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Dec 27, 2014

Over half of mobile phones now smartphones: survey

Smartphone users now account for over half of Japan’s mobile telephone subscribers, a survey of 2,000 adults said Saturday. The Dec. 5 to 8 survey, which drew valid responses from 63.7 percent of the pollees, found the ratio had risen to 52.7 percent from ...

Dec 27, 2014

Falling oil prices pushing Russia toward recession

Slumping oil prices have put Russia’s economy on course for a sharp recession next year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Friday, as authorities scaled up their bailout for the first bank to succumb to the recent ruble crisis. The economy is slowing sharply as ...

Xbox back online but PlayStation still down

Dec 27, 2014

Xbox back online but PlayStation still down

by Stephanie Griffith

Microsoft’s online network for its Xbox game console was restored to nearly full service Friday after an allegedly coordinated Christmas Day hacker attack brought it and Sony’s PlayStation network down. The PlayStation network remained down, while Xbox’s service returned to all except three of ...

Dec 27, 2014

Will 'The Interview' change how Hollywood does business?

“The Interview” was never supposed to be a paradigm-shifting film. But unusual doesn’t even begin to describe the series of events that transpired over the past few weeks, culminating in the truly unprecedented move by a major studio to release a film in theaters ...

Dec 26, 2014

McDonald's Japan announces French fry fix

McDonald’s Co. (Japan) said Friday that large servings of French fries will resume on Jan. 5 thanks to a recovery in its inventory. The company started limiting orders to small servings nationwide on Dec. 17 after a port workers’ strike on the U.S. West ...

Dec 26, 2014

Honda delays Legend sedan to guard against another quality lapse

Honda Motor Co., the automaker struggling with mounting recalls, said it’s further delaying the start of sales for the redesigned Legend sedan to conduct additional checks on its radar safety system and hybrid powertrain. Deliveries of Honda’s most expensive sedan will begin Feb. 20 ...

Dec 26, 2014

Auto output sags in November, stretching decline to fifth month

Vehicle production in Japan fell to 743,289 units in November, down 12.2 percent from the previous year amid declining demand, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Friday. The fifth straight month of decline reflected continued weak consumer spending after the April consumption tax hike. ...

Dec 26, 2014

Abe administration proposes new subsidies for regional revitalization

The Abe administration proposed Friday creating new types of subsidies that towns, villages, prefectures would use at their own discretion to promote measures for stopping population decline and revitalizing regional economies. The proposal, part of a draft five-year comprehensive strategy for regional revitalization, was ...

Digital tack taken to revive interest in New Year's cards

Dec 26, 2014

Digital tack taken to revive interest in New Year's cards

by Kazuaki Nagata

The tradition of sending “nengajo,” or New Year’s postcards, has been in decline as people turn to the Internet, social networking and digital gadgets like smartphones instead of putting pen to paper. Japan Post Co., the postal arm of government-owned Japan Post Holdings Co., ...

Xbox, PlayStation game networks felled by known hacker group

Dec 26, 2014

Xbox, PlayStation game networks felled by known hacker group

Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox Live and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Network, Internet services that video gamers use to play online, were hit by connection failures Christmas Day, with the hackers Lizard Squad claiming responsibility. The group, which took credit for an attack on Sony earlier this ...