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.
Fewer than 40 pct of residents and commuters in Tokyo take specific measures to prepare for a possible huge earthquake beneath the Japanese capital, despite high awareness on disaster prevention, a Metropolitan Police Department survey showed Friday. (Jiji Press )
The man under arrest for fatally stabbing one man and wounding three others during a 10-minute rampage in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday night, told police on Thursday that he wanted to hijack a plane at Haneda airport and fly it into Tokyo Skytree to take revenge on society. (Japan Today )
The man lauded as "Japan's Beethoven," who has admitted he never wrote his compositions, appeared before cameras for the first time since the scandal surfaced - clean-shaven and minus his trademark sunglasses. (abcnews.go.com )
The 24-year-old suspect in the murder of a man on a street in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday is believed to have posted a profile online in which he identified himself as a "celeb NEET," meaning a celebrity without a job, according to local online news site J-Cast News. (Japan Times )
The proportion of single nonregular Japanese male workers in their 20s who have girlfriends stood at 18.7 pct in 2012, against 30.7 pct for regular employees, a government survey revealed Thursday. (Jiji Press )
Police in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday night arrested a 24-year-old unemployed man over four knife attacks within 10 minutes that left one man dead and three others injured on a street. (Japan Today )