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Taiwan-Japan cooperation helps crack big drug smuggling operation


  TOKYO: Japan stopped a drug smuggling operation in its waters in August with the help of Taiwanese police, officials with Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Monday, touting the case as a successful example of international cooperation in combating the drug trade. Acting CIB investigation squad chief Yang Kuo-sung (楊國松) trumpeted the success at a press conference on Monday, ... Read More »

Japan’s GDP fell 0.7% in September


TOKYO:  Japan’s real gross domestic product slumped 0.7% on the month in September, declining for the first time in five months, according to data released Wednesday by the Japan Center for Economic Research. Factors related to external demand pushed down growth by 0.4 percentage point. Exports sank 5.5% amid declines in shipments to major trading partners aside from China. U.S.-bound ... Read More »

BOJ can’t exit stimulus when inflation below 1%

BOJ keeps policy steady, maintains upbeat economic view

TOKYO: The Bank of Japan likely won’t be able to exit its massive stimulus programme while inflation is hovering below 1 percent, Takatoshi Ito, an academic who is a potential candidate to become the next BOJ governor, said on Wednesday. “What’s important is for inflation to accelerate, which would give (the BOJ) quite some flexibility in guiding monetary policy,” Ito, ... Read More »

Japan’s Sep zinc exports up 13.2% yr/yr

japan zinc export

TOKYO: Following is a table of Japan’s customs-cleared exports of zinc for September released by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday. The figures are a total of special high grade (SHG) and prime western grade (PW) zinc. Figures are converted from yen to U.S. dollar using Japan Customs’ official conversion rate. Country Sep Yr/Yr Sep Year to end-Sep Yr/Yr list ... Read More »

Japan’s factory output seen down in September, rising trend intact

factory output

TOKYO: Japan’s industrial production was expected to show a fall in September after solid gains the previous month, a Reuters poll found, although analysts say the trend remains upward thanks to expanding global demand. Industrial output was seen down 1.5 percent in September from the previous month after revised growth of 2.0 percent in August, the poll of 19 economists ... Read More »

Japan consumer prices rise for 9th straight month


TOKYO: Japan’s core consumer prices marked a ninth straight month of annual gains in September but failed to accelerate from the previous month, underscoring the central bank’s huge task as it struggles to meet an ever-elusive 2% inflation target. Most of September’s scant inflation was driven by continued rises in energy costs, which were partly offset by falling cellphone bills ... Read More »

Japan inflation ticks up in September but way off BoJ target

inflation - 1

TOKYO: Japan’s consumer prices rose for the ninth straight month in September, official data showed Friday, but inflation remained well below the central bank’s target in the world’s third largest economy. Prices rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier after stripping out volatile prices for fresh food, the internal affairs ministry said, buoyed by a rise in energy costs such ... Read More »

Japan’s JERA signs three-year LNG contract with Petronas unit


TOKYO: JERA Co, Japan’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyer, said on Wednesday it signed a three-year LNG purchase agreement with a subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) starting in 2018. JERA, the fuel purchasing joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, will buy 2.5 million tonnes per year (tpy) of LNG from Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd ... Read More »

BOJ warns of structural woes hurting private banks’ profits


TOKYO: Japanese banks lag behind their global counterparts in boosting profitability as they compete for dwindling lending opportunities in a shrinking market, the country’s central bank said on Monday. Prolonged ultra-loose monetary policy has squeezed margins of financial institutions in many advanced economies including Japan, where its central bank caps borrowing costs at zero percent through aggressive money printing to ... Read More »

Japan’s economy, stocks gather steam ahead of Sunday election


TOKYO: Japan’s stock market will be one to watch on Monday, after a parliamentary election Sunday will either reaffirm or call more deeply into question Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s program of economic reform. Abe called the snap election last month to shore up his sway over parliament after a string of solid economic news drove Japan’s markets to their highest ... Read More »

