Economic ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries and six partners, including Japan, agreed to declare by the end of this year the start of negotiations among the 16 nations on concluding a free trade agreement covering wide areas of the Asia-Pacific region.
Under the accord reached at the ministerial meeting Thursday, the countries will hold first-round talks early next year with the aim of concluding the negotiations at the end of 2015.
If the coming negotiations are concluded successfully, it would become easier, for example, to make key parts in Japan, assemble them into products at a site in an ASEAN country and sell the products in India, sources said.
Still, the multilateral negotiations may not proceed smoothly, analysts warned. Japan's relations with China and South Korea have deteriorated due to territorial disputes between Tokyo and the two neighbors.
China's television regulator has ordered a crackdown on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines. (Reuters )
Shukan Post (May 24) conveys the difficulties experienced by other parts of the adult-entertainment biz in servicing customers from the communist nation.
A deri heru (“delivery health”) call-girl tells the tabloid that she is often requested to arrive at major hotels in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro entertainment areas of Tokyo by Chinese visitors. (Tokyo Reporter)