August 2013
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62 articles published/printed


Abe pick sets stage for collective defense OK

Aug 03, 2013

Abe pick sets stage for collective defense OK

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to appoint Ambassador to France Ichiro Komatsu to head the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, apparently because he appears more amenable to the lifting of Japan's self-imposed ban on engaging in the right of collective self-defense.

10 out of 11 new vehicle license plate location names OK'd

Aug 03, 2013

10 out of 11 new vehicle license plate location names OK'd

The transport ministry announced Friday that 10 locations have been granted their requests to appear on vehicle license plates. The top line on license plates bears the name of the location of the issuing office. The local governments asked to get their name on ...

Aug 03, 2013

Toyota ups profit forecast on yen fall

Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s biggest carmaker, on Friday raised its full-year profit forecast by 8 percent, as the weaker yen bolsters the value of Japanese cars sold overseas. Net income in the year ending next March will probably climb to a six-year high of ...

Aug 03, 2013

TPP talks set four-stage tariff deadline

The 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact have set four deadlines for reaching a consensus on eliminating tariffs, aiming for a basic agreement by the end of October, negotiation sources said. Under the four-stage timetable, all TPP countries except Japan are required ...

Tax delay, Fed paring called threat to JGB bubble

Aug 03, 2013

Tax delay, Fed paring called threat to JGB bubble

Takeshi Fujimaki, a former adviser to billionaire investor George Soros who won a seat in the Upper House election last month, said a delay in increasing the sales tax and a reduction in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stimulus could cause the Japanese government bond ...

Aug 03, 2013

Mayor sends protest letter to Glendale

The city of Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, has sent a letter of protest to its sister city of Glendale, California, claiming the U.S. city has made false statements regarding the “comfort women” memorial it recently unveiled, municipal officials said Friday. The statement in question, found ...

Aug 03, 2013

JAPEX taps Niigata gas field in test

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. said Thursday it has succeeded in a natural gas production test in Ojiya, Niigata Prefecture. The test at a well in the Katakai gas field achieved a daily output of 200,000 cu. meters of natural gas and 13 kiloliters of ...

Aug 03, 2013

Two-step budget request process set

The Finance Ministry will screen budgetary requests from ministries and agencies for an initial fiscal 2014 budget in two stages, amid uncertainty over whether a sales tax hike will be implemented next year as scheduled, government sources said. The ministry will complete the first ...

Aug 03, 2013

Public debt situation worries IMF

The International Monetary Fund expressed concern Thursday about the fiscal situation in Japan, where public debt keeps soaring. Simulations by the IMF “suggest that global output losses could reach 2 percent of GDP” if Japan is “exposed to a reconsideration of sovereign risk by ...

Salesman sets out to prevent inheritance fights

| Aug 03, 2013

Salesman sets out to prevent inheritance fights

As an insurance salesman in Tsushima, Aichi Prefecture, Hisao Ito, 55, has seen times when family members and relatives fight over inheritances. To reduce such disputes, Ito established the Japanese Inheritance Association, bringing together lawyers, tax accountants and judicial scriveners to study past cases. ...

Aug 03, 2013

Kirin, Asahi log record sales in half

Japan’s two largest brewers reported record sales in the January-June half due partly to brisk sales of soft drinks. Kirin Holdings Co. said Thursday its group sales for the six months rose 5.2 percent from the previous year to a record ¥1.10 trillion. Operating ...

Legal apprentices sue over lost stipend

Aug 03, 2013

Legal apprentices sue over lost stipend

Around 200 former legal apprentices sued the government Friday, demanding compensation for the 2011 abolition of stipends for people in a required apprenticeship program before entering the legal profession. The lawsuit was filed simultaneously with the district courts in Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Hiroshima ...

Aug 03, 2013

Soft yen lifts electronic maker sales

Seven of eight major electronics makers in Japan posted year-on-year increases in group April-June sales thanks to robust overseas sales backed by a weaker yen, according to their earnings reports released by Thursday. Hitachi Ltd. alone suffered a sales drop in the first quarter ...

Fukui to build on bean curd success

Aug 03, 2013

Fukui to build on bean curd success

Fukui Prefecture has been No. 1 in per-household expenditures for deep-fried bean curd and similar products for nearly half a century. Now it is looking to expand sales of such products outside its borders. Households in the city of Fukui each paid ¥4,536 for ...

Exhibit highlights Taiwan sex slaves

Aug 03, 2013

Exhibit highlights Taiwan sex slaves

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A Tokyo museum focusing on wartime sex slavery is holding an exhibition on how Taiwanese women exploited by the Japanese military have struggled to recover from their ordeals. The Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace, better known as WAM, has collected documents and ...

Mugabe claims huge win

Aug 03, 2013

Mugabe claims huge win

President Robert Mugabe’s rivals slammed his claim of election victory Thursday, branding the vote a “sham” and urging “passive resistance” as early results showed the Zimbabwean leader’s party taking a clear lead. A top member of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party claimed that Mugabe had trounced ...

Aug 03, 2013

Bangladesh Islamists barred from next poll

A top Bangladesh court has ruled that the registration of the nation’s biggest Islamic group as a political party was illegal, barring it from contesting next year’s election and deepening concerns over growing violence. The Dhaka High Court’s verdict Thursday was in response to ...

Saturn's grip explains odd moon

Aug 03, 2013

Saturn's grip explains odd moon

Enceladus, a white moon of Saturn with ice-spewing volcanoes, owes its strangeness to tides of gravitational forces exerted by its parent planet, a study has found. Discovered in 1789 by William Herschel, Enceladus measures only 504 km across yet is one of the great ...

