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  • Eyeing Asian markets

    SMBC to promote more foreigners to high-level positions

    TOKYO -- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. said Thursday it will double the number of foreign executive officers and boost the proportion of local managerial staff abroad during the fiscal year that begins Wednesday. Employees from overseas will acc

    March 27, 2015 05:46 am JST
  • BOJ policy

    Board's new face mostly sees eye to eye with Kuroda

    TOKYO -- The newest member of the Bank of Japan's policy board said Thursday that he and Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda can probably agree on many points. While Yutaka Harada believes the central bank can hold off on additional monetary easing at this poi

    March 27, 2015 05:37 am JST
  • Emerging-market relations

    Latin American infrastructure bank chief touts Asian ties

    BUSAN, South Korea -- Latin America has grown more closely linked to business cycles in Asia, Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno said Thursday at a seminar on economic cooperation between the two regions. The bank, whi

    March 27, 2015 05:11 am JST
  • Going on the offensive

    Panasonic ready to spend 1 trillion yen on growth

    OSAKA -- Panasonic plans to pour 1 trillion yen ($8.3 billion) into growth investment, President Kazuhiro Tsuga said Thursday, in a make-or-break bid to meet a lofty target for fiscal 2018 sales. "We have completed structural reforms" of money-l

    March 27, 2015 04:42 am JST
  • Roppongi T-Cube

    Samsung to sell former Japanese headquarters

    SEOUL -- South Korea's Samsung Electronics will sell its interest in Roppongi T-Cube, the building that once housed its Japanese headquarters, to Mitsui Fudosan as early as fiscal 2015 in a deal expected to be in the tens of billions of yen. The

    March 27, 2015 04:36 am JST
  • A seat at the table

    More Japan companies welcoming outside directors

    TOKYO -- More Japanese businesses are looking to bring outside directors onto their boards as they work to comply with stricter corporate governance rules. More than 70% of 203 companies with December book-closings have installed such directors

    March 27, 2015 04:29 am JST
  • Getting on board

    Japan's retail investors start to move with the market

    TOKYO -- Having been left behind by the recent stock rally, retail investors in Japan are showing signs of shifting away from their long-held contrarian stance. The Nikkei Stock Average seemed finally to enter a real correction on Thursday, drop

    March 27, 2015 03:43 am JST
  • Possible breakthrough

    Japan-US team claims progress on Ebola vaccine

    TOKYO -- A Japanese-U.S. team said it has developed a new vaccine against Ebola that can prevent the deadly disease in monkeys exposed to dangerous levels of the virus. University of Tokyo virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka and his team, which include

    March 27, 2015 03:00 am JST
  • Retiring to Indonesia

    Jababeka building 100 'senior towns' targeting Japanese

    TOKYO -- Indonesian property developer Jababeka plans to construct 100 sprawling "senior towns" across the country, with a particular focus on retirees from Japan. The company will enlist the help of business partners such as Japan's Longlife Ho

    March 27, 2015 02:55 am JST
  • Eye on Diners Club

    Sumitomo Mitsui Trust to buy Citi's credit card unit

    TOKYO -- Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank plans to purchase Citigroup's credit card unit in Japan for just over 40 billion yen ($332 million), completing the American financial giant's exit from retail services here. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust and Citigrou

    March 27, 2015 02:39 am JST
  • No prescription needed

    Japan to make more drugs available over the counter

    TOKYO -- Japan's health ministry plans to solicit input from consumers and health insurers on prescription drugs they want over the counter, as part of a broader effort to make medication more accessible. The new framework, slated to launch with

    March 27, 2015 02:36 am JST
  • Boost from carbon fiber

    Toray's fiscal 2014 profit seen hitting record

    TOKYO -- Japanese fiber maker Toray Industries will likely see operating profit jump 20% to a record high of about 125 billion yen ($1.03 billion) for the year ending Tuesday. Still, the figure falls short of the company's 130 billion yen foreca

    March 27, 2015 02:00 am JST
  • Capturing demand abroad

    Yokogawa Electric seen beating profit forecast

    TOKYO -- Industrial instrument maker Yokogawa Electric's operating profit will likely rise 10% to roughly 28.5 billion yen ($236 million) for the year ending March 31, coming in slightly above guidance amid strong performance overseas. Plant con

    March 27, 2015 02:00 am JST
  • Falling demand

    Brazil's Petrobras to quit oil business in Japan

    TOKYO -- Brazilian state oil company Petrobras will jettison its Japanese oil business, shutting down an Okinawa Prefecture refinery as early as this year. Shrinking gasoline demand here and cheap crude have taken a toll on profitability. Petrob

    March 27, 2015 02:00 am JST
  • Earnings slump

    Office supplier Otsuka's first-quarter profit seen down 26%

    TOKYO -- Japanese office equipment vendor Otsuka is expected to report a 26% drop in operating profit for the January-March quarter as demand for computers nose-dived from elevated levels. Group operating profit for the period ending Tuesday is

    March 27, 2015 02:00 am JST
  • Buying power

    Businesses respond to Chinese consumers' hunger for quality

    BEIJING -- Chinese tourists' shopping spree made headlines in Japan this past Chinese New Year season, and their massive purchasing power has not gone unnoticed by eagle-eyed businesses in the region. "Products sold in Japan are all genuine, but

    March 27, 2015 01:37 am JST
  • Poaching pub goers

    Hiday Hidaka sees record profit again in fiscal 2015

    TOKYO -- Hiday Hidaka is expected to post parent-only operating profit of around 4.2 billion yen ($34.8 million) for the fiscal year ending February 2016, a record high for the 13th straight year. The ramen purveyor is opening restaurants near d

    March 26, 2015 11:23 pm JST
  • IPO-bound JR Kyushu

    Japan rail company diversifies its way around disadvantages

    FUKUOKA -- Kyushu Railway has never had it easy. But things are looking up for the company better known as JR Kyushu, which runs train services on its namesake island in Japan's southwest. Through trial and error, JR Kyushu has become much more

    March 26, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Dollar plummets to 5-week low as airstrikes in Yemen spark yen surge

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The U.S. dollar dropped to the upper 118 yen zone in Tokyo on Thursday, briefly falling to a five-week low, after news of airstrikes on Yemeni militia by neighboring states drove demand for the safe-haven yen and added to the dollar

    March 26, 2015 06:15 pm JST
  • Nikkei falls most in 2 months after sharp Wall St declines

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks fell sharply Thursday, with the Nikkei index posting its biggest one-day retreat in more than two months, as big declines on Wall Street cooled investor sentiment. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 275.0

    March 26, 2015 03:18 pm JST