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Keyword: japaneconomy

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  • Japan on course for longest run of trade deficits

    09/17/2013 10:44:36 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Reuters ^ | 09/16/2013 | Reuters
    Japan is on course for its longest run of trade deficits, effectively marking the end of the nation's decades-long reliance on exports from the likes of electronics giant Sony and automaker Toyota as a driver of growth and income. Trade figures due on Thursday are likely to show that Japan produced its 14th consecutive deficit in August, matching a 1979-1980 record run during the global oil shock. Economists say the deficits will continue. When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's reflationary policies weakened the yen after he took power last December, many economists had anticipated a so-called J-curve effect, where a spike...
  • National Cancer Center doctors misappropriated funds (Japan)

    09/15/2013 8:44:17 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan News ^ | 09/16/2013 | Yomiuri Shimbun
    The Yomiuri Shimbun Thirty-nine doctors and employees of the National Cancer Center misappropriated about Ą40.86 million over a period of five years ending in fiscal 2011 by having suppliers pool government research funds, among other methods, the center has announced. According to the center, doctors and employees made fictitious orders to suppliers and used part of research funds given by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and others to pay the bills. They asked the suppliers to pool the money it paid as “deposits.” The center imposed disciplinary punishment on 23 people, including suspension from office and salary cuts, or...
  • Renewable energy push blunted as ad-hoc rules stymie private upstarts (Japan)

    09/15/2013 8:33:10 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 09/15/2013 | Kyodo
    Ever since Japan kicked off a system to encourage the use of renewable energy for electricity in July 2012, businesses, civic organizations and even local government bodies have been trying to break into the tightly held power market. Under the so-called feed-in tariff system, utilities are required purchase any generated electricity derived from five types of renewable energy for a fixed price and a set time. But the momentum seems to be slowing. Several potential power suppliers are dropping their bids after coming face to face with restrictions that make it difficult for them to link to the power grids...
  • Japan to switch off nuclear power, may be some time before it's on again

    09/14/2013 7:39:18 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Reuters ^ | 09/15/2013 | Osamu Tsukimori
    (Reuters) - Japan is set to be nuclear power-free, for just the third time in more than four decades, and with no firm date for re-starting an energy source that has provided about 30 percent of electricity to the world's third-largest economy. Kansai Electric Power Co's 1,180 MW Ohi No.4 reactor is scheduled to be disconnected from the power grid late on Sunday and then shut for planned maintenance. It is the only one of Japan's 50 reactors in operation after the nuclear industry came to a virtual halt following the March 2011 Fukushima disaster. Japan last went without nuclear...
  • French Fukushima cartoon has Japan up in arms

    09/12/2013 7:12:41 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 7 replies
    France 24 ^ | 09/12/2013 | France 24
    Japan is to lodge a formal complaint with French weekly Le Canard Enchaîné after it published a cartoon showing sumo wrestlers with extra arms in reference to Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, despite the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis. Japan reacted angrily Thursday to cartoons published in a French newspaper that mocked the decision to award the 2020 Olympic Games to Tokyo despite the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis. Published by the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné in its Wednesday, September 11 edition, one of the cartoons depicts two emaciated sumo wrestlers sporting extra limbs with the stricken Fukushima nuclear power...
  • Japan to raise sales tax to 8% in April

    09/11/2013 8:43:37 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 15 replies
    Bangkok Post ^ | 09/12/2013 | Bangkok Post
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to raise Japan's sales tax next year but plans to launch a $50 billion stimulus package to avoid hurting the nation's budding economic recovery, reports said Thursday. Jiji Press and Kyodo news agencies reported that Abe intended to raise the tax to 8.0 percent from its current level of 5.0 percent in April 2014 as earlier scheduled. Legislation previously passed by parliament had given the government scope for the move if ministers felt the economy was strong enough. There is another scheduled rise to 10 percent in October 2015 but the reports did not...
  • Water highly irradiated near leaky tank (Japan)

