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Kyodo economic news summary -4-.

TOKYO, May 30 Kyodo

---------- Matsushita to check 3 million home electric products free of charge

OSAKA - Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Wednesday it will inspect and repair free of charge some 3 million units of various home electric products, saying they may emit smoke or catch fire.

Subject to the program are 1.93 million microwaves, 300,000 refrigerators and 780,000 clothes dryers, the company said.

---------- Japan's April auto exports to U.S. sink for 1st time in 27 months

TOKYO - U.S.-bound automobile exports from Japan dropped in April from a year before for the first time in 27 months, falling 10.8 percent to 160,107 units, an industry body said Wednesday.

Auto exports to the U.S. market -- the largest destination for Japan's auto exports -- last dropped in January 2005 on a year-on-year basis, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

---------- Retail regular gasoline prices rise for 8 straight weeks

TOKYO - The nationwide average of retail regular gasoline prices stood at 136.80 yen as of Monday, up 0.10 yen from a week earlier and marking an eighth consecutive week of increase, due to higher crude oil prices and a weaker yen, an industry body said Wednesday.

The average figure for premium, high-octane gasoline also went up to 147.70 yen and that for diesel oil climbed to 116.20 yen, each rising by 0.10 yen, according to the Oil Information Center.

---------- Key 10-year JGB yield falls on tame industrial output data

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell Wednesday, reflecting weaker-than-expected Japanese industrial output data for April and declines in Tokyo shares.

In interdealer trading, the yield on the No. 285, 1.7 percent bond dropped 0.015 percentage point from Tuesday's close to 1.735 percent.

---------- Osaka detective, construction firm execs held over alleged bid rigging

OSAKA - Prosecutors on Wednesday arrested a police detective and five construction firm executives and employees on suspicion that they rigged a bid in 2005 for a project to build a garbage incinerator plant in the city of Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, the prosecutors said.

The prosecutors allege Koshiro Hirahara, a 47-year-old assistant inspector of the Osaka prefectural police force, brokered the rigged bid between the city office which ordered the project and construction firms including Obayashi Corp.

---------- JVC to have president not from Matsushita for 1st time in 13 yrs

TOKYO - Victor Co. of Japan said Wednesday it will have its first president in 13 years who is not from its parent Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. in promoting Senior Managing Director Kunihiko Sato to the top post on June 27, replacing Masahiko Terada.

Terada, 62, will leave the board to take responsibility for the continuing poor business performance at Victor, better known overseas as JVC.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jun 4, 2007
Words:463
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