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  • Bound monetary policy

    Turkish lira at record lows amid political pressure on central bank

    TOKYO -- Brewing concerns over political intervention in Turkey's central bank are steering investors away from the lira, which weakened to a record 2.4 against the dollar at one point Thursday. The lira continued to languish at historic lows Fr

    January 31, 2015 05:31 am JST
  • For most central banks, things are getting 'easier'

    TOKYO -- A new wave of monetary relaxation has swept the world since the start of the year, with the European Central Bank the most prominent of those loosening their purse strings. There are two main drivers of the wave. Some countries are taki

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Kamal Alam: Understanding the roots of Islamic State's funding

    Islamic State group militants appeared to transform from a small band of ragtag terrorists to a regional force overnight. Today, with strongholds in Syria and Iraq, the group continues evolving as U.S.-led forces try to weaken its grip on power.

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Medical tourism Turkey

    Government push to grow foreign patient numbers

    ISTANBUL -- Turkey continues to assert its dominance as a major medical tourism destination in West Asia, with a record 360,000 foreign patients visiting the country in 2014 -- up from 308,000 the year before. Government officials and healthcare ind

    January 28, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Kamal Alam

    Islamic State's roots reveal how group lines its pockets

    Since its emergence, the Islamic State militant group has continued to evolve and improvise in ways that have left analysts at a loss to predict its next move. While most have compared it to such groups as Boko Haram, al-Qaida and even the Taliban,

    January 27, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Turkey on the front line

    Is Ankara doing enough to tighten screws on Islamic State?

    ISTANBUL -- Questions about Turkey's commitment to fighting terrorism are swirling in the West. Critics in the U.S. and Europe point to how would-be fighters and Islamist sympathizers have been using the country as a gateway to Syria, a large sw

    January 26, 2015 07:30 pm JST
  • Countering terrorism

    To protect itself, Japan can start by being a better communicator

    TOKYO -- The Islamic State group has served Japan a grim reminder that it is not immune to the threat of international terrorism. As Tokyo rushes to respond to the taking of two Japanese hostages, one of whom is believed to have been killed, it also

    January 26, 2015 04:00 pm JST
  • Worldwide rate cuts

    Central banks welcome 2015 with series of easing moves

    TOKYO -- A wave of monetary relaxation has swept the world since the start of this year, involving not only the European Central Bank but central banks of various other countries as well. The wave consists of two types. One type of credit ea

    January 26, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Turkish TV drama

    Exports grow to new levels

    ISTANBUL -- Turkish TV dramas are drawing increasingly international audiences, with the value of such exports expected to hit a new high this year. A magnificent historical drama set in Ottoman-era Istanbul and other programs have fascinated la

    January 24, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Trying unconventional channels

    Tribal mediation crucial in Japan's hostage crisis

    AMMAN, Jordan -- The cooperation of local tribes may be the key to securing the release of Japanese hostages held by Islamic State militants, especially as the government scrambles to reach the kidnappers on its own. An armed man in the video re

    January 23, 2015 06:56 am JST
  • Stephen Grenville: Low oil prices provide a fleeting chance for reform

    If the global price of oil had jumped by 50%, there is little doubt that economic commentators would be calling it a disaster for world growth. The price has in fact fallen by more than 50% since last June, but this ray of good news has not yet pier

    January 22, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Fight against Islamic State

    US-led airstrikes making little headway

    DUBAI/WASHINGTON -- The Islamic State extremist group continues to control a swath of land across Syria and Iraq despite U.S.-led airstrikes against it. In August last year, the U.S. launched airstrikes on the group's strongholds in Iraq and exp

    January 21, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Turkey politics

    Erdogan claiming more power

    ISTANBUL -- By holding a cabinet meeting this Monday in the absence of any national emergency, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan effectively staked a claim for more authority. Turkish presidents usually play ceremonial roles, while the gove

    January 21, 2015 07:28 am JST
  • Flying to Africa

    Well-situated carriers scurry to connect world with continent

    ISTANBUL/DUBAI -- Air carriers and governments in the Middle East and North Africa are increasingly turning their attention southward. By opening more routes to destinations across Africa, they hope to take full advantage of their home region's

    January 17, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Indorama Ventures

    Thai plastics maker calls off Turkish acquisition

    BANGKOK -- Indorama Ventures, the world's largest maker of polyethylene terephthalate resin, the stuff plastic bottles are made of, has abandoned plans to buy Turkish polyester fiber maker SASA Polyester Sanayi. A deal to buy a 51% stake in the

    January 15, 2015 08:00 pm JST
  • Russia, 'fragile five' eat into their foreign reserves

    TOKYO -- The foreign currency reserves of Brazil, Russia and four other big emerging countries fell 6% in the second half of 2014 from the preceding six months. The fall came as the countries' monetary authorities attempted to defend their home curr

    January 15, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Foreign currency crunch

    Reserves in Russia, other emerging countries sliding

    TOKYO -- Foreign currency reserves of six major emerging countries, including Brazil and Russia, fell 6% in the second half of 2014 from the preceding six months due to interventions aimed at supporting their own currencies. The decrease is the

    January 8, 2015 01:50 pm JST
  • Indorama Ventures still expanding

    Thai chemical company enters Myanmar with bottle-blowing plant

    BANGKOK -- Indorama Ventures, the world's largest maker of polyethylene terephthalate -- the stuff plastic bottles are made of -- announced it has set up a subsidiary in Myanmar to produce and supply the bottles to beverage makers. It is the Tha

    January 7, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Boosting presence abroad

    Hotel Okura to expand into Turkey

    TOKYO -- Hotel Okura is working to set up five hotels in Turkey by 2020, hoping to raise its profile in the country so that it can attract foreigners visiting Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. This marks the first expansion into Turkey by a major Ja

    January 5, 2015 02:00 am JST
  • Emerging global risks

    Ebola, terrorism and the return on capital

    In 2014, Russo-U.S. ties soured, the extremist Islamic State group turned terrorism uglier, and Ebola killed thousands and frightened millions. These and other threats appeared quickly and sent ripples far and wide. Russia is heavily involved in

    December 31, 2014 01:00 pm JST