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Alphonse Scaf

Le " moi réservé " d'Akio Toyoda - 0 views

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    "Lettre d'Asie"
Pedro Gonçalves

Japan's long-ruling government braced for election defeat | World news | guardian.co.uk - 0 views

  • Its leader, Yukio Hatoyama, has quietly modified early promises to end Japan's "subservience" to US foreign policy, but he remains committed to enhancing his country's Asian identity through closer ties with China and South Korea.

    And while he has yet to augment his antipathy to US-led "market fundamentalism" with a clear alternative, the ambiguity that is the luxury of opposition parties looks certain to keep him safe until after the election.

Pedro Gonçalves

Chinese Political Scientist Sun Zhe: North Korea's 'Calculated Chess Move' - SPIEGEL ON... - 0 views

  • The North Koreans certainly did not listen to us. They currently don't view their relations with Beijing as a strategic priority. Their policies are completely oriented toward the Americans. There, they are playing a high-stakes game of poker.
  • SPIEGEL: What do the North Koreans really want?

    Sun: They want to be treated as an equal partner by the US and by the other Western countries. And they absolutely want to have diplomatic relations with Washington.

  • SPIEGEL: And for that you have to detonate atomic bombs?

    Sun: On the face of it, it indeed seems very strange. But it is a precisely calculated chess move. The North Koreans want to be noticed;

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  • Sun: More than anything, Beijing wants to prevent Japan from using the situation in North Korea as an excuse for becoming a nuclear power itself.
  • Sun: The only way to exert pressure on Pyongyang is to cut off deliveries of energy and food.
  • Sun: President Barack Obama should resume normal relations with North Korea, send some professors to Pyongyang and do something. That's the only chance for bringing North Korea to its senses
  • We don't need hard sanctions; we need a strategy of "soft landing" for East Asia.
Argos Media

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japan reports rare trade deficit - 0 views

  • Japan has reported its first annual trade deficit in 28 years, with exports in the year to March down 16% from the previous year.
  • Total exports in February and March were half of what they had been a year earlier, the finance ministry said.
  • Demand in the United States and Europe for Japanese cars and electronics has remained low amid global economic woes.

    But analysts say a slowing of the drop in sales to China indicates Beijing's economic stimulus may be taking hold.

    Japan's exports fell 45.6% in March compared with a year earlier, largely in line with forecasts, while imports fell 36.7%, Ministry of Finance data showed.

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  • However, exports to China fell only 31.5% in March from a year earlier, compared to a 39.7% decline in February and one of 45.2% in January.

    This improvement has persuaded analysts to see signs of hope, at least within Asian trade.

  • Exports to Asia fell 39.5% in March from a year earlier, while exports to the US dropped 51.4%, and those to the European Union were down 56.1%.

    Japanese newspapers have reported expectations that economic growth forecasts would be lowered again, to a 3% contraction, due to the rapid deterioration in trade and production.

Argos Media

Divisions emerge in international response to North Korean rocket launch | World news |... - 0 views

  • The Taepodong-2 rocket flew twice as far as any previous North Korean missile.
  • Although Obama described the action as a "provocation", the US and Japan have so far failed to win support from China and Russia for a statement condemning Pyongyang and tightening existing sanctions.
  • The Japanese foreign minister, Hirofumi Nakasone, today admitted there were divisions in the security council.

    "China and Russia share the concern that this is a threat to the region, but they appear reserved and cautious as of now," he told reporters in Tokyo.

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  • North Korea claimed the Taepodong-2 rocket put an experimental communications satellite into orbit, where it is collecting data and broadcasting the Song of General Kim Il-Sung and the Song of General Kim Jong-il.
  • But US, South Korean and Japanese scientists say the only broadcasts are likely to be from the bottom of the ocean because the satellite failed to reach orbit.
  • China, a historical ally of and food supplier to North Korea, has called on all sides to remain calm.

