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Japan industry minister to resign over make-up scandal: report TOKYO: Japan's industry minister is set to resign over claims she spent political donations on make-up, local media reported Saturday, in a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bid to restart nuclear power.Yuko Obuchi was named as the country's first female minister of economy, trade and industry -- a powerful portfolio that includes oversight of the energy sector -- in September.She was the most prominent of a new wave of women picked to leading Cabinet positions by Abe, and seen as a possible future prime minister of Japan.But she is now facing claims that, over the five years to 2012, her political funding body spent more than 10 million yen ($95,000) on things unconnected to politics, including cosmetics and accessories at a department store.Obuchi has told sources close to Abe that she intends to resign the ministerial post as the prime minister returns from an Asia-Europe summit in Italy on ...

Indonesia to inaugurate first president without ties to ex-dictator JAKARTA: Joko Widodo will cap a remarkable rise from an upbringing in a riverside slum when he is sworn in as Indonesia's president Monday, but takes power amid doubts about his ability to enact much-needed reforms.Indonesia's first leader without deep roots in the era of dictator Suharto, Widodo will be sworn in at a ceremony in parliament attended by foreign dignitaries, including US Secretary of State John Kerry and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. After ...
Japan ministers visit controversial Tokyo war shrine TOKYO: Two Japanese ministers visited a controversial Tokyo war shrine Saturday, the first Cabinet ministers to join a pilgrimage by 100 lawmakers to the spot condemned by China and Korea as a symbol of Japan's wartime aggression.Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi visited the Yasukuni Shrine in downtown Tokyo, a day after the cross-party group of parliamentarians also went to the site in a move that angered Beijing.National Public Safety Commission chief Eriko Yamatani ...
South Korean official in apparent suicide after concert tragedy SEOUL: An official dealing with safety measures at a concert in South Korea where 16 people died when the grate they were standing on collapsed apparently committed suicide hours after the tragedy, authorities said Saturday.The death of the 37-year-old local government official, surnamed Oh, was announced as South Korean police launched an investigation into the Friday incident at an outdoor pop concert in the city of Seongnam.The victims were standing on a ventilation grating to ...
China defends Ebola response BEIJING: China on Friday defended its response to the Ebola outbreak, after leaders including US President Barack Obama called on the world to do more to contain the deadly virus.The virus has already killed around 4,500 people, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.Beijing's diplomatic and economic footprint across Africa has expanded hugely in recent years as it seeks resources to power its economy.Since the beginning of the year, China has given ...
16 killed in collapse at South Korea pop concert SEONGNAM: Sixteen people were killed and nine others seriously injured when a ventilation grate gave way while they were watching an outdoor pop concert in Seongnam south of Seoul on Friday, rescuers said."They were standing on the ventilation grate to get a better view when it collapsed under their weight," a spokesman for the local fire services told AFP.Rescuers said 16 were confirmed dead, but added the death toll might rise with some of the ...
Hong Kong leader reopens offer of talks with students HONG KONG: Hong Kong's embattled leader reopened his offer of talks with student leaders Thursday a week after the government abruptly pulled out of discussions aimed at ending weeks of mass democracy rallies."Over the last few days, including this morning through third parties, we expressed a wish to the students that we would like to start a dialogue to discuss universal suffrage as soon as we can and hopefully within the following week," Chief Executive ...

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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 10, 2014
Reserves $13.401 bln