March 2013
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Mar 28, 2013

15.5% quake insurance hike sought

A property and casualty industry body is planning to raise standard earthquake insurance premiums for housing by a nationwide average of 15.5 percent following the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The Non-Life Insurance Rating Organization of Japan has reported the plan to the ...

Mar 28, 2013

¥220 billion in aid set for India infrastructure

India has agreed to a plan in which Japan will provide ¥220 billion in aid to build new infrastructure in the South Asian country. At a meeting Tuesday in Tokyo, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Indian counterpart, Salman Khurshid, also agreed to promote ...

Mar 28, 2013

Mobile service now available on all Tokyo subway lines

The last stretch of Toei Subway’s four lines was connected to the mobile phone network Wednesday, making mobile access available on all Tokyo subway lines. Tokyo Metro Co., the other, larger subway operator in the capital, took all nine of its lines online last ...

Unearthing the Seto Inland Sea's social landscapes

Mar 28, 2013

Unearthing the Seto Inland Sea's social landscapes

by James Jack

Whenever traveling directly from one island in the Seto Inland Sea to another, I sense threads holding each one to the other. Perhaps this is a vestige of the trade routes that traversed the 700-plus islands in this scenic region between Hiroshima and Osaka. ...

Mar 28, 2013

Abe's Mongolia trip to focus on energy issues

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Mongolia from Saturday through Sunday and meet Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag, Japanese officials said Wednesday. Japan’s relationship with Mongolia is particularly important, given the Asian nation’s rich coal and precious mineral deposits, Chief ...

Mar 28, 2013

Dollar rises on hope for BOJ action

The dollar climbed above ¥94.50 in Tokyo trading Wednesday, aided by hopes for the Bank of Japan’s further monetary easing steps. At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥94.70-72, up from ¥94.24-25 at the same time Tuesday. The euro was at $1.2823-2825, down from ...

April: Karl Hyde to headline SonarSound

Mar 28, 2013

April: Karl Hyde to headline SonarSound

by Patrick ST. Michel

The next month features a great mix of concerts for all sorts of live-music fans. Several long-running bands visit Japan in April, as do some of the most hyped-up young outfits in the world today. Whether you like apocalyptic postrock or Swedish indie rock, ...

BRICS take shot at shattering predominance of World Bank, IMF

Mar 28, 2013

BRICS take shot at shattering predominance of World Bank, IMF

The world’s major developing nations are laying plans to combine their economic clout in a challenge to the role that U.S.- and European-led institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund play in global economic affairs. Meeting this week in Durban, South ...

Mar 28, 2013

Nikkei rises after overcoming ex-dividend impact

Stocks overcame the ex-dividend impact near the fiscal yearend to finish with modest gains Wednesday, helped by a Wall Street gain overnight and a weakening of the yen. The Nikkei 225 average closed up 22.17 points at 12,493.79. The Topix rose 2.05 points to ...

Actors parade for Kabukiza rebirth

Mar 28, 2013

Actors parade for Kabukiza rebirth

Young kabuki actors and their veteran peers paraded Wednesday in the Ginza district in central Tokyo to celebrate the reopening of the landmark Kabuki-za theater next week. An estimated 30,000 people lined up along the 400-meter parade route despite drizzly weather to catch the ...

Printing firm workers to get cancer payout

Mar 28, 2013

Printing firm workers to get cancer payout

The Osaka arm of the labor ministry said Wednesday that 16 current and former employees of a printing company are eligible for workers’ compensation on the grounds that they contracted bile duct cancer while on the job. It is the first decision of its ...

Yen fall worrisome, Ford CEO says

Mar 28, 2013

Yen fall worrisome, Ford CEO says

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said he is concerned that the depreciation of the yen is bolstering the competitiveness of Japanese carmakers. “The most important thing that most countries around the world believe in is letting the markets determine the currency,” ...

Mar 28, 2013

Otsuka to pay up to $825 million for Lundbeck Alzheimer drug

Otsuka Holdings Co. has agreed to pay H. Lundbeck A/S as much as $825 million (about ¥78 billion) to develop an experimental Alzheimer’s treatment. Lundbeck shares rose the most in more than four years in Copenhagen trading. Otsuka will pay its Danish partner $150 ...

New noninvasive test gives clue but not full diagnosis

Mar 28, 2013

New noninvasive test gives clue but not full diagnosis

by Masami Ito

Although media reports emphasize the accuracy of a new noninvasive prenatal screening test, raising expectations among expectant mothers, it does not definitively diagnose three types of chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome, warned Haruhiko Sago, head of the Center for Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine at ...

Mar 28, 2013

To build brand, firms produce own media

by Paul Farhi

The Red Bulletin is a handsome Web and print magazine that practically oozes testosterone. Recent issues have featured stories on the world’s deepest free diver, human-pyramid building in Spain and a guy who rappels into volcanoes. All of it is embellished with photography worthy ...

Mar 28, 2013

Two utilities to be told to trim rate hikes

The government plans to order two regional utilities to trim their planned household electricity rate hikes, possibly by about 2 percentage points, believing the firms can cut costs further, sources said Wednesday. The move came after the government, together with energy experts, studied the ...