October 2013
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Shabondama Soap finds success naturally

Oct 31, 2013

Shabondama Soap finds success naturally

by Satoshi Toi

The sailing hasn’t always been smooth, but Shabondama Soap Co. has produced soaps for nearly four decades that don’t contain additives such as perfumes and artificial colors. The company based in Kitakyushu doesn’t use any chemically synthesized ingredients and only uses animal and plant ...

Regional banks shun Mizuho over scandal

Oct 31, 2013

Regional banks shun Mizuho over scandal

At least seven of the nation’s 14 regional banks tied up with Mizuho Financial Group Inc.’s credit company, Orient Corp., will stop doing business with it due to the scandal over Orient’s loans to the underworld, according to bank officials. Two other banks are ...

Oct 31, 2013

Deal over Indonesian aluminum firm in doubt

The Indonesian government and a Japanese consortium are unlikely to reach an agreement on the planned nationalization of an aluminum producer following months of tough negotiations over the amount of Japanese shares in the firm, sources said. The sources said the Japanese shareholders are ...

Oct 31, 2013

Hiroshima, Nagasaki mayors slam Obama over nuclear test

The mayors of the only two cities to experience atomic bombings sent protest letters to U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday after the United States revealed it conducted an experiment using a small amount of plutonium to examine the capabilities of its nuclear weapons ...

Oct 31, 2013

BOJ forgoes fresh easing steps as economy picks up

The Bank of Japan held off Thursday from launching fresh easing steps as the economy shows increasing signs that the Abe administration’s policy blitz aimed at reviving growth is gaining traction. The brief BOJ statement on its asset-buying scheme came as attention turned to ...

Cash users to take brunt of fare hikes

Oct 31, 2013

Cash users to take brunt of fare hikes

Rail and bus operators will raise fares for cash and smart-card users to reflect the 3-point consumption tax hike set for April 1, but they are split over how much to raise the fares. The government will allow the operators to raise fares in ...

'Lawless (Yokubo no Virginia)'

Oct 31, 2013

'Lawless (Yokubo no Virginia)'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: John Hillcoat Language: English Set in Prohibition-era Virginia, “Lawless” is a hillbilly gangster flick following three bootlegger brothers who run home-brewed moonshine to big-city speakeasies. Tom Hardy plays the menacing eldest brother, while Jason Clark is his equally bad-ass sibling, leaving Shia LaBeouf ...

'The Big Bang Theory Season 1'

Oct 31, 2013

'The Big Bang Theory Season 1'

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Various Language: English Welcome to the TV series that made it official: Geeks are cool. And given the opportunity, they can get the pretty blonde who’s moved in across the hall. Watch Caltech physicists Leonard and Sheldon (Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons) imbibe ...

'Late Mizoguchi'

Oct 31, 2013

'Late Mizoguchi'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Eureka Entertainment of the U.K. has released an eight-film Blu-ray box set of films by Kenji Mizoguchi, universally regarded as a master of not only Japanese but world cinema. The limited-edition set of 2,000 includes 1950s ...

Oct 31, 2013

Japan presses Ukraine on car tariffs

The government has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Ukraine’s safeguard steps invoked in April against imports of cars, officials said. Japan estimates the annual losses for Japanese cars from additional duties imposed by the European country at ¥1.94 billion, the ...

Oct 31, 2013

Softbank net earnings jump 84%

Softbank Corp. said Thursday its net profit soared 84.1 percent year-on-year to $4.0 billion in the six months to September, boosted by strong demand for iPhones and other smartphones. Softbank logged ¥394.9 billion in net profit as operating profit jumped 66.6 percent to ¥715.07 ...

Oct 31, 2013

Pot use linked to N.Z. balloon crash

The pilot of a hot air balloon that crashed in New Zealand killing all 11 people on board had cannabis in his system, an official report said Thursday, blaming his poor judgment for the accident. Investigators called for tighter drug restrictions after the crash ...

Oct 31, 2013

Morgan to buy stake in MUFG unit

Morgan Stanley will take a 30 percent stake in Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.’s Japanese wealth-management business in the latest partnership between the two banks, a source said. Mitsubishi UFJ, which owns 22 percent of Morgan Stanley, will continue to run the business, which ...

Oct 31, 2013

Amsterdam allows St. Nick, 'racist' pal

Amsterdam will next month stage the traditional arrival of St. Nicholas and his helper Black Pete, despite objections that the jolly sidekick is a racist symbol. “The permit allowing St. Nicholas’ arrival in Amsterdam will not be revoked,” the capital’s mayor, Eberhard van der ...

Oct 31, 2013

N.Y. bans cigarette sales to under-21s

New York City voted Wednesday to ban the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and tobacco to anyone under 21, raising the previous age threshold of 18. Having pioneered years of stringent anti-smoking laws, the city of 8.5 million becomes the largest to raise the age ...

Oct 31, 2013

Dolphin species found off Australia

Researchers have identified a new humpback dolphin species off northern Australia. A global team led by the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society made the discovery after examining almost 200 dead dolphins and tissue specimens from live animals across the four Atlantic, Indian and Indo-Pacific ocean ...

Oct 31, 2013

Mitsubishi Heavy expands profit

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Thursday its group net profit in the April-September first half jumped 71.3 percent from a year earlier to ¥32.81 billion. Consolidated operating profit soared 59.8 percent to ¥75.47 billion on ¥1.51 trillion in sales, up 13.6 percent. The heavy ...

Oct 31, 2013

U.S. girl who stayed a tot dies at 20

An American girl who was born with an extremely rare condition that kept her a toddler for life has died at the age of 20, her father said Wednesday. Brooke Greenberg, whose rare condition was sometimes called syndrome X, raised scientists’ hope of unlocking ...

Japan Times appoints advisers to improve coverage

Oct 31, 2013

Japan Times appoints advisers to improve coverage

The Japan Times announced Thursday that it has established The Japan Times Media Advisory Board, appointing four distinguished individuals living in Japan to improve the quality of the newspaper and its reportage. The advisory board members, whose terms start Friday and will continue for ...