    "Our position is that all countries concerned should show restraint and refrain from taking action that might lead to increased tension," Zhang Yesui, the Chinese ambassador to the UN, told reporters.

  • So far, however, the US and its allies have been unable to persuade China and Russia that the act was a breach of UN security council resolution 1718, passed after long-range missile and nuclear tests in 2006.
  • The resolution bans Pyongyang from activities related to a ballistic missile programme and calls on the international community to stop trading weapons and luxury goods with North Korea.
  • The advance in North Korea's ballistic missile technology will raise concerns that the country could one day be capable of delivering a nuclear payload to the US or western Europe.

    It is likely to interest potential buyers from Pakistan, Iran and Syria, who have sent observers to previous launches.

  • Russia described the North Korean rocket launch as "regrettable", but stopped short of confirming whether the launch had violated existing resolutions.

    "Before embarking on any actions, we should understand the character of this launch because, at this particular moment, we do not have a clearcut picture," Igor Scherbak, the deputy Russian permanent UN representative, said.

Argos Media

US moves warships into position for North Korean missile | World news | The Guardian - 0 views

  • The US and Japan yesterday deployed anti-missile batteries on land and sea to shoot down possible debris from an intercontinental ballistic missile North Korea is expected to test in the next few days.

  • South Korea also planned to dispatch its Aegis-equipped destroyer, according to a Seoul military official who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.
  • The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, said America had no intention of shooting down the missile itself, which satellite photographs show is sitting on a launch-pad in Musudan-ri. Pyongyang says the launch is intended to put a satellite into orbit, but any such ballistic missile testing or development is banned by a 2006 United Nations resolution. Two US warships armed with Aegis anti-ballistic missiles left ports in South Korea yesterday to monitor the launch, which experts say could take place as soon as Saturday.
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  • The North Korean foreign ministry said at the weekend that "even a single word critical of the launch" from the security council would be interpreted as "a hostile act".
Argos Media

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | N Korea 'places missile on pad' - 0 views

  • North Korea has placed what is thought to be a long-range missile on a launch pad, Japanese and US officials say.

    North Korea had already said it would send a satellite into orbit in early April, using a long-range missile.

    The US, Japan and South Korea are concerned Pyongyang will test its Taepodong-2 long-range missile instead of launching a satellite.

  • Japanese PM Taro Aso said plans were being made to shoot down any rocket that threatened to hit the country.

    North Korea has said it plans to carry out the controversial launch between 4 and 8 April.

    The Taepodong-2 missile is capable of reaching Alaska from the Musudan-ri base in Hwadae on North Korea's north-east coast.

    It first tested the missile in July 2006, but it failed less than a minute after launch.

  • A satellite launch and a long-rang missile test would both use the Taepodong 2, analysts say.

    Pyongyang has already said the rocket taking its satellite into orbit will cross over Japan, dropping booster stages to its east and west.

Argos Media

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japanese opposition aide charged - 0 views

  • An aide to Japanese opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa has been charged with violating a political funds law, Japanese media has reported.
  • Japanese media said the charges put more pressure on Mr Ozawa to decide whether or not to resign.

    Before the scandal broke, Mr Ozawa was considered a likely victor in national elections which must be held this year.

  • Analysts had predicted Mr Ozawa stood his best chance ever of unseating the incumbent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader, Prime Minister Taro Aso, in the coming elections.

    Such a victory would end almost 50 years of unbroken rule by the LDP, which is facing huge voter discontent amid worsening economic gloom.

Argos Media

BBC NEWS | Business | Japan's exports halved in January - 0 views

  • Japan's current account recorded its largest deficit on record in January, reaching 172.8bn yen ($1.8bn; £1.2bn). It was its first deficit in 13 years.
  • Government figures show that exports nearly halved in January, while imports fell by a third.
  • Car exports alone dropped 66.1%, with semiconductor and electronic parts exports down 52.8%.
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