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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...