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Keyword: japaneconomy

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  • Japan reportedly plans US$16b aid package for greenhouse-gas cuts

    11/12/2013 6:06:52 PM PST · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    ChannelNewsAsia ^ | 11/13/2013 | AFP
    Japan's public and private sectors will supply an aid package worth US$16 billion over three years to help developing nations cut greenhouse-gas emissions, a report said on Tuesday, as climate talks get underway in Warsaw. TOKYO: Japan's public and private sectors will supply an aid package worth US$16 billion over three years to help developing nations cut greenhouse-gas emissions, a report said on Tuesday, as climate talks get underway in Warsaw. The contribution would account for over 40 per cent of the US$35 billion that developing nations were expected to ask for to battle climate change, Japan's leading Nikkei business...
  • Widespread abuse of disabled (Japan)

    11/11/2013 10:18:05 PM PST · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Japan News ^ | 11/11/2013 | Yomiuri Shimbun
    The Yomiuri Shimbun The health ministry has confirmed that more than 1,500 disabled people were abused, most of them by relatives, in the six months through March this year. Local governments nationwide received reports or were consulted over a total of 4,502 cases of allged abuse against disabled people in the six months after a law to prevent abuse of the disabled came into effect in October last year. Of this number, abuse was confirmed to have occurred in 1,524 cases involving 1,699 victims, according to the first such survey ever conducted by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. The...
  • Deluge of harassing emails angers anti-nuclear groups (Japan)

    11/11/2013 10:13:47 PM PST · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 11/11/2013 | Tomahiro Osaki
    Anti-nuclear activists expressed outrage Monday over cyberattacks involving a torrent of harassing emails that have nearly crippled their online activities. Yasue Ashihara, a member of Sayonara Shimane Genpatsu Network (Goodbye-Nuke Network in Shimane), said the group received about 10,000 emails in mid-September, some of which contained hateful remarks such as: “without the massacre of anti-nuclear activists, the world will see no peace.” But most messages turned out to be fake confirmations of new memberships, she said. Noting the cyberattacks mainly targeted anti-nuclear civic groups, Ashihara said she believes whoever masterminded the harassment clearly supports atomic power. “Whoever may have perpetrated...
  • New firm for large-scale rice farming to help nation (Japan)

    11/11/2013 10:04:55 PM PST · by TexGrill · 9 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 11/11/2013 | Jiji
    AKITA – A new company aiming to mediate between rice producers, mass merchants and consumers was established Monday, led by agricultural corporations in Akita Prefecture and the city of Sendai. The move is part of efforts to prepare for rapid changes in the competitive environment for agriculture, including Japan’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks and the planned abolition of rice production adjustments in five years. The new firm is based in the village of Ogata, Akita Prefecture. It was chiefly founded by Ogatamura Akitakomachi Seisansha Kyokai, an Ogata firm selling rice online to individual customers nationwide, and Butai...
  • Nation to get guidelines against dishonest menus (Japan)

    11/11/2013 10:00:36 PM PST · by TexGrill · 18 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 11/11/2013 | Jiji
    The government plans to draw up guidelines to tackle dishonest menus and food labels that have been used by many hotels, restaurants and department stores across Japan. At a meeting Monday of officials from relevant agencies, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga asked for effective measures to ensure suitable representations of dishes and food products at such locations. The government will work out guidelines under the law against unjustified premiums and misleading representations, Suga said, urging the agencies to make sure inappropriate representations are corrected as soon as they are discovered. The dishonest labeling issue “could fundamentally undermine consumer trust in...
  • Japan putting missiles on Pacific gateway islands

