Japan announced a plan Thursday to restart yen loans to rapidly reforming Myanmar, as Tokyo steps up efforts to help bring the once-pariah Southeast Asian nation into the fold of the global economy and benefit from its high economic growth potential.
"Japan is planning to resume its full program in Myanmar with yen loans to help support Myanmar's sustainable economic development...at the earliest possible timing next year," Japanese Finance Minister Koriki Jojima said in his opening remarks at a meeting of international officials on Myanmar's overdue debt.
Mr. Jojima offered no hints on the size of potential loans, but said Japan wants to help Myanmar in areas such as electricity and road rehabilitation, rural development and improvement of port facilities.
The gathering represents a stepped-up effort by host country Japan to bring major nations a step closer to a deal to address the issue of Myanmar's international arrears. Those overdue debts have long hindered inflows of new funds needed to reinforce the Southeast Asian state's growth prospects and embryonic democratization.
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )