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Kyushu Electric eyes 8.5% raise in household electricity rates

November 26, 2012 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Kyushu Electric Power Co. is considering increasing household electricity charges by an average of 8.5 percent from next April, its first rate hike since 1980, sources close to the matter said Friday. The proposed hike comes after the utility posted a record group net loss of 149.5 billion yen in the first April-September first half of fiscal 2012...

Defense Ministry countersues Toshiba

November 26, 2012 10:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Japanese Defense Ministry is countersuing Toshiba Corp. for breach of contract in relation to the remodeling of F-15 fighters into reconnaissance planes, seeking 1.2 billion yen in penalties for failure to complete work on schedule, Defense Ministry sources said Monday.

North America and China TV shipments rise ahead of holidays, according to NPD DisplaySearch

November 21, 2012 12:52 pm | News | Comments

Despite a 7% Y/Y dip in global TV shipments, retail sales in North America have been steady, if not exciting, and unit shipments were up almost 3% in Q3’12 after posting small declines in 1H’12. The trend in the US market has been toward bigger and cheaper TVs, in the U.S. market lately, which is expected to be the focus during Black Friday this year.

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Erroneous radiation spread projections made by industry-linked firm

November 21, 2012 9:36 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Erroneous projections for the spread of radiation from reactors in Japan in the event of a severe accident were made by a consulting firm linked to the nuclear industry for the nation's independent nuclear regulatory body, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Itochu to build power generator in Russia

November 21, 2012 9:35 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japanese trading house Itochu Corp. said Wednesday it and Toyo Engineering Corp. will build a 400-megawatt gas-fired thermal power generator at the Avtozavodskaya power station in Nizhniy Novgorod, Eastern Russia.

Robot vacuum cleaner users to remotely control other appliances

November 21, 2012 9:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sharp Corp. said Wednesday it will start a new service in December to enable users of its robot vacuum cleaner to operate electric appliances from outside the home via smartphone. The Cocorobo robot vacuum cleaner, launched in June, will have a remote control function added to it for which users will need a controller that will sell...

Japan logs 4th straight trade deficit in October

November 21, 2012 9:23 am | by Malcolm Foster - Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan logged its fourth straight monthly trade deficit in October as the European debt crisis and strained business ties with China over a territorial dispute reduced exports. The Ministry of Finance said Wednesday that imports exceeded exports by 549 billion yen ($6.7 billion), the biggest deficit for October since at least 1979...

Nissan upgrades Leaf, lowers price

November 20, 2012 12:24 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The upgraded Nissan Motor Co. Leaf electric car can travel further without recharging, comes in a cheaper model and tells drivers how much battery life is left. The changes in the revamped model, shown Tuesday at a Tokyo hotel, were based on feedback from owners whose chief worry was running out of electric juice while driving, Nissan officials said.

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How Asia sees Obama's pivot to the Pacific

November 20, 2012 11:58 am | by Eric Talmadge- Associated Press | News | Comments

A lot has happened in Asia while the United States was off fighting its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and most of it can be summed up in one word — China. Fueled by China's amazing growth and the promise of its huge and expanding consumer market, the Asia-Pacific region is now, as experts like to say, the global economy's center of gravity. Sorry, Europe...

Mazda aims to sell 240,000 units a year of new Atenza globally

November 20, 2012 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mazda Motor Corp. on Tuesday launched a fully-remodeled Atenza in Japan, aiming to sell 240,000 units a year in the global market. The third generation of the Atenza, sold overseas as the Mazda 6, features advanced safety technologies and a new fuel-efficient system.

Moody's lowers Panasonic's ratings by 2 notches

November 20, 2012 9:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Moody's Investors Service Inc. said Tuesday it has lowered its long-term debt ratings for Panasonic Corp. by two notches to Baa3 on concern about the adverse impact on earnings of slowing demand and declining prices for digital products.

Yaskawa to acquire German controller maker

November 20, 2012 9:53 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Electric motor manufacturer Yaskawa Electric Corp. said Tuesday it will acquire Vipa GmbH, a German maker of programmable logic controllers for factory automation. Yaskawa said the acquisition through Yaskawa Europe GmbH will allow it to strengthen its motion control business with Vipa's products that have a stable customer base...

