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Kyodo news summary -1-
[August 08, 2014]

Kyodo news summary -1-

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ---------- U.S. launches airstrikes against Islamist militants in Iraq WASHINGTON - The U.S. military launched a series of airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq on Friday, U.S. government officials said, the first such strikes in the country since the U.S. military withdrawal in 2011.

The airstrikes, including a drone attack, came a day after U.S. President Barack Obama authorized possible "targeted" airstrikes against the militants.

---------- Nigeria declares state of emergency over Ebola: report NAIROBI - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan declared a national state of emergency on Friday over the Ebola outbreak and approved 1.9 billion naira ($11.7 million) of emergency funds to contain it, Reuters news service reported.

Nigeria became the third country behind Liberia and Sierra Leone to declare a state of emergency over Ebola.

---------- Drama reading of Fumiyo Kono's A-bomb manga staged in India NEW DELHI - Indian theater artists staged a drama reading of a Japanese manga story by Fumiyo Kono about victims of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bombing at the Japan Foundation on Wednesday, the day the Japanese city was reduced to ashes 69 years ago.

Five actors read out stories from the Hindi version of "Yunagi no Machi, Sakura no Kuni" ("Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms"), playing out different characters of the stories, with the translated manga book given to around 30 people in the audience.

---------- Kishida to hold talks with Kerry, eyeing N. Korea, Iraq and Ukraine NAYPYITAW - Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is set to hold talks Saturday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, focusing on Japan's recent engagement with North Korea, the crisis in Ukraine and U.S. airstrikes on Islamic militants in Iraq on Friday.

In the talks on the sidelines of regional meetings in Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw, Kishida is expected to brief Kerry about Japan's initiative to resolve the abduction issue with North Korea and seek Washington's support, according to Japanese delegation sources.

---------- FOCUS: Softbank's new growth strategy awaited as T-Mobile buyout bid fails TOKYO - A new global growth strategy is awaited from Japanese telecom giant Softbank Corp. as its Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son's ambition to challenge the top two rivals in the U.S. market faced a setback with its foiled bid to acquire T-Mobile US Inc. through its subsidiary Sprint Corp.

Analysts said market players are closely watching how Softbank will shore up the business of the third-largest U.S. mobile carrier Sprint, which it acquired in July last year for $21.6 billion, without increasing the scale with the No. 4 player.

---------- Abe to retain Suga, 3 deputy chief Cabinet secretaries in reshuffle TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to retain Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and three deputy chief Cabinet secretaries in a reshuffle of his Cabinet that will likely take place on Sept. 4, a government source said Saturday.

In addition to the three deputies of Katsunobu Kato, Hiroshige Seko and Kazuhiro Sugita, five special advisers to Abe -- Taro Kimura, Yosuke Isozaki, Seiichi Eto, Hiroto Izumi and Eiichi Hasegawa -- will also stay on to maintain decision-making functions of the prime minister's office, according to the source.

---------- FEATURE: Storks' arrival is seal of approval for Hyogo farmers' rice TOYOOKA, Japan - A group of farmers in Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture that engages in environment-friendly rice cultivation takes the arrival of storks as a sign they have a good product.

"Rice feels less stress and grows strong if we don't use chemical herbicides," Ichio Narita, a leader of the group said. "We don't need any agricultural chemicals and so can produce rice that's good for health." ---------- Nagasaki urges gov't to heed security policy worries on A-bomb day NAGASAKI - Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue called on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government to heed mounting public concern over its security policy on Saturday, the 69th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the southwestern Japan city.

At an annual ceremony to mourn the victims of the attack, Taue pledged in his Peace Declaration the city's continued push for the elimination of nuclear weapons, while touching on the government's controversial decision last month to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, or coming to the defense of allies even when Japan is not under attack.

---------- Marshall Islands seeks support for ICJ cases against nuclear states NAGASAKI - The Marshall Islands is looking to civil society and the international community for support in its lawsuits against nuclear weapons states at the International Court of Justice, according to dignitaries from the islands visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombings of the cities.

"We are trying to get support from the general public and from all the organizations that are against nuclear weapons," said Annette Note, deputy chief of mission at the Marshall Islands Embassy in Japan in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

(c) 2014 Kyodo News

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