Japan September copper cable sales fall 0.2% y/y


TOKYO:  Japan’s copper cable shipments, including sales and exports, in September fell 0.2 percent from a year earlier to 60,000 tonnes on an estimated basis, the Japan Electric Wire and Cable Makers’ Association said. Below is the monthly copper wire and cable data (in tonnes): Sep(Estimate Sep Yr-Yr% Aug(Actual) Aug Yr-Yr% Jul Jun May) SHIPMENTS 60,000 53,639 57,117 57,677 51,205 ... Read More »

Japan export, import growth slows in September

export import

TOKYO: Japan’s exports rose less than expected in September as growth in the value of shipments to North America halved compared to a month prior. The value of Japan’s outbound shipments rose 14.1 per cent year on year in September, according to the Ministry of Finance, marking the tenth month of growth but coming up short of a median estimate ... Read More »

Japan offers $10 bln to support Asian LNG growth

lng logo

TOKYO: Japan has announced a $10 billion public-private initiative to support the expansion of Asia’s LNG markets, as the world’s largest LNG consumer aims to develop new demand centers, able to absorb growing global supplies. The initiative will provide financial support to projects supplying LNG to Asia, or supporting demand creation in the region, which already accounts for over 70% ... Read More »

Japan offers to buy 123,736 tons of food wheat via tender


TOKYO: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture is seeking to buy a total of 123,736 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close late on Thursday. Japan, the world’s sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on the country’s second-most important staple after rice, and buys majority of the grain for milling ... Read More »

Japan Sept petchem naphtha imports rise 16% y/y


TOKYO: Japan’s naphtha imports for the petrochemical sector rose 16 percent in September from the same month a year earlier, government figures showed on Monday. Imports of naphtha for ethylene production totalled 1 million tonnes last month, up from 0.87 million tonnes in the same month a year earlier, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. Read More »

Sales tax hike is ‘obvious’ choice for Japan debt woes: IMF


  TOKYO: Raising the sales tax is a “very obvious” choice for Japan to get its fiscal house in order, a senior IMF official said on Friday, shrugging off proposals by the country’s opposition parties to freeze a hike scheduled for 2019. The International Monetary Fund logo is seen during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, ... Read More »

Japan’s wholesale prices rise at fastest in nine years, bank lending up

profit rises

TOKYO:  Japanese wholesale prices rose in September at the fastest annual pace in almost nine years due to rising prices for gasoline, metals, and agricultural products, but the gains won’t necessarily boost the country’s notoriously weak inflation. Economists expect consumer prices to rise only gradually because many Japanese companies prefer to absorb higher input costs rather than increasing prices, making ... Read More »

Japan’s machinery orders rise 3.4% in August

Morocco’s auto industry exports likely to rise to $10b by 2020

TOKYO: Japan’s core private-sector machinery orders rose 3.4 percent in August on month, the government said in a report on Wednesday. The Cabinet Office, following two successive months of solid orders, raised its assessment, stating machinery orders show “signs of picking up,” marking the first upgrade in 13 months. The orders in the recording period totaled 882.4 billion yen (7.9 ... Read More »

Japan’s current account surplus expands to record ¥2.38 trillion in August

japan current account

TOKYO: The current account surplus expanded to ¥2.38 trillion ($21 billion) in August — the highest on record for the month — lifted by foreign investments and a bigger trade surplus, government data showed Tuesday. The surplus in the primary income account, which reflects how much Japan earns from foreign investments, rose 13.0 percent from the year before to ¥2.24 ... Read More »

Japan business activity index dips to 51.0 in August


TOKYO: Japan’s services business activity index dipped from 51.6 in August to 51.0 in September. According to IHS Markit, manufacturing output rose solidly in September, reaching a four-month high. The Nikkei Composite Output Index still dipped to 51.7 in September, down from 51.9 in August. Whilst there was an increase in new work, it was the least marked since November ... Read More »