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Bank of Japan gets halfway to inflation target

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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 »

Visitors warned against departing Japan with souvenirs made from ivory

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TOKYO: Customs and the conservation group WWF Japan launched a campaign Friday to warn foreign visitors about traveling with souvenirs made from ivory, notifying them that it is illegal to depart with such products. Mascots representing both customs and WWF Japan handed out stickers in the departure lobby of Haneda airport in front of panels adorned with the question: “Are ... Read More »

Japan’s February LNG imports rose to a record for month

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TOKYO: Japan’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose to a one-year high in February, trade data from the Ministry of Finance showed on Monday, helped by cooler-than-normal weather during the peak winter demand season. Imports by the world’s top LNG importer totaled 8.294 million tonnes last month, up 6.5 percent from a year earlier, and the highest since January 2017, ... Read More »

Japan’s February LNG imports rose to a record for the month

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TOKYO: Japan’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose to a one-year high in February, trade data from the Ministry of Finance showed on Monday, helped by cooler-than-normal weather during the peak winter demand season. Imports by the world’s top LNG importer totaled 8.294 million tonnes last month, up 6.5 percent from a year earlier, and the highest since January 2017, ... Read More »

Japan books trade surplus with US

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TOKYO: Japan logged a modest trade surplus in February, government data showed Monday, thanks to brisk car exports including to the United States, whose president last week launched an attack on Japanese vehicles. The world’s third-largest economy registered a surplus of 3.4 billion yen (US$32 million) in February, after booking a deficit the previous month, according to the finance ministry. ... Read More »

Japan’s exports expand for 15th month despite holidays in Asia

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TOKYO: The continued growth in exports suggest the global recovery remains firm, and sales to China should bounce back after the decline caused by the holidays. Yet a stronger yen poses some risks to the Japanese economy by making exports less competitive and weighing on inflation by reducing the price of imports. The chances of a trade war breaking out ... Read More »

Japan February export growth seen slowing

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TOKYO: Japan’s exports likely rose in February at a slower pace than the previous month due to the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, however, exports are expected to accelerate due to overseas demand. Exports are expected to rise 1.9%, imports 17.1% with trade deficit likely at ¥99.6B Exports are expected to be on the rising trend if we ... Read More »

Japan’s plywood imports up 4% in 2017

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TOKYO: Japan’s plywood imports in 2017 at almost 250,000 cubic metres were 4% higher than in 2016, as ITTO reported.  Year-on-year shipments from China were down 3%, Indonesian shipments were down 5% which left Malayia accounting for the rise in 2017 imports. Shipments from Malaysia were up around 9.5% year-on-year. The surge in 1Q 2017 imports was due to the ... Read More »

Japan’s Feb ethylene output falls 11% on month

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TOKYO: Japan’s ethylene production in February fell 10.7% from a month earlier to 522,000 mt, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a statement Wednesday. Compared to a year earlier, the February production marked a 1.4% increase. Meanwhile, Japan’s naphtha imports for ethylene production in February fell 16.7% from a month earlier to 1.15 million mt, the ministry ... Read More »

Japanese consumers increasingly getting a taste for German food

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TOKYO: To the average Japanese person, German cuisine revolves almost exclusively around bread, sausages and beer. The common refrain is that it is a “heavy” diet that does not always sit well with the Japanese palate. Dozens of German companies that recently took part in Japan’s largest food and drinks trade show, however, are convinced that they can win over sufficient consumers here ... Read More »

Japan UAE sign new MoUs to boost investments

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TOKYO: Three new Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) were signed between Japan and the UAE to promote investments and provide support for small and medium enterprises, according to a statement from the Ministry of Economy on Sunday. The agreements were signed during the recently concluded UAE-Japan Business Forum in Tokyo. The UAE economy minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, and Japanese ... Read More »

Japan tax agency head quits amid cronyism scandal

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TOKYO:  Japan’s National Tax Agency chief, under fire for remarks about a suspected cronyism scandal, quit on Friday, but his resignation was unlikely to end the furore over the affair that threatens to erode Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s popularity. Finance Minister Taro Aso told a news conference that Sagawa, a former ministry official appointed to the tax post last July, ... Read More »

Japan posts biggest January current account surplus since 2011

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TOKYO: Japan’s current account surplus in January reached ¥607.4 billion ($5.7 billion), the largest total for the month since 2011, government data showed Thursday. The surplus, backed by strong Asian exports, increased from a year earlier for the first time in three months, marking an over sixfold rise from the same month last year. It was also the 43rd straight ... Read More »

Japanese firms must adapt to new national security economy

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TOKYO: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has overseen important changes in Japan’s national security policies. Japan still struggles to keep pace with changes in the national security environment, however. One powerful obstacle is an outdated approach to national security among the public and in the private sector. They must update their thinking about the nature of international competition, about security threats ... Read More »

Global economy time to shift focus from tech to standards

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TOKYO: There are also cases in which the rules surrounding products have a significant influence on business. How do Japanese companies approach the type of rule-making at which Western firms so excel? This has become a major challenge. The automotive industry is approaching a significant turning point. The shift in the main type of vehicle drivetrain continues to progress, and ... Read More »

Japan’s Nishikigoi carp gaining popularity overseas

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TOKYO: Japan Nishikigoi carp are gaining popularity overseas as an ornamental pet as Japanese breeders step up efforts to boost exports in the face of dwindling domestic demand. In early February, one of the largest Nishikigoi competitions in Japan was held in Tokyo with 1,800 carp presented in the two-day event, drawing a crowd of some 5,000 people from Japan ... Read More »

Japan Jan oil product sales hit lowest for month in 30 years

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TOKYO: Japan’s total oil sales fell to their lowest in at least three decades for the month of January, data showed on Wednesday, amid a continued decline in consumption due to a shrinking and ageing population and a shift to alternatives such as natural gas. Total oil sales last month fell 1.7 percent from a year earlier to 3.26 million ... Read More »

Japan industrial production pulls back in January

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TOKYO: Japanese industrial production fell at a faster rate than forecast in January, recording the sharpest fall since the 2011 earthquake. Industrial production fell 6.6 per cent month on month in January, tumbling at a faster pace than the 4.2 per cent decrease forecasts by economists in a Reuters poll. That was down from 2.9 per cent growth recorded in ... Read More »

Steel industry head wants to see Japan excluded from U.S. import curb

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TOKYO: Japan’s steel industry wants the country to be excluded from any U.S. import curbs as steel from Japan poses no threat to the U.S. national security, the head of the steel federation said on Tuesday. Japan’s steel industry said last week that the U.S. Commerce Department’s proposal to President Donald Trump to impose curbs on steel imports violated the ... Read More »

Japanese delivery giant joins booming logistics market

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TOKYO: Headquartered delivery giant Yamato Group, through its Singapore-based subsidiary Yamato Asia Pte Ltd, and domestic firm Aye International Group Co (AIG) formed joint venture Yamato Global Logistics Myanmar Co last December. Back in 2015, Yamato Asia set up a branch office in the country, which paved way for its JV. Yamato Group told The Myanmar Times that, starting from ... Read More »