    09/10/2013 11:20:54 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 09/10/2013 | AFP
    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said groundwater at an observation well near the site of a leaky storage tank at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has shown high levels of radiation. Tests found 3,200 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting materials, including strontium. As a result, it “now seems more likely” that radioactive water from leaking tanks at the crippled facility became mixed with groundwater in the area, Tepco said Monday. The level of contamination far exceeds the government limit of just 10 becquerels of strontium per liter in drinking water and 100 becquerels per kilogram for food. If ingested,...
  • Insight: Japan ponders Fukushima options, but Tepco too big to fail

    09/10/2013 7:35:56 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 8 replies
    Reuters ^ | 09/10/2013 | Linda Sieg
    (Reuters) - Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tepco Electric's response to the world's worst atomic disaster in a quarter century has been called ad hoc and more concerned with cost than safety, but 30 months later, the utility is still in charge. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in the centerpiece of Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics, said he would be personally responsible for a plan to cope with the legacy of the March 2011 disaster in which a massive earthquake and tsunami caused triple meltdowns, spewing radiation and forcing some 160,000 residents to flee their homes. A crisis over...
  • Japan to fund ice wall to stop reactor leaks

    09/03/2013 7:08:00 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 10 replies
    Times of India ^ | 09/03/2013 | AP
    TOKYO: The Japanese government announced on Tuesday that it will spend $470 million on a subterranean ice wall and other steps in a desperate bid to stop leaks of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear station after repeated failures by the plant's operator. The decision is widely seen as an attempt to show that the nuclear accident won't be a safety concern just days before the International Olympic Committee chooses between Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid as the host of the 2020 Olympics. The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has been leaking hundreds of tons of contaminated underground water into the sea...
  • Tornados hit eastern Japan, injuring many

    09/02/2013 6:48:39 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 25 replies
    ABS CBN ^ | 09/02/2013 | Kyodo
    TOKYO - Tornados hit cities in eastern Japan on Monday afternoon, injuring dozens of people and damaging buildings, local police said. In Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, residents reported to the police that power poles collapsed and roofs were blown off residential buildings. Police said they have confirmed six buildings were completely destroyed and around 80 were badly damaged in the city. Among the injured, a man suffered a skull fracture, according to the Shock Trauma Center at Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital. Flying debris smashed around 50 windows at Sakuraiminami Elementary School in the city, injuring two third-grade boys, the school...
  • Abe, Kishida, Onodera keeping eye on U.S. response (Japan - Obama's Coalition of Willing)

    09/01/2013 9:35:08 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 09/02/2013 | Kyodo
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he will closely monitor how the U.S. Congress reacts to President Barack Obama’s request for permission to attack Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons. “I took President Obama’s announcement as the expression of his grave determination,” Abe told reporters in Chiba Prefecture. “I will closely watch the process in the U.S. Congress.” Japan “will continue to closely cooperate with the United States and the international community in collecting and analyzing information,” he added. “We will work to ensure even a little improvement” in the situation. Both Abe and...
  • Japanese prefer to die from heat (rather) than turn air conditioning on

    08/28/2013 9:45:03 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 51 replies
    Pravda ^ | 08/28/2013 | Pravda
    According to the police and fire department of Japan, more than 53 thousand people have been hospitalized with heat stroke since the end of May in the country. The number of lethal outcomes has reached 338. Of these, 263 people (78 percent) are over 60 years of age. 75 percent were found in the premises outfitted with air conditioning systems, although they were not used. Meteorological services reported that in some parts of Japan, temperatures will be preserved on the level of 35 degrees Centigrade before the end of the week.
  • Japan to announce Fukushima alert level upgrades at 4:00 p.m.

