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Japan defence ministry asks for record budget TOKYO: Japan's defence ministry on Friday made its biggest ever budget request, as Tokyo bolsters its military amid worries over China's expanding naval reach.The ministry wants 5.05 trillion yen ($48.7 billion) for the year, with the focus on boosting protection of a string of southern islands that stretches from Kyushu to waters near Taiwan.The request, if approved, would mark the third straight annual defence budget increase and a 3.5 percent rise from the budget for the current fiscal year to March 2015.The trend reflects Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wish to build a more active military, with an eye on a possible escalation of tensions with China.Japan is increasingly wary of China, which is seen by several countries in the region as becoming increasingly aggressive in various sovereignty claims, including a suppurative row over island ownership with Tokyo.Among items on the defence ministry's shopping list are 20 "P1" maritime patrol aircraft, ...

China landslide toll rises to 15: report BEIJING: The death toll from a landslide that destroyed a Chinese village has risen to 15, state media reported Friday.Half of a 600-metre high knoll near Fuquan city in the southwestern province of Guizhou broke free and "wiped out a majority of the village" at its base, the official Xinhua news agency said.Rescue workers were still trying to extract survivors from the debris, it added. Pictures showed emergency personnel levering up huge slabs of tiled ...
Indonesia, Australia sign deal to end spying row NUSA DUA: Indonesia and Australia on Thursday signed an agreement aimed at drawing a line under a damaging espionage row and paving the way for the resumption of full cooperation on issues such as defence.Ties between the neighbours sank to their lowest point in years in November after reports that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle.Jakarta recalled its ambassador from Canberra and suspended cooperation in ...
MH370 may have turned south 'earlier' than thought CANBERRA: The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will focus on the southern part of the existing search zone after a new clue to the plane's possible location emerged, Australia said on Thursday.Fresh information suggested the jet "may have turned south" earlier than thought, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said.The detail came to light following "further refinement" of satellite data and as investigators attempted to map the plane's position during a failed attempt to ...
Japan seeks to double budget for disputed islands patrol TOKYO: Japan's coastguard is to ask for a doubling of its budget to boost patrols around islands that are the focus of a dispute with China, officials said Thursday.The agency will submit a request to the government for 50.4 billion yen ($485 million) for the financial year starting in April 2015, they said.The move will come after two years of relentless tensions with Beijing over the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands, which Japan nationalised in September 2012.That ...
Japan, India to ink rare earths deal: report TOKYO: Tokyo and New Delhi will next week sign an agreement that will see around 2,000 tons of rare earths imported from India, a report said Thursday, as Japan looks to diversify supply away from China.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to agree on the deal at their summit in Tokyo on Monday, the Nikkei newspaper reported.Some 2,000 to 2,300 tons of rare earths -- roughly 15 percent ...
Indonesia new president discusses budget with predecessor NUSA DUA: Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo discussed the national budget with the outgoing leader in Bali late on Wednesday, indicating the two administrations will cooperate in tackling massive fuel subsidies before the handover of power in October. The former OPEC member is struggling to contain ballooning fuel subsidy costs, which have widened the current account deficit and left little room in the budget for Widodo's much needed reforms.Raising fuel prices is a sensitive issue that ...

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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
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MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 28, 2014
Reserves $13.582 bln