February 2013
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Feb 23, 2013

Japan faces calls for bold reforms in WTO policy review

The World Trade Organization is calling on Japan to make bold structural reforms while offering broad support for its current money-easing policies. “Members felt that the accommodative macroeconomic policies being pursued, particularly by the new government, can help Japan to recover from the recent ...

Feb 23, 2013

IMF says concerns on yen's fall 'overstated'

Recent concerns about competitive currency devaluations are “overstated,” according to the International Monetary Fund. The yen’s recent sharp fall has sparked concerns about competitive devaluations, the IMF said Thursday in a report on global prospects and policy challenges. “Taking a broader perspective, however, such ...

Feb 23, 2013

Nonpartisan lawmaker group protests hanging of three inmates

Members of a nonpartisan legislator group seeking to abolish the death penalty lodged a protest Friday with Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki over Thursday’s execution of three death-row inmates. Shizuka Kamei, who heads the group, urged Tanigaki to proactively inform the public about the global ...

Feb 23, 2013

HP vows innovation as profits dip

Hewlett-Packard, the troubled but biggest maker of personal computers, promised “disruptive innovations” Thursday after seeing its profit slip in the past quarter. HP said its net profit for its first fiscal quarter declined 16 percent from the same period a year ago to $1.2 ...

| Feb 23, 2013

Free calligraphy lesson offered in Toyonaka

Foreigners can take a Japanese calligraphy lesson March 9 in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture . Translation service in English will be provided during the lesson, which will run from 10 a.m. to noon. Participation is free. Reservations must be made by March 5 by sending ...

Women see, touch war-era paper again

| Feb 23, 2013

Women see, touch war-era paper again

Three former students who were involved in making paper balloon bombs at a Nagoya school during the war saw and touched the “washi” (traditional Japanese paper) used to make the balloons for the first time in 68 years on Feb. 16. The paper used ...

| Feb 23, 2013

Driving me crazy

by Thomas Dillon

Next to my house lies a carpet of land not flat enough to resist puddles and not sandy enough to attract cats. It just sits there. Empty. “Symbolic,” says a friend, “of the hole in your life.” He means the car I do not ...

| Feb 23, 2013

What's next for Toto? More toilet humor

by Amy Chavez

What is the next logical toilet model for Toto? After one has invented a toilet that welcomes you by lifting it’s lid automatically when you walk into the bathroom, cuddles you with a heated toilet seat, washes and dries your bum after you’ve done ...

Feb 23, 2013

Metro government's Senkaku donations gathering dust

by Masami Ito

The ¥1.48 billion that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government collected in donations to buy and maintain the Senkakus is just lying idle, waiting to be used, after the central government nipped in to snag the disputed islets in September. Money began pouring from last April ...

Feb 23, 2013

Sony expects 'pent-up demand' to boost PS4 sales

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. President Andrew House anticipates a strong launch of the newly unveiled PlayStation 4, the first overhaul of the iconic gaming device since 2006. “This has been a lot longer life cycle than we have previously seen,” House said Thursday. “There ...

Feb 23, 2013

Criteria for hangings remain murky

The Liberal Democratic Party-led government appears reluctant to disclose the criteria under which it chose to execute three men Thursday, the first hangings since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in December. Some observers speculate that two of them were picked out of the ...