July 2013
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46 articles published/printed


World's 'toughest nuclear safety standards' take effect

| Jul 09, 2013

World's 'toughest nuclear safety standards' take effect

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Japan on Monday ushered in what regulators call the world’s toughest safety standards for atomic power plants, determined to prevent another disaster like the March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 complex. But the Nuclear Regulation Authority, power utilities and ...

Nikon chief looks for way to ride smartphone boom

Jul 09, 2013

Nikon chief looks for way to ride smartphone boom

Nikon Corp. is looking at ways to tap smartphone growth as a slump in compact camera sales threatens to prevent earnings from meeting forecasts. Point-and-shoot camera sales across the industry dropped about a quarter in April and May from a year earlier, President Makoto ...

Tanaka's gold sales hot as bull run, yen cool

Jul 09, 2013

Tanaka's gold sales hot as bull run, yen cool

Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K., Japan’s biggest bullion retailer, said sales to local investors may exceed purchases this year for the first time since 2004 as lower prices and the yen’s weakness spur buying interest. “Japanese individuals are thinking of gold as an asset for ...

Japan law firms rush to set up in Asia

Jul 09, 2013

Japan law firms rush to set up in Asia

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Japanese law firms are scrambling to open offices throughout Asia as they chase corporate clients exploring opportunities in the region. When Toridoll Corp., which operates the Marugame Seimen udon restaurants, including in the U.S. and Russia, inked a deal last year with a Chinese ...

Jul 09, 2013

First-half bankruptcies recede to 22-year low

Corporate bankruptcies logged a 10.9 percent drop in the first six months of the year to 5,620, the lowest first-half level seen in 22 years, a credit research agency said Monday. Tokyo Shoko Research also said that liabilities left by failing businesses that had ...

As new UNESCO site, Fuji set to beckon to masses

| Jul 09, 2013

As new UNESCO site, Fuji set to beckon to masses

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The official climbing season for Mount Fuji kicked off July 1 amid added fanfare over the iconic peak’s inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage cultural site in late June. Straddling Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, Japan’s highest peak, at 3,776 meters, has seen a surge ...

Jul 09, 2013

Mergers at nine-year low amid yen volatility

Japanese companies made fewer acquisitions during the calendar first half than they have in a decade as buying interest was cooled by the yen’s volatility. The number of deals announced in the first six months of 2013 was 997, with a total value of ...

Jul 09, 2013

Airlines, railways compile plans for accident victim support programs

Major railways and air carriers have drawn up plans to support people who may be involved in severe accidents in the future. The plans, which follow guidelines issued in late March by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, stipulate support measures, including setting ...

Jul 09, 2013

'Comfort women' take on Hashimoto

Three Chinese former “comfort women” plan to demand that the Osaka Bar Association take disciplinary action against Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto over his remarks apparently attempting to justify the Japanese military’s use of sex slaves, sources said Monday. The women, who are all in ...

Jul 09, 2013

S&P cuts Softbank to junk status after FCC's Sprint nod

Softbank Corp., led by billionaire Masayoshi Son, had its credit rating cut to junk by Standard & Poor’s after winning approval from the Federal Communications Commission for its $21.6 billion bid to buy Sprint Nextel Corp. The rating was cut to BB+, the highest ...

Jul 09, 2013

Worsening ties worry ex-PM Fukuda

Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda expressed concern Monday about Japan’s worsening relations with China and South Korea over disputed territories and wartime history. “All three countries experience bursts of narrow-minded nationalism that strain relations from time to time,” Fukuda said at a meeting of ...

Jul 09, 2013

Hashimoto pushes Yao Osprey plan

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Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, co-leader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), hopes to push forward his contentious plan to bring U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft, currently deployed to the Futenma base in Okinawa, to Yao airport in Osaka Prefecture. At a ...

