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Japan PM calls for steps to achieve a $5 trn economy TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed the government on Wednesday to come up with an action plan by the end of the month to help achieve his goal of expanding the economy by a fifth to 600 trillion yen ($4.95 trillion) over five years. Abe hopes that the measures should encourage Japanese firms to spend their record cash piles to boost investment on plants and equipment and raise wages in a bid to generate a cycle of growth led by the private sector. "In order to achieve the biggest GDP in the postwar era, the business circles need to tackle capital spending and wage hikes. The government will quickly consider steps to support it," Abe told a meeting of his top economic advisory panel. "I want (Economics) Minister (Akira) Amari to compile urgent measures needed to realise GDP worth 600 trillion yen." The four private-sector members of the 11-member ...

Powerful quake hits eastern Indonesia, reports of minor damage JAKARTA: A powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on Wednesday, US seismologists said, with some reports of minor property damage but no casualties recorded so far.The quake struck at a depth of 14km kilometres (8.5 miles) under the Alor Sea at about 10:44 (0345 GMT), roughly 77km from the East Timorese capital of Dili, the US Geological Survey said.A disaster agency official in Alor, a remote string of islands closest to the epicentre, said the ...
China raises coal use figures by billions of tonnes: report BEIJING: China has been underreporting its coal consumption for years, experts said Wednesday after reports that official statistics have been revised upwards by hundreds of millions of tonnes a year.The National Bureau of Statistics raised the figures for coal consumption in previous years by as much as 17 percent in its most recent yearbook, the New York Times reported.For 2012 alone the increase was 600 million tonnes, it said -- over 70 percent of the ...
US to operate 'wherever' law allows in S. China Sea BEIJING: The US military will continue to operate "wherever" international law allows, a top US admiral said in Beijing on Tuesday, a week after America infuriated China by sailing close to artificial islands it is building in the South China Sea."International seas and airspace belong to everyone and are not the dominion of any single nation," Admiral Harry Harris said, according to prepared remarks for a speech at the Stanford Center at Peking University."Our military ...
South Korea, Japan summit breaks diplomatic freeze SEOUL: The leaders of South Korea and Japan broke an extended diplomatic freeze Monday with a rare summit that saw agreement on trying to resolve sensitive historical disputes that have tainted ties for decades.South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed a range of topics including the thorny issue of the so-called "comfort women," forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II.It was their first ever one-on-one meeting ...
UN body calls detention of Malaysia's Anwar 'arbitrary' KUALA LUMPUR: A UN body has determined that former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been jailed illegally and called for his immediate release, according to a copy of the opinion released Monday by his family.Anwar, 68, was jailed in February for five years after earlier being convicted for sodomising a former male aide. He denies the charge, calling it a frame-up by Malaysia's long-ruling government to halt recent opposition political gains.The opinion by the ...
China naval chief warns US of conflict risk in South China Sea BEIJING: China's navy chief warned his US counterpart encounters between their forces could spiral into conflict, state media reported, two days after a US destroyer sailed close to Beijing's artificial South China Sea islands.The comments by Admiral Wu Shengli, who commands the Chinese navy, were made in a video call with US Admiral John Richardson that lasted about an hour, Beijing's official Xinhua news agency said Friday.They came after the USS Lassen guided missile destroyer ...

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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 23, 2015
Reserves $19.713 bln