JAPAN warned Washington on Feb. 15 that US sanctions would mean an end to dialogue on resolving their bilateral trade dispute and proposed a fresh summit to straighten things out.
The failure of the Feb. 11 summit between Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa and President Clinton has sent the dollar tailspinning along with prices of Tokyo stocks.
As Tokyo struggled to cope with the twin falls, Mr. Hosokawa stepped into a new political minefield Feb. 15 when two coalition parties vetoed his proposal to reshuffle his Cabinet.
Hosokawa said he had asked leaders of the Socialist Party, the largest party in his coalition, if they would agree to a reshuffle.
Parliamentary sources said Hosokawa wanted a reshuffle to heal a split between rival camps in his coalition so he can concentrate on reviving trust in his drive for an economic upswing and meet US demands to open Japan's markets.
The thrust of the proposed reshuffle was to bring Socialist chairman Tomiichi Murayama into the Cabinet and remove the top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Masayoshi Takemura.
A Socialist spokesman said Mr. Murayama rejected both of Hosokawa's proposals - for an immediate reshuffle and to name him to a Cabinet post. Amnesty International will not be allowed into Kashmir
INDIA on Feb. 15 denied it would allow Amnesty International, a major human rights group, to visit Kashmir where the government is accused of abuses in its war with Muslim separatists.
Foreign Minister Dinesh Singh had told a Parliament committee on Feb. 14 that Amnesty might be permitted into the disputed region. But a ministry spokesman said Feb. 15 that the comment does not change India's ban on visits by the human rights group, though he did not rule out future changes in the policy.
Pakistan has recently stepped up accusations of human rights violations against the predominantly Muslim population of Kashmir. India, in turn, accuses Pakistan of training and arming Muslim guerrillas who slip across the border to fight Indian troops. The two nations have fought two wars over Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state in predominantly Hindu India.
Recently, India said it will allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to survey the state to determine what kind of help the people need. Amnesty last requested to visit Kashmir in January.