    11/11/2013 1:04:28 AM PST · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    ChannelNewsAsia ^ | 11/07/2013 | AFP
    TOKYO: Japan is putting missiles on islands marking the gateway to the Pacific, officials said on Thursday, as part of a huge military drill that has unsettled Beijing. The exercise, aimed at bolstering Japan's defence of remote islands, has already seen a launching system and a loader for Type-88 surface-to-ship missiles installed on Miyako island, complete with two missiles. Four more missiles were due to arrive on the main island of Okinawa later on Thursday. It was not clear how long they would remain in place. "This is the first time" that missile systems have been taken to Miyako, said...
  • Japan starts up offshore wind farm near Fukushima

    11/10/2013 11:22:49 PM PST · by TexGrill · 13 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 10/11/2013 | AP
    ONAHAMA PORT, Japan (AP) — Japan has switched on the first turbine at a wind farm 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Fukushima, feeding electricity to the grid tethered to the tsunami-crippled nuclear plant onshore. The wind farm which started up Monday, near the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, is to eventually have a capacity of 1 gigawatt from 143 turbines. Its significance is not limited to the energy it will produce. Symbolically, the turbines will help restore the role of energy supplier to a region decimated by the multiple meltdowns that followed the March 2011 earthquake and...
  • Abe Ditches Tradition of Expressing Remorse for WWII (Japan)

    10/31/2013 10:26:42 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 7 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 11/01/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    Shinzo Abe raise eyebrows on Thursday by breaking away from a 20-year tradition of Japanese prime ministers expressing remorse over their country's wartime aggression and pledging not to let it happen again when they mark the end of World War II. Speaking on the 68th anniversary of the Japan's surrender in World War II, Abe instead highlighted the "sacrifices" of Japanese soldiers. Since Morihiro Hosokawa in 1993, all Japanese prime ministers have included acknowledgement of the damage and pain Japan inflicted on countries in Asia and their peoples, and promised that Japan would never engage in a war, in their...
  • Abe Makes Another Offering to Yasukuni Shrine (Japan)

    10/31/2013 10:23:14 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 11/01/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering worth about 50,000 Japanese yen to the militarist Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Thursday, a move seen as avoiding a personal visit to the shrine. Visits to Yasukuni by previous Japanese prime ministers invariably chilled relations with Korea and China to freezing point since it honors convicted World War II criminals among the country’s war dead. Abe made the offering to mark the shrine's autumn festival, which runs from Thursday until Sunday. He also sent an offering to the shrine during the spring festival in April. Abe had said he felt...
  • Easier greenhouse target in offing (Japan)

    10/30/2013 9:45:40 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 10/30/2013 | Kyodo
    The government is making final arrangements to set a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, according to a government source. The source said the new target assumes there would be no restarts of nuclear reactors and takes into account energy-saving measures and renewable sources, as well as forest absorption of carbon dioxide. Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara is expected to announce the new target at the 19th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP19, to be held in Poland next month. The new target was created...
  • Anti-nuclear Koizumi agitating for comeback? (Japan)

    10/30/2013 9:42:17 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 10/30/2013 | Reiji Yoshada
    Long silent and out of the public eye, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s recent rumblings against nuclear power are causing many to wonder if the most popular leader of recent decades is laying the groundwork for a political comeback. The 74-year-old Koizumi has met separately with two opposition party heads — Tadatomo Yoshida of the Social Democratic Party and Yoshimi Watanabe of Your Party — to discuss his mission to rid the nation of all 50 of its nuclear reactors. A visit to a spent-fuel disposal site in Finland following the 2011 Fukushima crisis converted him to an anti-nuclear activist,...
  • Tepco refuses to fund outside cleanup (Japan)

    10/30/2013 12:48:30 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 7 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 10/29/2013 | Kazuaki Nagata
    Tokyo Electric Power Co. is refusing to reimburse the Environment Ministry for more than ¥30 billion that was spent to decontaminate land hit by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, the ministry said Tuesday. Under the special decontamination law adopted in August 2011, the state is responsible for leading and initially financing the decontamination effort, but it can ask Tepco, responsible for the Fukushima crisis, to pay the bill later. Tepco has paid ¥6.7 billion so far, while the Environment Ministry has sought ¥40.4 billion. The ministry said Tepco is unwilling to pay for work not directly...
  • Japan secrecy act stirs fears about press freedom, right to know

