January 22, 2013
TOKYO — Bowing to government pressure, Japan's central bank Tuesday pledged more aggressive action to boost the economy, including setting a 2% inflation target. The Bank of Japan said it would conduct "open-ended" asset purchases to help achieve the goal of breaking out of a long spell of deflation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had urged the central bank to ease monetary policy further to help the recession-struck economy escape from years of falling prices. Whether the effort will succeed remains to be seen: the central bank has not achieved even its 1% inflation target, with price increases hovering below 0.5% for the past two years despite surges in energy costs.
January 22, 2013
Re "Revisionism Tokyo-style," Opinion, Jan. 18 Postwar Japan is often juxtaposed with Germany, and for good reason. Tuesday is the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty between France and Germany, which sealed their reconciliation. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is recanting a previous administration's scant "apology" for World War II-era war crimes. Can one imagine German Chancellor Angela Merkel paying homage to Nazi war criminals? If not, why is the world silent when Abe visits the Yasukuni shrine, where the souls of 2 million war dead - including war criminals - are said to be enshrined?
January 21, 2013 |
Battery maker GS Yuasa has suddenly become the focus of international attention - - but not in a way it wanted. Yuasa, based in Japan, made the lithium ion batteries used in the troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets. A fire and overheating of those batteries were among the chief recent problems with the jets, leading to them being grounded around the world. Japanese and U.S. investigators were at Yuasa's plant in Kyoto on Monday, according to Bloomberg News. It was part of a probe into a fire on a Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines and an overheated battery that forced an emergency landing of another of the jets flown by All Nippon Airways.
January 20, 2013 |
When Michael Woodford in 2011 became president of Olympus Corp., the Japanese optical equipment maker, he told his secretary there was no need to walk backward each time she left his office. In the executive suite of a Japanese company, where fawning deference to those at the top is the norm, this counted as a radical egalitarian gesture. But, as Woodford discovered, he was not really at the top at all. Although he had been promoted to the presidency, becoming the first foreigner to assume that role since the company was established in 1919, he was kept out of the inner circle.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2013 |
Nagisa Oshima, an iconoclastic Japanese director and screenwriter best known in the West for the sexually explicit films "In the Realm of the Senses" and "Empire of Passion," died Tuesday at a hospital near Tokyo, his production company announced. He was 80. Widely considered one of his country's greatest filmmakers, Oshima died of pneumonia at a hospital near Fujisawa, south of Tokyo, according to the announcement from Oshima Productions. He had been in and out of hospitals since suffering a stroke more than a decade ago. Oshima's first film, "A Town of Love and Hope," a searing depiction of the connections between poverty and crime, debuted in 1959.
January 15, 2013 |
BEIJING -- Japan Airlines said it suspended operations of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet Wednesday following the emergency landing of the same aircraft by rival All Nippon Airways Co. earlier in the day. "Japan Airlines operates every flight upon confirming that all safety standards have been met," the company said in a statement. "In view of the incident encountered by another airline involving the 787-8 aircraft today, Japan Airlines has decided to cancel the operations of its 787-8 aircraft scheduled for flights today to ensure safety.
January 13, 2013 |
More bad news for Boeing Co.: Japan Airlines Co. said Sunday tests on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet showed the plane leaking fuel. The airline, known as JAL, was performing maintenance work on the aircraft after it was spotted spilling nearly 30 gallons of fuel onto the taxiway at Boston's Logan International Airport on Tuesday. While being examined at the Narita International Airport near Tokyo, the grounded plane began to leak fuel from a nozzle on the left wing, JAL said in a memo.
January 11, 2013 |
BEIJING -- Chinese and Japanese fighter planes tailed each other over a disputed cluster of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, raising alarm that a miscalculation could set off an armed confrontation. Chinese military authorities ordered two J-10 fighter planes to perform what China called “verification and monitoring” on Friday after a Chinese transport plane was tailed by Japanese F-15 fighter jets. The incident above the islands, known as Senkaku to the Japanese and Diaoyu to the Chinese, was the most potentially dangerous in months of escalating tensions over the islands.
January 11, 2013 |
Japan's new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced plans to revise his country's famous pacifist constitutional provision, Article 9, which renounces "war as a sovereign right of the nation. " On the surface, Abe's proposal may seem merely symbolic, suggesting that he simply wants to add an explicit recognition of the country's right to military self- defense. Since Japan has long maintained "self-defense" forces, the predictable expressions of concern in foreign capitals may seem overblown.