News Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his special address at the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Japan’s trade deficit has hit an all-time high as imports were swollen by higher energy prices and a weak yen.

THEATRE / Shining in the shadow of the two suns: Neal Ascherson was seized by Robert Lepage's new show

I saw the Edinburgh production of 'The Seven Streams of the River Ota' this summer, and I nearly left after the first act. The production seemed at once baffling and trivial. Luckily, a friend I met during the interval warned me that Robert Lepage knew what he was doing, and that if I stayed I would see the point. Going mistrustfully back into the auditorium, I found myself facing one of the most seizing theatrical moments in my life, and the Lepage method slowly became clear. This is a piece I wrote afterwards as a programme note for later productions.

Correction

Correction: In yesterday's letter from Murray Hughes, the date of the inauguration of the Japanese rail tunnel between Hokkaido and Honshu should have been given as 1988, not 1968.

Today's Number: 42

THE number of countries sending teams to take part in the Asian Games which open in Hiroshima, Japan, on 2 October. Altogether it is expected that 7,300 athletes will compete in 337 events in 34 sports.

Overseas Football: Lineker strikes again in vain

(First Edition)

Tokyo talks hitch

Japan's governing coalition, which is teetering on the brink of collapse, suspended talks yesterday aimed at papering over a gaping rift and agreeing on a successor to the Prime Minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, Reuter reports from Tokyo.

Today's Number: 685

The athletes Japan will field in the 15-day Asian Games being held in Hiroshima in Ocotber. The team, which includes 270 women, will compete in all 34 events.

Sport in Short:: Football

TRANSFERS: Russell Coughlin, midfielder, Swansea to Exeter (exchange); John Hodge, winger, Exeter to Swansea (exchange plus pounds 18,000); Gary Worthington, forward, Wigan to Exeter (free).

Tokyo VIP protection squad learn to take it on the chin

(Photograph omitted)

Buddhist monks march in Hiroshima

Buddhist monks march in Hiroshima yesterday, to mark the 47th anniversary of the dropping of the first atom bomb.

Football: Lineker swelters in vain: England's former captain finds a warm welcome but goals hard to come by on his first taste of Japanese football in steamy Nagoya

Gary Lineker, the former England captain, was cheered every time he touched the ball but showed few glimpses of his goal- scoring talents as his new Japanese side, Grampus Eight, drew

Football: New life looks good to Lineker: Terry McCarthy sees Britain's goalscoring ambassador to Japan arrive in Nagoya on an early fact-finding mission

GARY LINEKER arrived in Japan yesterday for a three-day familiarisation tour before settling in to play next February, and one of the first questions he had to settle with the Japanese press was his name. Was it Gay-ree Rineka or Gah-ree Rineka? 'You can call me whatever you like,' he said, adding with a laugh 'as long as it is polite.'
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