Consumers

Inside the Yokohama Quarantine Station's food-testing center.

Gene-altered foods demand fine-grained thinking on safety

TOKYO -- Advances in biotechnology are giving rise to an ever-broadening array of genetically modified foods, challenging safety screeners and consumers alike to distinguish useful innovations from potential health threats.Such foods have gained a si...

  • Tourists can't save Japan from its consumer demand deficiency

    TOKYO -- Judging solely from recent earnings announcements by major Japanese retailers, one might think the country's consumption picture is brightening. A closer look reveals that the picture is skewed.The aggregate pretax profit of listed retailers...

  • Learning the esoteric art of Japanese customer service

    TOKYO -- iDA Mode Business, a major Japanese specialty temporary staffing agency focusing on fashion businesses, is redoubling efforts to provide staffers who are better able to serve Chinese and other foreign travelers who want to enjoy shopping in ...

  • Sharp to unleash walking, talking robot-smartphone

    OSAKA -- Sharp will sell a miniature robot that doubles as a smartphone starting May 26 in Japan, the electronics maker said Thursday. The new product, named RoBoHoN, taps artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technology to memorize info...

  • Japan companies to sell nursing care equipment online in China

    SHANGHAI -- Five Japanese companies will launch an e-commerce service in China this May for wheelchairs and other equipment used in nursing care, to tap growing demand for high-quality, multifunction products among the country's rapidly aging populat...

  • KidZania opens outlet in Singapore, targeting eager market for children's 'edutainment'

    SINGAPORE -- Mexico-based KidZania opened its first play-and-learn facility in Singapore on Tuesday. It is the company's 23rd outlet in the world and the fifth in Southeast Asia after Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok. Although a latecomer in...

  • Universal Studios Japan upgrades 'Harry Potter' area

    OSAKA -- Universal Studios Japan opened new attractions based on the "Harry Potter" film franchise on Wednesday, aiming to log another year of record traffic. Visitors purchasing "magic wands" now can simulate spell-casting at certain sites in th...

  • Olam's chicken and egg investment in Nigeria

    SINGAPORE -- Olam International, a diversified Singaporean agri-business company present in 70 countries, is tapping rising consumer demand in Africa with a $150-million investment in Nigeria for integrated animal and fish feed and poultry farming. ...

  • FamilyMart, QL Resources make foray into Malaysia's convenience store business

    KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysian agro-food major QL Resources is making a foray into the consumer market by tying up with Japan's FamilyMart convenience store chain. The move is part of a "long-term investment" to expand its food business amid regional econ...

  • Luxuries found in Japan top China's shopping list

    TOKYO -- Chinese are buying more Japanese luxuries, with pearls and traditional iron kettles becoming especially popular. These goods are selling faster than producers can deliver them, and their market prices are rising. The trend, underpinned b...

  • Hyundai recalls 173,000 Sonata cars in U.S. - filing

    Hyundai Motor Co will recall 173,000 model year 2011 Sonata cars in the U.S. market for a potentially defective power steering system, U.S. safety officials said in a filing on Friday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sa...

  • Paltac to sell Japanese goods in China via online mall

    TOKYO -- Consumables wholesaler Paltac is partnering with China's largest pharmaceutical distributor to sell Japanese daily essentials and health foods online in the Chinese market. Paltac will supply the products to one of Sinopharm Group's affi...

  • Suzuka Circuit operator to license theme park in Taiwan

    TOKYO -- Mobilityland, which operates the Honda Motor group's Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, will open a new theme park in Taiwan via a licensing contract. The company said it will work with the developer of Taroko Park Kaohsiung, a major comm...

  • Malaysia pushes halal exports as answer to global 'undersupply'

    KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's exports of halal-certified goods are on the rise, and the government believes there is plenty of room for growth. The Southeast Asian country exported 39 billion ringgit ($10 billion) worth of such products in 2015, up ...

  • Lotte opens new downtown duty-free shop in Japan

    TOKYO -- South Korean-Japanese conglomerate Lotte group opened its first Japanese downtown duty-free shop in Tokyo's upscale Ginza district on Thursday as it strives to create a 100 billion yen ($888 million) business in the country within a decade. ...

  • New iPhone SE makes quiet debut in Japan

    TOKYO -- Apple's new low-cost iPhone model went on sale in Japan on Thursday ahead of many other markets, but it failed to spark a mania, unlike its predecessors. The familiar sight of long lines outside stores on the first day was nonexistent th...

  • French company to offer energy comparison shopping in Japan

    TOKYO -- Selectra, the leading French provider of online comparisons of utility rates, is adding Japan to the seven other countries where it currently provides the service. Selectra has already launched a website in Japan, and starting May 1 it w...

  • Baidu to help Japanese businesses lure Chinese visitors

    TOKYO -- Chinese Internet search giant Baidu will begin displaying information about Japanese stores and restaurants on its map that Chinese tourists view on their smartphones next month. Japanese businesses hoping to cater to the throngs of Chin...

  • Longer-driving Prius to hit streets this fall

    TOKYO -- Toyota Motor is set to debut an upgraded Prius plug-in hybrid this fall that lets drivers travel farther on battery power alone. The Prius Prime, announced Wednesday, is based on the new-model Prius released in 2015, but is set apart by ...

  • Apple unveils smaller, cheaper iPhone SE aimed at mid-market

    CUPERTINO, California (Reuters) -- Apple Inc on Monday unveiled a smaller, cheaper iPhone aimed at new buyers, especially in emerging markets and China, as the technology company looks to reverse a decline in worldwide sales of its most important pro...