Heizo Takenaka was reappointed to his positions in charge of banking and economic policy by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and said he'll push ahead with efforts to clean up US$384 billion of bad loans at Japanese lenders. \n"Bad loans have started to fall significantly," Takenaka told reporters in Tokyo after being reappointed financial services minister and minister for economic and fiscal policy. \n"It's necessary to continue pushing ahead with restructuring," he said. \nKoizumi reshuffled his Cabinet yesterday in preparation for a general election after keeping his post as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last Saturday. He named Sadakazu Tanigaki, a 58-year lawyer, to replace Masajuro Shiokawa as finance minister. \nThe appointments signal that Koizumi will take on opponents within his ruling party and fulfill two-and-a half-year old pledges to curb spending, clean up bad loans choking Japan's banks and take other steps to restart the world's second-largest economy after three recessions in 12 years, investors said. \n"Keeping Takenaka suggests that Koizumi is set on pursuing the structural reforms that he's made central to his policy," said Taiji Yoshida, who helps manage the equivalent of US$23.8 billion in assets at Yasuda Capital Management Co in Tokyo. \n"Now the onus is on Koizumi to actually carry out some of the policies that he has been advocating," he said. \n"Markets were afraid that reforms in the banking sector would be watered down if a conservative politician took over the banking regulator's job," said Nozomu Kunishige, a bank analyst at BNP Paribas Securities Japan. \nJapan's economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace since Koizumi took office in April 2001, as Toyota Motor Corp, Sharp Corp and other exporters increased capital investment to meet growing demand for Japanese cars and flat-screen televisions in the US and other markets. \nTanigaki, currently in charge of the Industrial Revitalization Corp of Japan, must pursue two potentially contradictory goals, analysts said: curbing the developed world's largest public debt while also protecting a recovery from the nation's third recession in 12 years. \n"Koizumi has already mapped out the country's fiscal and economic policy and promised to keep spending tight, so there is little room left for a new finance minister to maneuver," said Akio Yoshino, who helps manage the equivalent of US$14 billion in assets at SG Yamaichi Asset Management Co. \nTanigaki will also direct Japan's currency policy. Japan sold a record ?9.03 trillion (US$80.5 billion) between January and July to stem the yen's strength and protect profits of exporters such as Toyota and Sharp, whose sales have driven the economic recovery. \nShiokawa cut spending on roads, bridges and other public works by 10 percent in the fiscal year that ended on March 31. The cuts angered LDP leaders who have long favored public works spending to stimulate the economy.
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
‘NOTHING NEW’: China should not use Tsai Ing-wen’s transits through the US as a pretext to step up aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait, a Washington official said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to stop over in the US on her way to and from Central America next week, but her administration would not confirm a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai’s delegation is to leave Taipei on Wednesday next week and stop over in New York City, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) told a news conference yesterday. Tsai is then to head to Guatemala on Saturday next week for talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. On April 3, Tsai is scheduled to travel