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An army of Japanese salarymen is rocking global currency markets

POPULAR TALES of “Mrs. Watanabe” — the canny Tokyo housewife who dabbles in currency trading in between school runs and shopping — barely begin to tell the story of Japan’s retail traders in the foreign exchange market.

Samurai, Ninja loans boom as Japan’s regional banks hunt for yield

TOKYO — Japanese regional banks are increasingly lending to foreign companies and other borrowers via samurai and ninja loans as they struggle with interest rates stuck at zero and seek to diversify their customer base.

Japan closely watching yen moves ‘with urgency’

TOKYO — Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday he was monitoring currency moves “with a sense of urgency” after a recent spike in the yen, using a phrase suggesting policy makers’ concern about excessive volatility.

Statue of ‘comfort women’ pulled from Japan exhibit finds new home

MADRID — A Spanish businessman has bought a statue symbolizing women forced to work in Japanese military brothels which was removed from an exhibition in Japan after organizers received threats over the piece.

Japan’s love of foreign insurance set to wane

TOKYO — Japan’s craze for overseas insurance products, driven by a need for better yield than the near-zero ones at home, has been a long-standing headwind for the yen as domestic insurers bought foreign bonds.

Japan signals readiness to act against excessive yen rises

TOKYO — Japan’s top currency diplomat on Monday warned investors against significantly pushing up the yen, signaling that Tokyo was ready to intervene in the currency market if excessive yen gains threatened to hurt the export-reliant economy.

The best Japanese wine made from koshu grapes

INSIDE a 19th-century silk merchant’s house in Katsunuma, Japan, about 70 miles west of central Tokyo, the three Aruga brothers are pouring several white wines in their timbered tasting room. All are made at their Katsunuma Jyozo Winery under the Aruga Branca label from the country’s unique grape variety koshu, and all are delicious: One is elegant and sparkling; another fresh, bright, and lemony; a third succulent and tangy; still another savory and smoky; and a fifth barrel-fermented version is round, rich, and smooth.

DoTr, Japan firms ink P12-B contract for train cars

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) signed Tuesday a P12.1-billion contract with a Japanese joint venture to provide 104 train cars for the Japan-funded Malolos-Tutuban segment of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

Variety the focus of this year’s Eiga Sai f ilm festival

NOW ON its 22nd year, the Eiga Sai Japanese Film Festival presents a selection of 17 full-length features from a variety of genres to “show not only one side of Japanese culture,” said an organizer.

ECB policy makers catch glimpse of future in Japan

FUKUOKA, Japan — Europe’s top central bankers who met their global peers in Japan this weekend may have caught a glimpse of their own future.

Japan’s kakigori comes to Manila via HK

IN A small discreet shop in Serendra is a small staff of “artists” who turn cubes of ice into a mountain of kakigori — Japanese shaved ice desserts. As summer’s heat stifles the city, Shari Shari Kakigori House opened its doors, serving it cold treats to overheated customers.

Cabinet officials’ Japan trip ‘reward’ for poll results

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte left for Japan on Tuesday afternoon to attend the Nikkei 25th International Conference on The Future of Asia in Tokyo, Malacañang said.

After four decades, Japan’s banks still struggle in international capital markets

TIME AND AGAIN since Japan emerged as a global economic force, its financial leaders have hatched plans to translate their influence into investment-banking clout. Time and again, they’ve failed.

K-Pop stardom lures Japanese youth to Korea despite diplomatic chill

SEOUL — Yuuka Hasumi put high school in Japan on hold and flew to South Korea in February to try her chances at becoming a K-pop star, even if that means long hours of vocal and dance training, no privacy, no boyfriend, and even no phone.

Japan pledges 3.2-B yen in loans for Mindanao projects

JAPAN has pledged additional grants for the Philippines following a joint meeting held in Osaka this week, which include funding for train simulators as well as projects for healthcare and peace efforts in Mindanao.

US, Japan commit support for PHL’s fight vs terrorism

THE UNITED STATES has committed over P300 million in “intelligence support” to the Philippines, Malacañang announced on Monday.

Japan Foreign Minister to visit PHL

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday announced that Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will visit the Philippines from Feb. 9 to 11.

Japan’s ANA invests $95M in PAL

ANA HOLDINGS, Inc. (ANA HD), parent of Japan’s biggest airline All Nippon Airways, on Tuesday said it is acquiring a minority stake in the operator of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for $95 million (around P5 billion).

Japanese boy band Arashi to disband in 2020

ONE OF Japan’s oldest and most popular boy bands will suspend its activities at the end of next year, according to local media reports.

Japan still Philippines’ top ODA partner

JAPAN remains the biggest source of foreign funding for the Philippines, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Friday, accounting for nearly half the loan portfolio.

Aging Japan: Manga comics turn gray — but spirited — along...

