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With water privatization, Japan faces crossroads in battling its aging pipes

December 17, 2018 - 22:13
Japanese water is clean and readily available, as evidenced by drinkable tap water and a nearly 100 percent penetration rate. (Japan Times)
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Gov't aims to have new foreign workers focus on regional areas

December 13, 2018 - 22:54
The Japanese government plans to take measures to make regional labor markets accessible to foreign blue-collar workers to avoid them concentrating in large cities such as Tokyo when the country starts accepting them under the new visa system next year, the government's top spokesman said Thursday. (Japan Today)
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Japan logs 2nd-longest post-war recovery

December 13, 2018 - 22:22
A Japanese government panel says a run of growth that began in December 2012 has now become the second-longest period of expansion in the post-war era. But that verdict comes as Japan struggles with sluggish wage growth and a chronic labor shortage. (NHK)
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Global IT talent war sends Japan tech salaries soaring

December 11, 2018 - 22:46
As the global shortage of skilled information technology experts hits Japan hard, companies are scrambling to lure and keep top talent with hefty annual pay packages. (Nikkei)
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Winter bonuses hit record in Japan, led by manufacturers

December 10, 2018 - 22:01
Winter bonuses at Japanese companies averaged an all-time high of 834,391 yen ($7,400) this year, according to a Nikkei survey released Monday, notching a sixth straight year of growth on strong corporate earnings. (Nikkei)
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Aging Japan faces 25% drop in GDP, IMF warns

November 28, 2018 - 23:22
Japan's gross domestic product could fall by over 25% in the next 40 years as its population declines, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday, urging the government to boost productivity through structural reform to mitigate the damage. (Nikkei)
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Gov't plans 5% rebates for some cashless payments after tax hike

November 22, 2018 - 23:52
Japan plans to give a 5 percent reward-point rebate to consumers on some payments made through credit cards and other cashless means as a way of underpinning domestic demand after a planned tax increase next October, government officials said Thursday. (Japan Today)
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Japan's economy shrinks annualized 1.2%

November 14, 2018 - 22:48
Japan's economy contracted for the first time in 2 quarters. Government officials say a string of natural disasters in the period dented exports and consumer spending. (NHK)
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340,000 foreigners may flow into Japan in 5 years under new visa system

November 14, 2018 - 22:45
Between 260,000 and 340,000 foreign workers are estimated to flow into Japan in the five years from next April through an envisioned immigration control law revision aimed at dealing with the country's serious labor crunch, government sources said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
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Salt prices to rise for the first time in three decades

November 13, 2018 - 20:50
For the first time in almost three decades the Salt Industry Center of Japan has announced it will raise the price on many of its products by around 15 percent, indicating inflation has finally arrived in at least some industries. (Japan Times)
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Effort to nudge Japan to go cashless with offsets to sales tax hike faces many hurdles

November 9, 2018 - 20:19
On Oct. 15, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed during an extraordinary Cabinet meeting that the government would raise the consumption tax from 8 to 10 percent next Oct. 1. (Japan Times)
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Natural disasters cost Japan over $10 billion

November 4, 2018 - 23:03
Japan's government-affiliated financial institution says the 4 major natural disasters that hit the country this year are expected to have a negative impact on the country's economy of more than 10 billion dollars. (NHK)
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Tiny Japanese island goes missing off Hokkaido

November 3, 2018 - 23:58
The island, known as Esambe Hanakita Kojima was only officially surveyed and registered by the Japan Coast Guard in 1987, who couldn't even say exactly how big it was. Until recently, it rose 1.4-meter (4½ feet) above sea level, and was visible from the very northern tip of Hokkaido. But now, it has disappeared. "It is not impossible that tiny islands get weathered by the elements," a coast guard official said. The disappearance of the island "may affect Japan's territorial waters a tiny bit," she added, but only "if you conduct precision surveys." Japan pours resources into protecting its outer islands, particularly the remote Okinotori Island in the Pacific, which secures a significant portion of the nation's exclusive economic zone. (Japan Times)
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China's love for 'Made in Japan' rewrites investment strategies

October 31, 2018 - 22:17
Japanese consumer goods companies are increasing investment in factories at home, with an eye to exporting to China and other Asian markets where "Made in Japan" products have cachet. (Nikkei)
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Japan farmers worried over trans-Pacific trade pact taking effect

October 31, 2018 - 22:11
Japanese farmers expressed concern Wednesday about an expected influx of imports and other effects of a trans-Pacific free trade agreement led by Japan that is set to enter into force on Dec. 30. (Kyodo)
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Japan's job availability improves to 44-year high

October 30, 2018 - 20:57
Job availability in Japan improved to a fresh 44-year high in September as companies sought to ramp up hiring, government data showed Tuesday. (Japan Today)
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India and Japan seal $75bn currency swap deal

October 29, 2018 - 20:24
India and Japan on Monday inked a $75 billion bilateral currency swap agreement which should bring greater stability to foreign exchange and capital markets in Asia's third largest economy. (Nikkei)
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Worker shortage in Japan to hit 6.4m by 2030, survey finds

October 25, 2018 - 21:13
Japan will face a shortage of 6.44 million workers in 2030, making wage hikes, increased child care and other labor-related reforms vital to ensuring a stable workforce, according to a joint survey by Persol Research and Consulting and Chuo University released on Tuesday. (Nikkei)
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More than 30% of low-income households with children in early teens struggle to afford food: survey

October 25, 2018 - 21:08
Among low-income households with children in their early teens, 34.7 percent have experienced difficulty buying food for financial reasons, a survey by a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization showed Monday. (Japan Times)
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