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Kyodo economic news summary -8-.

TOKYO, Jan. 30 Kyodo

---------- Japan uses record 7.15 tril. yen in Jan. interventions

TOKYO - Japan's currency interventions in January totaled 7.15 trillion yen, marking a new single-month record as Japanese monetary authorities struggled to keep the yen from rising against the U.S. dollar, Finance Ministry data showed Friday.

The amount used between Dec. 27 and Jan. 28 was far larger than the previous monthly record of 5.11 trillion yen set in September.

---------- Japan lifts bans on imports of 2 kinds of Spanish oranges

TOKYO - Japan's farm ministry said Friday that Tokyo will lift bans on imports of two kinds of Spanish oranges, effective the same day.

Japan had banned imports of the fruit -- Salustian and Clementine oranges -- due to the possibility of parasitism by Mediterranean fruit flies, but it has decided to lift the bans as it has confirmed a way to kill the flies, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.

---------- Bad loans at 129 banks dip 3.7 tril. yen during 1st half

TOKYO - The combined balance of bad loans at Japan's 129 banks dropped by a net 3.7 trillion yen during the April-September period of 2003 to 31.6 trillion yen, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) said Friday.

The FSA attributed the fall to the banks' removal of bad loans from balance sheets through such means as sales of collateral seized from defaulting borrowers, as well as the improvement of the quality of some loans which had been previously categorized as bad loans as a result of recovering business conditions of their borrowers.

---------- Thailand asks Japan to resume imports of processed chicken

TOKYO - The Thai government has asked Japan to resume imports of heat-treated poultry meat products, agriculture ministry officials said Friday.

The request, faxed by the Thai Embassy in Tokyo to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the afternoon, came after a Thai agriculture official apologized to Japan for the delay in notifying Tokyo about the outbreak of bird flu in Thailand, the officials said.

---------- Japanese broadband subscribers up 1.7-fold in 2003

TOKYO - The number of subscribers to broadband Internet access services in Japan stood at 13.64 million at the end of December 2003, up about 1.7-fold from 7.80 million a year earlier, the government said Friday.

Breaking down the figure, the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications said the number of subscription contracts for asymmetric digital subscriber line services rose to 10,272,052 as of Dec. 31, topping 10 million for the first time.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Feb 2, 2004
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Previous Article:Bad loans at 129 banks dip 3.7 tril. yen during 1st half.
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