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Japan's power-saving period begins ahead of summer

July 1, 2013 10:20 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A government-requested three-month period of electricity saving began Monday in large parts of Japan ahead of the high demand season, the fifth of its kind since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and Fukushima nuclear crisis left most of the nation's nuclear reactors offline.

Sharp to sell high-end "4K" LCD TVs in North America

July 1, 2013 10:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sharp Corp. will sell high-end liquid crystal display televisions equipped with "4K" technology in North America from September, company officials said Thursday. It will be the first time for the struggling Japanese electronics maker to launch overseas a 4K TV that delivers image quality four times finer than the current high-definition resolutions.

Smartphone sales in Thailand gather pace

June 27, 2013 3:12 pm | by GFK | News | Comments

Take-up of smartphones in the still developing market of Thailand has been surging in recent times; more than doubling in sales from being just one in every five handsets less two years ago to more than two in five or 42 percent of overall volume sales in the last 12 months.

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Creating a low-carbon, non-nuclear economy: The case of Taiwan

June 14, 2013 5:10 pm | by Massachusetts Institute of Technology | News | Comments

After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, energy experts and policymakers around the world began to reassess the future of nuclear power. Countries, including Japan and Germany, have since scaled back or plan to shut down their nuclear power — sparking a global debate on how nations will replace nuclear.

Toyota chosen as best global green brand for 3rd straight year

June 13, 2013 11:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. was selected as the "best global green brand" for the third consecutive year in 2013 for producing fuel-efficient vehicles such as the Prius hybrid, U.S. consulting firm Interbrand Corp. said Wednesday. U.S. automaker Ford came second, followed by Japan's carmaker Honda...

The secrets of another Japanese success story

June 12, 2013 2:19 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Japanese manufacturers have practically cornered the world market on components for lithium-ion batteries, films for LCDs and other advanced materials — with almost no competition from abroad. The secrets to their success are the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN).

France's Hollande visits Japan to push nuke ties

June 6, 2013 11:27 am | by ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

French President Francois Hollande arrived in Japan on Thursday for a visit expected to focus on closer cooperation in nuclear energy technologies and on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic strategies. Hollande and Abe will hold summit talks that local media say may yield an agreement on cooperating in nuclear fuel cycle technology...

JR Tokai to start trial run of superconducting maglev train

June 6, 2013 10:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Central Japan Railway Co. will begin test runs in September to pave the way for launching a magnetically levitated train line between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027, marking a milestone in its half-century of efforts to develop an ultrahigh-speed superconducting train system.

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Former dot.com star wants entrepreneurial Japan

June 5, 2013 11:00 am | by AZUSA UCHIKURA, Associated Press | News | Comments

Takafumi Horie, the Japanese dot.com celebrity imprisoned for nearly two years on securities fraud charges, is cooking up dozens of ventures and demanding the nation reduce regulation to give more opportunities to young entrepreneurs. Japan has embarked on an ambitious attempt to break its economy out of two decades of stagnation.

Taiwan makers showcase computers at Computex

June 3, 2013 2:33 am | by ANNIE HUANG - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Taiwan's struggling PC makers are unveiling a new generation of ultra-thin laptops at the world's second-biggest computer show this week, even as they tap into the ever-expanding tablet market to help compensate for declining computer sales. It won't be an easy transition for them, but the makers...

Hong Kong’s three screens market expands

May 31, 2013 10:57 am | by GFK | News | Comments

In today’s highly-connected and increasingly mobile society, it has become almost a necessity for modern consumers in developed markets to have round-the-clock access to at least one of the three screens— laptop, media tablet and smartphone.

Asia stocks post muted gains on improving US data

May 29, 2013 10:59 am | by PAMELA SAMPSON, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Rising U.S. consumer confidence and home prices painted a picture of a rebounding economy, helping Asian stock markets to post muted gains Wednesday. Wall Street resumed its record-breaking rally on Tuesday after the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller survey found that U.S. home prices rose 10.9 percent in March, the most since April 2006.

Online sign language service makes life easier for the deaf

May 28, 2013 10:28 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An Internet-based sign language service launched by a university student a few years ago is finding its way into hotels, restaurants and other public places. The service involves a notebook or tablet computer through which a hearing-impaired person at, say, a shoe store, speaks in sign language to an interpreter...

