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Kyodo economic news summary -3-.

TOKYO, Oct. 19 Kyodo

---------- Tokyo stocks mixed on gains in financials, buybacks trim losses

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks ended mixed Monday, with strong buybacks in banks and other financial shares lifting the overall market while an initial slump among Japanese exporters on bleak U.S. quarterly earnings was trimmed in late trading.

After spending most of the day in negative territory, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 21.05 points, or 0.21 percent, to 10,236.51 from Friday's three-week closing high.

---------- Gov't aims to set FY 2010 budget below 92 tril. yen

TOKYO - The new Japanese government is trying to make the size of the state general-account budget for fiscal 2010 no more than 92 trillion yen, without increasing the issuance of deficit-covering bonds from the levels of its predecessor, Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said Monday.

Last week, the amount of budgetary requests submitted by government ministries and agencies for the year starting in April reached an all-time high of 95.04 trillion yen, despite the Democratic Party of Japan-led government's ambition to reduce wasteful spending.

---------- Minister tells Japan Post chief of change to privatization policy

TOKYO - Shizuka Kamei, state minister in charge of postal reform, said Monday he has told Japan Post Holdings Co. President Yoshifumi Nishikawa of his plan to submit a bill to the Diet to change the privatization process for the government-owned postal entity.

Kamei said he met with Nishikawa last Tuesday and told him the ruling parties, led by the Democratic Party of Japan, are set to submit the bill to freeze the sale of Japan Post shares during an extraordinary Diet session slated for later this month.

---------- BOJ raises assessment of all of 9 regional economies

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan raised its assessment of all of the country's nine regions Monday, due to pickups in exports and production.

The economies of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu-Okinawa have all seen improvement, the BOJ said in its quarterly ''Sakura Report'' on regional economies.

---------- Japan's crude steel output dives to 40-year low in fiscal half

TOKYO - Crude steel output in Japan in the April-September first half of fiscal 2009 fell 29.6 percent from a year earlier to 43.33 million tons, marking a 40-year low on a six-month-period basis, an industry body said.

That was the lowest output since the 40.97 million tons registered in the first half of fiscal 1969, the Japan and Steel Federation said.

---------- Japanese department store sales mark largest-ever September drop

TOKYO - Department store sales in Japan in September fell 7.8 percent from a year earlier on a same-store basis, the largest drop for the month since 1965, when comparable data became available, an industry body said Monday.

Department store sales fell for the 19th straight month, the Japan Department Store Association said. Sales in the reporting month totaled 476.2 billion yen.

---------- China, ASEAN trade solid against financial crisis, official says

NANNING, China - Trade volume will continue with a strong growing trend between China and the 10 ASEAN countries with the ''blooming'' of financial services between the two parties and a free trade agreement, a Chinese official said Monday.

On the eve of the 6th annual China-ASEAN Expo to be held in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nong Rong, vice secretary general of the Expo, told reporters that China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will become each other's third-biggest trading partner soon.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Oct 19, 2009
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