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  • James D.J. Brown

    Abe woos Putin with strategic intent in mind

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe clearly has his heart set on closer relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Japanese leader's visit to Moscow on April 27 marked his 17th meeting with Putin, a remarkable total even in this era of ince

    April 29, 2017 04:30 pm JST
  • AI may be listening more than you think

    TOKYO -- Real-time voice translation based on artificial intelligence still has a way to go before becoming scary good, but it's already passable for simple conversation. At least that's my impression after trying Microsoft's video conversation syst

    April 29, 2017 03:00 pm JST
  • China's latest investment trend: Bottles of Japanese whisky

    BEIJING -- There's buzz in China about "the spirit of the craftsman." Consumers -- collectors, really, maybe even speculators -- are snapping up high-quality wares, even whisky, made by master artisans.The trend reflects many Chinese people's newfou

    April 29, 2017 01:00 pm JST
  • Conveyor-belt sushi rolls again in New York

    NEW YORK -- When they heard that British chain Yo Sushi was opening a New York location, Derek and Angela found it hard to contain their excitement. The couple, who declined to give their last names, had been regular patrons of local eatery East, wh

    April 29, 2017 01:00 pm JST
  • Study tours feeding Japan's hunger to learn

    TOKYO -- Japanese consumers may still have a tight hold on their purse strings, but they are increasingly willing to spend to educate their children and themselves by going on study tours.JTB Gaiarec, a unit of the Japanese travel agency, saw the nu

    April 29, 2017 01:00 pm JST
  • The 'driverless' car and internet orders

    TOKYO -- Yamato Transport, one of Japan's biggest parcel delivery companies, is covering "the last mile" -- the one to the customer's door -- with three self-driving vehicles.So no more worrying about deliveries being attempted while you're at work

    April 29, 2017 11:00 am JST
  • Japan protests latest North Korea missile launch

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan has protested to North Korea over the country's latest ballistic missile launch, the Japanese government's top spokesman said on Saturday morning."We absolutely cannot accept these repeated provocative acts, and have issued a

    April 29, 2017 09:06 am JST
  • Green shoots visible in Japan, but prices barely budge

    TOKYO -- The global economic recovery is helping to boost production in Japan, leading to the further tightening of the job market. The Bank of Japan used the word "expansion" to describe the economy for the first time in nine years in a recent repo

    April 29, 2017 07:20 am JST
  • Japan rescue fund to lead joint bid for Toshiba chip ops

    TOKYO -- The Innovation Network Corp. of Japan will orchestrate the expanding U.S.-Japan partnership for a joint bid for Toshiba's memory chip business, probably bringing on board some Japanese companies as well as Toshiba's American partner Western

    April 29, 2017 07:17 am JST
  • Russia, Japan chip away at dispute but much work remains

    TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin projected a spirit of cooperation at their meeting Thursday, taking small steps toward resolving a long-running territorial row. But a divide on North Korea and a diplo

    April 29, 2017 07:15 am JST
  • Yamato passing costs of maintaining services onto consumers

    TOKYO -- Yamato Transport became Japan's biggest home deliverer by sticking to the maxim "service first, profits later," but that approach is being challenged by the twin pressures of the online shopping boom and the crippling labor shortage."It has

    April 29, 2017 07:00 am JST
  • South Korea stumped by Trump demands on THAAD

    SEOUL -- U.S. President Donald Trump's comments that South Korea should pay for the deployment of a U.S. missile shield system have sparked confusion in Seoul and among candidates in the country's upcoming presidential election."I informed South Kor

    April 29, 2017 06:33 am JST
  • JAL set to boost international ops after smooth turnaround

    TOKYO -- Finally free of bailout-era restrictions, Japan Airlines is pumped up to cultivate the market for international flights again, aiming to add new routes and increase passenger-mile capacity for such service more than 20% by fiscal 2020.Rarin

    April 29, 2017 06:10 am JST
  • Why all is not well in Zozotown

    TOKYO -- Even as the Zozotown marketplace remains a top destination for young Japanese shopping for clothes online, the company behind it needs to come up with a design for continued growth.Start Today's transaction value totaled 212 billion yen ($1

    April 29, 2017 06:05 am JST
  • Honda's net profit up 79% on falling recall costs

    TOKYO -- Honda Motor's group net profit surged 79% to 616.5 billion yen ($5.53 billion) in the year ended last month, thanks to sales growth in North America and China and a decline in expenses related to recalls of Takata air bags, the Japanese aut

    April 29, 2017 06:00 am JST
  • Mazda counts on SUVs to traverse tough US market

    TOKYO -- Mazda Motor will tackle the rugged terrain of the American market with sport utility vehicles, hoping to ensure profit growth this fiscal year.The U.S. market is presenting automakers with a host of challenges, such as slowing new-car sales

    April 29, 2017 05:15 am JST
  • Japan's Kishida urges China to expand role in North Korea issues

    NEW YORK (Kyodo) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday urged China to play a greater role in reining in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Japanese officials said.In a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi i

    April 29, 2017 04:52 am JST
  • Overworked Yamato Transport taps brakes on rising volumes

    TOKYO -- Yamato Transport, the biggest Japanese home delivery company by market share, will seek to reduce package volume 4% in the current fiscal year by charging more for shipping as labor shortages crimp its growth.Parent Yamato Holdings made the

    April 29, 2017 04:40 am JST
  • JR East, West on track for record profit

    TOKYO -- East and West Japan Railway have both forecast record profits for the fiscal year ending March 2018, anticipating more bullet train passengers and higher income from real estate and other noncore operations.West Japan Railway said Friday it

    April 29, 2017 03:45 am JST
  • Nomura Asset Management reveals voting record

    TOKYO -- Nomura Asset Management disclosed Friday how it voted on proposals at companies it is invested in, becoming the first major Japanese asset manager to do so amid a push for greater transparency.The Nomura Holdings member opposed 8.6% of 2,63

    April 29, 2017 03:00 am JST