The Bank of Japan upgraded its economic assessments for eight of the country's nine regions in a quarterly report released Thursday, reflecting improvements in business and consumer sentiment thanks to the yen's weakening and rises in stock prices.
It was the first time in three years and nine months that the Bank of Japan has revised up its economic assessments for at least eight regions for two straight quarters. In its previous report, the central bank upgraded its assessments for all nine regions.
The latest report said that the economy "has been picking up" in the Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai and Kyushu-Okinawa regions, "has been picking up moderately" in the Kinki region, "has been picking up moderately as a whole" in the Chugoku region and "has begun to pick up" in the Shikoku region.
The spreading meat scandal in China prompted Japan Wednesday to tighten inspections of food imports as Chinese authorities detained five employees of a Shanghai supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken. (Japan Times)
The Japanese government assured South Korea on Wednesday that it will uphold an official apology over frontline brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II that mainly recruited Asian women as prostitutes. (Kyodo)
The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in the first half of 2014 hit a record high of 6.26 million thanks to the yen's weakness and increased international flights at Tokyo's Haneda airport, a government body said Wednesday. (Nikkei)
Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Wednesday visited a temporary shopping center, opened after the March 2011 disaster, in the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (Jiji Press)
A group of residents from a village near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is planning to file for state arbitration so all villagers can be entitled to equal damages regardless of radiation levels of their areas. (NHK)
Inventor and performance artist Showta Mori has been getting a taste of internet fame recently for his videos featuring his quick-draw, arm-mounted iPhone sleeve gun, but that's far from his only creation or even his weirdest creation. (rocketnews24.com)
A 49-year-old man arrested Saturday on suspicion of confining an 11-year-old girl at his house here has told police he wanted to be with the girl forever, according to a source related to the investigation. (The Japan News)