    10/29/2013 8:11:59 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/25/2013 | Linda Sieg
    (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is planning a state secrets act that critics say could curtail public access to information on a wide range of issues, including tensions with China and the Fukushima nuclear crisis. The new law would dramatically expand the definition of official secrets and journalists convicted under it could be jailed for up to five years. Japan's harsh state secrecy regime before and during World War Two has long made such legislation taboo, but the new law looks certain to be enacted since Abe's Liberal Democratic Party-led bloc has a comfortable majority in both...
  • Japan's NTT buys US cloud computing firms for $875 mn

    10/28/2013 6:40:11 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    France24 ^ | 10/28/2013 | AFP
    AFP - NTT Communications said Monday it would pay a combined $875 million for two US-based cloud computing firms, marking the latest major overseas acquisition by a Japanese firm. The telecoms giant said it had agreed to buy Virtela for $525 million, while it would shell out $350 million for an 80 percent stake in RagingWire as it looks to boost its ability to supply online access to software and data storage for big global clients. The deals come as NTT looks to counter a slowdown in its mainstay long-distance telecom business. "The acquisition (of RagingWire) will more than double...
  • Japan retail sales, household spending beat forecasts

    10/28/2013 6:37:11 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    CNBC ^ | 10/28/2013 | CNBC
    <p>Japanese retail sales rose 3.1 percent from a year earlier in September, official data showed on Tuesday, a sign a personal spending is continuing to support the nation's economy.</p> <p>The increase was much higher than the 1.9 percent rise analysts polled by Reuters were expecting, and marked a second straight month of gains. Spending on luxury goods, food and automobiles led the rise.</p>
  • Japan jobless rate falls to 4.0 percent in September

    10/28/2013 6:31:11 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/28/2013 | Reuters
    (Reuters) - Japan's jobless rate fell slightly in September and the availability of jobs held steady at the highest level in more than five years, government data showed, pointing to steady progress in the battle to end 15 years of deflation. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent from August's 4.1 percent, figures from the Internal Affairs Ministry showed on Tuesday, matching economists' median forecast of 4.0 percent. The jobs-to-applicants ratio was 0.95 in September, unchanged from the previous month, when it rose to its highest since May 2008. That compared with the median forecast of 0.96. The...
  • Gogo to provide Japan Airlines with domestic Internet

    10/28/2013 6:27:58 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/28/2013 | Alwyn Scott
    (Reuters) - Gogo Inc said on Monday it had agreed to provide Japan Airlines Co Ltd with in-flight Internet service on the airline's domestic fleet of 77 aircraft, marking Gogo's first significant international contract, according to the company's chief executive. Shares of Gogo were up 10.6 percent at $17.94 in afternoon trade in New York on Monday. The in-flight Internet provider, based in Itasca, Illinois, said the JAL service would use Gogo's satellite technology and begin operating by mid-2014. The deal is another step in a global race to provide better Internet connections on more planes, especially over oceans, using...
  • Japan medical robots catching on in Europe

    10/27/2013 11:24:02 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Japan News ^ | 10/28/2013 | Takehito Kudo
    Takehito Kudo / Yomiuri Shimbun CorrespondentBOCHUM, Germany—A Japanese third-sector cooperative project to promote the use of medical and nursing care robots as part of the government’s growth strategy is gaining traction in Europe. Behind the development is the aging population’s growing recognition of Japanese cutting-edge technology in this field and a positive stance toward adopting such technology. One of the most well-known medical devices is a robotic suit called Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL), which helps elderly people with physical disabilities move their body by reading information from sensors on their skin and slight changes in electric signals produced by muscles...
  • ... Japan's Mizuho mob-loan scandal, serious penalty unlikely

