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Japan exports fall again as Trump’s trade policy threatens economic outlook

FILE PHOTO: A man repairs a container at an industrial port in Tokyo, Japan, February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-hoon/File Photo

Japanese exports contracted for the fifth month in April due to a slump in shipments of chip-making equipment to China, underlining the growing threat to the world’s third-biggest economy from a bruising Sino-U.S. trade war. Data also showed Japan’s trade surplus with the United States rose for a second month as auto exports accelerated, which could draw U.S. President Donald ... Read More »

Japan economy beats expectations of slowdown

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Japan’s economy unexpectedly grew in the three months to March, shrugging off forecasts for a contraction in the world’s third largest economy. The economy grew at an annualised 2.1% in the period, preliminary gross domestic product (GDP) data showed. That beat analyst expectations for a 0.2% contraction, as imports fell faster than exports. The data were closely watched for any ... Read More »

PHL, Japan working on new labor initiatives

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THE Philippines and Japan are now collaborating on new labor initiatives to further strengthen the ties between the two countries, the Japanese ambassador to the Philippines said. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda made the statement as the Philippines and Japan celebrated ties in the “Reiwa era” under newly ascended Emperor Naruhito on Tuesday. Haneda also said deepening people-to-people ... Read More »

Toshiba net profit up 26% in fiscal 2018 after selling chip unit

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Toshiba Corp. said Monday its group net profit in the year ended March rose 26 percent to a record ¥1.01 trillion after selling its prized chip unit in June. The technology conglomerate’s bottom line was boosted by the ¥2 trillion ($18 billion) sale of Toshiba Memory Corp. to an international consortium including US private equity firm Bain Capital LP, Apple ... Read More »

Japan April services PMI slips as new business growth slows

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TOKYO: Activity in Japan’s services sector expanded at a slightly slower pace in April than the previous month as growth in new business slowed, a business survey showed on Wednesday. The Markit/Nikkei Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged lower to a seasonally adjusted 51.8 in April from 52.0 in March. The index stayed above the 50 threshold that separates ... Read More »

SoftBank considers IPO of $100 bil Vision Fund

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Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is considering an initial public offering of its $100 billion Vision Fund, a source familiar with the matter said. The fund was set up in 2017 and has become the world’s largest technology investment fund. Its investments include ride-hailing pioneer Uber, chip designer ARM and shared workspace firm WeWork. The company has publicly stated it plans ... Read More »

Japanese Woman Arrested For Smuggling 19 Lizards In Australia

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A Japanese woman appeared in court on Wednesday after being detained at the Melbourne International Airport for attempting to smuggle 19 lizards out of the country, officials said. According to the Australian Border Force (AFB), the 27-year-old woman was targeted following a tip-off from the agency’s international network which has been on high alert recently after two other similar cases ... Read More »

Airlines evolve to help UK–Japan business travellers

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Tokyo : For some, travelling for business is a perk. For others, it is a chore. Business-class privileges can make all the difference in this perception—especially for people who travel often. As Japan pursues more foreign direct invest­ment and a more prominent role as a global business hub, the number of travellers coming and going from its shores has steadily ... Read More »

Japan exports hit by weak China demand, raising risk of economic contraction

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Japan’s exports fell for a fourth straight month in March as China-bound shipments slumped again, reinforcing growing anxiety that weak external demand may have knocked the economy into contraction in the first quarter. Ministry of Finance data out on Wednesday showed exports fell 2.4 percent in March from a year earlier, compared with a 2.7-percent drop predicted by economists in ... Read More »

Amazon Japan raises Prime membership fee for first time in 11 years

FILE PHOTO: Amazon.com's logo is seen at Amazon Japan's office building in Tokyo, Japan, August 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Amazon.com Inc’s Japanese unit raised the membership fee for its Prime service by 26 percent, the first such hike since it was launched in the country 11 years ago. The new annual Prime membership fee is 4,900 yen versus 3,900 yen previously, Amazon said in a statement. The e-commerce giant did not provide a reason, but pointed to the growing ... Read More »