Crown Prince plays viola made of tsunami debris

Jul 09, 2013

Crown Prince plays viola made of tsunami debris

Crown Prince Naruhito on Sunday played a viola made of driftwood from a tsunami-ravaged city in Tohoku during a concert held by his alma mater’s orchestra. The viola, built by Tokyo violin maker Muneyuki Nakazawa, also contains part of the famed “miracle pine” that ...

Crisis: The final approach of Flight 214

| Jul 09, 2013

Crisis: The final approach of Flight 214

The first major U.S. plane crash in a dozen years began to unfold in utterly undramatic fashion just before noon Saturday when a big white passenger jet with red, blue and yellow flashings banked to the right and began to descend toward the wide ...

Jul 09, 2013

Whale knocks surfer unconscious

A Sydney surfer had a lucky escape Sunday when he was hit and knocked unconscious by a whale frolicking off Bondi Beach. Bishan Rajapakse, a 38-year-old doctor, said the last thing he remembers before waking up on the beach was saying “Hey, how’s it ...

Jul 09, 2013

Mexican parties dispute state election victory

Mexico’s ruling party and the conservative opposition on Sunday each declared victory in a key race for governor after regional elections in 14 states that saw acts of violence and accusations of misdeeds. The governor’s seat in Baja California state, held by the conservative ...

Man held over India temple bombing

Jul 09, 2013

Man held over India temple bombing

Indian police on Monday arrested a man over the weekend attacks at the historic Bodh Gaya Buddhist temple complex and studied CCTV footage that appeared to show two men planting explosives at the site. The Indian government condemned the “terror attack” at one of ...

Germans 'in bed' with NSA; Brazil targeted

Jul 09, 2013

Germans 'in bed' with NSA; Brazil targeted

New reports emerged Sunday of U.S. spying efforts around the world as fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden remained holed up in a Russian airport seeking an escape route to Latin America. Snowden remained hidden in a Moscow airport transit zone for the 15th day ...

Jul 09, 2013

Bangladesh factories to be checked

Seventy top retailers pledged to open up their Bangladesh factories to safety inspections within nine months as part of a pact finalized Monday in the wake of a deadly garment factory collapse. The mainly European brands will underwrite repairs and renovations if inspections reveal ...

Jul 09, 2013

Spitzer to run for NYC comptroller

Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who resigned amid a prostitution scandal five years ago, will seek a return to public office in the New York City comptroller’s race this year. The Democrat will begin collecting signatures for the campaign this week, spokeswoman ...

Jul 09, 2013

Germany's exports faltered in May

German exports fell at a sharper rate than expected in May as weakness in several key markets, including the eurozone, choked sales, official figures showed Monday. Excluding adjustments for seasonal factors, Europe’s top economy reported a trade surplus of 13.1 billion ($16.8 billion) in ...

Jul 09, 2013

Workers in cubicles 'more honest'

There could be an upside to being confined to that tiny cubicle at work: It may make you less likely to cheat. A new study in the Psychological Science journal finds that sitting at a large workspace or in a big seat in a ...

Jul 09, 2013

Reducing rate of recidivism

A Criminal Law revision passed by the Diet last month provides a suspended sentence and probation procedure for convicts in a certain category as a way to reduce recidivism.

Jul 09, 2013

Safety first with iPS transplants

A Kyoto University research team is to be applauded for getting the go-ahead to test the safety of an iPS transplant procedure on six patients with an age-related eye disease.

Propaganda: artifice by design

Jul 09, 2013

Propaganda: artifice by design

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The word “propaganda” derives its modern use from the name of a 17th-century Roman Catholic institution, the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, or Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Established during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648, a sectarian conflict that devastated Europe ...

Kisenosato steamrolls Tokitenku on day two

Jul 09, 2013

Kisenosato steamrolls Tokitenku on day two

Kisenosato stayed on course in his promotion bid for yokozuna with a royal smackdown of Tokitenku on the second day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday. Yokozuna Hakuho, who has won the previous two tournaments with perfect 15-0 marks, extended his winning ...