    10/27/2013 11:07:09 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Reuters ^ | 10/27/2013 | Taiga Uranaka
    TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Mizuho Financial Group will try to put a loans-to-mobsters scandal behind it on Monday, but while Japan's second-biggest bank by assets may escape serious penalty it faces an uphill battle in catching up with its expanding peers. A panel of lawyers, appointed by Mizuho, will report its findings on how the bank failed for more than two years to end the loans to "yakuza" gangsters after discovering the shady transactions. Mizuho is then expected to announce its response to the scandal, which hit the bank just as it was seeking to improve its corporate governance...
  • Japan’s sexual apathy is endangering the global economy

    10/22/2013 6:17:42 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 100 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 10/22/2013 | Max Fisher
    <p>People in Japan are so averse to romantic relationships that the country's media even has a name for it: sekkusu shinai shokogun, or "celibacy syndrome," according to a widely circulated Guardian story on the country's low rates of marriage, childbearing and even sex.</p>
  • Firms hiring more foreign students (Japan)

    10/21/2013 12:21:42 AM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 10/20/2013 | Japan Times
    Though relations between Japan and its neighbors South Korea and China have been less than rosy in recent years, Japanese companies are increasingly looking to hire foreign students from these and other Asian countries who have studied in Japan, according to the Tokyo-based recruitment and consulting firm Disco Inc. With companies focusing on finding the most talented people to help them expand into foreign markets, the practical necessities of business seem to be overriding political wrangling. The survey, released this month, found that 35.2 percent of 539 companies across the country said they have hired, or plan to hire, foreign...
  • Japan to shoot down foreign drones that invade its airspace

    10/20/2013 11:59:20 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 10/20/2013 | Kyodo
    The Defense Ministry has drafted plans for the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down foreign drones that intrude into Japan’s airspace if warnings to leave are ignored, a source close to the government revealed Sunday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued his approval when Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera briefed him on the plan Oct. 11, the source said. The ministry drafted the plan in response to a Chinese military drone that intruded into Japan’s air defense identification zone Sept. 9, approaching the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. China also claims the chain as Diaoyu. The move is aimed at...
  • Aide: Abe may visit Yasukuni this year (Japan)

    10/20/2013 11:53:10 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 10/20/2013 | Kyodo
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will probably visit war-linked Yasukuni Shrine by year’s end, an aide in his ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Sunday. “The prime minister has repeated that there is no change in his feeling about the shrine,” said Koichi Hagiuda, a House of Representatives member who is serving as special aide to Abe in the latter’s role as LDP chief. Hagiuda told reporters he thinks Abe will visit the shrine within one year from the launch of his current government late last year. “Some people say he should visit the shrine sometime while he is prime minister, but...
  • Whether Tepco fails or not, it’s taxpayers’ tab (Japan)

    10/20/2013 11:49:59 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 10/20/2013 | Tomoko Otaki
    It is impossible to put a price tag on all the pain and suffering inflicted on people as a result of the March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. The ongoing crisis has created more than 140,000 wandering “nuclear refugees,” has stripped farmers and fishermen of their livelihoods, and continues to expose hundreds of plant workers to daily health risks as they battle to contain the radioactive water accumulating in leaky storage tanks and pipes and flowing into the ocean as groundwater, as well as other hazards. The monetary cost alone is immeasurable because...
  • Newly accessible Japanese encephalitis vaccine ...

