to focus more on making good quality products without harming the environment. "Let there be made-in-India products in every corner of the world," he said. In his hourlong speech from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, Modi reiterated his foreign policy tenet of forging strong ties with neighboring countries and called for world peace.

---------- Japan freezes assets of N. Korea entity over weapons development TOKYO - Japan said Friday it will freeze the assets, effective the same day, of a North Korean entity in line with a U.N.-mandated sanction against Pyongyang for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development. Japan took the measure after Ocean Maritime Management Co. was included in late July in a list of companies and individuals subject to asset freezes and other penalties based on U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718. A U.N. committee that oversees sanctions against North Korea said the Pyongyang-based company played a key role in arranging the shipment of a concealed cargo of arms and related materiel from Cuba to North Korea.

---------- Japan gov't to review guidelines on protection of personal info TOKYO - Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will review its guidelines on protection of personal information possibly from next month in response to the recent outflow of data on customers of Benesse Corp., a major correspondence education provider for children, ministry officials said Friday. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a press conference his ministry will review the guidelines under the 2003 law on the protection of personal information after examining reports from Benesse's investigation into the alleged theft of the in-house data. The ministry plans to ask companies to appoint one of their executives as an official responsible for management of customer information and may also urge them to set up security cameras at divisions on the management of the customer information, the officials said.

---------- Sony to make image sensors for automobile-mounted cameras TOKYO - Sony Corp. will start making image sensors for automobile-mounted cameras, with their mass production slated to begin next year, company sources said Friday. By expanding into the growing automotive camera market, as automakers seek to develop automated-driving vehicles and other smart cars, the major Japanese electronics company aims to improve its sluggish electronics business. To be mass-produced is an image sensor for car-mounted cameras that will detect and monitor obstacles and other cars in front of and behind the vehicle while driving, the sources said. The sensor is highly sensitive to light and is able to easily detect people and obstacles on roads at night. It is even capable of displaying surroundings in color in moonlight, they said.

---------- Nikkei rises for 5th day, dollar holds firm in mid-102 yen range TOKYO - Tokyo stocks eked out a small gain in thin summer holiday trading, prompting the Nikkei index to extend its winning streak to a fifth day, on the back of easing geopolitical concerns. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 3.77 points, or 0.02 percent, from Thursday at 15,318.34. The broader Topix index finished 0.18 point, or 0.01 percent, higher at 1,270.68. On the currency market, the U.S. dollar held firm in the mid-102 yen range. At 4 p.m., the dollar fetched 102.54-56 yen compared with 102.40-50 yen in New York late Thursday afternoon. The euro was quoted at 137.08-09 yen against 136.89-99 yen in New York.

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

(c) 2014 Kyodo News

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