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Kyodo economic news summary -3-.

TOKYO, Feb. 18 Kyodo

---------- FSA to check major banks' assessment of borrowers on limited basis

TOKYO - The Financial Services Agency will conduct special inspections on a limited basis to ensure major banks have properly assessed the creditworthiness of their major borrowers for the year through March 31, Financial Services Minister Tatsuya Ito said Friday.

The on-site inspection will not cover all of the nation's 11 major banks as it did in the previous special inspection.

---------- FSA to order Meiji Yasuda Life to suspend business

TOKYO - The Financial Services Agency plans to order Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. later this month to suspend part of its business for about two weeks over alleged illegal sales practices, FSA sources said Friday.

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance admitted to problematic contracts and apologized to policyholders.

---------- Popular robots deliver weather data to humans

TOKYO - Sony Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and 16 other manufacturers on Friday tested robots' abilities to communicate information from the Internet to humans at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

The experiment involves six robots, including Sony's AIBO, Mitsubishi Heavy's wakamaru, Fujitsu Ltd.'s Maron-1, Business Design Laboratory's ifbot and Toshiba Corp.'s ApriAlpha.

---------- Gov't may revise law to curb takeovers via off-hours trading

TOKYO - The government will seek to revise the Securities and Exchange Law during the ongoing Diet session if it finds it necessary to restrict business takeovers through off-hours stock trading, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said Friday.

''Experts at the Financial Services Agency need to consider whether to restrict off-hours trading concerning takeover bids,'' Hosoda said at a press conference, referring to Livedoor Co.'s recent acquisition of a large stake in a radio broadcaster through such a transaction.

---------- Tanigaki hopes new local gov't group chief will spur fiscal autonomy

TOKYO - Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki on Friday welcomed the election Thursday of Fukuoka Gov. Wataru Aso as the new head of the National Governors Association, saying he hopes Aso will take the lead in expanding regional fiscal autonomy.

''I look forward to seeing his leadership, and I would like to discuss with him'' issues involving reform efforts to extend greater fiscal autonomy to local authorities, Tanigaki told reporters.

---------- Dollar moves tightly in mid-105 yen level in Tokyo morning deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar moved in a tight range around mid-105 yen Friday morning in Tokyo, with many participants refraining from trading actively due to a lack of new incentives.

At noon, the dollar was quoted at 105.49-51 yen, against Thursday's 5 p.m. quotes of 105.50-60 yen in New York and 105.25-27 yen in Tokyo.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Feb 22, 2005
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