    10/20/2013 9:03:00 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    ChinAfrica ^ | 10/21/2013 | ChinAfrica
    First vaccine from China to be prequalified by WHO A newly accessible vaccine against Japanese encephalitis is going to make the protection of more children in developing countries easier. The vaccine, manufactured in China, only needs to be given in one dose, it can be used for infants, and it is less expensive than other Japanese encephalitis vaccines. Today, WHO has added the vaccine to its list of prequalified medicines, meaning that WHO has given the vaccine its stamp of approval in safety and efficacy terms, and United Nations procuring agencies can now source this vaccine. This is the first...
  • Japan's trade deficit in Sept surges 64.1% from year earlier

    10/20/2013 6:31:58 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Today ^ | 10/21/2013 | AFP
    TOKYO — Japan’s trade deficit in September surged 64.1% from a year earlier, extending its string of shortfalls to a record 15th consecutive month. A weaker yen has been helping Japan’s export picture, but the volume of shipments was down last month while the country’s energy bill remained high due to imports of pricey fossil fuels. Energy imports surged after the 2011 Fukushima crisis forced the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear reactors. On Monday, the finance ministry said Japan recorded a trade deficit of 932.1 billion yen ($9.5 billion), well above a 568.2 billion yen deficit in the year earlier. That...
  • BOJ Kuroda: Japan on path to meeting two percent inflation target

    10/20/2013 6:25:31 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/21/2013 | Reuters
    (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Monday the country was making steady progress towards achieving the central bank's 2 percent inflation target. "Japan's economy is likely to continue recovering moderately driven by a positive cycle of output, income and expenditure," Kuroda said in a speech to a quarterly meeting of the central bank's regional branch managers. The BOJ offered an intense burst of monetary stimulus in April, pledging to double the county's base money via aggressive asset purchases to achieve 2 percent inflation in two years.
  • Corporate Japan to hunker down and save gains from tax cut: Reuters poll

    10/17/2013 9:22:50 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Reuters ^ | 10/17/2013 | Tetsushi Kajimoto
    (Reuters) - More than 40 percent of Japanese companies surveyed have no plans to spend or invest funds generated by an expected cut in the corporate tax rate, a reflection of the deep-seated risk-aversion in corporate Japan and a challenge to the success of Abenomics. The result of the Reuters Corporate Survey of 400 companies taken in late September and early October stands in contrast to other recent indicators of a thawing in corporate risk-aversion on signs of continued recovery in Japan's economy. In the monthly Reuters survey, 30 percent of companies said they would bank any savings from a...
  • Cervical cancer vaccination probe kicks off (Japan)

    10/16/2013 10:52:15 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 10/17/2013 | Jiji
    Two groups set up by the health ministry have started full-scale studies of whether cervical cancer vaccines are directly linked to severe pain that has affected some young women. The two groups will collect data through clinical studies at 17 hospitals nationwide. The group led by Shinshu University professor Shuichi Ikeda will extend its studies to cerebral and neural areas, while the other, headed by Aichi Medical University professor Takahiro Ushida, will seek ways of easing the pain through cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as look into the causes. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare started recommending in April...
  • Kyoto team generates cartilage cells without using stem cells (Japan)

    10/16/2013 10:44:47 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 10/17/2013 | Kyodo
    KYOTO – Kyoto University researchers have found a way to use human skin cells to produce new types of cells faster than using stem cells, according to a study published Thursday in the U.S. online science journal Plos One. A team at the university’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application used the so-called direct reprogramming method, where genes are implanted into skin cells, to produce a different type with the characteristics of cartilage cells. The technique is expected to help treat cartilage damaged by disease or injury by reducing the time needed to produce new cells. The other method...
  • Japanese PM Makes Offering to War-linked Shrine

    10/16/2013 9:31:26 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 6 replies
    China Radio International ^ | 10/17/2013 | Zhang
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday morning made an offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine during its autumn festival, according to local media. The offering is amid strained relations between Japan and its neighboring countries, namely China and South Korea, due to territorial disputes and Japan's attitude toward war-related history. The shrine, which honors Japanese war dead, including 14 class- A war criminals during the World War II, is considered as the symbol of Japan's past militarism. Repeated visits to the controversial shrine by Japanese cabinet ministers and lawmakers have been a major obstacle for Japan to mend ties...
  • David against nuclear Goliath in Japan