TOKYO — Japan’s graying population is changing the character of its beloved manga comics, spawning a new genre in which the elderly aren’t pitiable oldsters but protagonists making discoveries, finding friends and sometimes even having hot sex.

Japan upgrading Davao office into consulate general

THE JAPANESE government is upgrading its consular office in the city into a consulate general office, which would have authority to handle wider commercial relations.

Kyushu and Kansai by train

Exploring the cities of the island of Kyushu and the western part of Japan in five days was beyond my imagination—but with the help of a detailed itinerary and Japan’s efficient transportation network, my travel buddies and I were able to tick several places off our bucket list.

PAL moves launch of Sapporo flights to October

Philippine Airlines (PAL) said it will move the launch of its flights to Sapporo from its initial schedule on Monday, Sept. 10, to October,...

Typhoon Jebi makes landfall in Japan, strongest in 25 years

Typhoon Jebi made landfall in western Japan on Tuesday, the strongest tropical cyclone to come ashore in 25 years, and has picked up speed...

PAL cancels flights to Osaka due to super typhoon Jebi

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has cancelled flights on Tuesday, Sept. 4, to and from Osaka Kansai in Japan, because of the temporary closure of Kansai...

Japan claims China ‘escalating’ military actions

Tokyo -- Japan's defense chief on Monday warned the country faces a tough security environment, with China and Russia stepping up military activity and...

When cars fly? Japan wants airborne vehicles to take off

Tokyo -- It might sound like pie in the sky, but Japan's government is banking on a future with flying cars, launching an initiative...

Uber, Airbus said to be working on Japan’s plans for flying...

Japan is making a push to develop flying cars, enlisting companies including Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbus SE in a government-led group to bring...

Japan, China seek to restart FX swap line

TOKYO — Japan and China are in talks to resume a currency swap arrangement between their central banks and expand it roughly 10-fold, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, in a sign of warming ties between Asia’s two biggest economies.

Japan’s Tsukiji fish market to stop tourist tuna viewings

Tokyo -- Tokyo's famous Tsukiji fish market will stop admitting tourists to watch its pre-dawn tuna auctions next month, as it prepares to move...

Four Japan athletes booted from Asian Games in prostitute scandal

Jakarta -- Four Japanese basketball players have been sent home from the Asian Games in disgrace for allegedly paying prostitutes for sex, the Japanese...

Fish fry: Japan heatwave threatens famed tuna auction

Tokyo, Japan -- Fishmongers at Tokyo's famed Tsukiji tuna auction are feeling the heat as the aging market's air conditioners struggle to keep up...

Asia’s new stock-market king has strong profits, BOJ support

With Japan regaining its place as the second-biggest stock market amid growing trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies, investors expect the nation’s...

China dethroned by Japan as world’s second-biggest stock market

China just lost its ranking as the world’s number two stock market. After a Thursday slump, Chinese equities were worth $6.09 trillion, according to data...

Japan relaxes visa requirements for Filipinos traveling to Japan

Japan has relaxed the visa requirements of Filipinos traveling to Japan in an effort to boost repeat visitors in the country, the Embassy of...

DTI cites PHL ‘economic breakout’ to lure Japan’s manufacturers

The Department of Trade and Industry is encouraging Japan's manufacturers to invest in the Philippines, citing the country's growth in the sector. “The Philippines is...

Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers unveil ticket prices

Tokyo -- Tokyo Olympic organizers on Friday unveiled ticket prices for the 2020 Games ranging from 2020 yen ($18) up to $2,760, largely in...

Staying true to the manga

CHIHAYAFURU PART 3 is a sports film about a competitive Japanese card game called karuta where players have to memorize 1,000 classic Japanese poems — it’s a game completely unfamiliar to Filipinos but their enthusiastic reactions to the film surprised even the film’s director, Norihiro Koizumi.

Japan’s growing plutonium stockpile fuels fears

Tokyo -- Japan has amassed enough plutonium to make 6,000 atomic bombs as part of a program to fuel its nuclear plants, but concern...

PHL signs social security deals with Germany, Japan

THE Philippines’ two major pension funds have signed social security arrangements (SSAs) with Germany and Japan to extend benefit coverage to Filipino residents of that country.

PAL to mount flights to Sapporo in September

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) will start flying to Sapporo in September, as Japan gains popularity as a tourist destination among Filipinos.

Japan’s oracle octopus turned into sashimi

SAMARA, RUSSIA — An octopus who successfully predicted all of Japan’s World Cup group stage matches has been killed and turned into sashimi, according to local media reports.

Belgium rallies to defeat Japan in World Cup epic

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Belgium produced one of the great World Cup comebacks on Monday to beat Japan 3-2 and set up an attractive-looking quarterfinal clash against Neymar’s Brazil.

‘Japan nearly slayed the giant’ : cheers to tears for despairing...

Tokyo -- From Tokyo bars to a Buddhist temple, for millions of Japanese football fans the emotions were the same -- pinch-me optimism to...