Dec 17th, 2016


1) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin wrapped up two days of talks on Thursday, with numerous economic deals but no big breakthrough on a territorial row that has over-shadowed ties since World War Two.

2) Emperor Akihito, 82, has a cold and fever and has cancelled morning duties, an official at the Imperial Household Agency said on Friday. The emperor has no planned duties Friday afternoon and this weekend and will rest at the Imperial Palace, the official said.

3) The Bank of Japan is likely to give a more upbeat view of the economy at next week’s rate review, sources say, as a pick-up in emerging Asian demand and positive signs in private consumption improve prospects for a solid, export-driven recovery. Japan surpassed China in October as the largest foreign owner of U.S. Treasury securities, the first time the countries have swapped places in nearly two years. Total foreign holdings fell for a fourth month.

4) Defense Minister Tomomi Inada has received a report from a new Japan Self-Defense Force peacekeeping unit in South Sudan. She urged the group to ensure its safety.

Inada talked with the unit’s commander, Colonel Yoshiro Tanaka, via video phone on Thursday. He said the situation in the capital, Juba, is relatively stable.

5) Japanese police say a street robbery in the spring of this year resulted in gold bullion worth about 600 million yen, or more than 5 million dollars, being stolen by men disguised as police.

The robbery took place near JR Hakata station in downtown Fukuoka City, southwestern Japan.

Investigators told NHK that men carrying attache cases containing gold were stopped for questioning by men wearing what looked like police uniforms.

6) The governor of the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa is to lodge a protest with the country’s central government over the accident involving a US marine Osprey transport aircraft.

Governor Takeshi Onaga plans to meet Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and other government officials in Tokyo on Thursday.

He also plans to call for determining the cause of the accident and demand the removal of Ospreys from Okinawa.

7) U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday rejected as “ridiculous” U.S. intelligence reports that Russia intervened in the presidential election on his behalf through targeted hacking, putting him at odds with top lawmakers who vowed to investigate the findings.