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Japan pledges to write off bad loans

WASHINGTON -- Japan's finance chief, Masajuro Shiokawa, told journalists on Saturday that his country would move to clear bad loans to boost the Japanese economy.

Shiokawa came to Washington for the Group of Seven (G7) meeting here. This is his first foreign trip since Japan's new Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appointed him on Thursday.

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Estrada arrested for 'economic plunder'

MANILA -- Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada became the first chief executive ever arrested in his country's history when he was detained on charges of economic plunder on Wednesday.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called the arrest an "historic moment" and presidential spokesperson Rigoberto Tiglao said the action showed that "justice is working in the Philippines."

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Headlines

Central Asia

Embattled Region"s Leaders
Retain High Economic
Hopes
(Times of Central Asia)

Indo-Nepalese medical
team leaves for
Everest
(World Tibet News)

East Asia

CHINA: Strong reaction
if US proceeds
(Straits Times)

Koizumi Cabinet
gets thumbs up Cabinet
(Japan Times)

Pacific Islands

Saipan group supports
RP's call for
toxic waste cleanup
(Saipan Tribune)

Bai Kei Viti
eyes partnership
(www.fijilive.com)

South Asia

No new World Bank
lending for Pakistan
last year
(Dawn)

16 BSF personnel
killed by Bangladeshi
troops
(Times of India)

Southeast Asia

Thaksin amnesty slammed
(Bangkok Post)

China to let
US inspect its
spy plane
(Straits Times)



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