Japan's current account surplus sharply narrowed in the first six months of the year as its merchandise trade gap hit its highest level on record, underscoring the impact of domestic energy problems and fallout from Europe's debt crisis.
Europe's woes continue to weigh on global growth and fuel export-hobbling rises in the yen, while Japan's energy imports keep expanding due to the shutdown of many of its nuclear plants.
The surplus in the current account-the broadest measure of what Japan earns through international trade and investment-shrank 45% on year to 3.037 trillion yen ($38.62 billion dollar) in January-June, according to data released Wednesday by the Ministry of Finance.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )