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May 19, 2015

Strike TPP deal as soon as possible, former U.S trade rep says

The Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations are important for both the United States and Japan, and an early conclusion is desirable for the 12-country talks, former U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said in a recent interview. “It is in both countries’ interest that the ...

Two banks to buy 33.4% stake in bankrupt Skymark

May 19, 2015

Two banks to buy 33.4% stake in bankrupt Skymark

The Development Bank of Japan and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. are in the final stages of negotiations to purchase a combined 33.4 percent stake in the rehabilitation of bankrupt Skymark Airlines Inc., sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday. With a combined stake of ...

May 19, 2015

Real wages fell 3% in fiscal 2014; largest drop on record

Japan’s average monthly real wage plunged 3.0 percent in fiscal 2014, marking the largest fall on record and the fourth year of decline, as last year’s consumption tax hike took its toll, the labor ministry said Tuesday. However, in nominal terms the average monthly ...

New law offers hope for U.K. pubs hit by drinking decline

May 19, 2015

New law offers hope for U.K. pubs hit by drinking decline

Britain’s traditional pubs are hoping a new law will galvanise the country’s budding beer renaissance and save them from a steep crisis that is forcing dozens of premises to close every week. Cut-price competition from supermarkets, the smoking ban and healthier drinking habits have ...

May 19, 2015

Tepco looking to sell some uranium stockpiles to cut costs

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is planning to sell part of its uranium stockpiles for nuclear power generation in the current business year to cut costs amid uncertainty over the restart of idled nuclear plants, a company document obtained by Kyodo News showed Monday. Tepco ...

Mixed ruling partially favors Apple in Samsung patent case

May 19, 2015

Mixed ruling partially favors Apple in Samsung patent case

Apple Inc was handed a mixed ruling by a U.S. appeals court in the latest twist in a blockbuster intellectual property battle with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., as a prior patent infringement verdict was upheld but a trademark finding that the iPhone’s appearance could ...

Japan's 'Galapagos phones' making a comeback

May 18, 2015

Japan's 'Galapagos phones' making a comeback

by Kazuaki Nagata

Smartphones have spread rapidly in Japan in recent years, but there still seems to be strong demand for feature phones, or so-called “Galapagos” phones, according to recent data. The domestic mobile phone market has been described as the “Galapagos Islands” because handsets come with ...

May 18, 2015

March machinery orders rise in Japan, but firms remain cautious

The nation’s core private-sector machinery orders rose a seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent in March from the previous month, the government said Monday, reflecting a moderate recovery in corporate investment, though the outlook suggests companies remain cautious about spending. The private-sector orders in March, excluding ...