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Kyodo economic news summary -3-.

TOKYO, Sept. 22 Kyodo

---------- Tokyo stocks plunge in afternoon, Nikkei below 10,600

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks tumbled Monday afternoon, with the key Nikkei index sliding by more than 400 points below 10,600 on plunges in export-oriented auto and technology issues due to a rising yen.

At 1:04 p.m., the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 404.07 points, or 3.69%, to end the morning at 10,534.35. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index (TOPIX) of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) lost 27.19 points, or 2.54%, to 1,042.84.

---------- Shiokawa says he hopes successor continues along reform path

TOKYO - Outgoing Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa said Monday he hopes his successor continues along the path of structural reform.

At a news conference shortly after he submitted his resignation, the veteran politician also hinted he may retire from politics by not running in the next general election expected to be held in November.

---------- Mitsubishi Plastics forms HK unit to sell electronics materials

TOKYO - Mitsubishi Plastics Inc. said Monday it has set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Hong Kong to sell flame-retardant insulated film and other materials for electric and electronic parts in Asia.

Capitalized at HK$650,000, MP International (Hong Kong) Ltd. will go into full operation Oct. 1 with the aim of expanding sales of materials for electric and electronics parts in China and other markets in Asia, the leading Japanese plastics maker said.

---------- S&P ups Komatsu's long-term outlook to stable from negative

TOKYO - Standard & Poor's said Monday it has revised its outlook on its BBB-minus long-term corporate credit rating on Komatsu Ltd. to stable from negative, reflecting signs of earnings stabilization due to a gradual recovery in the construction machinery business in Japan.

The U.S. credit-rating agency also cited growing earnings contributions from Komatsu's operations in China.

---------- China's foreign currency ratings may be upgraded: Moody's

HONG KONG - Moody's Investors Service said Monday it has placed the A3 rating of China's long-term foreign currency bonds on review for possible upgrade.

The U.S.-based international credit-rating agency said it may upgrade China's A3 ceiling for foreign currency bonds, the Baa1 ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits and the Prime-2 short-term foreign currency ceilings for notes and deposits.

---------- Hiranuma regrets collapse of WTO talks in Cancun

TOKYO - Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma said Monday he has regrets about the recent failure of a World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting as he resigned earlier in the day during a cabinet reshuffle.

Hiranuma named the collapse of the WTO talks Sept. 10-14 in the Mexican resort town of Cancun after being asked at a news conference what he regrets about his over three-year tenure at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Sep 29, 2003
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