    08/27/2013 9:03:22 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 16 replies
    Xinhua News Agency ^ | 08/28/2103 | Hou Qiang
    TOKYO, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority will announce the upgrading of toxic water leak severity at the Fukushima plant to level 3 at 4:00 p.m. local time, the public affairs division of the organization told Xinhua.
  • World-wide detox: Japan to run Internet ‘fasting’ camps for addicted teens

    08/27/2013 6:48:28 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 9 replies
    RT ^ | 08/28/2013 | RT
    Over half a million middle- and high-school students in Japan are feared to be strongly addicted to the Internet, prompting authorities to try a revolutionary solution to help teens who cannot voluntarily unplug from the web: Internet ‘fasting’ camps. The camps are one facet of the Japanese education ministry’s investigation and research program into Internet addiction among children slated for the next fiscal year. The ministry has requested that the government funds the immersion programs, which are designed to pull children away from their computers, cell phones and hand-held gaming devices. "It's becoming more and more of a problem," Akifumi...
  • Street solicitation to be banned in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward from September (Japan)

    08/22/2013 11:32:55 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/23/2013 | Kyodo
    Shinjuku Ward in Tokyo, home to one of the country’s largest nightlife districts, is set to ban any kind of soliciting in the street not only for sex clubs but also karaoke parlors, pubs and bars from September. The move comes in the wake of growing incidents involving trouble with touts in the ward, particularly in the Kabukicho area, ward officials said. A metropolitan ordinance already bans aggressive solicitation such as pulling at the clothing of passersby, but the ward’s new ordinance, set to be enforced Sept. 1, will ban any kind of street solicitation. Although the ordinance carries no...
  • Rate of radioactive flow to Pacific alarming

    08/22/2013 11:27:02 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 9 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/22/2013 | Kazuaki Nagata
    Water releasing as much as 10 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium and 20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137 from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has flowed into the Pacific Ocean since May 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimates. The combined figure of 30 trillion becquerels, announced late Wednesday, implies that highly radioactive water is entering the trenches under the damaged reactors’ turbine buildings. The three reactors that had core meltdowns are being flooded by emergency cooling water needed to keep the leaky units stable, but the water is leaking from the reactors into the basements, where it is mixing with...
  • Japan firms standing pat on hiring, brace for tax hit: Reuters survey

    08/22/2013 7:11:14 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Reuters ^ | 08/22/2013 | James Topham
    (Reuters) - Most Japanese companies will not increase hiring in 2014 and more than one in six will take additional cost-cutting steps as a planned sales tax hike next year worsens economic conditions, according to a Reuters poll that underscores skepticism about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies. The results of the Reuters Corporate Survey offer a sobering mid-term report card on "Abenomics" as the focus shifts from early kudos for fiscal and monetary stimulus to worries about deregulation and efforts to tackle Japan's enormous public debt. Abe has promised a decision on whether to move ahead with the proposed sales...
  • A big day out at the sumo (Japan)

    08/20/2013 7:57:17 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 6 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/20/2013 | Jason Jenkins
    They’re sweaty, they’re chubby and they love pushing each other around. But enough about the folks at my family reunion, let’s talk about sumo. This quintessentially Japanese sport is a lot of fun to witness with kids, and the Ryogoku neighborhood surrounding Tokyo’s Kokugikan sumo stadium has several other places worth visiting, too. Each sumo tournament lasts two weeks, and the next one in Tokyo starts Sept. 15. Tickets cost upward of ¥10,000 to sit near the dohyō (sumo arena), but I prefer the general admission section. These are the cheapest seats in the house — the very last row...
  • Japan nuclear plant leaks 300 tons of highly radioactive water

    08/20/2013 6:56:37 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 15 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 08/20/2013 | Barbara Demick
    <p>BEIJING -- The operator of the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima, Japan, said Tuesday that 300 tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from one of its storage tanks, the worst in a number of similar leaks since the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami.</p>
  • Mongooses near U.S. bases have high PCB levels (Japan)

