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Japan mask prices surge on online flea markets amid coronavirus scare

OSAKA – As the shortage of face masks continues in Japan amid the spread of a new coronavirus originating in China, their prices are shooting up on online flea markets. Some people are apparently cornering masks at drugstores and other shops, and selling them at excessively high prices on online markets for which there are currently no regulations on resale. ... Read More »

Toyota makes new $394 million bet on flying taxis

Toyota Motor Co. is investing $394 million (¥43.3 billion) in Joby Aviation, one of a handful of companies working toward the seemingly implausible goal of making electric air taxis that shuttle people over gridlocked highways and city streets. Toyota is the lead investor in Joby’s $590 million Series C funding, alongside Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx and prior backers Intel ... Read More »

Firms in China remain wary despite US trade deal

Washington and Beijing may be ready to sign a preliminary trade agreement, but companies in China are not taking any chances, forging ahead with contingency plans in case the tariff war resumes. As Chinese Vice Premier Liu He travels to Washington to to seal the deal, manufacturers and suppliers told AFP that they fear the agreement could be upended even ... Read More »

Dollar slips below ¥109.20 in Tokyo trading

The dollar eased below ¥109.20 in thin Tokyo trading Monday. At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥109.15-15, down from ¥109.50-51 at the same time. The euro was at $1.1194-1194, up from $1.1129-1130, and at ¥122.22-23, up from ¥121.99-99. After fluctuating narrowly around ¥109.40 in the early morning, the dollar fell to around ¥109.10 by noon on selling to square ... Read More »

Oct tax hike not sufficient to boost Japan finances

TOKYO Japan’s tax revenue is expected to end up lower than the record high figure estimated in the fiscal 2020 draft budget, with critics saying the initial tally was based on an economic growth forecast that was “too optimistic.” Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in late 2012, the actual pace of growth in the world’s third-largest economy ... Read More »

Japan’s exports shrink for 12th month as US, China demand falls

TOKYO: Japan’s exports slipped for a 12th straight month in November, as declining shipments to the United States and China hit the trade-reliant economy, raising the risk of a fourth-quarter contraction. Official data released on Wednesday showed Japan’s exports fell 7.9% year-on-year in November, a smaller decline than the 8.6% decline expected by economists in a Reuters poll. However, it ... Read More »

Japan tax evasion hunt extends to nearly 2m offshore accounts

Japan has learned of close to 2 million overseas accounts as it broadens its search for tax evaders to smaller balances. Data on more than 1.89 million accounts held by Japanese individuals and businesses in 85 countries and regions has been obtained for 2019, the National Tax Agency said Friday. When the agency began sharing information with counterparts under the ... Read More »

Japan business sentiment hits 3.5-year low

Japanese executives are taking a dim view of business conditions. A government survey shows sentiment among major firms for the current quarter has hit a three-and-a-half-year low. Officials say the index for big companies across all industries came to minus 6.2. That’s the lowest it has been since the second quarter of 2016, when powerful earthquakes hit southwestern Japan. A ... Read More »

Former top Japan currency envoy Masatsugu Asakawa to lead Asian Development Bank

Former Japanese Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs Masatsugu Asakawa has been selected as the new president of the Asian Development Bank, the organization said Monday. On Jan. 17, the former top currency diplomat will succeed Takehiko Nakao, who has led the ADB since April 2013. Asakawa’s tenure will run through November 2021. The appointment of Asakawa, the sole candidate, ... Read More »

Foreign investment in Japan tops ¥30 trillion for the first time

The balance of foreign direct investment in Japan stood at ¥30.7 trillion at the end of 2018, topping ¥30 trillion for the first time ever, the Japan External Trade Organization said. According to JETRO, the balance increased ¥1.8 trillion from a year earlier due to a series of large-scale merger and acquisition deals, including Toshiba Corp.’s ¥2 trillion sale of ... Read More »

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 »