Business Topics

Apr 15, 2014

Homebuilders suffer slowdown over tax hike

Major homebuilders are suffering an unexpectedly prolonged and deep slowdown in orders for custom-built homes, following a rush of demand toward the end of September last year, when a special exemption from the higher consumption tax ended. While the tax rate was raised from ...

Apr 12, 2014

Japan rejects U.S. proposal to abolish auto tariffs over 30 years

The United States has proposed eliminating tariffs on imported Japanese vehicles over 30 years in bilateral talks related to a wider Pacific free trade pact, but Japan rejected it because the phaseout period is unusually long, sources close to the matter said Friday. The ...

Apr 11, 2014

BOJ policymakers expect exports to stay weak

Some Bank of Japan policymakers said exports may remain weak in the future as companies continue to shift production bases abroad and overseas demand wanes, the minutes of the central bank’s March policy meeting showed Friday. The nine-member Policy Board shared the view that ...

Apr 10, 2014

Lew urges Tokyo to prep for slowdown after tax hike

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Japan Wednesday to compile another stimulus package or take other measures if signs of an economic slowdown emerge from the recent consumption tax hike. “The value-added tax is something that obviously has the potential to slow the economy,” ...

Apr 10, 2014

Machinery orders at a 'standstill'

Core private-sector machinery orders shrank a seasonally adjusted 8.8 percent month-on-month in February, the government said Thursday, adding that the yardstick for capital spending had come to “a standstill.” The Cabinet Office downgraded its basic view of the trend for the first time in ...

Apr 9, 2014

G-20 to focus on Chinese economy

The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs are expected to focus on developments in the Chinese economy at their upcoming meeting, Takatoshi Kato, president of the Japan Center for International Finance, said in a recent interview. At the two-day gathering in ...

Kuroda eyes yen-weakening action

| Apr 9, 2014

Kuroda eyes yen-weakening action

by Masaki Kondo and Yumi Ikeda

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has shown that a single unprecedented expansion of monetary policy has more impact than a series of smaller steps, and economists say he’s preparing to prove it again. The yen has tumbled almost 9 percent since Kuroda doubled ...

Apr 9, 2014

IMF trims GDP projections for Japan in 2014

The International Monetary Fund cut its annual growth forecast for Japan on Tuesday, singling out the country as the only major advanced economy to have its growth projections cut. Fallout from the April 1 consumption tax hike was cited as the reason for the ...

Energy plan fails to set targets for renewables

Apr 9, 2014

Energy plan fails to set targets for renewables

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s final version of a draft energy report reinforces the role of nuclear power in the country’s future, but falls short of setting specific goals for renewable energy use. The policy describes nuclear power as “an important base-load ...

Australian FTA limits Obama's TPP options

| Apr 8, 2014

Australian FTA limits Obama's TPP options

by Eric Johnston

The Japan-Australia free trade deal that lowers or ends tariffs on Australian beef and dairy exports to Japan and on Japanese exports of machinery, consumer electronics, auto parts and food products to Australia, now puts pressure on the United States — and President Barack ...

Aussie beef industry hails EPA with Japan

Apr 8, 2014

Aussie beef industry hails EPA with Japan

The Australian beef industry welcomed Tuesday a broad accord between Japan and Australia to conclude a bilateral economic partnership agreement (EPA) for free trade. “Over the next 20 years, sales of Australian beef to Japan are expected to rise by 5.5 billion (Australian) dollars ...