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Uber to start first taxi-hailing pilot program in Japan


TOKYO: Uber announced Tuesday it would start its first taxi-hailing pilot program in Japan this summer, as it bids to break into a tough market in the world’s third largest economy. The U.S. firm has found it difficult to penetrate the Japanese market, where risk averse passengers prefer to stick to their high quality traditional taxi service. Hailing a taxi ... Read More »

Tokyo Stocks Close Down On Profit-taking 22 May 2018

People are reflected in a display showing market indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan,  February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Tokyo, :Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index fell on Tuesday, snapping a three-day winning streak, as investors locked in profits ahead of a series of political events surrounding North Korea. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.18 percent, or 42.03 points, to 22,960.34 while the broader Topix index was down 0.23 percent, or 4.18 points, at 1,809.57. Read More »

Sony Buys EMI Music Publishing In $1.9bn Deal


Tokyo, :Japanese entertainment giant Sony on Tuesday unveiled a $1.9-billion deal to buy industry titan EMI Music Publishing, which has the rights to songs by the likes of Queen and Pharrell Williams. The deal adds a catalogue of more than two million songs — including some of the greatest hits from the 20th century — to Sony’s already huge repertoire. ... Read More »

EU Fears Offer To US Not Enough To End Trade Row


Brussels,:The EU’s own top trade official warned Tuesday that the bloc’s last-ditch bid to persuade US President Donald Trump to back off stiff tariffs on metals imports from Europe fell short of expectations in Washington. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom spoke ahead of talks of the EU’s 28 trade ministers to discuss an attempt to woo the US away from punishing ... Read More »

Japan-US Trade Surplus Edges Up In April


Tokyo,:Japan’s politically sensitive trade surplus with the US edged up in April, government data showed Monday, after Tokyo warned it may take retaliatory measures against US tariffs. Japan logged a surplus in April of 615.7 billion yen ($5.6 billion) with the US, up 4.7 percent after a 0.3 percent decline the previous month, as demand for cars and construction machinery ... Read More »

Japanese Hold As Many Credit Cards As Americans, But Do They Use Them?


In Japanese society, there are more opportunities to receive a credit card than most other societies. If you live in Japan, you will be surprised by how often you are recommended to create a new credit card when making purchases at stores. They will offer you benefits such as getting extra discounts; earning points like miles, and receiving special services ... Read More »

Japan plans $400m hit on US goods in response to Trump tariffs


Japan is considering slapping tariffs on US imports worth $409m in retaliation against steel and aluminium levies imposed by Donald Trump, public broadcaster NHK said on Thursday. As the Trump administration prepares to begin talks with China in Washington on Thursday aimed at averting a trade war, Japan said it was preparing to notify the World Trade Organisation of its ... Read More »

Xerox aborts $6.1bn sale to Japan’s Fujifilm


Technology firm Xerox has ended its controversial sale to Japan’s Fujifilm after reaching a deal with activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason. Together, they own 15% of Xerox and had opposed the $6.1bn (£4.5bn) deal as they said it undervalued the firm. The decision ends months of infighting, including a major boardroom clear-out. However, Fujifilm has disputed Xerox’s “unilateral ... Read More »

Whisky-inspired code names cloaked Takeda’s $62 billion Shire gamble in secrecy — until cover was blown


HONG KONG – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s ambitions to expand in the lucrative U.S. health care market led the drugmaker to begin a painstaking examination of Shire PLC’s assets more than two years prior to striking a $62 billion deal. In particular, Shire’s neuroscience unit and its gastrointestinal products sparked Takeda’s interest. One hurdle, though, gave them pause: the steep purchase ... Read More »

Challenges await Takeda after $62 billion Shire victory


Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s Chief Executive Officer Christophe Weber navigated rebuffs, critics and a plunging stock price to win a $62 billion (¥6.8 trillion) deal to acquire larger rival Shire Plc. Integrating the Japanese drugmaker — which began by selling herbal therapies 237 years ago — with the sprawling Irish company will be even more complicated. As the Osaka-based company’s first ... Read More »

Saudi-backed Vision Fund boosts Softbank profits


Saudi Arabia: Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. reported a record annual operating profit, in line with analyst estimates, buoyed by its investments in technology firms around the world. The company’s CEO also confirmed the sale of a majority stake in India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart — in which it owns a 20 percent stake — to US retail giant Walmart, in ... Read More »

Why pollen is costing Japan nearly $2 billion a year


Springtime in Japan brings the country’s famous cherry blossoms into bloom, but it also causes widespread bouts of hay fever that hurt businesses across the country. Japan will lose around 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) this year because of pollen-induced allergies, according to the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute, a research firm in Tokyo. The damage comes in several forms, according ... Read More »

Japan government submits IR Implementation Bill to National Diet


TOKYO: Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party submitted the long-awaited IR Implementation Bill to its parliament, the National Diet, on Friday after officially approving its casino regulations. Although doubts have surfaced over whether the bill will be passed before the end of the current Diet session on 20 June 2018, the introduction of the bill remains a key milestone in Japan’s ... Read More »

Japan’s March LNG imports slip 2.6% on year PNG volume drops


TOKYO: Japan’s LNG imports slipped 2.6% year on year to 7.9 million mt in March with imports from Papua New Guinea dropping, Ministry of Finance data showed. PNG LNG had shut its plant after a massive earthquake hit the region on February 26. Japan’s imports from PNG fell 65.7% from a year ago to 145,580 mt, or about two cargoes, ... Read More »

Japan to promote U.S. natural gas exports to Asia


TOKYO: The Japanese government said it will promote the exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas to Asian countries to help slash Washington’s trade deficit. Masaki Ishikawa, chief of the Trade and Economy Cooperation Bureau in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, spoke of the plan at a bilateral economic dialogue Monday in Washington, expressing hope it will “broaden the ... Read More »

Japan approves imports of U.S. ethanol


TOKYO: The U.S. Grains Council has confirmed that Japan has given approval to policy changes needed to import the oxygenate ETBE, which is made from U.S. corn-based ethanol. Farmer Duane Aistrope of Randolph, Iowa, president of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, said, “The best way to enhance farmer profitability is to create new demand for corn through value-added products such ... Read More »

Japan’s proposed gambling bill makes a big push


TOKYO: Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner Komeito are ready to deliver the highly anticipated Integrated Resorts (IR) bill before the Japanese Diet on April 27. Talks of legalizing gambling for the country have been in the works for some time, and the push to bring in integrated resorts has been key to capitalizing on the ... Read More »

Travellers departing Japan to be charged US$9 sayonara tax


TOKYO: Japan, by air or by sea, will have to pay a so-called sayonara tax of 1,000 yen (about US$9), unless in transit for less than 24 hours. This is likely to be added to your airfare during purchase, so you probably won’t notice it unless flying with a low-cost carrier, such as HK Express, in which case it could ... Read More »

Japan pops SoftBank for unreported earnings


TOKYO: SoftBank Group Corp., majority owner of Sprint Corp., failed to report earnings at three of the Japanese conglomerate’s subsidiaries. SoftBank corrected four years of tax filings related to three subsidiaries of Overland Park-based Sprint (NYSE: S) and Brightstar Corp., reflecting about $875 million in unreported earnings that Japanese authorities discovered. That resulted in a tax bill of about $35 ... Read More »

Japan-EU free trade accord to take effect next spring


TOKYO: Japan and the European Union are making arrangements to sign a free trade deal in July during an annual summit in Brussels, setting the stage for the accord’s entry into force possibly by next spring, diplomatic sources said Monday.  The two sides are considering holding the summit on July 11. By swiftly putting into effect the accord, which will ... Read More »