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Nissan asked Japanese government for help avoiding merger with Renault: WSJ

The Japan Times

NEW YORK - Nissan Motor Co. asked the Japanese government for help in fending off a proposal to merge with Renault SA, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The request by the Japanese automaker was made months before the arrest of former Nissan and Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn in Japan in November, the paper said. The unusual request for government help "indicated the level of pressure that Nissan executives sensed coming from the French side" to merge, the paper said. The French government is the biggest shareholder of Renault. In response to the request, the Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry drafted an agreement that would allow it to oversee talks between Nissan and Renault, a role Nissan considered invasive, the paper said.


Saudi Arabian daily Arab News to launch Japanese edition next month

The Japan Times

Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Arab News is set to launch a Japanese online edition in October, the editor-in-chief of the paper announced Monday in Tokyo during a global forum of business and political leaders. At the G1 Global Conference, Faisal Abbas said the Japanese news site will be available in both Japanese and English and will present original reporting from the Middle East and Japan, as well as translations of Arab News' English content. The launch of its Japanese edition is a step forward in the global development of the paper, Abbas said. The Japanese site will be the paper's second international edition after the publisher launched one in Pakistan in 2017. Coverage of the enthronement ceremony for Emperor Naruhito will be the first content to be published on the Japanese site at arabnews.jp.


Deadline looms for one of the last English-Japanese daily newspapers in U.S.

Los Angeles Times

For 113 years, the Rafu Shimpo newspaper has chronicled the story of the Japanese American community in Southern California. It survived World War II, when writers and editors were shipped off to internment camps. Before leaving, they hid the paper's Japanese type under office floorboards. But if the money-losing paper doesn't raise about 500,000 in revenue -- by more than doubling its subscribers -- it could close in December, marking the end of one of the last English-Japanese dailies in the U.S., and the oldest. "Some of the things we cover you can't get anywhere else," said Michael Komai, 64, the paper's publisher, whose family has run the Little Tokyo-based publication for three generations.


Thanks to negative rate, Japanese borrower can buy Dom Perignon after debt sale

The Japan Times

By selling commercial paper at negative interest rates, a Japanese leasing company will get paid enough money to buy a bottle of Dom Perignon Rose Vintage 2004 if it wants. Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing Co., a unit of the nation's second-biggest lender by market value, is set to become the first Japanese company to issue debt and get paid for it, according to the financier. The firm stands to receive 5 billion ( 44.2 million) plus 25,890 next week when it sells the commercial paper and will only have to repay 5 billion in six months' time. It will have about 230 left over, enough to buy the bottle of champagne or 100 cans of beer, according to prices on Amazon.co.jp. The sale would be the first example of Japanese corporate debt sold at interest rates below zero after the Bank of Japan's adoption of a negative-interest-rate policy in January caused yields on sovereign notes of as long as 10 years to fall to minus levels.


Japanese business group in Taipei pushes Taiwan to lift food import ban

The Japan Times

TAIPEI – Lifting the ban on food imports from five prefectures imposed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is key for Taiwan to join any economic deals with Japan or other countries in the region, a Japanese business group in Taipei said. In its annual white paper released Friday, the Taipei branch of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the Japanese business community in Taipei urged the Taiwan government to relax or lift restrictions on the food ban imposed over eight years ago. "We hope the Taiwan government will change all practices and rules that run counter to international practices and are unique only in Taiwan, so it can ink any economic partnership agreement of its wish," it said, highlighting the Japan food export ban. The local Japanese chamber with 480 member companies called on the government to base its decisions on scientific evidence and international standards. It pointed out that as of Aug. 1, all food products imported from Japan have passed inspections since March 15, 2011, while the Japanese government conducts strict inspections on all food products and only those that are safe can be sold at markets or exported.