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Tokyo Motor Show opens to public

November 25, 2013 11:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show opened to the public Saturday, with leading automakers showcasing next-generation fuel-cell cars and self-driving vehicles. A total of 426 passenger and commercial cars as well as two-wheelers are on display at Tokyo Big Sight through Dec. 1.

TEPCO, Mitsubishi firms to build coal-fired power plants in Fukushima

November 25, 2013 11:44 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will build two cutting-edge coal-fired power generation facilities in Fukushima Prefecture, the home of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in conjunction with three Mitsubishi group firms, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

Safety assessment process for TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant begins

November 22, 2013 11:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nuclear regulators on Thursday began a safety assessment process to decide whether two reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are qualified to restart, nearly two months after the utility filed an application. The move is a sign of progress for TEPCO, which is eager to restart the seven-reactor...


Next-generation green cars in spotlight at Tokyo Motor Show

November 20, 2013 11:49 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Tokyo Motor Show opened to the press Wednesday, with leading automakers showcasing next-generation fuel-cell cars and electric vehicles as they look to the burgeoning green car market. At the 43rd motor show, which will open to the wider public from Saturday at Tokyo Big Sight, at least 76 vehicles will be showcased for their world premiere.

Toyota vows fuel cell model by 2015 in green push

November 20, 2013 11:47 am | by YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota is promising a mass-produced fuel cell car by 2015 in the latest ambitious push to go green by an industry long skeptical about the super-clean technology that runs on hydrogen. Satoshi Ogiso, the Toyota Motor Corp. executive in charge of fuel cells, said Wednesday the vehicle is not just for leasing to officials and celebrities...

Honda counts on lean production for hybrid Fit

November 19, 2013 11:30 am | by YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Honda is making a big push with its new Fit subcompact to get out of being the perennial also-ran of hybrid cars to Japanese rival Toyota, the maker of the Prius. It's a challenge hinged on making the technology affordable. Hybrids deliver fuel efficiency by switching between a gasoline engine and an electric motor, depending on driving conditions but cost more than gasoline cars.

Uncertainties abound in Fukushima decommissioning

November 19, 2013 11:23 am | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

It's costly, risky and dependent on technologies that have yet to be fully developed. A decades-long journey filled with unknowns lies ahead for Japan, which took a small step this week toward decommissioning its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. Nobody knows exactly how much fuel melted after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems.

Firms turning to "augmented reality" apps to promote products

November 15, 2013 10:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Smartphone applications featuring so-called "augmented reality" are being used by an increasing number of companies to promote their products. Ikea Japan K.K., the Japanese arm of the Swedish furnishing giant, launched a service in August that gives customers a virtual preview of how a piece of furniture will look in their home...


Poland looks to Japanese technology for clean energy

October 28, 2013 12:39 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Polish Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechocinski said Friday his country hopes to increase its fuel efficiency and diversify its energy sources with the help of Japanese technology. In an interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo, Piechocinski said Japan has "the highest quality of technology in the world..."

Taiwan body fines Samsung for blasting local rival

October 24, 2013 12:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission on Thursday fined the local unit of South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. for undermining the reputation of Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corp. In a notice on its website, the consumer protection body said that Samsung had organized an Internet campaign in violation of fair trade rules to praise Samsung smartphones while slamming those of HTC.

NTU scientists make breakthrough solar technology

October 21, 2013 10:42 am | by Nanyang Technological University | News | Comments

In the near future, solar panels will not only be more efficient but also a lot cheaper and affordable for everyone, thanks to research by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists. This next generation solar cell, made from organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite materials, is about five times cheaper than current thin-film solar cells, due to a simpler solution-based manufacturing process.

China Premier Li Keqiang addresses Thai Parliament

October 11, 2013 10:34 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang became the first foreign leader to address Thailand's Parliament in more than a decade Friday as he began a three-day visit aimed at strengthening ties and seeking business for his country's high-speed railway technology .Li told the lawmakers that Thailand and China will boost their trade to $100 billion by the end of 2015...

Sony CEO praises Japan leader for 'Abenomics'

October 11, 2013 4:15 am | by YURI KAGEYAMA - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The chief of Sony Corp., one of the best known Japanese companies, praised the country's prime minister Friday for his efforts to jump-start the economy and put the nation back on the global stage. "From my perspective, he is saying all the right things," Kazuo Hirai, Sony Corp. chief executive...


