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  • Weak China demand pulls down gold prices

    TOKYO -- Ukraine's crisis failed to boost gold prices. Investors tend to buy gold to protect their wealth during crises. But the price of the precious metal has remained flat because emerging economies are not buying. In particular, the closer s

    April 20, 2014 07:00 am JST
  • Panasonic to give Southeast Asia more latitude in electronics

    OSAKA -- Panasonic has firmed up plans for assigning headquarters functions to Southeast Asia as early as this summer for consumer electronics operations there. Planning and development of products will be localized, shifting decision-making aut

    April 19, 2014 05:43 am JST
  • Fast Retailing's biggest threat: higher labor costs abroad

    TOKYO -- With Fast Retailing cutting its earnings forecast due to rising personnel costs at its Japanese segment, investors are worried that the company behind the Uniqlo casual fashion brand may face a similar scenario overseas, where it has been a

    April 18, 2014 12:26 am JST
  • JAL to bring Wi-Fi service to entire fleet

    TOKYO -- Japan Airlines will begin offering Wi-Fi service on all domestic and international flights by the end of fiscal 2016, with the exception of soon-to-retire small aircraft and propeller planes. Although the installation of equipment w

    April 17, 2014 04:37 am JST
  • Canon's January-March operating profit seen up 50%

    TOKYO -- Canon Inc.'s group operating profit for the January-March quarter apparently jumped around 50% on the year to 80 billion yen ($775 million) or so despite a drop in camera sales volume. High-margin products accounted for more of revenue.

    April 17, 2014 02:00 am JST
  • EU needs better business with China

    China's prominence in global affairs has been on an unstoppable trajectory, and the nation is increasingly in the foreground of major political, social and economic events. This is true for business as well, as Chinese companies pursue increasin

    April 17, 2014 12:00 am JST
  • JT seen topping profit target on rush to beat sales tax hike

    TOKYO -- Japan Tobacco Inc. likely generated a group operating profit of 645 billion yen ($6.26 billion) for the year ended March 31, up 21% on the year and marking a third straight year of record black ink. The figure beats the projected 638 bi

    April 16, 2014 05:54 am JST
  • Stephen Grenville: IMF ignores its own data on emerging economies

    Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, told the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg last September: "Just as some advanced economies have begun to gather momentum, many emerging markets are slowing." With this warn

    April 15, 2014 01:00 pm JST
  • EU to expand sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

    BRUSSELS (Kyodo) -- The European Union agreed at a meeting of foreign ministers Monday to expand the scope of asset freezes and visa bans against Russian officials in the wake of heightening tensions in eastern Ukrainian cities. The EU council

    April 15, 2014 10:00 am JST
  • Nickel, palladium prices rising amid Ukraine turmoil

    TOKYO -- International prices of nickel and palladium are climbing amid worries about supplies from Russia, a major producer of both metals, in light of the geopolitical turmoil in Ukraine. If the U.S. and Europe toughen their economic sanctions

    April 15, 2014 05:30 am JST
  • Museums wrestle with how to display, preserve contemporary art

    TOKYO -- Museums the world over have a problem with contemporary art. Namely, the particular needs of art installations can often prevent them from being displayed properly. There are works, for instance, that play videos on outdated TVs. Other

    April 14, 2014 07:00 am JST
  • Nuclear reactors on the rise in Asia

    TOKYO -- Three years after the Fukushima disaster, the future role of nuclear power in Japan remains unclear, but in many other countries, the importance of atomic energy is only increasing. With no prospect of major new projects in the domestic

    April 14, 2014 07:00 am JST
  • UN panel urges 40%-70% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

    BERLIN (Kyodo) -- A U.N. panel on climate change on Sunday urged a 40%-70% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from the 2010 level by 2050 to achieve an international goal of keeping the global temperature rise below 2 C from preindustrial levels. T

    April 14, 2014 07:00 am JST
  • Alpine to sell console for Apple's in-car infotainment system

    TOKYO -- Alpine Electronics will start selling this fall a stand-alone console supporting Apple's newly announced CarPlay system, which allows drivers to view maps, listen to music and conveniently access other iPhone functions. While a slew of

    April 12, 2014 05:15 am JST
  • Takeda seen logging first operating profit gain in 4 years

    TOKYO -- Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is expected to report its first operating profit increase in four years for the 12-month period ended March 31 on strong overseas drug sales, without reflecting the large sum the company was recently ordered to pay

    April 12, 2014 02:00 am JST
  • Siam Cement forms ceramics venture with Italy's Florim

    BANGKOK -- Siam Cement Group will in early 2015 start producing high-end ceramics in Italy through a new joint venture with local ceramics company Florim Ceramiche. Siam Cement's ceramics subsidiary, SCG Cement-Building Materials, holds a 33% st

    April 11, 2014 07:30 pm JST
  • Wilmar absorbing Huntsman chemical plant in France

    SINGAPORE -- Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader, announced Thursday it will acquire a commodity-grade surfactant plant in France from U.S. chemical company Huntsman. The purchase is expected to boost Singapore-based Wilmar's o

    April 11, 2014 04:00 pm JST
  • Sumitomo joins Spain's Cepsa in Chinese phenol venture

    TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Sumitomo and Spain's Cepsa group are partnering on what will be one of China's biggest factories for phenol, a raw material for high-grade plastics used in cars and electronics. Work is already underway on the pla

    April 11, 2014 05:24 am JST
  • Japan to brief G-20 on sales tax hike, stimulus measures

    WASHINGTON -- Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 are gathering here Thursday for a meeting that will test the world's leading economies' commitment to growth amid tensions over Ukraine. Russia, which has been excluded

    April 10, 2014 11:22 pm JST
  • Home renovation demand pushes Lixil's profit to record

    TOKYO -- Housing products provider Lixil Group Corp. likely generated a record 73 billion yen ($708 million) in consolidated pretax profit in the year ended in March, a jump of 38% on the year and some 1.5 billion yen better than projected. The

    April 10, 2014 02:00 am JST