U.S. and Chinese consumers willing to pay more for ‘Made in USA’ products

November 19, 2012 11:43 am | News | Comments

More than 80 percent of U.S. consumers and, perhaps more surprising, over 60 percent of Chinese consumers say that they are willing to pay more for products labeled “Made in USA” than for those labeled “Made in China,” according to new research released today by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

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Fukushima Pref. to abolish nuclear fuel tax

November 19, 2012 10:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Fukushima prefectural government will abolish a nuclear fuel tax imposed on two power plants operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato said Monday, as the prefecture seeks the decommissioning of all reactors following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant...

Panasonic, Itron tie up to develop smart meters for Japanese market

November 19, 2012 10:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. smart meter maker Itron Inc. has tied up with Panasonic Corp. to develop smart meters for the Japanese market with third-generation mobile communications capability. With the smart meters to be developed by the Liberty Lake, Washington-based manufacturer, Panasonic will take part in a tender...

Baidu Japan offers app to replay recordings on Android devices

November 19, 2012 10:42 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Baidu Japan Inc. said it has released a Japanese-language application that replays voice recordings on devices running on the Android operating system. The new Simeji ver. 5.3 app can replay recordings of up to 15 seconds via e-mail and social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook, according to the Japanese arm of Baidu Inc...

Leica to release Paul Smith-designed camera

November 19, 2012 9:35 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Leica Camera Japan Co. said it will release on Friday a limited edition version of its Leica X2 compact digital camera designed by British designer Paul Smith. The Japanese subsidiary of Leica Camera AG said 1,500 units of the Leica X2 Edition Paul Smith will be sold worldwide...

China to launch new manned spaceship in 2013: Xinhua

November 12, 2012 9:03 am | by Reuters | News | Comments

China plans to launch its Shenzhou 10 spacecraft in early June 2013, one of the senior officials in charge of the manned space program said on Saturday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.The launch marks another step forward in Beijing's ambitions for a bigger presence

Google says search engine, other services cut off in China as ruling party picks new leaders

November 12, 2012 9:01 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Google says its search engine and other Internet services have been cut off from much of China just as the country's ruling party picks new leaders. Data posted on Google's website shows its services in China became largely inaccessible beginning around 1 a.m. PST Friday. That would be about 5 p.m. Friday in Beijing.

Marketing services with facial recognition technology

November 9, 2012 12:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEC Corp. said Wednesday it has started providing new services for shop operators to help them analyze customer trends using its facial recognition technology. With the services, retailers will be able to analyze the shopping behavior of different age groups, for example, as the facial images captured by cameras installed at outlets...

Edano cautious about offering more support to TEPCO

November 9, 2012 12:36 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Industry minister Yukio Edano on Thursday took a cautious stance on additional financial support by the Japanese government for Tokyo Electric Power Co. to help the utility compensate people affected by the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi plant and clean up the mess left by the disaster.

Marubeni to set up major solar plant in central Japan

November 9, 2012 12:28 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Marubeni Corp. has been awarded a contract to build and operate a large solar power plant on reclaimed land straddling the border of Mie and Aichi prefectures, prefecture officials said Friday. Construction is expected to begin next year on a 78-hectare plot of land across the Mie city of Kuwana and town of Kisozaki and the Aichi city of Yatomi.

Samsung launching larger-size smartphone in Japan

November 8, 2012 10:50 am | by Kyodo, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Japanese unit of Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea said Thursday it will launch a larger-size smartphone in Japan on Nov. 16, a move that will accelerate competition in the market ahead of the year-end shopping season.

TEPCO to choose thermal power suppliers

November 5, 2012 11:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it will issue a tender to choose suppliers of electricity equivalent to 2.6 million kilowatts of thermal power to ensure stable supply in the future. The utility, known as TEPCO, will close the tender in late May next year and announce the results in late July, it said.

Decision on Japan nuke plant fault line postponed

November 5, 2012 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Experts have postponed a decision on whether a fault line underneath Japan's only operating nuclear plant is active and the facility should be closed. A five-member team commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Agency inspected the Ohi plant in western Japan last week to check a suspected fault line.

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