Jul 29, 2008

Welfare spending pushes up budget cap

Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said Monday the government has set a limit of around ¥47.8 trillion for general expenditures in the fiscal 2009 budget. Swelling social welfare costs due to the nation’s aging population helped push the cap slightly higher than the ¥47.3 trillion ...

Jul 23, 2008

Cabinet cuts GDP forecast to 1.3%

The Cabinet Office on Tuesday lowered its forecast for real economic growth in fiscal 2008 from 2.0 percent to 1.3 percent, citing surging energy costs and weakening growth in the United States that has hurt corporate earnings and consumer spending here. The revised forecast ...

Nation opens its eyes to audiobooks

| Jul 22, 2008

Nation opens its eyes to audiobooks

Seen as a good way for busy people to catch up on their “reading” during commutes or on-the-job breaks, audiobooks are quickly becoming a fixture among time-pressed Japanese. Here are some basic questions and answers about them What are audiobooks and where can one ...

Jul 16, 2008

Nukaga chases investment by oil producers

Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga headed out Tuesday on a visit to the Middle East and Central Asia to call for cash-rich oil-producing countries to invest more in Japan. Nukaga is being accompanied by top-level officials from Mizuho Corporate Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo ...

Jul 15, 2008

TCI bid to double J-Power stake halted

The Children’s Investment Fund said Monday it will accept a government order barring it from doubling its stake in J-Power. Citing energy security risks, the government on May 13 blocked the U.K.-based TCI’s bid to raise its stake in Electric Power Development Co., or ...

Apple iPhone rings up sales in Tokyo debut

Jul 12, 2008

Apple iPhone rings up sales in Tokyo debut

Hundreds of gadget lovers lined up Friday outside stores in Tokyo for the iPhone’s Japan debut, as analysts closely watch whether the device will catch on among consumers other than Apple fans. Softbank Corp., Japan’s No. 3 mobile phone operator, is currently the only ...

| Jul 10, 2008

G8 handcuffed by economy

TOYAKO, Hokkaido — With global inflation and an economic slowdown looming over their heads, the Group of Eight industrialized nations ended their three-day summit Wednesday by exposing their inability to take effective action against soaring oil and food prices and the weak dollar. “The ...

Toyako businesses seek long-term benefit

| Jul 9, 2008

Toyako businesses seek long-term benefit

TOYAKO, Hokkaido — Takuji Okamoto, 69, has run a tiny noodle shop with his wife, Chieko, for 23 years at the Lake Toya hot springs resort area. Since April, his business has been thriving. Customers ranging from government officials who laid the groundwork for ...

| Jul 9, 2008

Leaders call for more fuel to cool global inflation

TOYAKO, Hokkaido — The leaders of the Group of Eight nations addressed “strong concern” Tuesday about multiple transborder problems, including soaring energy and food prices, and urged the world’s major energy producing states to increase output and refining to tame further price hikes. They ...

Kept at arm's length, protesters slam G8 leaders

| Jul 8, 2008

Kept at arm's length, protesters slam G8 leaders

SOBETSU, Hokkaido — Marching in light rain, more than 100 antisummit protesters accused the Group of Eight industrialized nations of contributing to poverty and global warming as they made their way to Toyako from the small town of Sobetsu, Hokkaido, on Monday. With raised ...