Japan's vulnerability to tsunami

| Apr 20, 2010

Japan's vulnerability to tsunami

Rollers from the giant earthquake in Chile in February and the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 are still fresh in the world’s memories, but in Japan giant tidal waves have never been far from thought. The big tidal waves have killed so many ...

Shirakawa: 'no magic wand' for deflation

Jan 30, 2010

Shirakawa: 'no magic wand' for deflation

Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa said Friday there is no easy solution to end deflation and monetary policies to increase liquidity will not be enough to stop prices falling. “There is no magic wand,” Shirakawa said at a seminar held at a hotel ...

Jan 27, 2010

Wary of deflation, BOJ maintains near-zero interest rate

The Bank of Japan said Tuesday it will keep its key interest rate unchanged at just above zero, as widely expected, and reiterated its determination to fight deflation. The seven-member Policy Board unanimously voted to maintain the uncollateralized overnight call rate at around 0.1 ...

Bookoff chief guides firm out of attitude bind

| Jan 23, 2010

Bookoff chief guides firm out of attitude bind

Hiroshi Sato took the helm of Bookoff Corp., the nation’s largest secondhand book store chain, in 2007, when the company’s corporate survival was in doubt after weekly magazines broke news that the firm had rigged its accounts. But Sato, as Bookoff president and chief ...

Imperial Palace resides in otherworldly expanse

| Jan 20, 2010

Imperial Palace resides in otherworldly expanse

Like a nature reserve surrounded by Tokyo’s concrete jungle, the Imperial Palace, or Kokyo, home to the Emperor and Empress, is a moated, otherworldly forested expanse where once stood a castle. The castle housed generations of Tokugawa shoguns during the Edo Period (1603-1867). The ...

Jan 20, 2010

Affiliates brace for impact from JAL's failure

Japan Airline Corp.’s Tuesday filing for bankruptcy finally starts the carrier down the government-led rehabilitation path. But its business affiliates worry about how JAL’s turnaround process will affect them amid the worst postwar industry slump. “It will undoubtedly be a heavy blow (to our ...

Kan sets his sights on cutting government waste

Jan 15, 2010

Kan sets his sights on cutting government waste

Given the nation’s snowballing deficit and sluggish growth, Deputy Prime Minister and now also Finance Minister Naoto Kan announced Thursday plans to review government spending to reduce waste and come up with policies to expand the economy. To procure funding for the Democratic Party ...

Jan 8, 2010

New finance chief Kan faces fiscal test

Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan officially replaced Hirohisa Fujii as finance minister Thursday after the veteran financial expert resigned for health reasons. Kan’s priorities will be to get the 2010 budget passed as quickly as possible and to get a grip on the government’s ...

Dec 26, 2009

Budget big but little in remedial terms

The all-time high fiscal 2010 budget draft approved Friday casts considerable doubt on whether the country can sustain its finances or if through such spending it can buy its way out of the economic slump, experts warn. With the ballooning public debt and sharp ...

Dec 23, 2009

Cabinet to hike tax burden ¥980 billion

The Cabinet led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama adopted on Tuesday a set of tax reforms for fiscal 2010 that would increase the burden on taxpayers by a total of around ¥980 billion a year. The plan has the government maintaining the current gasoline ...