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And harking back to days gone by, Abe has called for new budgetary stimulus too, including extra public works spending. But could an Abe-led government really snap Japan out of its seemingly interminable economic malaise?Of course, campaigning and governing are two very different things.And, given the perilous state of Japan’s public finances, the next government will have precious little room for maneuver to boost public investment.Dangerous waters: Behind the islands disputeIndeed, it will have countless unpalatable budgetary decisions to make, not least making the social security system affordable given Japan’s rapidly aging population. So, in practice, fiscal policy is unlikely […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks opened weaker Friday as the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey of business sentiment showed a worse-than-expected result for large manufacturers, although the yen’s drop to its lowest level against the dollar since late March helped limit losses. The Nikkei Stock Average traded 0.3% lower at 9,709.96, though off its opening lows, while the broader Topix edged down 0.1%. The downbeat result from the tankan appeared to weigh on some manufacturing names, with Olympus Corp. down 1.6%, TDK Corp. falling 1.2%, Honda Motor Co. lower by 0.7%, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. losing 1.2%. Among the gainers, Sharp […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks retreated Tuesday in choppy action, with utilities weaker and tech shares mixed, as the Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.2% to 9,515.43 and the Topix also fell 0.2%. Power companies saw their shares extend recent weakness, with the drops coinciding with a government decision to permanently close a nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture due to the presence of an active seismic fault. In the often volatile sector, Tokyo Electric Power Co. and and Hokkaido Electric Power Co. dropped 3.6% each, while Chubu Electric Power Co. tumbled 5.8% and Kansai Electric Power Co. tanked by 7.1%. Renesas […]

LOS ANGELES Japan’s gross domestic product shrank by 0.9% during the July-September quarter, the Cabinet Office said Monday, leaving its initial estimate unchanged. Economists had on average expected the GDP contraction to be revised to a slightly better 0.8% drop. On an annualized rate, GDP was down 3.5%, also unchanged from the previously reported figure. The drop in private consumption was revised to 0.4% from an earlier reported fall of 0.5%.

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks fell in early Wednesday trading, dragged by overnight losses in the U.S. and with auto makers hit by some weak China sales data. The Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.4% to 9,398.09 in early moves, while the Topix lost 0.5%, with the dollar moving below the 82-yen level to weigh on exporters. Among the top auto names, Honda Motor Co. lost 1.4% and Nissan Motor Co. fall 1.7% after the pair reported large drops in their China sales for November, though losses improved from the previous month. Toyota Motor Corp. , which reported its China sales earlier, […]

Japan’s 12-day election season begins with campaign speeches in FukushimaPolls show the Liberal Democrat Party is likely to return to power, led by Shinzo AbeAbe is a former prime minister who stepped down citing health reasons in 2007Japan is struggling with economic contraction and the aftermath of last year’s nuclear disasterHong Kong — The leading contenders in Japan’s upcoming national election kicked off their 12-day campaign Tuesday near the seaside prefecture that was at the heart of last year’s nuclear disaster — and is now a powerful symbol of Japan’s deepening economic woes.The man polls suggest will become the country’s […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks fell in early Tuesday action, taking a cue from losses on Wall Street over weak U.S. manufacturing data and worries over the fiscal cliff. The Nikkei Stock Average lost 0.5% to trade at 9,406.87, while the Topix surrendered 0.4%. Auto-maker stocks were broadly lower after most reported drops in domestic sales but gains in U.S. sales. Toyota Motor Corp. slipped 0.3%, and Nissan Motor Co. dropped 1.6%. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. , which saw its November North American sales slip slightly, traded 2.6% lower, but shares of Honda Motor Co. rose 0.7% after posting its best U.S. […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks began trading modestly higher Monday, as the yen extended its downward march, sending the dollar and euro near their highest levels against the currency since April. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.3% to 9,478.35, with the Topix also up 0.3%, as strength in retailers and some techs offset weakness in industrials and energy shares. Gains for the tech majors included a 2.1% advance for Renesas Electronics Corp. , a 1.7% gain for Canon Inc. , and a 1% rise for Panasonic Corp. . Retailers also improved, as Takashimaya Co. added 1.3%, and J. Front Retailing Co. […]

PM Yoshihiko Noda and former PM Shinzo Abe during a general election debate November 30.Japan approves $ 10.7bn stimulus aimed at helping small businesses, unemployed workers and earthquake victims The stimulus is Japan’s second in a month and comes as the country hovers on the brink of its fifth recession in 15 yearsFormer PM Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democrats is likely to win Japan’s December 16 general election polls suggest(Financial Times) — Japan’s government has approved its second round of stimulus in a little more than a month, as prime minister Yoshihiko Noda tries to pep up a flagging […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks saw their opening gains vanish in early Friday trading, with the Nikkei Stock Average down 0.2% at 9,385.92 after rising 1% the previous day, and the Topix also off 0.2%. A slightly stronger yen helped limit gains, while a better-than-expected result for October industrial production offered little help. Many blue-chip electronics and industrial names saw losses, with TDK Corp. down 1.3%, Pioneer Corp. 2.6% lower, and Renesas Electronics Corp. dropping 2%. On the upside, Hitachi Ltd. rose 2.4%, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. gained 1.9%, after the two companies announced a deal to merge their thermal-power […]

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