Kenji Fujimoto was accepted into Kim Jong-il's inner circle during a 13-year stint serving North Korea's first family. The Japanese sushi chef gives Julian Ryall his take on the communist dynasty'...
vendors face hefty fines in piracy clampdown
Mainland authorities have launched a three-month crackdown on pirated audio-visual and computer software products. Stores and vendors selling fewer than 100 pirated discs would face fines of between 10,000 and 50,000 yuan if caught between August 16 and October 16, said a directive reported on the China News Service website yesterday. Those selling more than 100 copies would have their licences revoked.
Vendors should surrender their stocks to the authorities before August 15 to avoid such penalties, the directive said. The campaign involves five government entities, including the National Copyright Administration, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Public Security.Kristine Kwok
Japanese minister seeks more exchanges
State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan told a visiting Japanese minister that China wanted further personnel and youth exchanges with Japan to increase mutual understanding and co-operation. Mr Tang also praised Japanese Administrative Reform Minister Koki Chuma's contribution to bilateral co-operation in environmental protection, tourism, technology and trade, Xinhua reported.
Mr Chuma, who was visiting China as a guest of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said the two countries should enhance exchanges to improve bilateral relations. Sino-Japanese relations have been soured by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine. Staff Reporter
thousands break 100-hour singing world record
More than 2,000 people in a shopping mall in Changsha , Hunan , set a Guinness World Record on Friday by singing one after another for more than 100 hours. Xinhua reported that the 2,285 participants broke the previous 100-hour record at 6pm and then went on for another 18 hours. The Economic Broadcast television channel, which organised the marathon, said the result still needed confirmation. The event, which began last Sunday, had been scheduled to last for 116 hours.Staff Reporter