Trends

Auto sales in Southeast Asia down 11% in September

BANGKOK -- New-car sales in Southeast Asia's six major countries dropped 11% on the year to 262,681 vehicles in September, down for the 17th straight month. Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the region's top three markets, drove down the overall ...

  • Japan's machine tool makers ride wave of global demand, but can they deliver?

    TOKYO -- The global machine tool market is looking good these days, and Japan's world-class manufacturers are racing to meet this demand. To do so, the tool makers are having to retool their own ways of doing things. Japanese machine tool makers ...

  • Japanese multinationals running in marathon tax disputes

    TOKYO -- Japanese multinationals embroiled in tax disputes on profits ostensibly earned by overseas group companies have seen their cases go on for years. Resolution often requires discussions between Japanese and foreign tax authorities, and these t...

  • Recyclers eye Southeast Asia's rising piles of junked cars

    HANOI -- The motorization of Southeast Asia is clogging the streets with more cars and filling the air with more exhaust. But there is also another problem looming in the form of illegally junked cars and car parts. Roughly 1 million cars will be...

  • Double-digit gloom for automakers after Japan's sales tax hike

    TOKYO -- Auto industry woes in Japan continue. Monthly orders between April, when the sales tax was raised, and August fell more than 10%. The tax went up to 8% from the previous 5%. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry pointed out the pro...

  • Ebola threatens rice shipments to Africa

    BANGKOK -- What is the impact on the rice fields of Asia of the Ebola epidemic in the jungles of West Africa? Not much, yet, but the Ebola scare has highlighted Africa's growing dependence on rice, which has traditionally been Asia's main food staple...

  • Indonesian power project on hold as opponents dig in their heels

    Plans by government and businesses in Indonesia and Japan to build a large coal-fired power plant on the island of Java have hit a roadblock amid protests by residents and environmentalists. "I don't want to sell this land even if they offer more...

  • Japan's drugmakers look beyond China for Chinese medicine

    YANGON/TOKYO -- Pinched by rising prices in China, Japanese drugmakers are turning to Southeast and Central Asia to grow the plants used in Chinese herbal medicine. In Hpa-An, the capital city of Myanmar's eastern Kayin State, Japanese drugmaker ...

  • Automakers downshifting Russian output as car sales stall

    TOKYO -- While Russia may be the world's seventh-largest automobile market, with tremendous growth potential, political instability has begun weighing down car sales there and forcing automakers to adjust local production plans. A case in point i...

  • Japan's lead smelters smarting as vital auto batteries end up in South Korea

    TOKYO -- A crisis has befallen Japanese lead smelters. They are struggling to procure their mainstay material, as used auto batteries -- a key source -- are being shipped from Japan to South Korea in ever increasing quantities. South Korea-bound ...

  • Explaining Myanmar's love for Japanese banks

    TOKYO/YANGON -- Of the nine banking licenses that Myanmar recently awarded to foreign financial institutions, a third went to Japan's three biggest banks. The Japanese financial industry is surprised by its good fortune and delighted to have a crack ...

  • Big shopping malls taking root in Asia's suburbs

    TOKYO -- In a reflection of rising car ownership, large suburban-style shopping malls are popping up in China and Southeast Asia, with Japanese companies among the builders. Japanese real estate giant Mitsui Fudosan will invest roughly 1.8 billio...

  • Auto output in Japan still slip-sliding downhill

    TOKYO -- Japanese automobile production continues to drop amid persistently weak domestic demand and sluggish exports. Domestic output by Toyota and seven other automakers fell 3.3% on the year to 799,984 vehicles in September, the third straight...

  • China's state carmakers to release cheap eco cars

    BEIJING -- China's state-owned automakers plan to release eco-friendly cars for around 100,000 yuan ($16,348) in the domestic market, in a bid to cash in on increasing incentives such as government subsidies and infrastructure being developed such as...

  • Japan's toilet titans seek luxury niche in Southeast Asia

    TOKYO -- Japanese companies often have a difficult time matching the luxury appeal of their U.S. and European counterparts in jewelry, fashion, automobiles and other areas. But in Southeast Asia, there is one exception: toilets. Major Japanese sa...

  • Uneasy in Macau, Hong Kong casinos turn to Saipan, Australia

    HONG KONG -- For Hong Kong companies looking to open casinos, Macau is no longer the go-to destination it once was. With Beijing's frugality drive and anti-corruption campaign crimping the gambling industry there, they are looking instead to Saipan a...

  • Western Japan looks to get foreigners on the rails

    TOKYO -- Railway operators in the west of Japan are bolstering efforts to attract the growing number of foreign visitors. Japanese customers in the west continue to decline, because of demographic and economic issues. Budget airlines and grow...

  • Sales volume at Japanese carmakers likely to undershoot target

    TOKYO -- Domestic sales at Japan's eight major passenger car manufacturers are expected to fall short of their combined projection for this fiscal year as this past spring's tax hike exerts a lasting impact on demand. The companies plan to sell 5...

  • Working on the railroad a big draw for Japanese companies in India

    TOKYO -- With expanding rail infrastructure a key policy objective in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese machinery manufacturers are packing their advanced technologies to catch the train. JFE Engineering already has a ticket. It ...

  • Global Net companies see tilted playing field in South Korea

    SEOUL -- South Korea boasts one of the highest Internet and mobile penetration rates in the world. Last year, its citizens ranked behind only the Japanese in terms of spending on the Google Play app store. The country is also the home of the wildly p...