Hong Kong’s equity market surpasses Japan as world’s third largest in value

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HONG KONG: Bragging rights to Hong Kong, for now. The city’s equity market overtook Japan earlier this week to be the world’s third largest in value, behind only the U.S. and mainland China, courtesy of a rebound in Hong Kong stocks after their worst year since 2011. Hong Kong’s market cap was $5.78 trillion as of Tuesday, compared with $5.76 ... Read More »

Nomura axing jobs and bank branches to cut costs by $1 billion

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Nomura Holdings will cut $1 billion in costs from its wholesale business and shut more than 30 of 156 domestic retail branches in its latest overhaul, the ailing bank said. Nomura also plans to ax about 100 jobs in London — the center for its European investment banking business — as part of the overhaul, a banking source told Reuters ... Read More »

Toshiba Memory to draw ¥1.3 trillion in bank loans before going public

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Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp. is set to draw a total of ¥1.3 trillion ($11.7 billion) in loans from four Japanese banks, sources familiar with the situation said late on Wednesday. With the additional funds, the former chip unit of Toshiba Corp. will step up preparations for an initial public offering after buying back preferred shares currently held by Apple Inc. ... Read More »

LCD maker Japan Display, a key Apple supplier, plans ¥110 billion bailout deal this week

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Display panel maker Japan Display Inc., a key supplier of Apple Inc., said it is aiming to agree this week on a bailout of more than ¥110 billion ($989 million) from a group of Chinese and Taiwanese companies and an investment fund backed by the Japanese government. The company said it is negotiating a capital injection of ¥60 billion to ... Read More »

Nikkei drops more than 3% over global economic slowdown fears

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Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index dived more than three percent on Monday, as fears grow over a global economic slowdown. The Nikkei 225 index lost 3.01 percent, or 650.23 points, to close at 20,977.11, while the broader Topix index fell 2.45 percent, or 39.70 points, to 1,577.41. Tokyo shares opened sharply lower, taking a negative lead from Wall Street, where stocks ... Read More »

80% of young eels farmed in Japan may have been smuggled from Taiwan via Hong Kong

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About 80 percent of young eels put into aquaculture pools in Japan in December and January may have been smuggled from Taiwan via Hong Kong, according to trade data and sources close to the matter. Around 6 tons of juvenile eels were imported to Japan from Hong Kong in those two months, according to government data, but Hong Kong does ... Read More »

Google fined $1.7 billion for blocking rival online search advertisers, in third EU sanction

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Google was fined €1.49 billion ($1.7 billion) for blocking rival online search advertisers, in the third large European Union antitrust penalty for the Alphabet business in two only years. The European Commission, which said the fine accounted for 1.29 percent of Google’s turnover in 2018, said in a statement that the anti-competitive practices had lasted a decade. “Google has cemented ... Read More »

Japanese Man Arrested At Ecuador Airport For Smuggling Insects

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Ecuadorean authorities say they have arrested a Japanese man for attempting to illegally traffic wildlife out of the country as he tried to board his flight out of Quito with over 250 specimens spiders and insects, both living and preserved. Allegedly a scientist, Hirokazu S. told authorities at the Quito airport where his stash of specimens was detected in a ... Read More »

Tokyo stocks end slightly lower

A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Stocks closed marginally lower on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, after erasing healthy early gains under the pressure of profit-taking. The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 3.22 points, or 0.02 percent, to end at 21,287.02. On Wednesday, the key market gauge shed 213.45 points. The Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 3.78 points, or 0.24 percent, at 1,588.29, ... Read More »

Japanese banks to stop using a piece of 1800s tech

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IT HAS TAKEN more than a century, but Japanese banks are finally parting ways with a piece of technology that hasn’t felt cutting edge since the shogun reigned. Hanko, the personal stamps required for even simple transactions in Japan since the 1800s, are getting phased out at some of the country’s biggest financial institutions. Lenders have begun allowing customers to ... Read More »