    08/19/2013 9:26:37 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 12 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/19/2013 | Kyodo
    Japanese researchers have detected high levels of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls in mongooses found near two U.S. military bases in Okinawa in a recent study. The team of researchers from Ehime University and Okinawa’s Meio University told Kyodo News the source of the pollution was probably transformers or other equipment containing PCBs, and said further studies are necessary, given that nearby residents and other animals could be contaminated as well. The discovery points to the need for a thorough investigation into how equipment containing PCBs has been and is currently used. U.S. bases in Okinawa are said to have a lot...
  • Toxic puddles found near water tanks at Fukushima plant

    08/19/2013 9:19:20 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/20/2013 | Kyodo
    Puddles of water with extremely high radiation levels have been found near water storage tanks on the premises of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, nuclear regulators and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday. The radiation level, measured around 50 cm above the toxic water, stood at about 100 millisieverts per hour, Tepco said, while acknowledging that the water likely came from the tanks. It is possible that around 120 liters of water has so far leaked out. Tepco denied that toxic water had flowed into the Pacific Ocean, but the Nuclear Regulation Authority ordered the...
  • Japanese women and the summer chill — a love story

    08/19/2013 1:25:18 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 24 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/19/2013 | Kaori Shoji
    Meet Matt, a software engineer in Silicon Valley, California, who recently married his college girlfriend from the University of Southern California. Her name is Miho. The pair are both in their late 30s and there was a 10-year period after university when he didnÂ’t lay eyes on Miho or feel any interest in Japanese women, and lived the life of a true-blue Californian whose only bond to Japan was his Toyota Prius. Then the stars aligned, he and Miho ran into each other again at a sushi party thrown by a mutual friend and Matt fell in love, all over...
  • Sakurajima Volcano Erupts in Japan

    08/18/2013 11:27:52 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 5 replies
    Weather Channel ^ | 08/18/2013 | Nick Wiltgen
    Sakurajima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, experienced one of its most powerful eruptions in decades Sunday, sending an ash plume thousands of feet into the air. The volcano, located in the far southwestern part of Japan's mainland on the island of Kyushu, began to erupt at 4:31 p.m. local time Sunday (3:31 a.m. EDT U.S. time). The smoke plume eventually reached a height of 5,000 meters (approximately 16,000 feet), according to the Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory. Public broadcaster NHK reported it was the volcano's tallest ash plume since records began in 1955. (MORE: WATCH: Ash Turns Day Into Night)...
  • Japan trade deficit worsens on back of weak yen

    08/18/2013 8:01:53 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    BBC News ^ | 08/19/2013 | BBC
    Japan's trade deficit worsened in July, almost doubling from a year ago, as a weak yen boosted import costs. The deficit for the month rose to 1.02tn yen ($10.5bn; Ł6.7bn), as imports surged 19.6% from a year ago. The yen has fallen nearly 25% against the US dollar since November 2012, as policymakers unveiled a series of aggressive measures to revive growth. Analysts said that despite the growing deficit, the government was likely to stick to its aggressive policies, "In the short term the government will focus on its weaker yen policy as its priorities are very clear," Junko Nishioka,...
  • Dogfight over Tokyo: Japan's big airlines vie for landing rights

    08/18/2013 7:09:23 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | 08/18/2013 | Tim Kelly
    (Reuters) - Tokyo's busy Haneda airport is the latest battleground for Japan's two big carriers, Japan Airlines Co Ltd (9201.T) and ANA Holdings (9202.T), in a politically-charged fight over $400 million worth of landing rights. The two carriers have locked horns for decades at home, but this clash threatens to take on an international dimension by embroiling British Airways (ICAG.L) and other foreign carriers. At issue are 20 new landing slots at Haneda, the world's fourth busiest airport, which according to industry experts, can generate around $20 million each in annual operating profit. With no new runways or airports planned...
  • Japan's crude import cuts to intensify Mideast contest for China

