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  • Power sector

    Oil distributor TonenGeneral hopping on electricity bandwagon

    TOKYO -- TonenGeneral Sekiyu plans to build a large power plant in the city of Shizuoka that will serve as the cornerstone of its expansion into the electricity business. The leading Japanese oil refiner and distributor on Wednesday submitted an

    January 29, 2015 04:19 am JST
  • Hostage crisis

    Jordan ready to release terrorist for captured pilot

    AMMAN -- The Jordanian government is prepared to exchange condemned prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi for the military pilot believed to be taken hostage by Islamic State militants, according to Wednesday reports by state-owned media. The public here h

    January 29, 2015 04:08 am JST
  • Strategic reset

    Lawson to shed 100-yen stores, abandon small supermarkets

    TOKYO -- Lawson will scale back its network of 100-yen (84 cents) convenience stores by over 20% and withdraw from the minisupermarket business to focus more on chains enjoying brisk sales. The Japanese company plans to close about 260 of the ro

    January 29, 2015 03:37 am JST
  • Cashing in on travel boom

    Sompo Japan Nipponkoa offers travel insurance to Filipino tourists

    MANILA -- Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance plans to offer travel insurance to Japan-bound Filipino tourists beginning next month. The nonlife insurer's Philippine unit will offer policies that allow travelers from the Philippines to receive cash-

    January 29, 2015 02:58 am JST
  • Looking to extend growth streak

    Canon aiming for 2% profit gain in 2015

    TOKYO -- Despite economic sluggishness in Europe and the euro's weakness relative to the yen, Canon reckons that it can pull off a third straight year of bottom-line growth. The Japanese manufacturer sees group net profit climbing 2% in 2015, th

    January 29, 2015 02:45 am JST
  • Lifted by smartphones, automobiles

    Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings profit seen up 40% for April-December

    TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings' operating profit likely jumped 40% to more than 120 billion yen ($1.01 billion) for the April-December period, thanks to growing demand for smartphone- and auto-related materials. Sales apparently climbed 8

    January 29, 2015 02:00 am JST
  • Feeling the fall in oil prices

    Showa Shell, TonenGeneral bleed red ink for first time in 5 years

    TOKYO -- The plunge in crude oil prices is taking a heavy toll on oil distributors Showa Shell Sekiyu and TonenGeneral Sekiyu, which are expected to report their first net losses in five years for the year ended Dec. 31. The companies were force

    January 29, 2015 01:35 am JST
  • Urban solar farms: Itochu

    Itochu, Toshiba to catch sun's rays on rooftops

    TOKYO -- Itochu and Toshiba will launch next month an energy joint venture that will tap idle space at parking facilities and on building roofs in Japan's urban areas for solar power generation. The trading house and Toshiba each contributed

    January 29, 2015 12:47 am JST
  • Glenn Hubbard: Abenomics needs to press on

    The three arrows of Abenomics -- fiscal policy, monetary policy and structural reform -- continue to present a road map for Japan to end deflation, balance fiscal consolidation with growth, and raise medium- and long-run growth prospects. But Prime

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Gi-Wook Shin: Finding a way forward on human rights in North Korea

    Last spring, two North Korean defectors traveled from Seoul to Stanford University to share their experiences in the North. Hosted by Stanford's Korean Students Association, the event was held to increase awareness of North Korean human rights issue

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Adam's apple reveals secrets of thirst

    TOKYO -- A group of researchers from Suntory Holdings and Gifu University has found that the Adam's apple shows people's taste in drinks. Their research showed the lump moves in different ways depending on whether people like the beverages they drin

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • DNA chips finding uses in nonmedical fields

    TOKYO -- The number of areas in which DNA chips -- equipment that supports genetic testing -- can be used is expanding. When we speak of genetic tests, often the image that comes to mind is medical procedures for finding out about a person's hea

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Terrorists aim to break coalition unity

    AMMAN -- Islamic State militants are now demanding the release of a condemned prisoner in Jordan in exchange for letting go of captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. The move is likely intended to fracture the international coalition against the Is

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Japan's Islamic State conundrum

    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 appears to have been executed, the natio

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • George Magnus: Draghi's last throw of the dice

    The European Central Bank has finally fallen into line with its peers in the U.S., U.K. and Japan by launching its own program of quantitative easing. ECB President Mario Draghi announced Jan. 22 that the Eurosystem of the EU member states' cen

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Itsuo Toshima: Hedge funds, oil money may rock markets in 2015

    Hedge funds are going to get some company this year from well-financed groups with oil money. It might be enough to alter the global flows of capital, and investors -- no matter where they are placing their bets -- will have to consider both forces

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Asian partners help Japan's tourism industry roll out red carpet

    TOKYO -- Japanese companies are joining forces with local businesses elsewhere in Asia to cash in on the growing wave of foreign visitors to Japan. Retailers, travel agencies and others are reaching out for international partners as they attempt

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Japan's fish wholesalers target Southeast Asia

    TOKYO -- Fish wholesalers at Tokyo Central Wholesale Market in Tsukiji are increasingly providing fresh, quality Japanese fisheries products to consumers in Southeast Asian countries. A temperature-controlled supply chain allows them to do so. D

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Singapore businesses skim cream of crop with scholarships

    SINGAPORE -- As Singapore's companies fight for the city-state's best and brightest, one of their biggest weapons is the scholarships they wave in front of brainy students. Singapore Telecommunications, for one, will offer scholarships this year

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Drugmakers seek research tie-ups in Japan

    TOKYO -- Global pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline are seeking partners for joint research and development programs among Japanese universities and laboratories. Bayer Yakuhin, the German drugmaker's Japanese unit

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST