February 2013
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Feb 27, 2013

Abe to decide soon on joining TPP talks

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he will make a decision soon on Japan’s entry into the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership trade liberalization talks. “I will make an early judgment on the best path to serve Japan’s national interests based on the outcome of the ...

Feb 27, 2013

End urged to WWII copyright penalty

The nation’s music copyright body is pushing the government to seek an end of what it says is a “unilaterally imposed” 10-year extension for Japan to continue paying royalties to rights holders in 15 World War II victor nations, beyond the typical 50 years ...

Feb 27, 2013

Greenback plunges below ¥92

The dollar plunged below ¥92 in Tokyo trading Tuesday as the euro was battered after the general election in Italy left the country in political gridlock and raised uncertainties over the reconstruction of its public finances. At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at ...

Feb 27, 2013

South makes 'Dokdo history' classes mandatory

South Korea’s elementary and secondary school students will spend more hours studying about the history of a pair of islets controlled by their country but claimed by Japan, Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday, citing an education ministry official. “We’ve decided to make it mandatory ...

Feb 27, 2013

Nippon Ishin gunning for Kansai domination

by Eric Johnston

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) is moving forward with plans not only to field candidates nationwide in this summer’s Upper House election but also run against Kansai politicians who oppose its efforts to create a new regional system. “We’re making preparations to ...

Feb 27, 2013

Japan at top of Asia's 50 best restaurants

Japanese restaurants took the top two spots in a ranking of the 50 best restaurants in Asia at an awards ceremony Monday in Singapore. Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa’s French restaurant Narisawa in Tokyo’s Minami Aoyama district took the top spot, while Seiji Yamamoto’s restaurant Nihonryori ...

Feb 27, 2013

Russia ties cooperation to settling of isle dispute

Russia is eager to deepen its economic ties with Japan to lay the groundwork for future generations in the two countries to find a mutually acceptable solution to a long-standing territorial dispute, a Russian minister said in a recent written interview. Minister for the ...

Feb 27, 2013

Nikkei tumbles on yen rise, European worries

Stocks fell sharply Tuesday, pressured by heavy selling on the back of the yen’s upsurge and rekindled concerns over the European debt crisis after Italy’s general election. The Nikkei 225 average closed down 263.71 points, or 2.26 percent, at 11,398.81. On Monday, the key ...

Feb 27, 2013

Britain to help bail out Khmer court

Britain pledged £1.4 million ($2.1 million) Monday to fund Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge war crimes court, which is close to running out of money. Foreign Secretary William Hague said the court, which is trying top leaders of the murderous communist regime that ruled Cambodia in ...

Feb 27, 2013

Slides after quake strand 50 at spa

Around 50 people remained isolated Tuesday in the mountainous hot spring resort of Okukinu in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, due to landslides after the strong quake the day before, local officials said. No health problems have been reported regarding the people who were cut off, ...

Feb 27, 2013

¥13 trillion extra budget clears Diet

The Diet passed a ¥13.1 trillion supplementary budget Tuesday for fiscal 2012 to finance a stimulus package aimed at pulling the economy out of deflationary recession. The budget, the second-biggest ever of its kind, cleared an Upper House plenary session. The Lower House, where ...

A new crop of smartphones for spring

| Feb 27, 2013

A new crop of smartphones for spring

by Rick Martin

As spring descends on Japan, we’ll all be welcoming warmer temperatures and cherry blossoms in the coming weeks. But spring in Japan typically means new smartphone lineups from Japan’s major mobile carriers, too. And while consumers’ love for Apple’s iPhone is still in full ...

| Feb 27, 2013

Wearable tech will see, follow us everywhere

by Dominic Rushe

Apple has already transformed two industries — music and computing. Now, as the company reportedly attempts the redefinition of the watch — one of man’s oldest pieces of technology — the next phase of the techno revolution is moving into clear view: Welcome to ...

Feb 27, 2013

Gillard falls behind Abbott in poll

Prime Minister Julia Gillard slipped behind opposition rival Tony Abbott as Australia’s preferred leader for the first time since August after her credibility was dented when a mining tax she helped design brought in less revenue than forecast. On the question of who would ...

Feb 27, 2013

Toshiba helm goes to Tanaka in June

Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday that Hisao Tanaka will take over as president in June as it tries to bolster growth from energy and chip operations. Tanaka, 62, a corporate senior executive vice president in charge of strategy planning, purchasing and production, will replace President ...

Feb 27, 2013

Nobel prize for DNA up for auction

The Nobel Prize awarded to Francis Crick in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA has been put up for auction by his family along with one of his lab coats, his books and other memorabilia. It is believed to be the first Nobel ...

Woman honored for climbing Everest twice in eight days

Feb 26, 2013

Woman honored for climbing Everest twice in eight days

A 29-year-old Nepalese woman has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the first woman to climb Mount Everest twice in a climbing season, mountaineering officials in Nepal confirmed Tuesday. “Chhurim Sherpa climbed the mountain twice last May in eight days. No other woman ...

Feb 26, 2013

Miyazato hurts neck in car wreck

Golfer Ai Miyazato, who had been involved in a multicar collision Sunday, was diagnosed at a hospital with whiplash after arriving at her destination in Singapore where she is scheduled to play in the HSBC Women’s Champions, her manager said Monday. Miyazato will decide ...