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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 »

Japan tax agency steps up monitoring of rich


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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%


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


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


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 »

Japan’s wooden kitchen furniture imports increased by 16% in December


WILING TON: The value of Japan’s imports of wooden kitchen furniture grew in the 3Q 2017, but then reversed direction in the final months of the year. Year-on-year Japan’s imports of wooden kitchen furniture were up 16% in December 2017, but month-on-month imports fell around 10%, as ITTO reported. The combined shipments from the Philippines, Vietnam and China once again ... Read More »

Gov’t explains train 2 to Japanese investors


TOKYO: Japanese investors have expressed their concerns on the new tax incentives for new and existing investors and the preferential corporate income tax. This was raised during a discussion with Japanese and officials of the Departments of Trade and Industry and Finance in an effort to address concerns on the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Package 2, which rationalizes ... Read More »

Japan’s mills say limited impact from US aluminum tariffs


TOKYO: Japan’s UACJ and Nippon Light Metals the direct impact of the 10% aluminum tariff on the companies is limited as they run manufacturing operations in the US and do not export either aluminum ingot or aluminum products. Showa Denko, on the other hand, said their exports of cast aluminum products accounted for less than 10% of its total aluminum ... Read More »

Bank of Japan gets halfway to inflation target


TOKYO: Japan’s key inflation gauge ticked up in February, putting the Bank of Japan halfway to its goal of 2 percent. Yet a strengthening yen and the threat of a global trade war underscore the central bank’s vulnerability to global markets and events. The core consumer price index, excluding volatile fresh food prices, rose 1 percent from a year earlier ... Read More »