Aug 03, 2013

Australia airs plan to tax big bank deposits

Australia reportedly plans to slap a levy on bank deposits to help boost its coffers, with the money raised used to protect savings against a bank collapse, it was learned Friday. The development sparked criticism from the banking industry after it was widely reported ...

Ex-Goldman exec Tourre liable for duping investors

Aug 03, 2013

Ex-Goldman exec Tourre liable for duping investors

A federal jury found former Goldman Sachs executive Fabrice Tourre liable on Thursday for duping investors about a shoddy mortgage deal on the eve of the housing market’s crash, the first major court victory for the Securities and Exchange Commission in its quest to ...

Freddie Mac vet Koskinen nominated to lead IRS

Aug 03, 2013

Freddie Mac vet Koskinen nominated to lead IRS

President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated John Koskinen to head the embattled Internal Revenue Service. Koskinen oversaw the government’s preparations for the year 2000 and helped lead Freddie Mac out of its financial crisis. If confirmed by the Senate, part of Koskinen’s task will ...

Aug 03, 2013

Rousseff ratifies sex abuse law

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday ratified a law aimed at protecting victims of sexual abuse that has been condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as a first step toward broader legalization of abortion. Four days after Pope Francis ended a weeklong visit to ...

Aug 03, 2013

Mass vomiting hits Qantas passengers

Dozens of people were rushed off a Qantas flight for medical treatment in Sydney after a stomach bug struck mid-journey, triggering a mass vomiting episode. A “number of passengers traveling in the same group on QF28 (between) Santiago and Sydney became unwell with a ...

Aug 03, 2013

New Zealand moves to name its islands

New Zealand’s two main islands have never been formally named due to a clerical oversight lasting 200 years despite being universally known as the North and South Islands. But that’s finally about to change, officials say. The names had appeared on maps since European ...

Aug 03, 2013

Motorola unveils Android phone

Motorola on Thursday introduced a keenly anticipated Moto X smartphone in a move aimed at reviving the withered mobile device maker bought by Google for $12.5 billion. The Android-powered phone is the first Motorola smartphone created in collaboration with Google since the Internet titan ...

Aug 03, 2013

Quote on MLK monument fixed

The Chinese sculptor who created the Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall in Washington said Thursday that a disputed inscription on its side has been completely removed. Lei Yixin told reporters that his team, which has been at work all week, is ...

Aug 03, 2013

Archaeopteryx's reputation dented

New evidence has emerged that puts a dent into the reputation of the famous “first bird” — Archaeopteryx, a feathered descendant of the dinosaurs that lived around 150 million years ago. Three-dimensional scans of skulls of early birds and dinosaurs suggests that at least ...

Aug 03, 2013

BofA braces for civil charges over crisis

Bank of America may face civil charges over its actions during the financial crisis related to its mortgage products, the bank said in a filing to a U.S. regulatory agency Thursday. The bank “has received a number of subpoenas and other requests for information ...

Aug 03, 2013

U.N. picks first drones for Congo

The United Nations said Thursday it had ordered its first unarmed surveillance drones from an Italian company to patrol volatile regions of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The announcement was made as tensions rise again around the major eastern city of Goma, where the ...

Aug 03, 2013

Defense plan would raise tensions

An interim outline of Japan's new defense policy points suspiciously toward deviations from the country's postwar defense-only posture that has won it friends.

Aug 03, 2013

Smarter diplomacy needed

Given the importance of rebuilding ties with China, perhaps Shinzo Abe should reconsider his emphasis on "universal values" as part of his regional diplomacy.

| Aug 03, 2013

Famed Nara Great Buddha to be cleansed

The Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple in Nara will go through its annual cleansing and purification ceremony Wednesday, and visitors will be allowed to watch the procedure from 7:30 a.m. About 120 monks dressed in white will clean it, and the whole event will ...

Tanaka stretches winning streak to 19 decisions

Aug 03, 2013

Tanaka stretches winning streak to 19 decisions

Tohoku Rakuten ace Masahiro Tanaka tied the Japan pro baseball record with his 15th consecutive win to start a season in a 12-strikeout effort as the Pacific League-leading Eagles rallied to beat the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 4-1 on Friday night. Kazuya Fujita and ...

Hagino earns 200 IM silver; Terakawa nabs backstroke bronze

Aug 03, 2013

Hagino earns 200 IM silver; Terakawa nabs backstroke bronze

Kosuke Hagino won a second silver medal at the FINA World Swimming Championships on Thursday, becoming the first Japanese to make the podium in the men’s 200-meter individual medley in major international competition, including the Olympic Games. The 18-year-old Hagino, who snared Japan’s first ...

Aug 03, 2013

Del Potro wins twice; Nishikori falls

Top seed Juan Martin Del Potro, playing twice in one day for the first time in his career, reached the quarterfinals of the Citi Open with two straight-set triumphs Thursday, but second seed Kei Nishikori — ranked a career-best 11th — could not pull ...

Aug 03, 2013

Radwanska, Stosur reach quarters

Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska set up a quarterfinal clash with former U.S. Open champion Samanth Stosur at the WTA Southern California Open Thursday with a straight-sets win over Daniela Hantuchova. Poland’s Radwanska, the 2010 runnerup and 2011 champion on the hardcourts of Carlsbad, defeated Hantuchova ...

Aug 03, 2013

Japan prevails over Hong Kong in FIBA Asia clash

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Led by guard Naoto Tsuji’s 17-point effort and three teammates’ double-digit scoring output, the Japan men’s national basketball team cruised past Hong Kong 76-59 in a FIBA Asia Championship Group B game on Friday in Manila. Japan bounced back from a one-point loss to ...