Tag Archives: Tokyo

Euro under pressure in Asia amid ongoing debt woes

OKYO: The euro stayed under pressure in Asia on Friday amid investor jitters over the European debt crisis.

The common currency bought $1.3309 in Tokyo afternoon trade, compared with $1.3327 in London late Thursday. Against the Japanese currency it firmed to 103.03 yen from 102.87.

The dollar edged up to 77.42 yen from 77.11 as Japan’s finance minister said his ministry has been vigilantly watching for signs of speculative yen-buying movement in the foreign exchange markets.

The euro was on a downward trend as investors took a cue from Moody’s downgrade of Hungary’s credit rating, said a senior dealer at a major bank.

“You should expect volatile euro trading ahead as there’s much speculation going around, but what’s for sure is the euro is set to fall in the longer term as the debt woes are just too far from their end,” the dealer said.

German, French and Italian leaders pledged Thursday to propose modifications to European Union treaties to further integrate economic policy, but they played down suggestions that the European Central Bank would have a greater crisis-busting role.

Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi urged European leaders to take more steps to calm markets as the impact of the debt crisis spreads globally. (AFP

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Strong quake strikes southwest of Tokyo

4A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 jolted eastern and central Japan on Tuesday, a government agency said, rattling houses in Tokyo.


Strong quake strikes southwest of Tokyo

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TOKYO (Reuters) – A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 jolted eastern and central Japan early on Tuesday, throwing food and bottles from shop shelves and rattling houses across Tokyo.

The area has been hit by heavy rain since Monday and the weather agency warned of possible landslides and flooding, as train services were suspended and highways were closed for checks.

The focus of the 5:07 a.m. (2007 GMT, Monday) tremor was 20 km (12 miles) below the surface of Suruga Bay, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, in Shizuoka prefecture, around 150 km (90 miles) southwest of Tokyo. A tsunami of up to 60 cm (24 inches) was recorded along the Pacific coast.

“It was a sideways shaking like I’ve never experienced before. Things fell from the shelves,” Atsushi Imai, a local city employee, told national broadcaster NHK.

The government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Chubu Electric Power Co Inc had halted all operations at its Hamaoka nuclear plant for safety checks.

TV pictures showed glass bottles shattered on a convenience store floor, a TV newsroom with video tapes thrown from shelves, and a temple where tiles had been shaken off the roof and were scattered on the ground.

“There was a bit of shaking at first, then it got stronger and I couldn’t stand up. Elevators and other machines like the heater for baths have stopped running,” said a hotel worker in Omaezaki contacted by phone.

“Some files fell off shelves and lamps toppled over. Our guests are fine, but their families have called since the earthquake to ask about their safety,” she said.

A fire official said a small child was taken to hospital after a TV fell off a shelf and hurt its leg.

Trains in the area were halted for safety checks and some highways were closed for damage inspections.

“I was still half asleep so it was intense. It took a while for me to come back to reality,” said Yoshiyuki Ikeda, an official at Yaizu city in Shizuoka prefecture.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. The country accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

In October 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck the Niigata region in northern Japan, killing 65 people and injuring more than 3,000.

That was the deadliest quake since a magnitude 7.3 tremor hit the city of Kobe in 1995, killing more than 6,400.

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