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Japan's MUFG Bank, two others lead US$290 million Sierra Space fundraising

Sep 27 (CNA) - MUFG Bank is among three Japanese firms leading a US$290-million fundraising round for US spaceship company Sierra Space, spearheading a commercial "spaceport" project in the southwestern region of Oita, the Nikkei daily said on Tuesday (Sep 26).

Despite recent setbacks for national space missions, Japanese companies aiming to foray into space are increasingly deepening ties with private companies, from American giants such as SpaceX to home-grown startups.

MUFG Bank, insurer Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire and trading house Kanematsu together invested several tens of billions of yen in Sierra, gaining a stake in the unlisted company that was now probably valued in excess of $5 billion, the paper said.

Sierra Space, spun off in 2021 from billionaire-owned Sierra Nevada Corp, is among a handful of space industry players attempting to build a private space station that NASA hopes will replace the two decade-old International Space Station by 2030.

Sierra signed a partnership in December with Kanematsu, Japan Airlines and the Oita prefectural government to turn a regional airport into Asia's first "horizontal spaceport". ...continue reading

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The Emperor and Empress of Japan have arrived in the UK for an official visit aimed at strengthening friendly relations. This marks the Emperor's first state visit to the UK in 26 years since 1998.

According to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 28.3% of women born in 1975 in Japan are childless, the highest rate among member countries.

The long-standing seniority-based system in Japanese companies is being phased out. Many have considered it natural to rise with age, but there have been times when people desired recognition based on ability. With this deeply ingrained system now under review, will the decision by a major bank change Japan's corporate culture?

In a significant ruling regarding the estate of businessman 'Kishu Don Juan,' the court declared on Friday the will, which states that his 1.3 billion yen estate be donated entirely to the city, to be valid. Relatives had contested the will's validity, but the court dismissed their claims.

A controversy has erupted over the sale of high-priced premium seats at the Gion Festival. Yasaka Shrine's chief priest has expressed concern over the decision to sell premium seats for 150,000 yen each, stating, "This is not a show."

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