Japan's foreign minister announced a US$7 billion initiative Monday to promote development in Southeast Asia's Mekong region, which encompasses parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand through which the river flows.
Tokyo stocks plunged more than three percent as a surging yen hit exporters Monday, leading a sell-off across Asia in holiday-thinned trade and after worries about the global economy fuelled sharp losses in New York and Europe.
The yen's soaring rally took a breather in Asian trading Monday after Japanese finance minister Taro Aso warned over the surge, vowing to take action "when necessary."
The Bank of Japan shocked markets Thursday as it held fire on a fresh round of widely expected stimulus measures, sparking questions about whether it had anything left in its arsenal to kickstart the stuttering economy.
The yen rebounded Monday, with analysts saying last week's dive on a report that the Bank of Japan was considering new stimulus was overdone.
The yen sank Friday on a report that Japan's central bank may take steps to support major financial institutions hit by its shock negative-rate policy.
The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna, a sushi lovers' favorite whose population has dropped by more than 97 percent from its historic levels.
Japan's exports fell for a sixth straight month in March, sapped by weak shipments of machinery and chemicals, though a sharper decline in imports helped push the trade surplus to its highest level in more than five years.
The yen eased Tuesday after Japan's finance minister reiterated that officials could intervene in forex markets to stem the unit's steep rise, but analysts warned such a move risked triggering a currency war in Asia.
The yen extended its advance Monday despite repeated efforts to talk down the safe-haven currency, as concerns over the impact on exporters weighed on the stock market.