Japan's current-account surplus shrinks as trade slumps
News On Japan via Bloomberg -- Jun 08
Japan posted a smaller-than-expected current-account surplus in April, highlighting weak global demand that is depressing exports.
The excess in the widest measure of the nation's trade was 333.8 billion yen ($4.2 billion), the Ministry of Finance said in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a surplus of 440.8 billion yen. Gross domestic product in the first quarter grew an annualized 4.7 percent, a separate report showed.
A 5.6 percent appreciation in the yen against the dollar since mid-March, higher energy costs and falling exports have eroded the nation's trade position. The economy might have peaked in the first quarter, with analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News predicting the expansion will moderate this year as rebuilding projects to recover from last year's earthquake are expected to taper off.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police in November announced the bust of a studio for allowing photography of school girls in seductive poses. According to Shukan Jitsuwa (Dec. 19), the trade in illicit private photography is varied, with office ladies among those in the biz. (Tokyo Reporter)
Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday they have arrested four individuals in Ebina, in connection with a robbery case in which a pregnant woman on her way home was struck in the face and robbed of approximately 100,000 yen in cash. (Japan Today )
Yoko Ono says her own bitter experience in Japan during World War II inspired her to support WhyHunger's "Imagine There's No Hunger" campaign to fight childhood hunger around the world. (abcnews.go.com )