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Kyodo news summary -5-.

TOKYO, Dec. 20 Kyodo

---------- Japan's population to fall to less than 90 million in 2055

TOKYO - Japan's population is expected to fall to less than 90 million in 2055, compared with the current level of around 127.8 million, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Wednesday.

The forecast is based on an estimate by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, an affiliate of the ministry, which made the projection on the assumption that a woman will give birth to 1.26 children during her lifetime -- the birthrate for 2005.

---------- 6-way talks to continue until Friday: S. Korea delegate

BEIJING - South Korea's chief delegate to the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue said Wednesday the ongoing discussions in Beijing under the framework will continue until Friday.

Chun Yung Woo told reporters that the talks were initially planned to be held until Thursday, but have been extended as the parties were holding sincere and substantive discussions.

---------- Hundreds protest over illegal laborers in Macao

HONG KONG - Around 600 people staged a protest at the Macao government office on Wednesday, accusing the government of failing to stop an influx of illegal laborers.

The protestors, carrying placards and chanting slogans, demanded the government stop excessive imports of foreign laborers and combat the problem of illegal laborers in the former Portuguese colony. The protest ended peacefully.

---------- Man kills 2 children in attack outside school in western China

BEIJING - A man attacked a group of students outside an elementary school in western China on Wednesday, killing two and injuring three others and their teacher, state media reported.

The incident happened in Urumqi, capital of western China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as the group was waiting to cross a street in front of their school, which is attached to the No. 65 Middle School, Xinhua News Agency reported.

---------- Hill hopes Japan, N. Korea meet on sidelines of 6-way talks

BEIJING - The U.S. chief delegate to the six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear programs voiced hope Wednesday that his Japanese and North Korean counterparts will meet to discuss bilateral issues on the sidelines of the ongoing multilateral talks.

''It's our fervent hope that there can be bilateral meetings between the DPRK and the Japanese'' to address pending bilateral issues, Christopher Hill, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told reporters. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official state name.

---------- 15 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan

KABUL - At least 15 Taliban militants including two high-ranking commanders were killed by Afghan and NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, the Afghan Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

The militants were killed in clashes in volatile Pajwayi district in Kandahar Province on Monday, the ministry said in a statement.

---------- Roh to visit Japan early next year to meet with Abe

TOKYO - South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun will visit Japan early next year for a bilateral summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korea's top envoy said Wednesday.

Speaking at the Japan National Press Club, South Korean Ambassador to Japan Ra Jong Yil expressed the hope that bilateral ties will move in a ''good direction,'' while noting the upcoming visits by South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Song Min Soon next week and by Roh next year.

---------- Abe suggests support for providing India with nuclear technology

WASHINGTON - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested to the Indian prime minister last week that Tokyo may accept proposed India-U.S. nuclear cooperation even though the South Asian nuclear power has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Japan's suggested support, which comes at a time when Washington is trying to secure an agreement from a group of 45 nuclear supplier countries to export nuclear technology to India, has been conveyed to the U.S. government, the sources said.

---------- Ex-Miyazaki Gov. to be charged with another bid rigging

MIYAZAKI, Japan - Police plan to serve a fresh arrest warrant for former Miyazaki Gov. Tadahiro Ando on Wednesday for his alleged involvement in another bid-rigging case, police officials said.

Ando, 65, is suspected of being involved in rigging a bid in October for a project to enhance a bridge's quake-resistance, they said.

---------- U.S., N. Korea meet over sanctions on 3rd day of nuke talks

BEIJING - The United States and North Korea held talks on Wednesday for the second day in a row over U.S. sanctions against Pyongyang for alleged illegal financial activities, as the six-party talks aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear standoff entered their third day.

U.S. and North Korean financial and legal experts gathered at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing in the morning, a day after they met at the U.S. Embassy building.

---------- Ex-Tokyo Gov. Yukio Aoshima dies at 74

TOKYO - Former Tokyo Gov. Yukio Aoshima died at 9:31 a.m. Wednesday of myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disorder, at a hospital in Tokyo, his family said. He was 74.

Aoshima was admitted to hospital in early November, his family said, adding his condition suddenly deteriorated Wednesday morning.

---------- Character actress Kyoko Kishida dies at 76

TOKYO - Actress Kyoko Kishida died of respiratory failure caused by a brain tumor Sunday at a Tokyo hospital, her family said Wednesday. She was 76.

A character actress who exuded a mysterious air, Kishida played a wide variety of roles from the comical to the deadly serious.

---------- 2nd bridge linking Thailand, Laos over Mekong River opens

MUKDAHAN, Thailand - A Japanese-financed bridge over the Mekong River between northeastern Thailand with southern Laos was formally opened Wednesday as part of a plan to facilitate overland transport among Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

The opening ceremony was held in the middle of the 1.6-kilometer-long bridge connecting Thailand's Mukdahan Province and the Lao province of Savannakhet, which is only the second to span the mighty river that makes up much of the two countries 1,810-km-long border.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Dec 25, 2006
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