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CARS

An Enechange electric vehicle charging station in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture. There are around 37,000 public charging ports in Japan.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 19, 2024
Japan needs more priority EV parking spots, Enechange CEO says
In space-challenged Japan, where electric vehicles only account for around 3% of new car sales, regular cars often park in charging spots instead.
Nissan's Ariya electric crossover sport utility vehicle assembled by robots at the company's plant in Kaminokawa, Tochigi Prefecture
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 19, 2024
Japan carmakers forge ahead with EV investments despite slowdown
Outside of Japan, signs of a scaling back are everywhere, with the exception of China.
Toyota raised its annual net profit forecast to a record high ¥4.5 trillion in the year ending in March.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 6, 2024
Toyota raises annual net profit forecast as chip shortage eases
But scandals involving rigged engine and safety tests at subsidiaries led the firm to slightly revise down its sales target for the financial year.
Toyota's hybrid RAV4 Prime at an auto show in Los Angeles in 2019
BUSINESS
Feb 2, 2024
Toyota to outshine rivals as more consumers opt for hybrids amid EV slowdown
Toyota is expected to offer an upbeat outlook when it reports its earnings on Tuesday, helped by its heavy reliance on hybrids.
The severed trunk of a roadside tree in front of a Bigmotor dealership in the city of Saitama, in July. Police authorities have received 51 reports of damage apparently caused by the company's practices of felling and killing with herbicides trees on the streets in front of its stores.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 31, 2024
First Bigmotor employee arrested over alleged removal of roadside trees
Toshiyuki Kamohara, 51, is believed to have instructed staff at the company's Kawasaki outlet to cut down trees near the store.
Toyota Motor Chairman Akio Toyoda speaks during a news conference in Nagoya on Tuesday.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 30, 2024
World No. 1 but mired in scandal: Toyota sees mixed start to 2024
Despite the steady performance of its business, the carmaker has been shaken by wrongdoing at group firms, leading to an apology from the chairman.
Toyota's Land Cruiser 300 SUV is among models subject to a halt in shipments after irregularities were found during certification tests for diesel engines.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 29, 2024
Toyota halts shipment of some vehicles over certification issues
A special investigative committee found irregularities during horsepower output testing for the certification of three diesel engine models.
Sompo Holdings' Kengo Sakurada is planning to step down as the company's CEO at the end of March.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 23, 2024
Sompo Holdings' CEO to resign over handling of Bigmotor wrongdoing
The Financial Services Agency has ended its on-site inspections of Sompo Holdings and Sompo Japan and is expected to issue business improvement orders.
Mitsubishi Motors will sell the newest iteration of the Triton pickup truck in Japan starting Feb. 15.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 21, 2024
Japan automakers tap foreign models to drive sales of outdoorsy cars
The popularity of SUVs and pickup trucks has been on the rise in Japan since even before the pandemic on the back of the increasing popularity of outdoor activities.
Honda’s sales in the United States soared 33% last year and the firm anticipates continued growth but at a more modest pace.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 19, 2024
Honda sees 2024 U.S. sales climbing 10% with boost from hybrids
Honda’s sales in the U.S. soared 33% last year to 1.3 million vehicles — with one-quarter of that total coming from hybrid models.
Daihatsu President Soichiro Okudaira speaks to reporters at the transport ministry on Tuesday.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 17, 2024
Daihatsu may lose production rights for three models in safety scandal
An inspection by the transport ministry found that air bags had been set to inflate automatically in tests rather than when a crash was detected.
Volkswagen is casting its net wider in pursuit of a potentially game-changing technology: a "solid-state" electric car battery
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 16, 2024
Volkswagen and rivals plug away at solid-state battery puzzle
An array of technical hurdles are holding back wider development of solid-state technology, seen by its backers as the "holy grail" of EV batteries.
Soichiro Watanabe, Panasonic's chief technology officer for EV batteries, says production of a revamped version of the firm's 2170 cells will begin at its manufacturing plant in Nevada as early as this year.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 15, 2024
Panasonic to make upgraded electric car battery as early as 2024
Production of a revamped version of the company's 2170 cells will begin at its manufacturing plant in Nevada sometime during 2024 or 2025.
A screen next to a police station in the city of Okayama featuring a road safety campaign video in November.
JAPAN
Jan 5, 2024
Japan sees rise in traffic deaths for first time in eight years
Japan still saw the third-lowest death toll on record, with data dating back to 1948.
Toyota's global production jumped 11% in November to a record level, bouncing back from last year's supply chain disruptions and benefiting from robust demand both in Japan and overseas.
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 27, 2023
Toyota saw record November sales on demand from U.S. and Europe
Global sales — including that of subsidiaries Hino and Daihatsu — rose 12% from a year earlier to 986,262 units.
Daihatsu's factory in the city of Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture. The company has suspended production at all its four factories in Japan.
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 26, 2023
Daihatsu suspends all production in Japan amid safety test scandal
The suspension is set to last at least through the end of January, dealing a blow to over 8,000 suppliers and its parent company, Toyota Motor.
Toyota dealer Hiroshima Toyopet has installed air conditioners at all 30 of its maintenance facilities in Hiroshima Prefecture to ensure mechanics can work comfortably during the summer.
BUSINESS / Companies / Regional Voices: Hiroshima
Dec 25, 2023
Hiroshima car dealers seek ways to attract mechanics
Since many people use their cars as a daily means of transportation, it is essential to secure a stable pool of mechanics.
Subsidies in China turned the country into an electric vehicle giant but produced weed-infested graveyards of abandoned EVs.
BUSINESS / Tech
Dec 25, 2023
No one wants used EVs, making new ones a tougher sell too
In the $1.2 trillion secondhand market, prices for battery-powered cars are falling faster than for their combustion-engine cousins.
Daihatsu's headquarters in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture
BUSINESS
Dec 23, 2023
Daihatsu resumes auto shipments in Indonesia amid safety scandal
Indonesian authorities confirmed the safety of Daihatsu cars and greenlit the resumption of shipments, the company said.
Officials from the transport ministry enter Daihatsu Motor's headquarters in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, on Thursday for inspection after a scandal regarding safety data manipulation emerged at the firm.
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 21, 2023
Daihatsu offices raided after scandal halts all car shipments
The raid followed revelations that the carmaker and supplier had manipulated the results of various collision safety tests dating as far back as 1989.

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At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation