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SoftBank unveils $21 billion IPO for Japan mobile telecom business

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SoftBank Group Corp. is seeking to raise ¥2.4 trillion in the initial public offering of its domestic telecommunications operations scheduled. The technology conglomerate plans to sell 1.6 billion shares at ¥1,500 apiece, it said in a statement Monday. The IPO price range will be set on Nov. 30, followed by the final price on Dec. 10. Founder Masayoshi Son is ... Read More »

Japan-US Business Council meet reaffirms commitment to free bilateral and global trade

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Business leaders from Japan and the U.S. gathered in Tokyo to reaffirm their commitment to free bilateral and global trade, in a rebuke of Trump administration’s tariff policies that have taken effect over the past year. “For us the concern on any tariff being implemented is that it has a negative impact on an otherwise strong economy on a global ... Read More »

Japan braces for gold smuggling rush in shadows of tax hike

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TOKYO: As Japan prepares to raise the consumption tax for the first time in half a decade next year, the Ministry of Finance worries that gold smuggling will also get a boost. When the tax was last increased in 2014, to 8% from 5%, smuggling of the precious metal jumped as criminal organizations quickly realized how to game the system ... Read More »

Japan’s Abe heads to China looking for economic common ground

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TOKYO: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a rare trip to China this week hoping improved relations will lead to new economic partnerships, as the 2 countries come under US pressure on trade. The visit is the first by a Japanese premier since 2011 and is part of a years-long process of repairing ties in the wake of a disastrous ... Read More »

Japan braces for gold smuggling rush in shadows of tax hike

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TOKYO: As Japan prepares to raise the consumption tax for the first time in half a decade next year, the Ministry of Finance worries that gold smuggling will also get a boost. When the tax was last increased in 2014, to 8% from 5%, smuggling of the precious metal jumped as criminal organizations quickly realized how to game the system ... Read More »

Japanese court finds three Taiwanese women guilty of smuggling gold in their bras

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HAKODATE: A Japanese court gave three Taiwanese women suspended sentences after finding them guilty of attempting to smuggle gold worth ¥50 million ($453,000) into the country by hiding it in their bras. The Hakodate District Court in Hokkaido handed down one-year prison terms to Qiu Shu-fen, 47, and her 20-year-old daughter Qiu Yu-ting, as well as Zhang Hui-ying, 47. Each ... Read More »

Last defendant in Japan’s biggest gold-smuggling case evades prison but gets ¥1.5 million fine

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SAGA – The Saga District Court on Monday sentenced the last of nine men charged with smuggling 206 kg of gold into Japan in May, wrapping up the nation’s largest gold seizure to date. The court handed a 30-month prison term, suspended for five years, and a ¥1.5 million ($14,000) fine to Chinese national Lin Yashan, 43, for importing gold ... Read More »

Japan braces for gold smuggling rush in shadows of tax hike

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TOKYO — As Japan prepares to raise the consumption tax for the first time in half a decade next year, the Ministry of Finance worries that gold smuggling will also get a boost. When the tax was last increased in 2014, to 8% from 5%, smuggling of the precious metal jumped as criminal organizations quickly realized how to game the ... Read More »

Faced with Trump’s tariffs, Tokyo is wary as it enters trade talks with US

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Japan has long been resistant to a free trade agreement with the United States but faced with the threat of harsh tariffs, the Asian giant appears to have changed its mind. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump agreed to start trade negotiations on Wednesday in an move that will likely shield Tokyo from Trump’s proposed 25 percent ... Read More »

Mitsubishi jet developer to raise $1.8bn to tackle excess debt

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TOKYO: The company behind the Mitsubishi Regional Jet aims to increase its capital by about 200 billion yen ($1.79 billion) to eliminate its negative net worth and fund the project, seeking a firm footing as it gears up to deliver the first plane in mid-2020. Mitsubishi Aircraft would seek the funds largely from parent Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in order to ... Read More »

74% of Japanese companies against daylight saving time for 2020 Olympics: poll

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Three-quarters of Japanese firms oppose a proposal to adopt daylight saving time ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a poll showed on, citing the time and effort to adjust computer systems as well as disruptions to public life. Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have floated the idea after scorching heat this summer killed at least 120 people, raising concerns about ... Read More »

Metal detectors to combat gold smuggling at central Japan airport

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The Nagoya Customs said Tuesday it has started using walk-through metal detectors at Chubu airport in Nagoya in the wake of a surge in gold smuggling. Smugglers try to evade the 8 percent consumption tax levied on imports of gold worth over 200,000 yen ($1,870) and resell it at a tax-inclusive price. About 90 units of the walk-through detectors are ... Read More »

Couple arrested at Tokyo’s Haneda airport for attempting to smuggle meth worth ¥1.8 billion

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YOKOHAMA: A 43-year-old man and his 34-year-old wife have been arrested at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on suspicion of smuggling methamphetamine with an approximate street value of ¥1.8 billion ($16.7 million), police and customs officials said. The amount, about 30 kilograms, is the largest haul Japanese customs have confiscated in a stimulant drug smuggling case involving a passenger jet, the officials ... Read More »

Spanish policeman says smuggled European eels raised in China were then exported to Japan

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BRUSSELS – Young European eels are routinely smuggled to China, raised there for about half a year, then shipped to the Japanese market as demand for the fish spikes in the summertime, a senior Spanish police officer has said. The details came to light after Spanish police arrested 10 people in April, including Spanish and Chinese nationals, on suspicion of ... Read More »

Corporate Japan expands stock rewards to workers abroad

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TOKYO — More Japanese companies are including stocks as part of their compensation packages, even for overseas employees not allowed to own securities accounts in Japan, as global competition for top talent grows. Japanese businesses have followed the lead of the U.S. and Europe and are making use of stock options to compensate executives, and have recently widened the practice ... Read More »

80% of major Japanese firms expect domestic economy to grow in 2018

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Over 80 percent of major companies expect the economy to grow toward the end of this year, but most do not see the expansion lasting beyond the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to a recent Kyodo News survey. Around 82 percent of the 113 companies surveyed in July, including Toyota Motor Corp. and Sony Corp., said they think the economy will ... Read More »

Spanish policeman says smuggled European eels raised in China were then exported to Japan

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Young European eels are routinely smuggled to China, raised there for about half a year, then shipped to the Japanese market as demand for the fish spikes in the summertime, a senior Spanish police officer has said. The details came to light after Spanish police arrested 10 people in April, including Spanish and Chinese nationals, on suspicion of smuggling a ... Read More »

Three Taiwanese women arrested in Japan for smuggling gold in their bras

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Japanese media outlets have reported that three Taiwanese women have been arrested at the airport in Hakodate, Hokkaido for attempting to illegally smuggle gold into the country. According to news reports, on March 19 Japanese customs bureau announced that three women from Taiwan were placed in custody and are charged with violating the customs act attempting to smuggle gold inside ... Read More »

Asian Markets Mixed Ahead of Bank of Japan Policy Statement

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SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday with narrow trading ahead of a key statement by the Bank of Japan, which could indicate a tightening of its monetary policy. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.3 percent to 22,476.72 and South Korea’s Kospi was flat at 2,293.43. The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.1 percent to 2,872.92 and ... Read More »

Criminals smuggling gold into Japan concealed bars in aeroplane toilets as gangs grow more sophisticated in their tactics

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Japanese authorities have warned international gold smuggling rings are becoming more sophisticated after cracking a scheme to conceal gold bars in aircraft toilets. Police in Nagoya have arrested six people in connection with the latest in a growing number of smuggling attempts. The six men were accused of illegally importing five gold bars on a Japan Airlines flight from Taiwan ... Read More »