    08/18/2013 7:03:11 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Reuters ^ | 08/19/2013 | Florence Tan
    SINGAPORE/TOKYO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Japanese oil refiners will cut their capacity to the lowest in four decades next year to meet a government deadline, slashing the country's Middle East imports and tightening regional fuel supplies. Imports of crude by the world's No. 3 oil consumer could fall by up to 320,000 barrels per day (bpd) -- down nearly 9 percent on last year -- with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar bearing the brunt of the cuts. The contraction in one of the world's biggest oil markets adds to falling demand from the United States as...
  • Increasing anti-Japan sentiment in China, S. Korea cause for concern

    08/15/2013 11:17:21 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan News ^ | 08/16/2013 | Yomiuri Shimbun
    The Yomiuri ShimbunToday marks the 68th anniversary of the end of World War II for Japan. It is the day on which the nation commemorates its war dead and renews its pledge for peace so that the tremendous suffering caused by war will never be repeated. This summer, an animated movie titled “Kaze Tachinu” (The wind has risen) has been attracting attention. Its protagonist is modeled after Jiro Horikoshi, a brilliant designer for the Imperial Japanese Navy who helped create Zero fighters. Postwar steps applauded The movie’s protagonist is drawn to the beauty of airplanes as a boy, but after...
  • Barbecue like they do it in the South (Japan)

    08/15/2013 10:59:53 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 7 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/15/2013 | Rebecca Milner
    “Hamburger shops are a dime a dozen in Tokyo these days, but there are very few places doing barbecue,” said Lauren Shannon, owner of Bulldog Barbeque ( By barbecue, Shannon doesn’t mean any old thing thrown on a grill, but rather the tradition of the American South of slow-cooked, smoked meats. If you don’t know it, you’re missing out on some seriously good, authentically American food. If you do know it, you’ve probably lamented that it is so hard to come by in Tokyo. “It’s the exact opposite of fast food. It takes days of salt rubs, hours of smoking....
  • Top Israeli official “sick” of commemorating Hiroshima, Nagasaki A-bomb victims

    08/15/2013 9:51:50 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 40 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/16/2013 | Jiji
    JERUSALEM – A senior Israeli government official has posted online comments on Facebook saying he is “sick” of commemorations for the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, a local newspaper reported. “I am sick of the Japanese, ‘Human rights’ and ‘Peace’ groups” over holding their “annual self-righteous commemorations for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims,” the Haaretz daily quoted Daniel Seaman, a deputy director general at the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, as writing in his Facebook post. Seaman, a key Israeli online public relations official, also wrote on the social networking site: “(The bombings of) Hiroshima...
  • Japan Solar Energy Soars, But Grid Needs to Catch Up

    08/15/2013 8:00:36 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 08/14/2013 | Yvonne Chang
    Hokkaido, Japan's second largest and northernmost island, is known for its beautiful wild nature, delicious seafood, and fresh produce. Now another specialty is taking root: Large-scale megasolar power plants that take advantage of the island's unique geography. A new renewable energy incentive program has Japan on track to become the world's leading market for solar energy, leaping past China and Germany, with Hokkaido at the forefront of the sun power rush. In a densely populated nation hungry for alternative energy, Hokkaido is an obvious choice to host projects, because of the availability of relatively large patches of inexpensive land. Unused...
  • Hard rock, J-pop rule Summer Sonic (Japan)

    08/14/2013 10:52:04 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/14/2013 | Patrick St. Michel
    Veteran Japanese rockers Mr. Children attracted so many fans to this year’s edition of the Summer Sonic music festival that they made Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan upset. “Thank-you for the warm reception,” he said sarcastically in Osaka on Saturday, in response to the legions of Mr. Children fans who crowded the area just ahead of the Japanese group’s set. Ah, the trials of being an opening act. Despite Corgan’s rage, Mr. Children’s supporters were one of the reasons the 14th Summer Sonic, held simultaneously in Chiba (representing Tokyo) and Osaka, sold out both legs of the event (as well...
  • Insight: Japan's nuclear clean-up: costly, complex and at risk of failing

    08/14/2013 7:28:27 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | 08/14/2013 | Sophie Knight
    (Reuters) - The most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted has proved costly, complex and time-consuming since the Japanese government began it more than two years in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. It may also fail. Doubts are mounting that the effort to decontaminate hotspots in an area the size of Connecticut will succeed in its ultimate aim - luring more than 100,000 nuclear evacuees back home. If thousands of former residents cannot or will not return, parts of the farming and fishing region could remain an abandoned wilderness for decades. In many areas, radiation remains well above targeted...
  • Is Japan on the road to becoming militaristic again?

