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  • Carmakers face billions in European CO2 fines from 2021

    JAPAN, 2017/09/23 Large-name carmakers inclunding Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler face fines running into the billions for failure to meet tough new European carbon dioxide emissions limits slated for 2021, a study has found. "Only four out of 11 carmakers are estimate to meet the EU 2021 CO2 emission target, with the rest facing significant fines," researchers from British firm PA Consulting said in a statement Friday. European Union nations agreed in 2014 that carmakers should limit CO2 emissions to 95 grammes per kilometre across their entire model range within seven years.
  • Japan policymakers soften fiscal pledges as election prospects loom

    JAPAN, 2017/09/23 Senior Japanese policymakers on Friday said they may need to adjust calculations underlying the country's plans to trim spending, an indication the government could look to water down previous pledges to improve fiscal prudence. The statements are a nod to recent reports premier Shinzo Abe will delay the timing for conference fiscal reform goals to allow the scope to boost spending on education.
  • UNWTO: International tourism – strongest half-year results since 2010

    AFGHANISTAN, 2017/09/09 Destinations worldwide welcomed 598 million international tourists in the initial six months of 2017, some 36 million additional than in the same period of 2016. At 6%, increase was well above the trend of recent years, making the current January-June period the strongest half-year since 2010. Visitor numbers reported by destinations around the world reflect strong request for international travel in the initial half of 2017, according to the new UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Worldwide, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased by 6% compared to the same six-month period last year, well above the sustained and consistent trend of 4% or higher increase since 2010. This represents the strongest half-year in seven years.
  • How Honda lost its mojo - and the mission to get it back

    JAPAN, 2017/09/08 The driver punched the air as his red and white Honda McLaren roared over the finish line. It was Suzuka, Japan, 1988, and Ayrton Senna had just become Formula One world champion for the initial time. The McLaren racing team and its engine maker, Honda Motor, were unstoppable that year, their drivers winning all but one of the 16 grand prix races. Off the track Honda had been tasting success, too. In the 1970s, its engineers had raised the bar for fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions with the CVCC engine. In the 1980s, as its engines were propelling Senna to multiple victories, the Civic and Accord cars were redefining the American family sedan. In 1997, Honda became one of the initial carmakers to unveil an all-electric battery car, the EV Plus, capable of conference California’s zero emission requirement.
  • Why Japanese workers aren’t as concerned about robots stealing their jobs

    JAPAN, 2017/08/21 A culture that celebrates robots and a tradition of "lifetime employment" — retaining and retraining workers — created a muted debate. Thousands upon thousands of cans are filled with beer, capped and washed, wrapped into six-packs and boxed at dizzying speeds — 1,500 a minute, to be exact — on humming conveyor belts that zip and wind in a sprawling factory near Tokyo. Nary a soul is in sight in this picture-perfect image of Japanese automation.
  • Taro Kono starts well as Japan's foreign minister

    JAPAN, 2017/08/15 Foreign Minister Taro Kono made his presence felt on his initial overseas trip since taking the position last week. In fluent English, Kono exchanged opinions with other foreign ministers and distinguished himself on several occasions, inclunding with an off-the-cuff counterargument to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Although Kono has made a solid start, however, the diplomatic arena contains a lot of pending issues — and producing good results will not be easy.
  • Alpico Group Japan Unveiling the many faces of a beautiful country

    JAPAN, 2017/08/11
  • Hitoshi Uemura, Vice Chairman of Tokyu Land Corporation

    JAPAN, 2017/08/09 With a diversified portfolio of services, Tokyu Land Corporation–one of the leading real estate companies in Japan–is reshaping the urban face of Tokyo with a long-term vision beyond 2020 and participating in the landmark redevelopment of 425 Park Avenue–a multipurpose building in the Plaza District of Manhattan To what extent are world economic events and local developments such as Abenomics and the 2020 Olympic Games impacting the real estate market?
  • Japanese Technology Innovation behind the scenes

    JAPAN, 2017/08/09 Traditional technology pioneer Japan has faced increasingly stiff competition from the likes of Korea, Taiwan and China in the manufacturing stakes in recent years, and in a lot of cases, has been completely overtaken by its regional counterparts in international consumer markets as some of the country’s most well-known technology brands have experienced a dramatic fall from grace. To the outsider looking in, it would seem that Japan has somewhat lost its characteristic innovative edge. Both the Japanese and industry experts alike, however, argue that this is far from the truth. While goods made by once-leading Japanese electronics firms such as Sharp and Toshiba may have been steadily and undeniably restored by gadgets from their Asian competitors on department store shelves, the country’s manufacturers are indeed still ahead of the game in the technology sphere, only in areas where it’s not so obvious to customers.
  • Japan–EU negotiations racing against protectionism

    JAPAN, 2017/07/10 The Japan–EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations appear to be coming down to the wire. Both sides are aiming to reach a framework agreement prior to the G20 summit on 7 July. Agriculture, as usual, is one of the sticking points, particularly for items such as cheese. The domestic political setting in Japan shows some of the usual signs of tension. The Japanese government is seeking to advance the country’s wider trade goals by reducing tariffs and other import barriers in overseas markets. On the other hand, Japan’s farm lobby — led by the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Group (JA Group) and their allied politicians in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) — is seeking to maintain specific barriers to imports of farm products given Japan’s small-scale and inefficient agricultural sector.