Risky batteries fakes: Sanyo
Sanyo Electric Co said the mobile phone batteries Chinese authorities say are at risk for explosion are counterfeits and were not made by it. Sanyo, the world's biggest maker of rechargeable batteries, conducted an internal investigation after Chinese authorities said three battery models used in handsets may explode. The faulty batteries were all counterfeits, it said. A Chinese man was killed in Gansu Province when the battery in his Motorola handset exploded, the Lanzhou Morning Post reported last week. Officials in Guangdong Province found four counterfeit battery models that might explode in their handsets.
Daewoo doubles target
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co, the world's third-largest shipyard, boosted its target for this year's orders to US$17 billion, a 55 percent increase from a previous projection. The shipbuilder met its earlier full-year target of US$11 billion after it recently won container-ship orders worth US$1.8 billion from two buyers in Europe, the Seoul-based company said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. "In the second half, we expect to continue receiving orders for higher-end products including container vessels and offshore platforms," company president Nam Sang-tae said in the statement.
Abe downplays tax hike
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the economy may be healthy enough to increase government revenue without needing an increase in the sales tax. "There is a good possibility that we can do without raising it," Abe said yesterday during a debate with Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa on Fuji TV ahead of this month's election. "Before we decide whether to hike the consumption tax we must focus on thoroughly cutting government expenditures." Japan's US$6.8 trillion debt is the world's largest and 1.5 times its GDP. Abe reiterated that the government will start discussing whether to raise the tax in the autumn, after the Upper House elections on July 29.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Seoul raises export goals
The government has raised its export growth forecast for this year, prompted by a steady global economy and strong sales of mainstay products such as cars, LCDs, and semiconductors. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said yesterday that exports will grow 12.8 percent this year from the previous year to US$367.25 billion, up from a January estimate of 10.4 percent growth. Exports rose 14.4 percent last year. Seoul lowered its trade surplus target to US$15 billion from US$17 billion because it expects domestic consumption to recover and international oil prices to rise. The nation racked up a trade surplus of US$16 billion last year.
Nissan sets China target
Nissan Motor Co plans to sell 300,000 cars in China this year, after introducing its Infiniti luxury brand. It may consider adding a production plant with local partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co (東風汽車) to expand capacity, Yukihisa Kayashima, head of Nissan (China) Investment Co, said in Shanghai yesterday. Luxury car sales rose twice as quickly as the overall market last year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.
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
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
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations