Japan's Cabinet approved a 423 billion yen ($5.3 billion) economic stimulus package on Friday, moving to fend off recession amid signs the recovery in the world's third biggest economy is faltering.
The emergency spending package, which is double the size originally expected, is also meant to help make up for lost momentum from reconstruction in the region devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's leeway to boost spending is limited by a legislative standoff preventing issuance of deficit-covering bonds. Noda has ordered the government to draft further measures to boost growth by next month.
Friday's decision coincided with news of a 0.1 percent fall in the consumer price index in September, adding to pressure on the central bank to ease policies to help fight deflation, or falling prices, which can hinder economic growth.
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )