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Kyodo news summary -2-
[January 22, 2014]

Kyodo news summary -2-

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Jan. 23 -- (Kyodo) _ ---------- Prosecutors question ex-Tokyo gov. over money from medical group TOKYO - Prosecutors have questioned former Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, who stepped down in December over his receipt of 50 million yen from one of the country's largest hospital chains, the Tokushukai group, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The special investigative squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office quizzed Inose, 67, to verify a string of developments concerning the receipt of the money, the sources said.

---------- Panasonic to absorb Sanyo's flat-panel TV business in N. America OSAKA - Panasonic Corp. plans to absorb the flat-panel television operation run by subsidiary Sanyo Electric Co. in North America to sharpen its competitive edge in the electronics business, Panasonic sources said Thursday.

The move comes as Panasonic plans to integrate in April its digital audiovisual electronics operation including flat-panel TVs into the home electronics division involving refrigerators.

---------- Sharp to terminate U.S. solar panel production OSAKA - Sharp Corp. is set to terminate solar panel production in the United States at the end of March amid intensifying global competition, company sources said Thursday.

The move is aimed at strengthening robust domestic operations, they said.

---------- Japan's key bond yield rises on higher U.S. Treasury rates TOKYO - The yield on the bellwether 10-year Japanese government bond rose Thursday morning, mirroring overnight rises in U.S. Treasury rates.

The yield on the No. 332, 0.6 percent issue, the main yardstick of long-term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading at 0.680 percent, up 0.005 percentage point from Wednesday's close.

---------- FEATURE: Japanese "rokyoku" storyteller to perform in N.Y. with funds via Net OSAKA - Keiko Haruno's dream to introduce the traditional Japanese storytelling art of "rokyoku" to the world is set to come when she performs overseas for the first time in New York in March, thanks to a successful online fundraising campaign.

Haruno, a graduate of the University of Tokyo, first came to prominence as a private tutor known as "Keiko sensei" (Teacher Keiko) on TV entertainment programs. But in the midst of her hectic life as a television personality, Haruno found her life's calling in rokyoku and became an apprentice in 2003 to Yuriko Haruno II, the master of female Rokyoku of Kamigata.

---------- Nikkei rises on weaker yen, soft Chinese data pares early gains TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index ended Thursday morning higher thanks to rises in export-oriented high-tech shares amid the yen's depreciation, although early gains were pared after weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 37.61 points, or 0.24 percent, from Wednesday to end the morning at 15,858.57. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 0.37 point, or 0.03 percent, to 1,299.26.

---------- TPP ministerial talks "likely" in Feb.: USTR official WASHINGTON - A senior U.S. trade official said Wednesday the next round of ministerial talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact is "likely" to be held in February.

"TPP countries are now in the process of scheduling the next meeting of the ministers, which is likely to take place next month," Wendy Cutler, acting deputy U.S. trade representative, told an event in Washington.

---------- FEATURE: Ex-Japan pilot serving as safety manager at Asiana SEOUL - A former All Nippon Airways pilot, Akiyoshi Yamamura, has been hired by Asiana Airlines Inc. to improve its safety standards following last July's fatal crash of an Asiana Airlines aircraft at San Francisco airport in the United States.

"I have extensive international experiences and will aim to enhance safety management at Asiana on the basis of common knowledge at the world's airlines," the 65-year-old Japanese said before South Korean media at an inaugural press conference in Seoul in December.

---------- Dollar trades in mid-104 yen after gloomy China outlook TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded in the mid-104 yen zone after rising to the upper 104 yen range on Thursday morning in Tokyo as market sentiment was somewhat dampened on worse-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data.

At noon, the dollar fetched 104.58-61 yen compared with 104.48-58 yen in New York and 104.36-38 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

(c) 2014 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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