    10/16/2013 9:15:07 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Asia Times ^ | 10/16/2013 | Suvendrini Kakuchi
    TOKYO - Two and a half years ago, Ayako Oga, now 30, found herself helpless as an earthquake and the tsunami it triggered hit Japan and crippled four reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. She and her husband were forced to abandon their village Ookuma Machi, barely five kilometers away. The once-farmer is a leading activist today in Japan's growing anti-nuclear movement, joining hundreds of Fukushima residents affected by the March 11, 2011 tragedy to protest against a government plan to restart Japan's nuclear reactors. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been aggressively pushing an economic agenda that...
  • ‘Big data’ to help tourism (Japan)

    10/16/2013 1:41:45 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Japan News ^ | 10/16/2013 | Yomiuri Shimbun
    The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Japan Tourism Agency is keen to fulfill its mission of making Japan a popular destination by using so-called big data, the collection of massive amounts of digital data. To help develop new tourism spots and routes, the agency plans to collect big data from travelers via the Global Positioning System and their mobile phones or other devices. A working group of experts, soon to be formed, is expected to establish a method by the end of March to analyze the data. The agency plans to collect big data—various information such as messages posted on social media sites—from...
  • Typhoon Wipha whips through Tokyo area (Japan)

    10/16/2013 1:28:46 AM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 10/19/2013 | Kyodo
    Typhoon Wipha brought strong winds and heavy rain to the Tokyo metropolitan area early Wednesday, shutting down large portions of the region’s transportation network. On Izu Oshima Island in the Pacific about 120 km south of Tokyo, at least 13 bodies were found and around 20 people were missing after several houses collapsed amid record rainfall of 122.5 mm per hour, according to local authorities and police. In Machida, Tokyo, a woman believed to be in her 40s died after being swept away by a swollen river, police said. Several bullet-train runs on the Tohoku, Yamagata, Joetsu, Nagano and Tokaido...
  • Japan on gas, coal power building spree to fill nuclear void

    10/15/2013 8:44:53 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/15/2013 | Osamu Tsukimori
    (Reuters) - Japan plans to start up 14 new gas and coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014, allowing a switch away from pricey oil, as Tokyo struggles with a shutdown of nuclear reactors and energy imports drive a record trade deficit. Regional power monopolies will construct 12 gas-fired units next year, while two new coal power plants will be completed by December 2013, according to a Reuters survey of utilities. The new power plants will buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal to scale back on the use of expensive crude and fuel oil plants. They will also...
  • Sake, wine tariffs eyed for removal (Japan)

    10/13/2013 11:26:55 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan News ^ | 10/14/2013 | Yomiuri Shimbun
    The Yomiuri ShimbunThe government and ruling parties have started to consider scrapping tariffs on imported wine, an idea that would, in turn, call on other negotiators in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks to eliminate tariffs on sake, government sources said. The move suggests that the government and ruling parties believe the mutual removal of tariffs would greatly benefit domestic consumers while also increasing sake exports from Japan, according to the sources. The idea to eliminate tariffs on wine was a Japanese response to a request made by Australia and New Zealand, the sources said. The government and the...
  • Radiation estimates for No. 1 workers likely 20% too low: U.N. (Japan)

    10/13/2013 11:06:54 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 15 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 10/13/2013 | Kyodo
    NEW YORK – The radiation doses workers received in the initial phase of the Fukushima disaster may have underestimated by 20 percent, a report by a U.N. panel says. The U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation said in a summary report on its website that the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., known as Tepco, used tests that failed to take into account some types of radiation released by the three meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant in March 2011. The report said the committee analyzed the doses received by some 25,000 people working...
  • No more pie-in-the-sky on US-Japan ties

