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Apr 18, 2014

Over half of households own smartphones: government survey

A Cabinet Office survey has found that 54.7 percent of households in Japan owned at least one smartphone as of the end of March. The survey, released Thursday, also found that the number of smartphones per 100 households stood at 101.5 units. The results ...

Apr 18, 2014

Blizzards weigh on tertiary index

The tertiary industry activity index for February fell 1.0 percent from the previous month as hotels, restaurants and other service-related industries lost business to unseasonably heavy snow, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday. The February index stood at 100.6 against the ...

Apr 18, 2014

Nissan, MMC plan electric minicar

Nissan Motor Co. said Friday it will develop an electric minivehicle with Mitsubishi Motors Co. with an eye to selling it from fiscal 2015. Mitsubishi Motors currently sells the i-MiEV electric minicar, buts sales have been sluggish due to a lack of infrastructure, such ...

Japan, U.S. still in TPP stalemate

Apr 18, 2014

Japan, U.S. still in TPP stalemate

by Kakumi Kobayashi

Japan and the United States are still “in stalemate” over key items holding up the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, Tokyo’s TPP minister, Akira Amari, said Thursday during the latest round of ministerial talks. Amari told reporters that he and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will ...

LED nails light up when calling

Apr 18, 2014

LED nails light up when calling

If you thought a finger that glows when you phone home was strictly the preserve of extra-terrestrials, think again: a Japanese firm has unveiled nails that light up when you make a call. Unlike “E.T.” in the 1982 Steven Spielberg film, modern-day Japanese fashionistas ...

Apr 18, 2014

Japan, U.S. trade chiefs continue tariff talks for Pacific trade pact

Trade chiefs of Japan and the United States continued to seek progress Thursday in protracted negotiations over tariff exceptions to a Pacific free trade pact. Akira Amari, Japan’s minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative, and Michael Froman, U.S. trade representative, discussed a ...

Apr 17, 2014

Automakers show off new SUV, luxury models in New York

Japanese carmakers revealed new and redesigned sedans and sport utility vehicles at the annual New York International Auto Show on Wednesday. Toyota Motor Corp. launched the 2015 Camry with a revamped exterior, quieter passenger cabin and three engine choices, including a hybrid option. The ...

Apr 17, 2014

U.S. agrees to let Japanese tariffs stand on rice, wheat

The United States has agreed to allow Japan to retain tariffs on rice and wheat, government sources said Thursday during bilateral talks related to the wider Pacific free trade negotiations. In return, Washington demanded Tokyo introduce a system to increase U.S. rice imports, which ...

Apr 17, 2014

Tokyo downgrades economy as consumer confidence slumps

Consumer confidence fell in March to the lowest level since August 2011, and the government cut its economic assessment for the first time in 17 months, as the April 1 consumption tax hike sapped the public’s spending power. The reading of 37.5, down from ...

Apr 17, 2014

Greenback weaker around ¥102

The dollar lost moderate ground and moved around ¥102 in Tokyo trading Thursday, displaying no clear direction due to a lack of major trading incentives. At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥102.02-03, down from ¥102.21-25 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was ...