HITOYOSHI, Japan: First, the farmers objected to an ambitious dam project proposed by the government, saying they did not need irrigation water from the reservoir. Then the commercial fishermen complained that fish would disappear if the Kawabe River's twisting torrents were blocked. Environmentalists worried about losing the river's scenic gorges.

TOKYO: Toyota Motor said Thursday that the slowdown in the U.S. economy would most likely cause its first annual decline in profit in nine years, and accelerate a shift by it and other Asian carmakers into emerging markets like China, Latin America and the Middle East.