Japan logs record trade gap in 2012 as exports struggle
News On Japan via Reuters -- Jan 24
Japan logged a record annual trade deficit in 2012 as exports continued to slide in December in a worrying signal that the effects of a weaker yen and the new government's moves to boost the economy with fiscal and monetary stimulus have been slow in coming.
Sentiment among Japanese manufacturers improved for a second straight month and is seen returning to a positive reading in the coming few months, providing some evidence that the world's third-biggest economy is crawling out of a mild recession.
But the record annual trade gap of 6.93 trillion yen ($78.27 billion) in 2012 and the seventh consecutive monthly drop in exports show that improved sentiment has yet to translate into hard economic data.
Finance ministry data on Thursday showed that exports fell 5.8 percent in the year to December, more than economists' consensus forecast of a 4.2 percent drop.
With crackdowns on violators of child prostitution and pornography statutes having increased in recent years, Nikkan Gendai (May 17) wonders how a manager of an online operation that primarily sold lolicon (“Lolita complex”) films was able to evade detection for an extended period prior to his arrest earlier this month. (Tokyo Reporter)
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )