Japan is to provide Myanmar with $615 million in government loans, a report said on Sunday, just days after the United States scrapped a ban on most imports from the long-isolated Southeast Asian nation.
Myanmar nominally ended nearly half a century of military rule last year and rapid changes have sparked a widespread lifting of sanctions and a scramble to tap a potentially lucrative market.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will make the loans announcement when he meets Myanmar's President Thein Sein on the sidelines on a Southeast Asian summit in Cambodia on Monday, the Nikkei business daily said.
Japan's first low-interest, long-term government loans to Myanmar in nearly three decades will "back up moves by Japanese companies into the country and hold China in check after it increased its influence in Myanmar", it said.
Japan will provide the loans in the fiscal year to March 2013 while the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and major creditor nations are expected to announce in January they will waive debts owed by Myanmar, the Nikkei said.
Japan will go ahead with research whaling in the northwestern Pacific for fiscal 2014, but by reducing catches following an International Court of Justice ruling that ordered the country to stop whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said Friday. (The Japan News )
Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday they have arrested an unemployed 42-year-old man on assault charges for allegedly attacked a 10-year-old elementary school boy and two others as they were playing in Yokosuka City in February of this year. (Japan Today )
Japan and the United States ended their three-day ministerial talks in Washington on Friday on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade initiative, being unable to narrow differences over Japanese tariffs in key farm product categories. (Jiji Press )
Japan's farm ministry said Thursday that the highly pathogenic avian influenza found at a poultry farm in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto has been confirmed to be the H5N8 subtype, the same virus strain as the bird flu found in South Korea. (Jiji Press )
Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated Japanese pop star who performs as a hologram, is to support some of Lady Gaga's tour of North America next month, the U.S. songstress has announced on Twitter. (Japan Today )
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today )
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )