- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 16, 2003

JAPAN

Emperor may still have cancer

TOKYO — Recent blood tests of Japanese Emperor Akihito suggest there is a slight chance that he may still have cancerous tissue despite surgery earlier this year to remove his prostate gland, Kyodo news agency reported yesterday.

“We see a slight possibility of the cancer remaining,” Kyodo quoted Ichiro Kanazawa, the emperor’s chief health official, as telling reporters at the Imperial Palace, citing results of the tests.

Mr. Kanazawa, who is in charge of medical affairs for the imperial family, said there was no immediate need for special treatment, according to Kyodo.

CHINA

Earthquake hits southwest province

BEIJING — An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck southwestern China’s Yunnan province yesterday, according to Chinese seismological stations quoted by the state Xinhua news agency.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, Xinhua said.

The quake occurred 8:28 p.m., with its epicenter located at Liuqie Township, about 28 miles from Dayao County, it said.

The county had been struck by a quake of magnitude 6.2 in July, which killed more than 10 people.

RUSSIA

North Korea urged to include Japan

MOSCOW — Russia urged North Korea yesterday to invite Japan back to multilateral talks for resolving the yearlong nuclear standoff, despite Pyongyang’s insistence on Tokyo’s exclusion.

“We think that at this stage it is very important that the multilateral negotiations process continues in its current form,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Russia’s comments came as official media reports in Pyongyang indicated that North Korea was sticking to a hard-line bargaining position, saying it was expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal and insisting that Japan, a key regional player, be excluded from any nuclear-crisis negotiations.

THAILAND

February meeting set with Vietnam Cabinet

BANGKOK — Thailand and Vietnam are to hold a joint Cabinet meeting in February in the central Vietnam city of Danang, Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said yesterday.

Two memoranda of understanding will be signed during the meeting, including agreements on education and anticrime cooperation.

Thailand would then open a Thai-Vietnam friendship village in the northeastern province of Nakhon Phanom, where a sizeable Vietnamese community lives and where Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh once resided.

CHINA

Millions suffer from malnutrition

BEIJING — About 120 million Chinese show signs of malnutrition as the growth in population puts pressure on scarce resources, state media reported yesterday, quoting Vice Agriculture Minister Zhang Baowen.

Policies to fight poverty and hunger are seriously challenged by the increase in population, lack of land and water resources, as well as erosion and desertification, Mr. Zhang said at a conference, according to Xinhua news agency.

Despite the dire statistics, the number of poor Chinese has fallen from a quarter-billion at the start of economic reform in 1978 to 28 million, Xinhua reported.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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