December 2012
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Dec 27, 2012

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial eyes expansion in Asia

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. will enhance its operation in Asia in cooperation mainly with nonbank affiliates, President Koichi Miyata said. He also said the group will “study business acquisitions abroad, mainly in Asia, if opportunities arise.” Sumitomo Mitsui has consumer credit company Cedyna ...

Dec 27, 2012

Forex rates are hard to manage: DPJ's Maehara

It will be hard for the incoming government to manage foreign exchange rates, departing economic and fiscal policy minister Seiji Maehara said Wednesday. Japan is moving in “a good direction” as the yen’s rise has been corrected and stock prices have advanced, Maehara told ...

The 50 Kaitenz 'Rock 'n' Roll Love Letter'

Dec 27, 2012

The 50 Kaitenz "Rock 'n' Roll Love Letter"

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Rock music in Japan has become reliant on programming, synthesizers and new technology. While that electronic advancement has made it easier for bands to start out through D.I.Y. websites, new artists can sometimes lack live-performance techniques and the experience of interacting with an audience. ...

Dec 27, 2012

Kewpie to open unit in Indonesia

Major mayonnaise maker Kewpie Corp. said Wednesday it will establish a subsidiary in Indonesia next month as part of its expansion in Asia. P.T. Kewpie Indonesia in West Java Province is capitalized at about ¥1.5 billion and is scheduled to start production of dressings ...

Dec 27, 2012

Sumitomo chief sees energy potential

Major trading house Sumitomo Corp. aims to beef up its natural resources and energy operations, said its president, Kuniharu Nakamura. Nakamura said Sumitomo will strive to increase its assets from the current ¥7 trillion as the company was able to strengthen its financial base ...

Nippon Mirai poised to break apart

Dec 27, 2012

Nippon Mirai poised to break apart

by Eric Johnston

Formed only a month ago, Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) may soon be history. Founder Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada and ally Ichiro Ozawa are at odds over the party’s future, while Kada faces intense criticism within her prefecture for ignoring her ...

Dec 27, 2012

BayStars acquire reliever Sosa

The Yokohama BayStars have come to terms with right-handed reliever Jorge Sosa, the Central League club announced Wednesday. The two-year deal will be finalized after he passes a physical. The 35-year-old Sosa was released by the Chunichi Dragons after he went 5-1 with four ...

LDP boss urges unity, break with factionalism

Dec 27, 2012

LDP boss urges unity, break with factionalism

by Ayako Mie

After romping back to power following three years in the opposition, the Liberal Democratic Party chief called for unity and a break with tradition Wednesday in a bid to consolidate power ahead of the Upper House election in July. At a meeting of all ...

Shift to right risks mistrust in foreign capitals

Dec 27, 2012

Shift to right risks mistrust in foreign capitals

by Eric Johnston and Mizuho Aoki

Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe returned to the prime minister’s office facing a host of diplomatic challenges. But perhaps none is greater than the wariness, and fear, abroad that his rightwing, nationalistic views will strain Tokyo’s relations with Washington and create further tensions ...

DPJ test ends as Noda's team quietly bows out

Dec 27, 2012

DPJ test ends as Noda's team quietly bows out

by Masami Ito

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Cabinet resigned en masse Wednesday morning, quietly closing the door on the Democratic Party of Japan’s first attempt to lead the nation and making way for the old Liberal Democratic Party’s return to power. During a Cabinet meeting ...

Social awareness takes center stage

Dec 27, 2012

Social awareness takes center stage

by Nobuko Tanaka

Japan’s calamities of March 2011 — the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and the start of an ongoing nuclear disaster — changed not only the social awareness of the general public who make up theater audiences, but also how dramatists approached their work. ...

Dec 27, 2012

BOJ policymakers note yen strength

Some Bank of Japan policymakers are calling for the central bank to continue its monetary easing policy to further influence the foreign exchange market to help weaken the yen, according to the minutes of the Nov. 19-20 policy meeting released Wednesday. Some cited the ...

Dec 27, 2012

Keidanren to cooperate with Abe

Keidanren leader Hiromasa Yonekura plans to cooperate with the economic policies of Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe, reversing his earlier criticism of Abe’s monetary policy. “There is nothing to worry about, because he has vowed to maintain fiscal discipline along with monetary easing,” ...

Dec 27, 2012

Isetan Mitsukoshi to launch operations in Indonesia

Department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. may launch operations in Indonesia by opening an Isetan outlet in Jakarta possibly in 2015, sources said. The company believes Indonesia is a promising market because of its rapid economic expansion. In addition, Indonesia has a population ...

Dec 27, 2012

Plushenko sets early tone in Russia

Russia’s 2006 Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko grabbed the lead in the men’s competition at the Russian figure skating championships on Tuesday at the venue in Sochi where he hopes to crown his career with a second Olympic title in 2014. The 30-year-old former three-time ...

Inose eyes tweet pitches in English

Dec 27, 2012

Inose eyes tweet pitches in English

New Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose revealed his plan Tuesday to tweet in English on Twitter as a way to promote to a global audience the capital’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. “I’d like to start as soon as the checking system (for ...

Dec 27, 2012

Hodgson mulls penalties in friendlies

England coach Roy Hodgson believes using penalties to settle deadlocked friendlies could help reverse the country’s dismal record in tournament shootouts. England lost its sixth shootout in seven attempts en route to being out of the European Championship quarterfinals in June by Italy. Hodgson ...

| Dec 27, 2012

'Abenomics' gets off to a flying start

by Jun Hongo

The very idea of big-spender Shinzo Abe’s reappointment as prime minister was enough to send the yen falling against the dollar and spurred the Nikkei above the 10,000 mark for the first time in months. Now that Abe’s reascension is official, market players are ...