    08/13/2013 11:17:56 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 11 replies
    China Post ^ | 08/14/2013 | China Post
    Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took part in a ceremony marking the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, an event which, combined with the following atomic bombing of Nagasaki, compelled Japan to surrender nine days later on Aug. 15, ending the Second World War. Also on Tuesday last week, Japan launched its largest warship since the war. The vessel was launched at Yokohama, where Commodore Mathew Perry came with his U.S. Asiatic fleet in 1853 to open Japan to the West. The 250-meter-long Izumo looks like an aircraft carrier, though officially it is a destroyer. Well,...
  • Japan should delay sales tax rise to beat deflation: PM confidant Nakahara

    08/12/2013 10:49:34 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Reuters ^ | 08/12/2013 | Reuters
    (Reuters) - Japan should delay a planned hike in the sales tax in order to ensure that the economy emerges from deflation, said Nobuyuki Nakahara, a former Bank of Japan board member and close confidant of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Nakahara told Reuters the sales tax hike, scheduled in April, should wait until the autumn of next year, when inflation will likely have taken root. "(The scheduled tax hike) would have a serious negative impact similar to the Bank of Japan's 2006 exit from quantitative easing and zero interest rates," he said. He also warned that the pursuit of fiscal...
  • Heat wave kills four in Japan over the weekend

    08/12/2013 10:36:22 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 5 replies
    Japan Daily Press ^ | 08/12/2013 | South China Morning Post
    Japan’s temperature hit 40-degrees over the weekend, reaching a record high in 6 years and claiming the lives of four people. Back in August 2007, the Japan Meteorological Agency reported two cities reaching an all-time high of 40.9 degrees. Last month also caused more than 700 people hospitalized and one dead because of heatstroke. On Saturday, two senior citizens from western Japan passed away due to the intense heat. A 66-year old man and an 84-year old woman were both reported to have collapsed in the fields. The weather bureau warned 39 prefectures early Sunday of another past-35 degree temperature....
  • Japan machinery orders fall in a sign of weak capex

    08/12/2013 9:38:53 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | 08/12/2013 | Tetsushi Kajimoto
    (Reuters) - Japan's core machinery orders fell in June and companies expect them to fall further in the current quarter, another sign that government stimulus has yet to boost capital spending as debate intensifies over how to address massive and growing public debt. Weak capital spending is a source of concern for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who faces a tough decision on whether or not to go ahead with a sales tax increase to lift revenues and is reportedly now considering a cut in corporate taxes. The 2.7 percent fall in core orders, which excludes those of ships and electric...
  • Where’s the love? Japanese feel unhappy, unloved and pessimistic

    08/04/2013 7:48:32 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 39 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 08/03/2013 | Jeff Kingston
    The results of a Pew Opinion survey released in July 2013 found that the public mood in Japan is improving but remains “mostly one of dissatisfaction.” However, that dissatisfaction is 10 percent lower than the level registered in 2007 during Shinzo Abe’s first spell as premier. Pew conducted the survey in March-April 2013, and its results also show that 71 percent of Japanese think economic conditions are bad, with just 40 percent expecting improvement in the national economy in the next year. A mere 12 percent think their own situation will improve, while only 15 percent expect that today’s children...
  • Japan's robots eye car industry to take up smartphone slack

