LDP lawmaker calls for yen to strengthen to 100

Business / Economy Mar 5, 2015

LDP lawmaker calls for yen to strengthen to 100

The yen is too weak and is squeezing many companies with higher import costs, according to Taro Kono, a lawmaker in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party. Parts makers for large corporations are being particularly hard hit, said Kono, 52, who worked for a ...

Ishiba tells rural communities to compete or lose funding

National Feb 10, 2015

Ishiba tells rural communities to compete or lose funding

The Abe administration's czar for regional regeneration believes it is a case of sink or swim: Enterprising communities will maintain their grip on state funding and flourish, and stragglers will be cut loose. "Am I telling them to compete? Yes, I am," Shigeru Ishiba, the ...

Women's work culture under fire

Business Sep 12, 2014

Women's work culture under fire

One morning in February, the government personnel department began an experiment in a nondescript building in a Tokyo residential area that could end up rewriting the rules of the nation's powerful bureaucracy. For the first time, it invited 19 women from different ministries to an ...

Foreign domestics seen as aiding working mothers

National May 20, 2014

Foreign domestics seen as aiding working mothers

Noriko Hitotsumatsu, a bilingual research pharmacologist with a master's from Cambridge University, considers herself lucky to have a part-time job in a Tokyo pharmacy after shelving her career to raise two daughters in one of the world's most work-oriented countries. "I was determined to raise ...

Abe may reduce tax benefits for women

Business / Economy Apr 4, 2014

Abe may reduce tax benefits for women

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's reflation campaign last year helped draw the most women to work since 1991. He now plans to add a stick to that carrot, scaling back tax benefits for spouses with limited earnings. The administration is reviewing rules that let about 14 ...