US, Japan to deploy new radar, drones in next year

October 3, 2013 1:27 pm | by LOLITA C. BALDOR & MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press | News | Comments

The United States and Japan moved Thursday to modernize and expand their defense alliance to counter new challenges, including a nuclear-armed North Korea and potential aggression from China over disputed territory. In the first update to the defense partnership in 16 years, the allies agreed to position a second early-warning radar in Japan within the next year to help protect against North Korea.

Yahoo, Softbank back Alibaba in HK IPO battle

September 27, 2013 10:21 am | by KELVIN CHAN, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's biggest shareholders, Yahoo and Japan's Softbank Corp., on Friday backed the company's unusual management structure that Hong Kong's stock exchange was unwilling to accommodate, forcing it to look to the U.S. for a potentially mammoth IPO. The show of support came a day after a senior Alibaba Group executive sharply criticized the southern Chinese city's stock exchange...

China criticizes Japan for military radar plans

September 23, 2013 10:56 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China criticized Japan on Monday for its plans to install a cutting-edge U.S. military radar system to monitor North Korean missile launches, saying that could impact regional stability and upset the strategic balance. The X-band radar system would boost Japan's ability to track and intercept missiles from across the Sea of Japan.

Japan automakers launch low-cost green cars at Indonesia auto show

September 19, 2013 11:36 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japanese automakers launched their low-cost green cars at the 21st Indonesia International Motor Show 2013 that opened Thursday in Jakarta, hoping to capitalize on a new Indonesian government policy that gives tax exemptions for the eco-friendly cars. The luxury tax exemption, expected to give a boost for Japanese car manufacturers, applies to locally assembled vehicles...

"Mobile stores" increasing in depopulated areas

September 18, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An increasing number of companies are opening "mobile stores" amid the successive closure of retail shops in depopulated areas. Mobile stores are big buses and trucks that carry merchandise and visit places where shopping is difficult for residents. Major cosmetics maker Pola Inc. has two 12-meter-long buses selling some 480 items including ceremonial robes, jewelry goods and furs.  

Some 8,000 march in Tokyo against restart of any nuclear power plants

September 16, 2013 12:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An estimated 8,000 people took to the streets Saturday in Tokyo to protest against the resumption of any nuclear power plants, as the only operating reactor was set to be shutdown the next day, leaving none functioning for the second time since the Fukushima disaster in 2011. On Sunday, a reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture, western Japan...

Japan launches new, cheaper rocket

September 16, 2013 12:15 pm | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan successfully launched a new rocket Saturday that it hopes will be a cheaper and more efficient way of sending satellites into space. The three-stage Epsilon lifted off from a space center on Japan's southern main island of Kyushu, following a two-week postponement. An earlier launch last month was aborted 19 seconds before a planned liftoff due to a computer glitch.

Pre-orders for iPhone 5c to kick off in Japan

September 13, 2013 10:25 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mobile phone carriers will begin taking pre-orders for Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5c from Friday afternoon in Japan, with NTT Docomo Inc.'s first launch of the popular handset series further fueling competition between carriers. NTT Docomo and its rivals Softbank Mobile Corp. and KDDI Corp. -- which already offer iPhone handsets -- will begin taking pre-orders for the device.

Some renewable energy providers giving up entering electricity market

September 9, 2013 12:40 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Since Japan introduced a feed-in tariff for encouraging the use of renewable energy sources in power generation in July 2012, a wide range of entities from businesses and civic organizations to local government bodies have been attempting to break into the power market.

Japan school textbook publishers form tablet content alliance

September 5, 2013 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

In a move toward full-scale digitalization of education in Japan, 12 school textbook publishing companies on Thursday announced their plan to develop a common platform for tablet devices in classrooms. With the help of Hitachi Solutions Ltd., the 12 companies aim to enable as many schools as possible to introduce tablets...

Japan to fund ice wall to stop reactor leaks

September 3, 2013 12:07 pm | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Japanese government announced Tuesday that it will spend $470 million on a subterranean ice wall and other steps in a desperate bid to stop leaks of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear station after repeated failures by the plant's operator.

Nissan pledges to make self-driving cars by 2020

August 29, 2013 12:36 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. says it will make cars that drive themselves by 2020. The Japanese automaker made the pledge Tuesday at an event in California.  CEO Carlos Ghosn has said before that he wants Nissan to be the first to sell self-driving cars. But Tuesday's announcement was more specific.

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