    07/30/2013 6:55:02 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | 07/30/2013 | Tim Kelly
    (Reuters) - As the breakneck growth in the global smartphone market eases, the mostly Japanese companies that make the robots that build the phones are looking to automakers to take up the slack. Robotics remains a strength in a Japanese electronics industry that has been hammered by competition from rivals in South Korea and Taiwan. Panasonic Corp, Hitachi High-Technologies, Yamaha Motor Co, Fuji Machine Manufacturing and JUKI Corp together make eight of every 10 component mounting robots. The quickest of these can mount more than two dozen parts a second, some thinner than a tenth of a millimeter. A line...
  • It’s time for conservatives of Japan to get over the war

    07/30/2013 6:50:52 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 07/30/2013 | Shaun O'Dwyer
    “And why shouldn’t we?” With a thumping Upper House election victory behind them, this question is likely on the minds of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his political allies as they contemplate a visit to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the day Japan commemorates the end of World War II. If they do visit the shrine, they will probably insist that they are doing what politicians do in every other country with military conflicts in its past — proudly commemorating their war dead, with an utterance seemingly indifferent to the rights and wrongs of that past: “They sacrificed their...
  • Japan’s industrial output fell most since 2011 in June

    07/30/2013 1:19:27 AM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 07/30/2013 | Jiji
    Japan’s industrial production fell in June by the most since March 2011, when the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck, as automakers cut output after a gain the previous month. Output declined 3.3 percent in June from May, the trade ministry said Tuesday, marking a steeper fall than any economists forecast in a Bloomberg News survey where the median of 29 estimates was for a 1.5 percent drop. In May, output climbed the most since December 2011. Production slid 4.8 percent from a year earlier in June. Tuesday’s report adds to challenges for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who must...
  • Honda’s Fujino readying ‘flying Acura’

    07/26/2013 1:20:52 AM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 07/25/2013 | Ma Jie
    The University of Tokyo has found at least 43 past research papers from its bioscience laboratory containing falsifications and fabrications, a source said Thursday. In an interim in-house report, the nation’s top university has found that 43 of 165 papers written between 1996 to 2011 that were supervised by Shigeaki Kato, a former professor at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, should be retracted. Many of his research projects had been funded by the government. The university, known in Japan as Todai, had been investigating the case based on information provided from outside. The fabrications included turning an image...
  • University of Tokyo bioscience lab papers found to contain fabrications

    07/26/2013 1:20:52 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 07/25/2013 | Kyodo
    The University of Tokyo has found at least 43 past research papers from its bioscience laboratory containing falsifications and fabrications, a source said Thursday. In an interim in-house report, the nation’s top university has found that 43 of 165 papers written between 1996 to 2011 that were supervised by Shigeaki Kato, a former professor at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, should be retracted. Many of his research projects had been funded by the government. The university, known in Japan as Todai, had been investigating the case based on information provided from outside. The fabrications included turning an image...
  • Riding out the shifting political winds of Japan

    07/25/2013 7:04:06 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 13 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 07/25/2013 | Frank Ching
    HONG KONG – The Liberal Democratic-New Komeito victory in Japan’s Upper House election signals the return of political stability to Japan for the first time in seven years. Since 2006, when Junichiro Koizumi stepped down after five years as prime minister, Japan has had a series of stop-gap governments. Paradoxically Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the person who initiated the revolving-door process when he resigned in September 2007. He then had five successors in as many years until Abe regained office last December. Ironically Abe may end up in a situation similar to that of Koizumi — popular at home...
  • Japan to mull pre-emptive strike ability in defense update

    07/25/2013 1:48:35 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    China Post ^ | 07/25/2013 | Linda Sieg
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is likely to start considering acquiring the ability to launch pre-emptive military strikes in a planned update of its basic defense policies, the latest step away from the constraints of its pacifist constitution. The expected proposal, which could sound alarm bells in China, is part of a review of Japan's defense policies undertaken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, an interim report on which could come as early as Friday. The final conclusions of the review are due out by the end of the year. The hawkish Abe took office in December for a rare second...
  • Japan logged record trade deficit in first half

