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Japan

Japan’s Nov current account surplus falls 43% on higher oil imports

A laborer works in a container area at a port in Tokyo, Japan July 19, 2017. Picture taken July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO: Japan posted a 43.5 percent drop in the current account surplus from a year earlier in November as goods trade fell into the red on higher oil imports that cut growth in exports, government data showed. The current account, one of the widest gauges of international trade, was at 757.2 billion yen ($7 billion), coming below the 1 trillion ... Read More »

Japan Rebounds, Asia Jumps on US Data as Trade Talks Begin

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SINGAPORE: Asian markets were broadly higher on Monday after strong U.S. jobs data lifted indexes on Wall Street. All eyes are on trade talks in Beijing, where American and Chinese officials are trying to resolve a trade dispute that threatens to worsen an economic slowdown and put a drag on the global economy. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark, bouncing back from ... Read More »

Arrest after Japanese tourist lured with travel freebies into smuggling meth

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An Iranian man has been arrested after using travel freebies to lure an unsuspecting Japanese tourist into smuggling a bag of clothes laced with crystal meth, Thai police. The tourist, whose name has not been disclosed, found the deal on a travel website that offered free getaways to Thailand, Shanghai and Frankfurt, complete with thousands in spending money. But after ... Read More »

Japanese boat owners charged in Hawaii with helping smuggle nearly 1,000 shark fins

This Nov. 28, 2018 photo provided by the United States Attorney's Office and introduced as evidence in court in Honolulu shows some of the hundreds of shark fins seized from a Japanese fishing boat. U.S. prosecutors in Hawaii accuse the owner and officers of the Japanese fishing boat of helping Indonesian fishermen smuggle nearly 1,000 shark fins. Hamada Suisan Co. Ltd., the Japanese business that owned the vessel, and JF Zengyoren, a Japanese fishing cooperative, were charged on Dec. 11, 2018, with aiding and abetting the trafficking and smuggling of shark fins. (U.S. Attorney's Office via AP)

HONOLULU: Prosecutors in Hawaii are accusing the owners and officers of a Japanese fishing boat of helping Indonesian fishermen smuggle nearly 1,000 shark fins, worth about $58,000 on the black market. It’s against U.S. law to remove the fins of sharks at sea. Prosecutors say the fishermen harvested fins from sharks that were still alive, then discarded their carcasses into ... Read More »

Suga says Japan wants to promote free and fair trade for global economy

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan May 29, 2017.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO: Japan’s top government spokesman said on Wednesday his government wants to promote rules that protect free and fair trade for the global economy. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, speaking during a recording of a TV program at Japanese broadcaster BS11, said Japan is ready to explain its stance in trade negotiations with the United States. Suga also warned that ... Read More »

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn re-arrested in Japan

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Prosecutors in Japan have re-arrested Carlos Ghosn, possibly ending any hopes the former Nissan chairman had of an early release from detention over financial misconduct allegations. . Ghosn, who has been detained for more than a month, was re-arrested on Friday morning on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust and could face another 10 days in detention. Speculation had been ... Read More »

Japan’s central bank to warn of rising growth risks, policy seen steady

A Japanese flag flutters atop the Bank of Japan building under construction in Tokyo, Japan, September 21, 2017.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO: As the risks to the global economy rises, the Bank of Japan is expected to join a chorus of warnings from other policy-makers of the threat to growth from protectionism and signal its resolve to keep the money spigot open. At this week’s policy review, the BOJ is seen maintaining its ultra-easy monetary settings even as years of heavy ... Read More »

Japanese Fishing Boat Owner Charged With Smuggling Shark Fins

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According to court documents and information presented in court, the Japanese-flagged fishing vessel, M.V. Kyoshin Maru No. 20, engaged in longline tuna fishing in the southern Pacific Ocean for approximately one year. The officers were Japanese nationals, and the fishermen were Indonesian nationals. During the voyage, the fishermen harvested fins from approximately 300 sharks, in some instances while the sharks ... Read More »

Japan’s Economy Contracts 2.5 Pct in 3Q on Weaker Spending

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TOKYO: Japan’s economy shrank at a worse than anticipated annualized rate of 2.5 percent in July-September due to weaker consumer demand and corporate investment. The revised figure released Monday was more than double the 1.2 percent contraction reported earlier. Economists say the setback for the world’s third-largest economy is likely temporary. The data from the Cabinet Office shows the seasonally ... Read More »

Japan’s Consumption Tax Hike Raises Potential Gains for Gold Smugglers

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Gold smuggling is increasingly common in Japan. Criminal cases related to avoidance of import duties and consumption tax rose by almost 50% in the accounting year from July 2017 to June 2018, to 720. In the same period, the total amount of tax evasion hit a new record high with a 70% increase to ¥1.54 billion. The 2014 consumption tax ... Read More »

New measures against gold smuggling

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The Japanese government is stepping up its efforts to fight gold smuggling. Officials are bracing for an expected rise in the number of cases ahead of a hike in the country’s consumption tax, set to go from 8 percent to 10 percent. People who bring gold into Japan are required by law to pay the tax to customs officials when ... Read More »

US Prosecutors Are Said to Be Investigating Japan’s Largest Bank

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Japan’s largest bank has already been penalized by the State of New York for letting countries on sanctions lists like Iran and Myanmar route payments through its systems, but a current inquiry is more serious: It’s a federal case involving North Korea. The bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan late last year as it ... Read More »

SoftBank unveils Y2.4 trillion 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 for Dec. 19. 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 ... Read More »

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 »