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METI hopes 'Wonder 500' will catch on overseas

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The industry ministry Thursday unveiled 500 undiscovered fine goods from rural areas that they will target for overseas promotion. Japan’s regional areas have many specialities created by small firms that have the potential to become popular overseas. But it is difficult for them to market such products by themselves, said ...

Aug 28, 2015

Foreign tourist boom fuels 5% surge in Tiffany Japan sales

American luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. said Thursday total sales in Japan rose 5 percent to $125 million in the May to July quarter driven by a boost in foreign tourist spending in the country. “While our sales in Japan are largely made ...

Instagram's square images give way to portraits, panoramas

Aug 28, 2015

Instagram's square images give way to portraits, panoramas

Instagram on Thursday broke its square mold with an update that adds portrait and landscape formats to the image-sharing smartphone application. “Square format has been and always will be part of who we are,” Instagram said in a blog post. “That said, the visual ...

Aug 27, 2015

FamilyMart, Uny postpone agreement on merger plan

Convenience store operators FamilyMart Co. and Uny Group Holdings Co. said Thursday they will postpone the planned signing in August of a basic merger agreement and take more time to work out the details of the deal, which was announced in March. The two ...

Japanese toilet giant Toto flipping open lid on new museum

Aug 27, 2015

Japanese toilet giant Toto flipping open lid on new museum

Japan’s leading toilet giant opens a new museum this week dedicated to a century of lavatories, from its first water-flushing model to the most cutting edge version with odor-neutralizers and variable water jets. The museum operated by Toto — best known for its bidet-equipped Washlet ...

Aug 27, 2015

GPIF posts ¥2.6 trillion investment profit in April-June

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund on Thursday reported a profit of ¥2.65 trillion in its management of pension assets, staying in the black for the fifth consecutive quarter thanks mainly to solid investment returns on domestic stocks. Its total investment yield came to 1.92 ...

Aug 27, 2015

Fujitsu recalls 70,000 laptop battery packs over fire fears

Fujitsu Ltd. said Thursday it will voluntarily recall and provide replacements for about 70,000 battery packs used in some of its Lifebook laptop computer models as they could catch fire. The company has so far confirmed three cases of fire linked to the battery, ...