Japan farmers worried over trans-Pacific trade pact taking effect
Kyodo -- Nov 01
Japanese farmers expressed concern Wednesday about an expected influx of imports and other effects of a trans-Pacific free trade agreement led by Japan that is set to enter into force on Dec. 30.

Australia said earlier in the day it has become the sixth nation to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, fulfilling the requirements for the 11-member tariff-cutting framework to take effect.

Japan, the leading economy in the deal, is one of the five other countries to have ratified it, along with Mexico, Singapore, New Zealand and Canada.

The members yet to finish domestic procedures are Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam.

News source: Kyodo
Dec 14
A Japanese government panel says a run of growth that began in December 2012 has now become the second-longest period of expansion in the post-war era. But that verdict comes as Japan struggles with sluggish wage growth and a chronic labor shortage. (NHK)
Dec 14
The Japanese government plans to take measures to make regional labor markets accessible to foreign blue-collar workers to avoid them concentrating in large cities such as Tokyo when the country starts accepting them under the new visa system next year, the government's top spokesman said Thursday. (Japan Today)
Dec 12
As the global shortage of skilled information technology experts hits Japan hard, companies are scrambling to lure and keep top talent with hefty annual pay packages. (Nikkei)
Dec 11
Winter bonuses at Japanese companies averaged an all-time high of 834,391 yen ($7,400) this year, according to a Nikkei survey released Monday, notching a sixth straight year of growth on strong corporate earnings. (Nikkei)
Nov 29
Japan's gross domestic product could fall by over 25% in the next 40 years as its population declines, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday, urging the government to boost productivity through structural reform to mitigate the damage. (Nikkei)
Nov 23
Japan plans to give a 5 percent reward-point rebate to consumers on some payments made through credit cards and other cashless means as a way of underpinning domestic demand after a planned tax increase next October, government officials said Thursday. (Japan Today)
Nov 15
Between 260,000 and 340,000 foreign workers are estimated to flow into Japan in the five years from next April through an envisioned immigration control law revision aimed at dealing with the country's serious labor crunch, government sources said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Nov 15
Japan's economy contracted for the first time in 2 quarters. Government officials say a string of natural disasters in the period dented exports and consumer spending. (NHK)
Nov 14
For the first time in almost three decades the Salt Industry Center of Japan has announced it will raise the price on many of its products by around 15 percent, indicating inflation has finally arrived in at least some industries. (Japan Times)
Nov 10
On Oct. 15, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed during an extraordinary Cabinet meeting that the government would raise the consumption tax from 8 to 10 percent next Oct. 1. (Japan Times)