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Japan’s ruling bloc calls for ¥10 trillion to boost slowing growth and typhoon recovery

Ruling coalition lawmakers have called for an extra budget that would include ¥10 trillion ($92 billion) in spending to support slowing growth and recovery from two powerful typhoons, party officials said on Thursday, raising worries about straining public finances. The agreement, made in a meeting between senior officials of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito on Wednesday, highlights the concern ... Read More »

Air Senegal nears tentative $730 million deal for Airbus A220s

Air Senegal is close to securing a preliminary order for eight Airbus SE A220-300 narrow-body jets, valued at about $732 million at list prices, according to people familiar with the matter. The so-called memorandum of understanding would be subject to a final contract, the people said, asking not to be named discussing non-public negotiations. No agreement has been reached and ... Read More »

Japan’s GDP growth at one-year low as US-China trade war bites

The economy ground to a near standstill in the third quarter, with growth at its weakest in a year as the U.S.-China trade war and soft global demand knocked exports, keeping pressure on policymakers to ramp up stimulus to bolster a fragile recovery. Private consumption also cooled from the previous quarter, casting doubt on the Bank of Japan’s view that ... Read More »

Toyota first-half net profit up 2.6% on sales, cost cuts

TOKYO: Japanese car giant Toyota said on Thursday its first-half net profit edged up from a year earlier, thanks to solid sales and cost-cutting efforts. The maker of the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid reported net profit rose 2.6 percent to 1.27 trillion yen ($11.7 billion) in April-September. The company kept its full-year net profit forecast at 2.15 trillion yen ... Read More »

EU-Japan trade deal: the opportunities for small business

Business Planet focuses on the world’s biggest bilateral trade deal between the EU and Japan and asks how small European firms can maximise business opportunities. Dubbed the cars-for-cheese trade deal, due to the commercial opportunities for Japanese carmakers and European farmers, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) slashes duties on both Japanese and European imports respectively. In force since February ... Read More »

Thai women in Japan drug bust

Japanese Police and Customs Officials at Fukuoka Airport reported the arrest of seven Thai women who smuggled in drugs weighing more than a kilogram into Japan. The women separated the drugs into tiny bags and hid them in random places on their bodies. The women purchased tour tickets and tried to blend in as Thai tourists. When caught with the ... Read More »

Businesses in Japan turn to mixed-reality technology for employee training

CHIBA: Corporate Japan’s growing need to rely on new technologies to cope with the shrinking workforce was on show at the recent CEATEC technology exhibition, with service industry companies turning out in greater numbers this year. As more and more skilled workers reach retirement across various industries in rapidly graying Japan, businesses are turning to new technologies to hand down ... Read More »

SoftBank plans $5 billion in rescue financing for WeWork

SoftBank Group Corp. is in discussions to provide WeWork with roughly $5 billion of rescue financing in an effort to salvage one of the conglomerate’s biggest investments. The funds will come directly from SoftBank, rather than its Vision Fund, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the talks are private. SoftBank, which ... Read More »

Japan’s tax hike-related reward points total ¥6 billion in first week

The industry ministry said that the total amount of reward points related to a recent tax increase given through a state-funded program, introduced Oct. 1, reached some ¥6 billion in the first week. The program, aimed at offsetting the economic hit from the consumption tax hike from 8 percent to 10 percent at the start of the month, will continue ... Read More »

Japan to import skilled manpower from Pakistan

Japan has agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Pakistan for import of thousands of skilled labour to be inducted in multiple sectors. While talking to APP, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at Embassy of Japan in Pakistan Yusuke Shindo said the MoU could be signed between the two countries next month. Shindo said that Japan has decided ... Read More »

Japan’s factory output slips twice as much as expected in August on slowing overseas demand

Japan’s industrial output shrank more than expected in August, in the latest warning that the economy and its manufacturers are facing intensifying pressure amid a bitter Sino-U.S. trade war. Retail sales, however, expanded at a faster-than-expected pace, signaling strength in private spending ahead of October’s nationwide sales tax increase. Industrial output fell 1.2 percent in August, government data showed, dropping ... Read More »

US and Japan agree initial trade deal focusing on agriculture

The US and Japan have agreed an initial trade deal that will eliminate or lower tariffs on certain products traded between them. Duties on some agricultural goods will be removed or lowered, while digital products will also benefit. US President Donald Trump said the world’s first and third largest economies achieved a “tremendous” deal. The trade agreement did not mention ... Read More »

Global tax authorities discuss targeting multinationals with profit margins above 10%

Under their new rules, global taxation authorities have been discussing a proposal of targeting digital giants and other multinationals whose profit margins top 10 percent, Japanese government sources said Saturday. The debate on creating global tax rules based more on where firms make their sales rather than on where their permanent offices are located has been growing at the Organization ... Read More »

General Motors auto workers call strike in US

DETROIT The United Auto Workers union called a nationwide strike against General Motors Sunday, with some 46,000 members set to walk off the job beginning at midnight amid an impasse in contract talks. The decision, which the Wall Street Journal described as the first major stoppage at GM in more than a decade, came a day after the manufacturer’s four-year ... Read More »

Can a tax rebate persuade Japan’s mom-and-pop stores to shift to cashless payments?

When the consumption tax finally hits 10 percent next month, the government plans to seize the opportunity to dramatically accelerate Japan’s shift to cashless payments through a rebate program. But with Japan’s roughly 20 percent rate for cashless payments lagging other countries, is it possible to persuade mom-and-pop shops, backstreet pubs and cozy, decades-old coffee shops to invest in the ... Read More »

Yahoo Japan to end ivory trade on its websites

TOKYO Yahoo Japan said it will end the trade of ivory on all its websites from November, after pressure from conservationists. The decision follows the internet company’s marketplace rivals Rakuten and Mercari adopting a ban in 2017, responding to international concerns that the Japanese domestic market could fuel smuggling through poor law enforcement. A 1989 ban prohibits international ivory trading ... Read More »

Trump-Abe trade deal helps U.S. farmers and staves off auto tariffs

The US-Japan trade deal, agreed in principle on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in France, spells out a big win for the U.S. that would slash Tokyo’s tariffs on American beef, pork and other farm products, and a small win for Japan as it delayed for now the threat of additional levies on Japanese auto exports to ... Read More »

Japan records goods trade deficit in July on weak exports to China

Japan logged a goods trade deficit of ¥249.6 billion in July, weighed down by a decrease in exports to China amid Beijing’s ongoing trade conflict with Washington, government data showed Monday. The trade deficit followed a revised ¥589.6 billion surplus in June, according to a preliminary report by the Finance Ministry. In the reporting month, exports fell 1.6 percent from ... Read More »

Japan firms join exodus from China’s factories as tariffs bite

Top Japanese companies including Sony Corp., Ricoh Co. and Asics Corp. are orchestrating shifts in production away from China, joining manufacturers from other countries seeking to sidestep U.S. tariffs. Sony said last week that trade-war levies may cause it to raise prices or move production of PlayStation consoles, cameras and projectors outside of China, steps that could affect profit for ... Read More »

Two Japanese lizard smugglers get prison time in Australia

Two Japanese men arrested last month for trying to smuggle lizards out of Australia have each been sentenced to five months in prison, according to the Australian Border Force. The men, identified by local media as Yusuke Imanishi, 52, and Daisuke Kobayashi, 28, were intercepted by customs officers at Perth Airport on June 5, at which time 13 bobtail lizards ... Read More »