Biggest floating solar power plant built in Hyogo
Biggest floating solar power plant built in Hyogo
KASAI, Hyogo Prefecture--The world's largest floating solar power plant has been built on Sakasamaike Pond here.
Beijing lowering import tariffs to spur consumers to shop in China
Beijing lowering import tariffs to spur consumers to shop in China
BEIJING--Beijing is moving to bolster personal consumption by lowering tariffs on imports of popular daily commodities as well as the tax rate levied on luxury goods.
The world’s largest floating solar power plant--seen here May 22--has been built on  Sakasamaike Pond in Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture. (Eijiro Morii)
Biggest floating solar power plant built in Hyogo
KASAI, Hyogo Prefecture--The world's largest floating solar power plant has been built on Sakasamaike Pond here.
Shoppers are sparse at a shopping mall in central Beijing filled with luxury brand shops. (Tokuhiko Saito)
Beijing lowering import tariffs to spur consumers to shop in China
BEIJING--Beijing is moving to bolster personal consumption by lowering tariffs on imports of popular daily commodities as well as the tax rate levied on luxury goods.
Naoki Kurisu, president of the Magokoro Tatami company, poses by the coffin-fitting tatami in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture. (Yoshinobu Matsunaga)
Tatami mat allows Japanese to feel at home even after death
TOYOHASHI, Aichi Prefecture--A traditional Japanese saying for expressing a desire to die a natural death, “I want to die on a tatami mat," can now come true for more people.
The first Starbucks outlet in Tottori Prefecture has a rush of orders on its May 23 opening. (Hayashi Yanagawa)
1,000 queue as Starbucks opens in Tottori
TOTTORI--The Starbucks conquest of Japan is complete, with the opening May 23 of a branch of the coffeehouse chain in the last prefecture without an outlet.
Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan, at a news conference in Tokyo on May 22 (The Asahi Shimbun)
BOJ slightly more upbeat on economy; Kuroda sees no need for more monetary easing
The Bank of Japan offered a slightly more upbeat view of the economy on May 22 and its governor shrugged off the need for more monetary stimulus, dismissing market concerns that the recovery is too slow to accelerate inflation toward the bank's target.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, and Finance Minister Taro Aso, far left (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
IMF presses Japan to take bold fiscal, structural reforms
The International Monetary Fund warned the Bank of Japan will take longer than it expects to hit its inflation target even with more monetary easing, and said "bolder" structural reforms are required to shake off an entrenched deflationary mindset.
China's Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei, left, delivers a speech next to other representatives of founding member countries at the signing ceremony of memorandum of understanding on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing on October 24, 2014. (AP Photo)
China, India likely to be biggest shareholders in AIIB
SINGAPORE--China is likely to hold a 25 to 30 percent stake in the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank while India will be the second-biggest shareholder, delegates said May 22 after a three-day meeting of the bank's founding member nations in Singapore.
On-Art's Allosaurus suit "attacks" audience members at a promotional event in Tokyo's Akihabara district on May 1. (Kenji Takayama)
Art company's dinosaur suits a roaring success
The screams that echoed in the nation’s capital confirmed that plastics arts company On-Art had achieved its goal: thrilling and terrifying the bejesus out of children and grown-ups alike.
A rally is held in New York in May 2012 to protest widening income gaps. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Rising inequality holding back economic growth, report warns
PARIS--The widening gap between haves and have-nots in much of the developed world not only raises concerns about the fraying social fabric--it's also dramatically holding back economic growth, according to a global study.
South Korean experts inspect a radiation dose measurement device at the Onahama fish market in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, in December 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan takes South Korea to WTO over Fukushima-related food import restrictions
GENEVA--Japan launched a trade complaint at the World Trade Organization on May 21 to challenge South Korea's import bans and additional testing requirements for Japanese food after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The Asahi Shimbun
Fukushima again tops in grand prizes at sake competition
Fukushima Prefecture won the most grand prizes at the Annual Japan Sake Awards for the third straight year, lifting the spirits of brewers still struggling with the effects of the nuclear accident there.
Participants at the International Drone Expo 2015 check out a drone on display. (Wataru Sekita)
High-tech flying robots dazzle at 1st drone expo
CHIBA--Japan’s first exhibition on drone technology got under way here as the government weighs legal restrictions on operating unmanned flying robots.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan unveils $110 billion plan to fund Asia infrastructure, eye on AIIB
Japan unveiled a plan on May 21 to provide $110 billion in aid for Asian infrastructure projects, as China prepares to launch a new institutional lender that is seen as encroaching on the regional financial clout of Tokyo and its ally Washington.
An artist’s rendition of the "Finding Nemo" themed attraction that will open in spring 2017 at Tokyo DisneySea ((c) Disney/Pixar, Provided by Oriental Land Co.)
Tokyo DisneySea to open 'Finding Nemo' submarine theater attraction in 2017
A “Finding Nemo” themed attraction based on the film and its sequel will open in Tokyo DisneySea in spring 2017, the park’s operator, Oriental Land Co., said May 19.
A showroom for Takata Corp. products in Tokyo (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Takata doubling air bag recall to 34 million, largest auto recall in U.S. history
WASHINGTON--Japanese air bag manufacturer Takata Corp. is doubling a recall of potentially deadly air bags to nearly 34 million vehicles, creating the largest automotive recall in American history, U.S. safety regulators said on May 19.
New condominiums and houses are being built in Muko, Kyoto Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan economy gathers pace in 1st quarter as housing investment rises
Japan's economy beat forecasts to expand an annualized 2.4 percent in the January-March quarter, its fastest pace in a year, helped by policy changes that boosted investment in new housing.
A drone takes off during a demonstration flight at the opening ceremony of an airfield dedicated to researching the unmanned vehicles in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, on May 18. (Susumu Yoshida)
Facility to test drones, train operators opens in Tsukuba
TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--An airfield dedicated to testing drones to help foster Japan’s unmanned aircraft systems industry opened here on May 18.
Kenichiro Yoshida, executive deputy president at Sony Corp., explains the company’s earnings report for the business year that ended in March. “We will put importance on profits rather than the amount of sales,” he tells a news conference in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on April 30. (Shinya Takagi)
U.S. advisory firm to urge institutional investors to shake up 500 Japanese companies
An influential U.S. consulting company plans to advise institutional investors to vote against the management lineups of about 500 listed Japanese companies with low profitability during their shareholders’ meetings in June.
Nissan's experimental car with autonomous driving technology (Provided by Nissan Motor Co.)
Ghosn: Nissan will have autonomous cars by 2020
YOKOHAMA--Nissan Motor Co. will have vehicles packed with autonomous driving technology by 2020 but whether people will be able to drive them on roads is up to government regulators, CEO Carlos Ghosn said May 18.
An evening of entertainment normally off-limits to first-timers (the custom of "ichigen-san okotowari") held on March 18 in Kanazawa's Higashiyama area, where foreign guests enjoyed a samisen and dance performance by geisha. (Ayateru Hosozawa)
New 'Hokuriku Route' on fast track to winning over foreign visitors to Japan
In wooing the rapidly increasing number of foreign tourists to Japan, the new Hokuriku Shinkansen is drawing attention from the so-called "Golden Route," connecting Tokyo and Osaka via Mount Fuji.

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