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.
Japan's biggest newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun, has apologized to its readers for using the term "sex slaves" and "other inappropriate expressions" to describe the women forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II. (washingtonpost.com)
Thailand's parliament has voted to ban commercial surrogacy after outrage erupted over the unregulated industry following a series scandals including the case of an Australian couple accused of abandoning a baby with Down syndrome. (Japan Times)
Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun said Friday it will cut the pay of two reporters over the retraction of their articles on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, saying they erred in describing the tumultuous few days after the accident. (Kyodo)
Police have arrested a 47-year-old man on arson and attempted murder charges after he attempted to set a hospital on fire in Hachioji, Tokyo, by throwing Molotov cocktails against walls inside the building. (Japan Today)
The Utsunomiya District Court in Tochigi Prefecture on Wednesday convicted two men over the illegal disposal of a body after they dumped the body of a young woman in a cardboard box near a quarry in Sano on Aug 4. (Japan Today)