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Mitsubishi UFJ card unit seeks to double transactions before Olympics

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.’s credit-card unit expects to double transactions by 2020 in anticipation that Japan will become a less cash-oriented society by the time Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games that year. Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos Co. and its group companies are targeting combined card transactions of ¥20 trillion ($197 ...

Disney resumes sales of new movies on iTunes in Japan

Jul 10, 2014

Disney resumes sales of new movies on iTunes in Japan

Walt Disney Co., the world’s largest entertainment company, resumed sales of new movies through Apple Inc.’s online store in Japan after halting them temporarily in a dispute over terms. Disney said in a statement Wednesday that the transactions had resumed after saying on its ...

Jul 10, 2014

Approaching reactor restarts encourage utilities to sell bonds

The Nuclear Regulation Authority is moving toward the first reactor restart under its new safety requirements since the Fukushima disaster started, giving impetus to bond sales by utilities as borrowing costs plunge. The regulator may submit a safety report on two reactors at Kyushu ...

Jul 10, 2014

Energy costs push wholesale prices up 4.6% in June

Wholesale prices climbed 4.6 percent in June from a year earlier, largely due to higher energy costs, the Bank of Japan said Thursday. In notching its 15th consecutive month of growth, the index of corporate goods prices came to 106.3 against the 2010 base ...

Jul 10, 2014

Beer, quasi-beer shipments drop in first half

Shipments of beer and related drinks fell 1.2 percent in the first half to a record low of 196.85 million cases compared with the previous year, largely as a result of wet or chilly weather, data released by the five major breweries said Thursday. ...

Jul 10, 2014

Japan's airlines hope to power planes using biofuels by 2020

An association of Japanese airlines and other entities announced an initiative on Wednesday aimed at enabling the use of biofuels to power passenger jets by 2020, in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions. Launched in May by 33 companies and organizations to develop and ...

May machinery orders plunge a record 19.5%

Jul 10, 2014

May machinery orders plunge a record 19.5%

Japan’s core private-sector machinery orders plunged by a record 19.5 percent in May, the government said Thursday, indicating the first consumption tax hike in 17 years on April 1 is affecting the economic outlook by discouraging companies from beefing up investment. The orders, excluding ...

Shale oil to push U.S. past Russia, Saudi Arabia

Jul 10, 2014

Shale oil to push U.S. past Russia, Saudi Arabia

Four years into the shale revolution, the U.S. is on track to pass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of crude oil, most analysts agree. When that happens and by how much, though, has produced disparate estimates that depend on uncertain ...

Etiquette gets reboot for digital age

Jul 10, 2014

Etiquette gets reboot for digital age

by Rob Lever

The digital age has created a host of new etiquette dilemmas. What should you do when your boss sends a Facebook friend request? Is it OK to take and share smartphone pictures at a friend’s wedding? When should you take off Google Glass, rather ...

RareJob aims to make 10 million English-speakers

Jul 10, 2014

RareJob aims to make 10 million English-speakers

RareJob Inc. hopes to attract as many as 10 million Japanese to its English classes, according to the president of the online education provider. “We want to offer services that enable everyone to speak English. We aim to become like a driving school, a ...

| Jul 9, 2014

Dollar declines to ¥101.65 level

The dollar was moderately weaker below ¥102 in Tokyo trading Wednesday, with a wait-and-see mood growing before the release later in the day of the minutes of last month’s U.S. Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting. At 5 p.m., the greenback was at ¥101.65-66, down from ...

| Jul 9, 2014

Nikkei falls on Dow drop, yen rise

Stocks dropped for the third straight session Wednesday amid selling spurred by lower U.S. equities and a rise in the yen. The Nikkei 225 average closed down 11.76 points at 15,302.65, the day’s high. The Topix fell 4.88 points to end at 1,270.82. The ...