Consumers

Panasonic products on sale at an electronics store in Yangon, Myanmar.

Touting quality

Panasonic shifting focus in Asia to high-end appliances

OSAKA -- Panasonic announced plans Wednesday to expand Asian sales of upmarket appliances, hoping to leverage its strengths of quality and ease of use to catch up to more-entrenched rivals. The Japanese company aims to boost home appliance sales ...

  • Emphasizing LEDs

    Panasonic to bolster lighting equipment business

    TOKYO -- Panasonic will put more focus on its lighting business, aggressively promoting LED products for cars, offices and commercial establishments. The goal is to realize sales of 400 billion yen ($3.2 billion) for the segment in fiscal 2018, u...

  • Getting ready for the 'big one'

    Earthquake insurance premiums to rise 20-30% in Japan

    TOKYO -- Japanese households are expected to pay more for earthquake insurance policies starting as early as fall 2016, with premiums to be increased gradually by 20-30% on average. The General Insurance Rating Organization of Japan, an entity es...

  • For deep-pocketed gamers

    'Star Wars' arcade game to retail for $37,000

    TOKYO -- Bandai Namco Entertainment will begin selling a "Star Wars"-themed dome screen arcade system to individuals next month, hoping to attract ardent game fans who want to play in the comfort of their homes. "Star Wars: Battle Pod," a shootin...

  • Import-export trade

    Canton Fair chases online visits

    GUANGZHOU, China -- When the Canton Fair opened its doors for the first time 58 years ago, the Chinese hoped that what they now call the world's largest trade expo would serve as the nation's bridge to the world. By the late 1950s, China had larg...

  • 'Conquest' car

    Renault hopes to gain momentum in India with new hatchback

    CHENNAI, India -- Renault plans to move into India's compact segment by rolling out an 800cc hatchback in the latter half of this year, the French automaker said Wednesday. The Kwid will be a "conquest" car to strengthen Renault's presence in Ind...

  • A more convenient bank

    Resona plans weekend home loan closings, less paperwork

    TOKYO -- Resona Holdings will become the first Japanese banking group to let borrowers receive their home loans on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays -- and it will cut the time spent on paperwork by half, President Kazuhiro Higashi told The Nikkei. ...

  • Traveling light

    Parcel companies branch into luggage forwarding in Japan

    TOKYO -- Seeking an angle on rising volumes of inbound tourists, Japanese parcel delivery companies are putting their own spin on baggage forwarding. Sagawa Express set up a service counter at hospitality group Fujita Kanko's Hotel Gracery Shinju...

  • No end in sight

    Honda recalling millions more vehicles over Takata air bags

    TOKYO -- Honda Motor has added 4.9 million units to its global recalls as Japanese automakers struggle to pin down the cause of faulty air bags from Takata. Honda said Thursday that it is calling back Step WGN minivans from the 2006 and 2007 mode...

  • Back with beef bowls

    Yoshinoya gives Malaysian market another try

    KUALA LUMPUR -- Japanese beef bowl restaurant operator Yoshinoya Holdings has returned to Malaysia with plans to open 100 outlets over the next five years. The Malaysian chain will be developed by Asia Yoshinoya International and local partner Te...

  • Coca-Cola Japan

    New green label targets health-conscious

    TOKYO -- Coca-Cola (Japan) has introduced a new Coke brand that uses a low-calorie natural sweetener, with an eye on attracting the health-conscious. The green-labeled Coca-Cola Life was released on March 9, the first new line in eight years. Swe...

  • Still warming hearts

    'Frozen' fever not breaking at Tokyo Disneyland

    TOKYO -- Tokyo Disneyland is enjoying brisk business thanks to the popular 2013 movie "Frozen," which is seen boosting visitor traffic through the summer. More guests are staying longer to see a night show that projects scenes from the Disney ani...

  • Changing tack

    Oji to make diapers in China, not more paper

    TOKYO -- Oji Holdings has decided to cancel plans to expand a paper and pulp factory in China, with a disposable diaper plant to be built on the premises instead. In light of intense competition in the Chinese paper market, Oji is shifting its fo...

  • Tokyo Disney Resort

    'Frozen' to join Tokyo DisneySea

    TOKYO -- Northern Europe is coming to Tokyo DisneySea. The popular theme park's operator, Oriental Land, will build a new zone after April 2017, with a new attraction based on the hit feature-length Disney cartoon "Frozen." Oriental Land announce...

  • Low-key launch as Apple Watch finally goes on sale

    TOKYO (Reuters) -- The Apple Watch launched globally on Friday with a small queue of Japanese tech-addicts lining up in Tokyo for Apple Inc's first wearable gadget, but there was no sign of the excitement usually attached to the company's product rol...

  • Going upscale

    China's Midea taking appliances to Japan, Southeast Asia

    TOKYO -- Midea, one of China's leading manufacturers of household appliances, is accelerating its push into foreign markets and may even set up a development base in Japan this year. By releasing high-value-added white goods under its own Midea b...

  • Girding for competition

    Osaka Gas to bundle gas, power

    OSAKA -- Osaka Gas plans to sell gas and electricity in packages starting next April, making an attractive product available when Japan's retail power market is fully deregulated, President Takehiro Honjo told The Nikkei. "We will make preparatio...

  • Marketing offensive

    UK's Dyson chooses Tokyo for first store

    TOKYO -- Dyson, the British company known for its futuristic vacuums and fans, will make Tokyo the home of its only directly run store in the world, opening the outlet Friday as part of a campaign to bolster its already-strong presence in the Japanes...

  • Food trends in Japan

    US sweets companies gaga for green tea

    TOKYO -- As tea harvest time approaches, U.S. sellers of treats in Japan are introducing seasonal products infused with matcha powdered green tea. Garrett Popcorn Shops, a Chicago-based snack retailer, will offer Matcha Carmel Crisp popcorn start...

  • Buffing their brands

    China's appliance makers take aim at Japan

    TOKYO -- Chinese home appliance makers are changing their tactics to court Japanese consumers. Generally known for inexpensive, low-end products, they are attempting to polish their brands and move upmarket. For their Japanese rivals, this means ...