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Kyodo economic news summary.

TOKYO, Oct. 14 Kyodo

---------- Japan, Mexico to continue last-ditch FTA talks Tues.

TOKYO - Japan and Mexico are set to continue ministerial talks Tuesday to seek a political breakthrough in negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA) following their first round of talks Monday which highlighted a wide gap in their positions.

The two nations remained at odds on a number of issues, particularly whether to remove tariffs on pork imports from Mexico, its biggest farm export to Japan.

---------- EU agrees to give modest 200 mil. euros to Iraq

BRUSSELS - The European Union (EU) agreed at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday to contribute 200 million euros ($234 million) in 2004 to help Iraq rebuild, while Britain pledged an additional 300 million pounds ($500 million) over the next two years.

The donations by the EU and Britain, which is directly involved in Iraqi affairs, are much less than the $1-2 billion that Japan is expected to donate for 2004.

---------- No. of i-mode subscribers outside Japan hits 1 mil.

GENEVA - The number of subscribers outside Japan to NTT DoCoMo Inc.'s i-mode Internet mobile phone services has reached 1 million, the president of the Japanese mobile phone giant said Monday.

Keiji Tachikawa said i-mode operations in Europe ''started to get into gear'' a year after their launch in March 2002, when the company began offering the service in Germany. He was speaking at a news conference in Geneva, where he was attending a telecom convention.

---------- Japan wholesale prices down 0.5% in Sept.

TOKYO - Wholesale prices in Japan fell 0.5% in September from a year earlier for the 37th straight monthly fall, the Bank of Japan said in a preliminary report Tuesday.

The prices are measured by the central bank's corporate goods price index, which stood at 95.0 against the base of 100 for 2000.

---------- Dollar just above 109 yen line in early Tokyo trading

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar was trading just above the 109 yen line in early Tuesday morning in Tokyo after long weekends in Japan and the United States.

At 9 a.m., the dollar was quoted at 109.02-05 yen, up from Friday's 5 p.m. quotes of 108.60-70 yen in New York and 108.72-75 yen in Tokyo.

---------- Tokyo stocks open higher after rise in U.S. shares

TOKYO - Stocks opened higher Tuesday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange due to solid gains in the banking sector and rises in export-oriented technology issues after gains in U.S. shares overnight to new highs for the year.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 147.10 points, or 1.36%, to 10,933.14. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index (TOPIX) of all First Section issues gained 14.20 points, or 1.32%, to 1,088.08. The Second Section also rose.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Oct 20, 2003
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