Japan revised its economic growth numbers for the April-June quarter downward yesterday, but analysts shrugged off the report and said recovery was on solid footing for the world's second largest economy. \nThe Cabinet Office said Japan's GDP -- or the value of goods and services produced in a nation -- edged up just 0.3 percent in the three months ended June 30 from the previous quarter, weaker than the 0.4 percent growth rate it gave last month. \nThat translates to an annualized growth rate of 1.3 percent, down from 1.7 percent in the preliminary report. \n"The overall numbers aren't good, but the real economy isn't as bad as it looks," said Shuji Shirota, economist at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in Tokyo. \nBut yesterday's report disappointed the market, which had widely expected an upward revision following two quarters of strong expansion. Hopes have been growing that the latest upturn may be here to stay. \nJapan has struggled through more than a decade of slowdown, but now the economy has grown for five straight quarters, largely driven by booming exports to the US and the rest of Asia, as well as a gradual lift in consumer spending at home. \nThe surprisingly negative news about the economy sent the Japanese yen and Tokyo share prices falling in morning trading. \nThe benchmark index for Tokyo shares, the Nikkei Stock Average, dipped 0.99 percent at the end of the morning session. The dollar was quoted at ?109.98 midday, up ?0.38 from late Thursday in Tokyo and above the ?109.77 it bought in New York later that day. \nTokyo said the downward revision came from two negative factors -- private inventories and public spending. \nBut Shirota and other analysts said the economy was unlikely to head into another slowdown because the other numbers are holding up, including capital investment in the private sector and consumer spending. \nRichard Jerram, chief Japan economist at Macquarie Securities, even suggested there was no need to take notice of the numbers, dismissing them as "badly underestimating the state of the economy." \n"In terms of connection with reality, it just goes from bad to worse," Jerram told Dow Jones Newswires. \nHe said he expected government data to show strong growth for the July-September quarter to compensate for poor April-June figures. \nChief Cabinet Secretary Hiro-yuki Hosoda played down the revision, saying that inventory adjustments are progressing faster than expected. \n"I think it's nothing to be surprised about," he told reporters.
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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator