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Keidanren chief says annual wage hikes needed to revive economy

Japanese firms need to raise salaries in order to put the economy on a firmer footing, the head of the nation’s top business lobby said on Monday before annual wage talks shift into full swing in February. “I would like to ask companies with robust earnings to think positively about ...

Japanese rice: The new, safe luxury food in China

Jan 26, 2015

Japanese rice: The new, safe luxury food in China

First it was European infant formula, then New Zealand milk. Now Chinese consumers are adding Japanese rice to the list of everyday foods they will bring in from abroad at luxury prices because they fear the local alternatives aren’t safe. The volume of rice ...

| Jan 26, 2015

Nikkei falls back on yen's ascent

Stocks turned moderately lower on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday, weighed down by the yen’s ascent against currencies including the euro after the anti-austerity Syriza party won a general election in Greece. The Nikkei 225 average shed 43.23 points, or 0.25 percent, to ...

| Jan 26, 2015

Dollar climbs slightly to ¥118.17

The dollar erased early losses and rose above ¥118 in Tokyo trading late Monday, after the euro attracted buybacks in late trading, apparently from European players. At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥118.17-18, down slightly from ¥118.20-21 at the same time on Friday. ...

Firms use internships to entice top students

Jan 25, 2015

Firms use internships to entice top students

by Kisaku Seno

Facing fierce competition to attract top university graduates, many Japanese firms are using internship programs as a way to entice students before the official start of the recruiting season, which was recently shifted to March from December. Students in their junior year aiming for ...

Deregulation of robotics pushed to ease labor shortages

Jan 24, 2015

Deregulation of robotics pushed to ease labor shortages

The government has worked out an action plan that calls for promoting deregulation to expand the use of robot technology to ease labor shortages driven by Japan’s population decline. The action plan, drawn up Friday at a meeting chaired by Tamotsu Nomakuchi, a consultant ...

Jan 24, 2015

Honda to use air bags from Takata competitor in new Accord

Honda Motor Co. has chosen a competitor of embattled Takata Corp. to supply air bags for the next North American version of its Accord sedan, the automaker’s best-selling vehicle, two people with knowledge of the decision said. In the first major defection by a ...

Snowboarding falls out of favor on U.S. slopes

Jan 24, 2015

Snowboarding falls out of favor on U.S. slopes

Aging athletes, new skis and a lack of snow are ganging up on the once-edgy sport of snowboarding, which has seen a marked drop in participation over the last decade. Industry experts say it’s a sign of the maturing of snowboarding, which grew at ...

Austerity-battered Greeks favor radical left before vote

| Jan 24, 2015

Austerity-battered Greeks favor radical left before vote

The winds of political change are coursing through austerity-weary Greece, but a financial whirlwind may lurk round the corner. Opinion polls ahead of Sunday’s closely watched national election agree: The radical left opposition Syriza party, which has vowed to rewrite the terms of Greece’s ...

Quirky in-flight magazine files for bankruptcy

Jan 24, 2015

Quirky in-flight magazine files for bankruptcy

AP —Apparently, airline passengers aren’t buying enough garden gnomes, superhero pajamas and heated cat shelters. SkyMall has filed for bankruptcy. The quirky in-flight shopping catalog has been a mainstay on airlines since 1989. Passengers with nowhere to go would pull it from the seatback ...

Jan 24, 2015

U.S. home sales rose in December

More Americans purchased homes in December, yet total sales slipped in 2014 as first-time buyers struggled to find houses. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of existing homes rose 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 ...