Tokyo stocks rose 1.90 percent Thursday as the yen fell on expectations Japan's premier will be unseated in elections next month by a business-friendly challenger who wants "unlimited" central bank monetary easing.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 164.99 points to 8,829.72 in heavy trade, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 2.09 percent, or 15.10 points, to 737.51.
However, Sony plunged 8.85 percent to 793 yen after the troubled electronics maker announced it would issue convertible bonds worth 150 billion yen ($1.9 billion), sparking dilution fears.
The Tokyo market's rise was fuelled by dealers betting that opposition leader Shinzo Abe would topple Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his centre-left Democratic Party of Japan at polls set for December 16, analysts said.
Japan's farm ministry said Thursday that the highly pathogenic avian influenza found at a poultry farm in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto has been confirmed to be the H5N8 subtype, the same virus strain as the bird flu found in South Korea. (Jiji Press )
Train operators in Tokyo and surrounding areas will be shutting down coin-operated luggage lockers at main stations before and during US President Barack Obama's visit next week, as a security measure. (NHK )
Just over one ton of water contaminated with radioactive particulates leaked from one of the containment vessels at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said. (Japan Today )
Japan is expected to secure the minimum required power supply capacity when electricity demand peaks in August, even if all the country's nuclear reactors remain offline, estimates by major regional utilities showed Thursday. (Kyodo )
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today )
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )
Tokyo prosecutors plan to look into whether a man, who has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing copies of Anne Frank's diary, is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible for his actions, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press )