Kyodo news summary -8-
(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ----------
China detains Vietnamese fishing vessel off its southern coast
BEIJING - Chinese authorities have seized a Vietnamese fishing vessel off the country's southern coast, an incident that could heighten the months-long tensions between the two countries over disputed waters in the South China Sea.
The China Coast Guard detained the vessel and its six crew members Thursday morning for engaging in "illegal operations in Chinese territorial waters," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on Friday.
Kobe to launch free Wi-Fi service for foreign tourists
KOBE - The city of Kobe in western Japan said Friday it will launch a free wireless Internet service for foreign tourists from the end of the month.
The service is aimed at enhancing the tourists' time in Kobe and encouraging them to share their experiences instantly on social networks.
Tokyo gov. eager to build new guest palace before 2020 Olympics
KYOTO - Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe on Friday expressed his desire to build a Japanese-style guest palace in Tokyo before the 2020 Olympic Games.
"I want to build a Tokyo guest palace soon," Masuzoe said after visiting the Kyoto State Guest House, created in traditional Japanese style with a hip-and-gable roof, in Kyoto. "It was brilliantly built with Japanese tradition," he said.
Arrests of pro-democracy march organizers "persecution": activists
HONG KONG - The arrest of five members of the organizer of Tuesday's pro-democracy demonstration was an act of persecution, the group and legislators said Friday.
The convener and three members of the Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized the annual march since 2003, as well as the driver of the truck leading the procession in the march were arrested for "obstruction" and violation of agreements in the approval letter issued by police, Labor Party legislator Cyd Ho said.
Nagasaki unveils color photos shot in years after A-bombing
NAGASAKI - The Nagasaki municipal office on Friday unveiled to the press three color photos of the city taken from the air by U.S. forces several years after the 1945 atomic bombing of the city.
The photos were discovered during research conducted at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration before next year's 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing, according to the city office.
Abe, Merkel discuss Ukraine, E. Asia by phone
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the two nations will cooperate over the Ukraine crisis.
The two leaders, speaking for about 20 minutes by phone, exchanged views on various issues facing the international community including the situation in East Asia, according to the Foreign Ministry.
N. Korea announces launch of abduction probe unit
PYONGYANG - North Korea announced Friday the launch of a new organization aimed at looking into the whereabouts of missing Japanese nationals suspected of being in its territory.
North Korea said, as agreed with Japan, its "all-inclusive and comprehensive investigation" will start from Friday with the new organization given a "special mandate" from the National Defense Commission headed by the country's leader Kim Jong Un.
(c) 2014 Kyodo News
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