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Korean consumers snapping up new generation laptops

May 28, 2013 10:18 am | by GFK | News | Comments

Normal traditional laptops may not be attractive enough to appeal to the more tech savvy consumers these days. The latest and more sophisticated laptop models such as the ultra-thin and hybrid types which come packed with advanced features in slimmer frames are becoming increasingly popular with Korean consumers...

Taiwan cuts growth forecast on muted export demand

May 24, 2013 9:46 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Taiwan has lowered its economic growth forecast for 2013 to a muted 2.4 percent as global demand for the island's electronics exports remained subdued. In February, the government predicted 3.6 percent growth this year. The economy grew 1.3 percent in 2012.

Sanyo may sell stake in Chinese joint venture

May 24, 2013 9:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sanyo Electric a group company of Panasonic, is considering selling a stake of about 30 percent in its joint venture in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. U.S. home appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. is one of the companies interested in buying the stake...

Sony mulls hedge fund's entertainment sale idea

May 22, 2013 10:42 am | by ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sony's CEO Kazuo Hirai says the electronics giant's board will discuss a proposal by U.S. hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to spin off up to 20 percent of its movie, TV and music division. Hirai was asked about the proposal at a corporate strategy presentation Wednesday.

Softbank to revise or cancel Hokkaido megasolar power plant

May 21, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Softbank Corp. may revise or cancel its plan to build three megasolar power plants in Hokkaido as Hokkaido Electric Power Co. has rejected its electricity sales application, industry sources said Tuesday. The local utility in April vowed to limit its electricity purchases from solar power plants to 400,000 kilowatts...

Smartphone sector sees vibrant performance in Southeast Asia

May 20, 2013 10:47 am | by GFK | News | Comments

Consumers in Southeast Asian markets continue to snap up mobile handsets at a rapid pace, propelling the region’s overall mobile phone market to expand further in the latest 12 months by 14 percent in value and 8 percent in units. Declining demand for basic feature phones are met by the corresponding spike in smartphone sales...

Japanese reactor said to stand on fault line

May 16, 2013 10:10 am | by HIROKO TABUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Seismologists said Wednesday that a nuclear reactor in Tsuruga, in western Japan, stands above an active seismic fault, a finding that could lead to the first permanent shutdown of a reactor since the Fukushima crisis two years ago. Japan’s newly installed Nuclear Regulation Authority also said...

Japan watchdog to halt test reactor over safety

May 15, 2013 12:11 pm | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's nuclear watchdog announced Wednesday that the nation's trouble-plagued next-generation test reactor will not be allowed to restart due to safety violations, dealing a setback to the country's pro-nuclear government. The Nuclear Regulation Authority's decision is the latest blow to the Monju fast-breeder reactor and Japan's nuclear fuel cycle program.

Nintendo turns to smartphone apps for its consoles

May 6, 2013 11:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nintendo Co. is trying to enable users of its game consoles to enjoy popular smartphone applications on their devices in a bid to boost sales and return to profitability on an operating basis in the current business year, company sources said Saturday.

Taiwan's MediaTek profit up 51 percent in 1Q

May 6, 2013 11:10 am | by ANNIE HUANG, Associated Press | News | Comments

MediaTek Inc., Asia's largest chipset designer, said Monday its first quarter profit grew 51 percent from a year earlier, boosted by China's flourishing smartphone market. The Taiwanese company's net profit totaled 3.7 billion New Taiwan dollars ($125 million) in the January-March period on revenue of NT$24 billion.

Pentagon clears use of Samsung's devices

May 6, 2013 10:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics Co. says the U.S. Department of Defense has approved using Samsung smartphones for its networks. The South Korean company said Friday the Galaxy S4 smartphone has become the first Android device to meet the security requirements set out by the U.S. government...

China emerging as new force in drone warfare

May 3, 2013 11:43 am | by CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Determined to kill or capture a murderous Mekong River drug lord, China's security forces considered a tactic they'd never tried before: calling a drone strike on his remote hideaway deep in the hills of Myanmar. New light has been cast on China's unmanned aerial vehicle program, which has been quietly percolating for years and now appears to be moving into overdrive.

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