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Japan’s Dec caustic soda output rises 4% on month

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TOKYO: Japan’s caustic soda production in December rose 4.4% from a month earlier to 368,207 mt, the Japan Soda Industry Association said in a statement Friday. From a year earlier, production rose 2%. In 2017, Japan’s caustic soda production rose 3.4% year on year to 3.99 million mt, it said. Meanwhile, Japan’s caustic soda exports rose 2.7% month on month ... Read More »

Japan’s wood door imports up 19% in November

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TOKYO: Despite the surprise jump in November wood door imports into Japan, total 2017 imports are set to be below those of a year earlier. November 2017 imports of wood doors were up sharply year-on-year (+19%) and compered to levels in October a 17% rise was observed, as ITTO reported. Shippers in China continue to capture the lions share of ... Read More »

Japan orders broader checks after $660m cryptocurrency theft as Netherlands banks are hacked

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TOKYO: Currency exchange Coincheck after hackers stole hundreds of millions of dollars in digital assets from the Tokyo-based firm in one of the biggest heists ever Units of the cryptocurrency NEM worth A$660 million were taken   based on the exchange rate on Friday  exceeding even the $593 million in bitcoin stolen from the MtGox exchange in 2014. Coincheck suspended trading ... Read More »

Global appetite for Japanese food offers hope to rice farmers

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TOKYO: In a food court in Singapore’s busy financial district swarming with workers from area companies, a small stand selling “onigiri” rice balls made with Japanese rice is attracting both locals and Japanese expats. Word of mouth spread among locals as Japanese living here started to line up (for our onigiri),” said Tetsuya Nagayama, the president of the company that ... Read More »

Japan South Korea aluminum premium gap widens to $20.50/mt

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TOKYO: The difference between Japanese and South Korea spot aluminum premiums has reached $20.50/mt, the widest on record since S&P Global Platts launched its South Korean premium assessment in July 2015. On Wednesday, the Japanese spot import premium was assessed at $102-$104/mt plus London Metal Exchange cash, CIF Japan, while the South Korean spot premium was at $80-$85/mt CIF Busan. ... Read More »

Japan Inc sees strong run of economic growth

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TOKYO: Nearly three-quarters of Japanese companies expect the economy to keep expanding at least another year, extending an already strong run, although they were not as bullish as market estimates, a Reuters poll shows. Japan has logged seven straight quarters of economic expansion to end-September, its longest uninterrupted stretch of growth since 1994. Tokyo stock prices are at their highest ... Read More »

Japan accord to boost brown coal

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TOKYO:  A renewed commitment by Australia and Japan to pursue opportunities in coal, gas and hydrogen has fuelled hopes of increased trade and renewed momentum for Victoria’s brown coal-to-hydrogen ambitions. Following annual bilateral talks in Tokyo late last week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japan’s Shinzo Abe pledged to further work to develop regional coal and LNG markets and on ... Read More »

Japan spots possible sanctions breach by N.Korea

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TOKYO: Japanese Defense Ministry sources say the Maritime Self-Defense Force found a possible breach of international sanctions against North Korea. They say P3C patrol aircraft spotted 2 tankers, one registered in North Korea and the other Dominican-registered. They were side by side in open waters in the East China Sea early on Saturday morning. The North Korean tanker is believed ... Read More »

Japan govt upgrades economic view for first time in 7 months

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TOKYO: The Japanese government raised its assessment of the economy in January for the first time in seven months due to rising consumer spending, an encouraging sign that inflation could start to pick up this year. Japan’s economy is gradually recovering,” the Cabinet Office said in its monthly economic report yesterday. That marked an upgrade from December, when the Cabinet ... Read More »

Japan dumping treasuries puts spotlight on Euro area debt

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TOKYO: Sovereign issuers that are selling bonds in euros at a record pace could well be finding some of the world’s most prolific buyers ready to pounce. Investors in Japan and China are shunning US Treasuries, and the conditions are ripe for that cash to find a home in Europe. Early signs of a shift may already be visible: Belgium ... Read More »

