November 2012
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Nov 30, 2012

Imports of Iranian oil down 63%

Crude imports from Iran slumped 63 percent in October to the second-lowest level since the U.S. exempted Japan from sanctions targeting the Middle East country’s nuclear program. Oil purchases fell to 469,024 kiloliters, or about 95,000 barrels a day, compared with 1.28 million kiloliters ...

Nov 30, 2012

U.S. bars BP from new federal contracts, drilling leases

British oil giant BP was temporarily banned from winning new U.S. government contracts Wednesday, and also disqualified indefinitely from winning new leases to drill on taxpayer-owned lands, over the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The decision was announced hours before two BP ...

Nov 30, 2012

Export weakening to drag down yen, expert says

The deterioration of Japan’s exports will be the driving force behind weakness in the yen, according to Alan Ruskin, global head of Group of 10 foreign-exchange strategy at Deutsche Bank AG in New York. “There is a structural story that’s going on, and I ...

Where Tokyo's top chefs wine and dine

Nov 30, 2012

Where Tokyo's top chefs wine and dine

by Melinda Joe

Chef Shinobu Namae rarely eats at the same restaurant twice. Like a lot of chefs, he spends most of his time in his own kitchen, overseeing lunch and dinner service at L’Effervescence, his Michelin-starred French restaurant in Tokyo’s Aoyama. When he does venture out, ...

Kyoto-style items make waves in Tokyo

| Nov 30, 2012

Kyoto-style items make waves in Tokyo

Kyoto-based Japanese fan maker Maisendo opened its new Tokyo shop, Sakira Maisendo, at Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs last April, featuring selected Japanese products from Kyoto and other areas of western Japan. “Sakira” means “future” in the Kyoto dialect and the new shop offers stylish, innovative ...

Nov 30, 2012

Toyota's output sank the most in China strife

Toyota Motor Corp. led declines in Chinese production among Japanese automakers in October as the sovereignty dispute over the Senkaku Islands led to violent demonstrations and a boycott of Japanese products. The nation’s biggest carmaker said Thursday its China output plunged 61 percent to ...

'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger'

Nov 30, 2012

'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger'

by Kaori Shoji

Have you noticed that it’s a lot easier to find older men in the movies than older women — in front of the camera and behind it? Take Woody Allen. As he glides toward 80 he’s still in the same old mode of portraying ...

BOJ should cede right to set inflation target: Abe adviser

Nov 30, 2012

BOJ should cede right to set inflation target: Abe adviser

The government should be the entity that sets the nation’s inflation target and should hold the Bank of Japan governor accountable if the goal is missed, according to a former aide and economic adviser to opposition leader Shinzo Abe. “The governor should be made ...

Nov 29, 2012

Juroku, Myanmar banks tie up

Juroku Bank said Tuesday it has tied up with Ayeyarwady Bank, a major private concern in Myanmar, in the first such arrangement between a Japanese regional lender and a Myanmar financial institution to help Japanese companies set up in the country. Under the agreement, ...

Nov 29, 2012

JEF United Chiba manager Kiyama to step down

JEF United Chiba manager Takashi Kiyama will step down at the end of the season after failing to steer the club back into the top flight, the J. League second-division side said Wednesday. Relegated in 2009, Chiba scraped into the playoffs after finishing fifth ...

Nov 29, 2012

Photo album features early 20th-century Russian POWs

Hundreds of photos of Russian officers and soldiers taken prisoner during the Russo-Japanese War more than a century ago have been published in a special collection that provides a rare glimpse of the men’s lives as POWs. During the 1904-1905 war, in which Japan ...

Fujitsu starts cloud tracking of dogs' health

Nov 29, 2012

Fujitsu starts cloud tracking of dogs' health

Fujitsu Ltd. launched a cloud computing health management service for dogs Wednesday, using a pedometer that can be attached to a dog collar. The data collected through the pedometer, called a Wandant, can be analyzed via personal computer or smartphone, allowing owners to monitor ...

Nov 29, 2012

Norovirus epidemic signs seen

The health ministry has urged local governments to pay attention to a norovirus epidemic after suspected cases of infectious gastroenteritis caused by norovirus this year increased at the highest pace since 2006. The average number of suspected norovirus patients reported by 3,000 medical institutions ...

Nov 29, 2012

Fencer Ota set to run marathon

Two-time Olympic silver medal-winning fencer Yuki Ota has a different kind of goal for December — breaking the 4½-hour mark in next month’s Honolulu Marathon. Ota, who won a silver medal in the men’s individual foil in Beijing in 2008 and followed that with ...

Nov 29, 2012

Supply of medical isotope secured

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has developed technology for the efficient production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), paving the way for Japan to end its total dependence on imports for the radioisotope indispensable for nuclear medicine. Mo-99 is used to produce technetium, a radioactive tracing agent, ...

Nov 29, 2012

LDP, New Komeito hope for overwhelming majority

The Liberal Democratic Party hopes to secure an overwhelming majority in the Lower House with partner New Komeito in the Dec. 16 election, according to LDP Deputy Secretary General Yoshihide Suga. Saying it would be natural for the LDP to form a coalition with ...

Nov 29, 2012

Vacuum cleaner ad is deceptive, Sharp warned

The government on Wednesday warned Sharp Corp. that one of the company’s ads has violated a law by overstating the performance of its vacuum cleaner. The ad claims Sharp’s Plasmacluster unit built into the vacuum cleaner breaks down dead mites and their droppings into ...

Nov 29, 2012

Fighters reliever getting pay raise

The Pacific League champion Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters rewarded middle reliever Hirotoshi Masui on Wednesday with an estimated ¥50 million raise. Masui led both leagues in 2012 with 73 games pitched. The 28-year-old right-hander was credited with a Japan-high 45 holds, won five games ...