    07/24/2013 8:55:05 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 07/24/2013 | Kyodo
    Japan registered a Ą4.84 trillion ($48.7 billion) trade deficit for the six months through June, the biggest on record for any six-month period, as the yen’s sharp slide boosted import costs despite a rebound in exports, the government said Wednesday. During the first half of 2013, the value of imports rose 9.2 percent on year to Ą38.8 trillion, with those of liquefied natural gas jumping 13.2 percent and of crude oil increasing 6.0 percent, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report. Exports, a key engine of Japan’s economic growth, grew 4.2 percent to Ą33.96 trillion on the back of...
  • Japan may be latecomer but TPP trade party has just begun

    07/22/2013 9:23:05 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 07/22/2013 | Kazuaki Nagata
    Japan will finally sit down at the table with 11 other nations in Malaysia on Tuesday to negotiate the trade rules for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement after years of contentious political wrangling. The current TPP participants — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam — have already gone through 17 rounds and aim to reach an agreement by year’s end. Late-comer Japan has only three days left to state its case before round 18, which started July 15, ends on Thursday. But Japan, whose GDP accounts for more than a fifth of...
  • Tepco now admits radioactive water entering the sea at Fukushima No. 1 (Japan)

    07/22/2013 9:19:23 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 47 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 07/22/2013 | Jiji
    Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tepco on Monday admitted for the first time that radioactive groundwater is flowing into the sea, fueling fears that marine life is being poisoned. The admission came a day after voters handed the largely pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — and ally New Komeito — a handsome majority in the Upper House. Earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said groundwater samples taken at the battered plant showed that levels of cesium-134 had shot up more than 110 times in a few days. Although unable to explain the increased readings, Tepco had...
  • Lawyers sue to nullify Upper House poll results (Japan)

    07/22/2013 9:16:25 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 07/22/2013 | Kyodo
    A group of lawyers filed lawsuits across the nation Monday seeking to nullify Sunday’s House of Councilors election, arguing the unconstitutional disparity in the value of votes has gone uncorrected for too long. It is the first time that the elections results for every district in the nation have been challenged. The suits were filed at all of the country’s 14 high courts and branches. Another group of lawyers meanwhile brought a separate case to the Hiroshima High Court seeking to invalidate the elections results for the Hiroshima prefectural district. The groups plan to file a similar suit in Tokyo....
  • Japan gains right to search for rare metals on high seas

    07/22/2013 6:08:50 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 10 replies
    Japan News ^ | 07/23/2013 | Yomiuri Shimbun
    The Yomiuri Shimbun Japan has obtained exclusive mineral exploration rights for rare metals and other resources on the seabed about 600 kilometers southeast of Tokyo’s Minami-Torishima island. It is the first time in 26 years that Japan has obtained mineral exploration rights on the high seas. In an announcement Saturday, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said it would begin full-fledged exploration next fiscal year at the earliest. To obtain exclusive exporation rights, a nation must first gain the approval of the United Nations’ International Seabed Authority. The U.N. authority gave its approval Friday, and the government is expected to...
  • NEC mulls quitting smartphone market (Japan)

    07/17/2013 7:00:38 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Japan Times ^ | 07/17/2013 | Kyodo
    NEC Corp. is considering withdrawing from its money-losing smartphone business due to deadlocked negotiations with Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd. on integrating their mobile phone businesses, company sources said Wednesday. NEC has had a partnership with Lenovo in the PC business since 2011. The Japanese firm had wanted Lenovo to purchase a majority stake in its mobile-phone subsidiary, NEC Casio Mobile Communications Ltd., whose liabilities exceed its assets by about Ą60 billion, to rebuild the business, but Lenovo was reluctant to do so. NEC Casio was established in 2010 by merging the mobile-phone operations of NEC, Casio Computer Co....