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  • Viruses: nanoscopic takers (and possibly givers) of life

    TOKYO -- The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed more than 1,500 lives and continues to accelerate, prompting the World Health Organization to call it an international public health emergency. In Japan, dengue fever has reappeared for the firs

    August 29, 2014 07:00 pm JST
  • Top Japanese trading houses retooling portfolios

    TOKYO -- Japan's leading trading companies are speeding up sales of unprofitable assets to secure funds for new investments, especially as traditional areas of investment such as natural resources slump. These companies have been investing heavi

    August 28, 2014 05:33 am JST
  • KidZania CEO sees opportunity in Asia's education ethic

    MEXICO CITY -- From Sao Paulo to Moscow, KidZania is expanding around the world. It is particularly keen to branch out in Asia, where large cities and education-minded families spell vast opportunities for the children's theme park operator. CEO

    August 28, 2014 12:00 am JST
  • Israel-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza takes effect

    JERUSALEM (Kyodo) -- An open-ended ceasefire between Israel and Gaza's ruling Hamas group to end some seven weeks of fighting took effect Tuesday. The two sides will stop attacks while Israel will open its borders with Gaza to allow the entry of

    August 27, 2014 10:31 am JST
  • Japan-Africa summit to be held every 3 years, down from 5

    TOKYO -- Japan will hold a summit with African leaders every three years, instead of the current every five years, to deepen dialogue and strengthen cooperation with the continent, government sources said Saturday. Thus far, African leaders have

    August 24, 2014 02:00 am JST
  • Venerable Asian airlines struggle to shake cheap competition

    SINGAPORE/HONG KONG/MANILA -- The rapid ascent of budget carriers has created turbulence for major Asian airlines, whose market dominance is fading. Singapore Airlines, a leading Southeast Asian carrier, logged a net profit of 360 million Singap

    August 23, 2014 04:15 am JST
  • Oil majors pulling back from geopolitically risky areas

    FRANKFURT, Germany -- Western oil companies are increasingly reluctant to develop oil fields or drill in geopolitically volatile areas such as Libya and Nigeria, temporarily freezing production or selling off concessions. The April-June profits

    August 22, 2014 01:00 pm JST
  • KidZania CEO values Asia's education ethic

    MEXICO CITY -- KidZania is rapidly expanding around the world, especially in Asia. CEO and founder Xavier Lopez spoke recently with the Nikkei about his company's plans for Asia. Excerpts from the interview follow.Q: Why have you opened so many faci

    August 21, 2014 07:00 pm JST
  • Japanese man feared detained by Islamist militants in northern Syria

    CAIRO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese Foreign Ministry said Sunday it has received information that a Japanese man has been held by Islamist extremists in Aleppo, northern Syria. While the ministry said it is trying to verify the information including t

    August 18, 2014 09:40 am JST
  • Crude sinks on weak demand in Europe, Asia

    TOKYO -- Prices of crude oil are falling amid sluggish European and Asian demand as well as stable supplies in the Middle East. The price of Asian benchmark Dubai crude declined $1.90 to $100.70 per barrel Friday, its lowest level in 13 months.

    August 16, 2014 05:04 am JST
  • Crisis on Iraqi mountain not over: UN

    NEW YORK -- Thousands of Iraqis who fled Islamic militants remain trapped atop Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, a United Nations spokesperson said Thursday, disputing the U.S. assessment that the crisis is effectively over. "The situation on the m

    August 15, 2014 05:48 am JST
  • UN chief warns Iraqi security forces to steer clear of politics

    NEW YORK -- Iraqi security forces should not interfere with the formation of a new government under the country's newly appointed prime minister, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday. While Iraq faces a threat in the north f

    August 13, 2014 04:57 am JST
  • Japan's KDDI taking on Qatar's Ooredoo in Myanmar's mobile market

    YANGON -- Japanese cell phone carrier KDDI is moving into Myanmar, where only 15% of the population currently has mobile phones. "Through development of the communications market, we'd like to deliver much happiness and a lot of smiles to people

    August 11, 2014 01:00 pm JST
  • Airliner crashes after takeoff in Tehran, killing 39

    TEHRAN (Kyodo) -- An Iranian passenger plane carrying 48 passengers and crew crashed Sunday soon after taking off from Tehran's Mehrabad international airport, killing 39 people on board and injuring the remaining nine, the government said. A go

    August 10, 2014 09:20 pm JST
  • Japanese companies struggle to cope with Iraq crisis

    TOKYO -- Many Japanese businesses are being forced to halt operations in Iraq amid deteriorating conditions there, especially as the U.S. goes ahead with airstrikes. Toyo Engineering partnered with state-owned South Oil in 2012 to provide projec

    August 9, 2014 06:22 am JST
  • Obama ups the ante in Iraq crisis

    WASHINGTON -- With no guarantee that U.S. air power alone can stop the onslaught of Islamist radicals in Iraq, President Barack Obama has arguably taken a gamble in trying to restore his credibility as commander in chief. The administration opte

    August 9, 2014 05:41 am JST
  • Spreading Ebola epidemic has widening economic ramifications

    GENEVA -- The World Health Organization declared Friday that the Ebola epidemic is an international health emergency. Although the outbreak is concentrated in West Africa, a case of Ebola infection has been confirmed in the Middle East. Given th

    August 9, 2014 04:08 am JST
  • Yen's rise muted amid Iraq tensions

    TOKYO -- The yen strengthened Friday as investors moved to buy the safe-haven currency in response to heightened geopolitical risks in Iraq, but so far the impact seems contained due to selling pressure from domestic firms and a solid economic outlo

    August 9, 2014 01:56 am JST
  • Malaysia's McDonald's, HSBC boycotted over Gaza

    KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysians are boycotting fast-food chain McDonald's and HSBC because of the companies' alleged support of Israel. Some claim the fast-food chain is related to Israeli interests, while HSBC's closure of the bank accounts of Musli

    August 8, 2014 11:20 am JST
  • Scientists racing to develop microbial fuel cells

    TOKYO -- Scientists around the world are rushing to translate the ability of certain microbes to generate electricity into practical applications. The goal of researchers from universities as well as businesses in Japan, China and the U.S. is to

    August 7, 2014 12:00 am JST