    10/13/2013 8:27:34 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Asia Times ^ | 10/11/2013 | Yuki Tatsumi
    On October 3, the United States and Japan held the Security Consultative Committee (SCC) meeting, often referred to as "two-plus-two" because it includes the US secretaries of state and defense and Japan's foreign and defense ministers, in Tokyo. The joint statement issued at the end of the meeting, "Toward a More Robust Alliance and Greater Shared Responsibilities", described the vision of the US-Japan alliance that is "more balanced and effective." It included an extensive list of action items in three categories: "bilateral security and defense cooperation" (previously called "roles, missions, and capabilities"), "regional engagement," and "US force realignment in Japan"....
  • Japan eyes private sector to manage part of its $1.27 tln forex reserves

    10/13/2013 7:08:34 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Reuters ^ | 10/13/2013 | Reuters
    TOKYO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Japan is looking to allow private sector funds and trust banks to manage a part of its $1.27-trillion pool of foreign exchange reserves in a drive to manage them better, a government source told Reuters on Sunday. Until now the government has managed the foreign exchange reserves itself, but its ability to do so has been stretched as the reserve roughly doubled over the past decade, thanks to massive yen-selling interventions to weaken Japan's currency. The government needs to clear legal hurdles on its use of foreign exchange assets if it wants to draft in...
  • Loss of Senkakus would threaten foundation of Japan’s security

    10/13/2013 7:02:45 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Japan News ^ | 10/14/2013 | Yomiuri Shimbun
    The Yomiuri Shimbun The following are excerpts from an interview with Yoichi Funabashi, chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF) and former editor-in-chief of The Asahi Shimbun: In our book “Worst-case Scenario for Japan,” published by RJIF this spring, we wrote that “the loss of the Senkaku Islands would lead to the loss of Okinawa.” We reached this conclusion after thinking through what could happen if Japan lost them. The row over the Senkaku Islands can be said to represent a diplomatic clash between Japan and China. Beijing is currently aiming to achieve three goals: make Japan’s effective control...
  • Patriots set up in Osaka park for drill (Japan)

    10/10/2013 11:25:21 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 10/10/2013 | Kyodo
    OSAKA – The Defense Ministry carried out a ballistic missile interceptor drill Wednesday night at Expo Park in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, the third such exercise in a public space and the first in western Japan. The drill, which was open to the press, involved the Air Self-Defense Force’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system, which is designed to shoot down missiles that elude interceptors launched at sea from Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyers. Similar exercises were conducted in two Tokyo parks. About 50 Self-Defense Forces personnel and 20 vehicles from the ASDF’s Hakusan post in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, were mobilized for the...
  • Broken toilet flush forces JAL Dreamliner to turn back (Japan)

    10/09/2013 11:13:53 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 10 replies
    ChannelNewsAsia ^ | 10/10/2013 | AFP
    TOKYO: A 787 Dreamliner bound for Japan was forced to turn around and fly back to Russia after toilets on the plane refused to flush, operator Japan Airlines (JAL) said Thursday. The Boeing plane carrying 151 crew members and passengers left Moscow late Wednesday for Narita airport east of Tokyo but returned two hours later, a JAL spokesman said. "It was hit by trouble," he said. He added the glitches were believed to be due to an electrical fault but had nothing to do with the plane's batteries. The average flight time between Moscow and Tokyo is around 10 hours....
  • Japan worries about Boeing retreat in wake of JAL defection

    10/09/2013 11:10:27 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 6 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/09/2013 | Tim Kelly
    Oct 9 (Reuters) - For five decades Boeing Co. has awarded bigger and bigger shares of its supply contracts to Japanese firms, but that could change after Japan Airlines' shock defection to Airbus and as the planemaker seeks to win orders in China. Boeing's carbon composite 787 is 35 percent made in Japan - as big a share as it builds in-house - but Japanese aviation insiders fear the Dreamliner could be the high water mark of the industry's partnership with the U.S company. The close co-operation has not only benefitted Japan's industrial giants Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries...
  • In Japan, low inflation shows economy still weak

