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Kyodo news summary -1-.

TOKYO, July 8 Kyodo

---------- Voting under way in Kagoshima governor's race, focus on nuclear plant

KAGOSHIMA, Japan - Voting got under way in the Kagoshima gubernatorial election Sunday after the incumbent and an antinuclear challenger battled in a war of words over whether to allow the reactivation of an idled atomic power plant in the southwestern prefecture.

The voting drew attention as the first gubernatorial election in a prefecture hosting nuclear reactors following the recent restart of one in western Japan for the first time since all of the reactors in Japan had been idled in the wake of the March 2011 crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The winner will be known Sunday night.

---------- Japan, France to craft 5-year cooperation plan

TOKYO - Japan and France agreed Saturday to craft a five-year plan to boost political and economic cooperation, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said.

The agreement was reached between Gemba and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius during a bilateral meeting in Tokyo, which was held a day before an international aid conference on Afghanistan in Tokyo.

---------- Donors to pledge over $16 bil. in Afghan aid through 2015

TOKYO - Donor countries meeting Sunday in Tokyo will pledge a total of more than $16 billion in development aid for Afghanistan through 2015 to help it achieve self-reliance after most foreign combat troops leave from there.

With introducing a new framework of mutual commitments between donors and the Afghan government, the international community will also promise to maintain the amount of aid for Afghanistan at around the same levels as over the last 10 years through 2017.

---------- Japan Atomic Energy Commission held secret prep meetings over 10 yrs

TOKYO - The Japan Atomic Energy Commission has held closed preparatory sessions for more than 10 years prior to its open meetings every week, sometimes deliberating important matters of nuclear energy policy without keeping minutes, former commissioners and government sources said Saturday.

Prior to the regular meetings every Tuesday, the five-member commission tasked with deciding basic nuclear energy policies has held unofficial meetings every Thursday attended by officials of relevant ministries and sometimes private business operators.

---------- Gusmao party leads vote count after parliamentary election

DILI - The center-left National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) party of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has taken the lead in vote counting from East Timor's parliamentary election, winning about a third of the vote with around half of votes counted by midnight Saturday.

It has been at a close contest, however, with the left-wing Fretilin party of former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

---------- Noda, Clinton meet on sidelines of Afghan confab

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Tokyo on Sunday to apparently reaffirm their commitment to strengthening bilateral security ties through discussions about North Korea-related issues and the realignment of U.S. military forces in Japan.

Noda and Clinton are also expected to agree to step up cooperation in helping develop war-torn Afghanistan during their meeting on the sidelines of an international conference on Afghanistan, officials said.

---------- Prince Mikasa's heart function deteriorates

TOKYO - Prince Mikasa, uncle of Emperor Akihito, experienced a deterioration of heart function Saturday at a hospital in Tokyo and was moved to the intensive care unit, where he remained conscious but largely unresponsive, the Imperial Household Agency said early Sunday.

The 96-year-old prince, the youngest brother of Emperor Hirohito, has been hospitalized at St. Luke's International Hospital and his condition has been diagnosed as congestive heart failure, the agency said.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jul 9, 2012
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