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Japan

Japanese New Deal? Tokyo Unveils Massive Stimulus To Boost Economy

DAILY YOMUIRI, KYODO (Japan), DOW JONES NEWSWIRES,AFP

Worldcrunch

TOKYO – The Japanese government has formally approved a massive 20.2 trillion yen ($227 billion) stimulus package during a cabinet meeting on Friday morning, reports the Daily Yomuiri.

The national government will spend 10.3 trillion yen ($116 billion), with nearly the same amount kicked in by local governments and the private sector, according to Kyodo.

"We need to say good-bye to the shrinking economy and aim to achieve a strong economy where innovation and new demand lead to more jobs and income," said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a press conference after the cabinet meeting.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, the stimulus package will focus heavily on upgrading ageing infrastructure and making more schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and tunnels earthquake-resistant. It also includes increased investment in reconstruction projects in the coastal region devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The stimulus plan also includes beefing up Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, with 180.5 billion Yen ($2 billion) going to new missiles, fighter jets and helicopters, reports the AFP.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index jumped 1.5% following Abe’s announcement.

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Green Or Gone

Tracking The Asian Fishing "Armada" That Sucks Up Tons Of Seafood Off Argentina's Coast

A brightly-lit flotilla of fishing ships has reappeared in international waters off the southern coast of Argentina as it has annually in recent years for an "industrial harvest" of thousands of tons of fish and shellfish.

Photo of dozens of crab traps

An estimated 500 boats gather annually off the coast of Patagonia

Claudio Andrade

BUENOS AIRES — The 'floating city' of industrial fishing boats has returned, lighting up a long stretch of the South Pacific.

Recently visible off the coast of southern Argentina, aerial photographs showed the well-lit armada of some 500 vessels, parked 201 miles offshore from Comodoro Rivadavia in the province of Chubut. The fleet had arrived for its vast seasonal haul of sea 'products,' confirming its annual return to harvest squid, cod and shellfish on a scale that activists have called an environmental blitzkrieg.

In principle the ships are fishing just outside Argentina's exclusive Economic Zone, though it's widely known that this kind of apparent "industrial harvest" does not respect the territorial line, entering Argentine waters for one reason or another.

For some years now, activists and organizations like Greenpeace have repeatedly denounced industrial-style fishing as exhausting marine resources worldwide and badly affecting regional fauna, even if the fishing outfits technically manage to evade any crackdown by staying in or near international waters.

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