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Kyodo news summary -9-.

NEW YORK, Sept. 26 Kyodo

---------- Britain's Blair bids goodbye, good luck to the future of Labour

MANCHESTER, England - Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair amassed an emotional farewell from Labour Party members Tuesday as the Manchester venue resounded with applause and cheers following his final annual conference speech in his nine year reign as premier.

Outlining extensively the achievements of the party over the past decade and thanking the people who had helped him make it happen - including his assumed-successor Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown - Blair?s speech was very much one of departure.

---------- Gov't not to start talks on sales tax hikes until fall 2007: Omi

TOKYO - Japan's new Finance Minister Koji Omi said Tuesday that the administration of new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not start full-fledged debate on possible increases in the consumption tax until fall next year.

The remark suggests the Abe administration will shelve debate about tax hikes, including the consumption tax, ahead of the House of Councillors election next July.

---------- Hankyu, Hanshin to tie up in travel services

OSAKA - Hankyu Holdings Inc. and Hanshin Electric Railway Co., due to be integrated as Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc. on Sunday, plan to join forces in promoting their travel services, company officials said Tuesday.

The latest plan appears to be the first step toward a probable future integration of their travel operations, which is not expected to be realized soon due to technical difficulties.

---------- Defense chief Kyuma cautious about permanent SDF dispatch law

TOKYO - New Defense Agency Director General Fumio Kyuma said Tuesday he sees difficulties in compiling a single law that would allow Japan to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces overseas for international peace cooperation activities as the circumstances in such deployments may vary from case to case.

''There are various cases involved in sending the SDF abroad,'' Kyuma said in a late-night press conference at the agency. ''I think there will be some difficult aspects in trying to put all the cases together under one law.''

---------- North Korea blasts Japan, U.S. and South Korea at U.N.

NEW YORK - North Korea attacked the United States, Japan and South Korea on a wide range of issues at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, singling out the three nations in a scathing speech on why ''the desire of the humankind for a peaceful and prosperous world in the new century is still faced with grave challenges.''

''The threats and high-handed acts of the superpower are evermore undisguised towards the DPRK as their target,'' Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon said, alluding to the United States.

---------- Hitler pictures fetch thousands of dollars at British auction

LONDON - A total of 21 pictures thought to be the work of Adolf Hitler fetched 118,000 pounds ($223,691) at an auction in Britain on Tuesday.

The watercolors and sketches depict countryside scenes and are believed to have been done by Hitler while working as a corporal on the border of France and Belgium during the First World War.

---------- 10 foreigners arrested for violating immigration law

NAGASAKI - Ten foreign nationals have been arrested for possessing no passports in violation of the immigration control law in Iki, Nagasaki Prefecture, the police said Tuesday.

Kim Yong Se, 32, who described himself as a South Korean, and nine others were arrested around 10 a.m. Tuesday at a ferry terminal and other places in the city of Iki, according to investigations.

---------- Thai junta to be barred from politics for 2 years

BANGKOK - Thailand's new provisional constitution to be promulgated later this week will bar the military rulers and other related legislative officials from running for parliament seats within two years after a full-fledged constitution is put in place.

The five-member Council for Democratic Reform headed by Army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin will also be renamed as Council of National Security which will include another 15 members, possibly inclusive of civilians, according to a draft of the provisional charter seen by Kyodo News.

---------- Bush orders controversial intelligence report to be declassified

WASHINGTON - U.S. President George W. Bush said Tuesday he has authorized the declassification of an April intelligence estimate that media reports say suggests a link between the U.S.-led war in Iraq and more widespread terrorist activity.

Calling the leak of information from the report an election-year ploy ''to create confusion in the minds of the American people,'' Bush said he had directed Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte to declassify the key judgments outlined in the document.

---------- Asian law enforcement officers to discuss fighting cybercrime

TOKYO - Law enforcement officers from Japan, China and 10 other Asian countries as well as one region are set to gather in Tokyo on Wednesday to discuss cooperation in the fight against cybercrime.

The number of participating countries is the largest ever, according to Japanese officials.

---------- Type of fat hormone has strong anticancer function: study

TOKYO - A type of fat hormone secreted from healthy fat cells, adiponectin, has a strong cancer-fighting function, a team of researchers from the University of Tokyo said Wednesday.

The findings from the animal-based experiments, led by Joji Kitayama, a researcher at the university's Surgical Oncology Department, shows a strong link between the health condition of fat cells and progression of cancer.

---------- Myanmar defends itself against U.S. at U.N.

NEW YORK - Myanmar's foreign minister defended the country against the decision of the U.N. Security Council to adopt it as an agenda item in a speech before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

''To our dismay and frustration, there has been glaring abuse of the mandate entrusted to the Security Council by its member states by unjustly placing the situation of Myanmar on the agenda of the Security Council by alleging that it poses a threat to regional peace and security,'' Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win told the assembly.

---------- Japan urges comprehensive solution to N. Korea nuke, abduction issues

NEW YORK - Japan vowed continued efforts Tuesday to resolve North Korea's nuclear ambitions as well as its past abductions of Japanese citizens ''comprehensively.''

Addressing the 61st session of the U.N. General Assembly, Japanese U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima noted the U.N. Security Council, in an unanimous decision, sent a firm message condemning North Korea after the launch of ballistic missiles on July 4.

---------- S. Korea urges Japan's Abe to refrain from visiting Yasukuni Shrine

NEW YORK - South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki Moon urged Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday to refrain from visiting the war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

In an interview with Kyodo News, Ban also said South Korea is pondering resuming summits between South Korean and Japanese leaders after Abe assumed the post of prime minister.

---------- Ban says new premier Abe should 'squarely' address Japan's past

NEW YORK - With the election of Shinzo Abe as Japan's new prime minister, South Korea's Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki Moon said Tuesday he hopes the new leader would face up to his country's past in efforts to repair damage to the bilateral relations that were exacerbated by Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the war-related Yasukuni Shrine.

''We sincerely hope that Prime Minister Abe will learn lessons from what has transpired in Prime Minister Koizumi's administration,'' the South Korean foreign minister told Kyodo News in an interview.

---------- Asia expert named head of new U.S.-China center at Asia Society

NEW YORK - The Asia Society has appointed China expert Orville Schell as the director of its new center on U.S.-China Relations, according to a statement released Tuesday.

''Having worked my whole life in the China field, and having long believed in the importance of close relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China, I am extremely pleased to join the Asia Society and direct their Center on U.S.-China Relations,'' Schell said in the statement.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Oct 2, 2006
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