Japanese auto makers halt exports to Vietnam in wake of tightened

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TOKYO: Japanese auto manufacturers have decided to suspend exports to Vietnam following stringent quality  regulations the Vietnamese government put in place on January 1 this year. Toyota said on Tuesday that it has halted all production for export to the Vietnamese market, Nikkei said in a Wednesday report. The firm manufactures auto components in Vietnam, but imports of completely built ... Read More »

Japan Iceland sign double tax agreement

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TOKYO: Japan’s Ministry of Finance has reported the signing of a double tax agreement with Iceland in Reykjavik. The Ministry says the agreement is the first of its kind to be concluded between Japan and Iceland and seeks to eliminate double taxation of income and prevent tax evasion and avoidance. The agreement waives withholding taxes at source on royalties and ... Read More »

Japan to revamp GDP data to reflect sharing economy

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TOKYO: Japan is set to revamp how it measures gross domestic product data in the coming years by better incorporating new consumption trends such as the sharing economy and chasnging quality of education and medical services, officials said on Monday. The move comes in response to criticism the country’s economic data fails to grasp actual economic activity as analysts see ... Read More »

Japan retailers struggle to raise prices even as economy gains

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TOKYO:  Japan’s economy is gathering steam, profits are at record levels and companies are poised to raise wages  yet retailers and restaurant chains are struggling to lift prices for fear of losing customers conditioned by nearly two decades of deflation. This predicament could undermine the sustainability of Japan’s recovery and highlights just how difficult it will be for the central ... Read More »

Japan posts current account surplus of ¥1.35tr in November

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TOKYO: Japan posted a current account surplus of ¥1.35 trillion ($12 billion) in November on robust earnings from foreign investments, marking the 41st straight month of black ink, government data showed Friday. But the surplus shrank 5.6 percent from a year ago as trade-reliant Japan had a smaller trade surplus of ¥181.0 billion in November due to a surge in ... Read More »

Experts doubt lifting of Japan food ban

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TOKYO: Curbs on imports of Japanese food produced in areas hit by the country’s nuclear crisis will not be easily relaxed or lifted, and Chinese consumers won’t accept such imports given food safety concerns, experts said. The comments came after reports in the Japanese media said that China will probably relax import restrictions on Japanese food that were put in ... Read More »

Look for value in Japan emerging markets

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TOKYO: Market confidence is supported by a reasonably strong cyclical upswing in world GDP growth. This is being translated into corporate earnings growth, [and is supported] by a belief that central banks will not significantly tighten monetary policy unless justified by growth and inflation data, and by the U.S. corporate tax cuts announced in December which will boost Wall Street ... Read More »

Japanese suppliers export to Pyongyang amid trade sanctions

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TOKYO: Last December 14th, Japanese law enforcers arrested three men in Shibata City, Niigata Prefecture, including Yuzuru Yachida, 47, the CEO of M-Create Inc., an environmental installation company. The charges: violations of the foreign exchange law violationsspecifically, exporting without a license. They are suspected of involvement in the illegal export of foodstuffs to North Korea. Authorities carried out searches on ... Read More »

Prospects for Japan’s economy in 2018

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TOKYO: They expect Japan’s exports to grow this year, led by strong global demand. They also say consumer spending will moderately rise, because of an improved job market. Ten think tanks project Japan’s gross domestic product will expand 1 to 1.3 percent in price-adjusted real terms in fiscal 2018, which starts in April. Japan’s economy began picking up in December ... Read More »

Japan prepared to lift its ban on beef imports from Uruguay

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TOKYO: Japan is planning to lift a ban on beef imports from Uruguay next year, ending a more than 17-year embargo following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the South American nation in 2000, according to government sources in Tokyo.  Following on-site checks, an expert panel of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry determined in early December that sufficient safeguards ... Read More »