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Why pollen is costing Japan nearly $2 billion a year

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 »

Japan tax agency steps up monitoring of rich

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TOKYO:  Authorities were prompted to take action out of concern that more and more citizens would believe the taxation system is unfair if it fails to properly tax the wealthy, who are typically more adept at tax planning. “Tax authorities pointed out overseas bank accounts my client and I weren’t aware of,” a tax accountant said when recalling an inspection ... Read More »

Japan’s exports seen rising in March strong yen weighs on growth

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TOKYO: Japan’s exports were expected to rise for a 16th straight month in March and to maintain a rising trend, but the strong yen was seen likely to curb the pace of growth, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. The trade data will be closely watched ahead of talks next week between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, with trade ... Read More »

Japan discuss customs cooperation

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TOKYO: Tajik Customs Service Chief Hurshed Abdurahmon and Japan’s Customs and Tariffs Bureau director general’s advisor Hideo Fukushima discussed prospects of cooperation at a meeting in Dushanbe. The sides also discussed Japan’s bid for position of a chairman of the World Customs Organization Council on June 28-30 in Brussels. The bilateral trade between Tajikistan and Japan exceeded $30 million in ... Read More »

Bank of Japan governor keeps up the fight against deflation

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TOKYO:  Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda remains committed to achieving steady price growth of 2% as he enters his second term, but the path to bringing stubborn deflation to heel remains fraught with challenges. Read More »

Japan BoP current account balance for February

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TOKYO Japan BoP current account balance for February ¥ 2076.0bn, a little down on expected    expected ¥ 2196.0B, prior ¥ 607.4B  BoP Current Account Adjusted: ¥ 1024.1bn expected ¥ 1390.2B, prior ¥ 2022.6B Background to this is the expected positive impact of income from overseas investments but a slowdown in exports due to the Lunar New Year holidays in the ... Read More »

Japan sees next liquified natural gas

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TOKYO: Japan’s enthusiasm for hydrogen perplexes North Americans, whose rallying call is not “build the hydrogen economy” but “electrify everything.” Even with luminary Michael Liebreich newly boarding the hydrogen train, the country’s pro-proton stance strikes many as inefficient and counter-productive. To understand Japan’s position, one must understand Japan’s situation. To the extent that all politics are local, all policies are too, ... Read More »

Japan doubles oil imports from Russia

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TOKYO: Imports of crude from Russia to Japan more than doubled in February compared to the previous month, according to the latest report by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). In February, exports of Russian Sokol crude to Japan grew to 223,000 kiloliters from 112,000 kiloliters in January, while crude deliveries from the ESPO (Eastern Siberian Pacific ... Read More »

Asian stocks start new quarter on front foot

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TOKYO: Asian stocks began the new quarter on Monday with modest gains following a strong performance by global equities last week, while the dollar held steady ahead of key economic indicators. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.15 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi was flat and Japan’s Nikkei advanced 0.5 per cent. Shanghai was up 0.3 per ... Read More »

Japan’s Feb LNG imports rise 7% on year Indonesian volume jumps 47%

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TOKYO: Japan’s LNG imports rose 6.5% from a year ago to 8.3 million mt in February, with higher volumes from Australia and Indonesia, Ministry of Finance data released last Thursday showed. For the three months to February, during which Japan experienced a colder-than-normal winter, an increase in year-on-year supplies from Asian projects in Brunei, Indonesia, Australia and Papua New Guinea ... Read More »

Japan’s projected interim fiscal reconstruction goal likely to be missed

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TOKYO: Japan is likely to miss its interim target for fiscal reconstruction due chiefly to sluggish tax revenue growth and the postponement of a consumption tax increase, according to a key government macroeconomic policy panel. Private sector members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy called on the government to promote structural reform intensively over the next three years ... Read More »

Japan corn imports to remain high

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TOKYO: With prices on the global market remaining at a low level, Japan is forecast to import 15.3 million tonnes of corn in 2018-19, according to a March 28 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The total imports are unchanged from its revised 2017-18 forecast, as demand is projected to remain strong. Reflecting abundant ... Read More »