    09/25/2013 1:48:23 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Joong Ang Daily ^ | 09/25/2013 | JoongAng Daily
    The Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to delay tapering stimulus as inflation remains subdued suggests Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda faces an uphill battle to stoke price increases with quantitative easing. Japan’s implied forward yield, which indicates bond investor expectations of the two-year note rate in 2015, has fallen to the lowest since April 4 when Kuroda began unprecedented stimulus, at 0.24 percent last week. That suggests the market doesn’t expect inflation pressure to push up yields for at least two years. The equivalent rate in the U.S. declined to a month low of 1.8 percent on Sept. 18. While...
  • Japan losing competitive edge due to poor practical training, expert warns

    09/24/2013 10:17:11 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 09/24/2013 | Saiyuri Daimon
    DALIAN, CHINA – There may be many unemployed young people in Japan, but there are also a lot of companies that can’t fill their vacancies due to a shortage of talented applicants, Darryl Green, president of major staffing and workforce solution service company ManpowerGroup, said in a recent interview. Warning about Japan’s labor market, Green told The Japan Times there are plenty of openings for technical positions in Japan, such as engineers and in sales, but most people who have recently graduated from Japanese universities have no practical skills to qualify for those jobs. “The needs of corporate Japan are...
  • Abe to review plan to double sales tax to 10% (Japan)

    09/22/2013 10:18:50 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 09/22/2013 | Jiji
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested Sunday that he will re-examine the advisability of following through with the doubling of the consumption tax to 10 percent in October 2015. “If we raise the tax (to 8 percent), we need to make a decision by looking at the consequences. Whether risks in the global economy will become evident is an important factor to be watched,” Abe said on a TV program. Abe did not say clearly whether he would go ahead with the first stage of the consumption tax hike to 8 percent in April 2014, but is expected to make a...
  • Tokyo: the city that wants clubbers to sleep after midnight

    09/21/2013 11:22:11 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 09/16/2013 | Charis Eisen
    Honorable Members of the National Diet, I urge you to listen to young people’s voices and revise the Entertainment and Amusement Trade Control Law to allow late-night dancing in Tokyo and other cities throughout Japan. Cosmopolitan Tokyo conjures up images of world-class restaurants, busy streets and the latest trends in fashion. But one thing jars with this image of a busy metropolis: that clubbing late at night is a crime. The entertainment trade control law prohibits dancing after midnight in clubs smaller than 60 sq. meters. Recently, police have been cracking down on clubs in Tokyo because neighbors have complained...
  • Hospitals may be forced to hand cancer patient information to state (Japan)

    09/21/2013 10:59:04 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 09/21/2013 | Jiji
    A nonpartisan group of Diet lawmakers has drafted a bill that would oblige hospitals to provide the state with cancer patients’ personal information, including their condition, in an effort to improve treatment quality, sources said Saturday. The group, which includes members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, junior coalition ally New Komeito and the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, compiled the legislation to promote cancer patient registration so the data can be used in drafting bills to tackle the disease, the sources said. The lawmakers intent to submit the bill to an extraordinary Diet session to be convened in...
  • Japan balked at steps to control Fukushima water in 2011: memo

    09/19/2013 6:48:00 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Reuters ^ | 09/18/2013 | Mari Saito
    (Reuters) - Japanese authorities, now struggling to contain leaks of radioactive groundwater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, were urged two years ago by U.S. experts to take immediate steps to prevent groundwater contamination but decided not to act on the advice. The advice to the embattled operator was outlined in a memo to government officials just two months after the accident, but then shelved, according to two officials who participated in the discussions and documents prepared by both governments and the utility. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) successfully lobbied against a proposed barrier wall because the cost could have stirred...
  • Japan Could Acquire THAAD Antimissile System

    09/17/2013 10:52:42 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    National Journal ^ | 09/17/2013 | National Journal
    Japan has moved to finance an assessment on potentially augmenting its missile-interceptor capabilities with a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, according to a Tuesday press report quoted by the Kuwait News Agency. Funds for the possible review could become available during the next Japanese fiscal year, which begins next April, the Japanese Nikkei business daily reported.