Smart motorists rewarded with 'smart' new toll collection device
Smart motorists rewarded with 'smart' new toll collection device
Driving on expressways is becoming more like a computer game, and a new electronic toll collection in-vehicle device bolsters that feeling.
Suntory to age whisky in zero gravity aboard ISS
Suntory to age whisky in zero gravity aboard ISS
Suntory believes the key to making the smoothest whisky on Earth is literally out of this world.
Whisky is prepared in "space flasks" in July at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tsukuba Space Center in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, for its August trip to the International Space Station. (Provided by Suntory)
Suntory to age whisky in zero gravity aboard ISS
Suntory believes the key to making the smoothest whisky on Earth is literally out of this world.
A family enjoys watching beetles at an event in Fukuoka on July 21. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japanese spending an average of 89,296 yen for summer break
Japanese adults will spend an average of 89,296 yen ($720) for their summer holiday, even though the period is a day shorter than last year, a survey showed.
A counter devoted to models of the ETC 2.0 at a car equipment outlet in Tokyo’s Koto Ward (Ippei Minetoshi)
Smart motorists rewarded with 'smart' new toll collection device
Driving on expressways is becoming more like a computer game, and a new electronic toll collection in-vehicle device bolsters that feeling.
Idemitsu Kosan Co. CEO Takashi Tsukioka, right, and Showa Shell Sekiyu KK CEO Tsuyoshi Kameoka in Tokyo on July 30 (Hikaru Uchida)
Idemitsu to buy stake in Showa Shell for $1.36 billion for business integration
Idemitsu Kosan Co. will buy 33.3 percent of Showa Shell Sekiyu KK’s shares for 169.1 billion yen ($1.36 billion) to consolidate their operations amid shrinking oil demand in Japan, the companies said.
A 7-Eleven store in Fukuoka in 2014 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
First 7-Eleven to open in Vietnam in FY 2017 as part of major push into country
Convenience store chain operator Seven & i Holdings Co. will open the first 7-Eleven store in Vietnam in fiscal 2017, the company announced July 30.
An artist's rendition of the first Rolls-Royce dealership in Nagoya (Ryoko Takahashi)
Foreign luxury automakers trying to give Toyota a run for its money
High-end foreign automakers Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Porsche are going head-to-head with Toyota Motor Corp. on its home turf of the Tokai region in central Japan.
Reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California are in the process of decommissioning after failure of a steam generator that was manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
U.S. nuke plant operator files $7.57 billion case against MHI
A U.S. nuclear plant operator has demanded that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. pay $7.57 billion (930 billion yen) in compensation for the failure of a steam generator that resulted in the decommissioning of reactors, The Asahi Shimbun learned.
Foreign tourists receive advice on duty-free procedures at a Bic Camera store in February in Osaka. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan plans to double spending by foreign tourists, add 400,000 jobs by 2020
Japan has set a target of doubling annual spending by foreign tourists in the country to 4 trillion yen ($32.5 billion) and adding 400,000 tourism-related jobs by 2020.
In this July 2 photo, customer Armando Barillas checks the interior of a vehicle for sale at the New Century Volkswagen dealership in Glendale, Calif. (AP Photo)
Volkswagen sold more vehicles than Toyota in first half
Volkswagen overtook Toyota in global vehicle sales for January-June, the first time the German automaker has come out top in the intensely competitive tallies.
Kose Corp.'s Sekkisei brand lotion has been popular among tourists. (Provided by Kose Corp.)
Tourist spending pushes Kose's quarterly sales to record level
Cosmetics maker Kose Corp. posted record sales of 56.4 billion yen ($458 million) for the April-June period, fueled by bulk purchases of its beauty products by foreign tourists.
Weights of up to 300 tons are suspended inside a quake-resistance device developed by Kajima Corp. on the Shinjuku Mitsui Building in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. (Yuji Shimoyama)
Devices developed to ease earthquake sway in high-rises
Japan has long been praised for its earthquake-resistant technologies, but a new focus is targeting a recently studied seismic phenomenon that has been rattling the nation.
Investors watch an electronic board displaying stock prices at a brokerage in Beijing on July 8. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
China stocks tumble, suffer biggest one-day loss in 8 years
SHANGHAI--Chinese shares tumbled more than 8 percent on July 27 amid renewed fears about the outlook for the world's No. 2 economy, reviving the specter of a full-blown market crash that prompted unprecedented government intervention earlier this month.
Some of Seven-Eleven Japan convenience stores provide product information in 15 languages through the use of QR codes on store shelves. (Provided by Seven & i Holdings Co.)
Smartphone scanner to show product info in English
In a bid to get foreign tourists to spend more, the economy ministry is developing a smartphone scanning system that provides product information in English and other languages.
Nikkei Inc. CEO Naotoshi Okada, left, and Chairman Tsuneo Kita at a news conference in Tokyo on July 24 (The Asahi Shimbun)
Nikkei CEO vows to ensure FT's editorial independence
Top executives at Nikkei Inc. pledged on July 24 to preserve the editorial independence of the Financial Times after the Japanese media group's $1.3 billion purchase of the British business newspaper, which has sometimes been critical of its new owner.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. produces the Outlander SUV in the United States. (Provided by Mitsubishi Motors Corp.)
Mitsubishi Motors to end U.S. vehicle production
CHICAGO--Mitsubishi Motors Corp. confirmed July 24 that it plans to stop production at its only U.S. factory and sell the plant in central Illinois.
A foreign tourist purchases items at the tax-free counter in a Seven-Eleven convenience store in Tokyo’s Taito Ward on July 22. (Nobuhiro Shirai)
Convenience stores, appliance makers plugging into foreign tourist market
At a Seven-Eleven convenience store in Tokyo's Taito Ward, Singaporean tourist Lucy Heng bought 12 items including cosmetics, costing about 6,000 yen ($48) in total, and didn't have to pay the 8 percent consumption tax.
Nikkei Inc. President Tsuneo Kita speaks at a news conference in 2010 in Tokyo. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Nikkei acquires Financial Times for 160 billion yen as domestic market shrinks
Nikkei Inc., Japanese leading business newspaper group, said July 23 it has agreed to buy the renowned Financial Times from Britain’s Pearson Plc for 844 million pounds (about 160 billion yen, or $1.3 billion).
Toshiba Corp. President Hisao Tanaka, foreground, bows in apology over the company's latest accounting scandal during a news conference in Tokyo on July 21. (Sayuri Ide)
U.S. investors sue Toshiba for losses caused by false accounting
WASHINGTON--Investors in the United States filed a class action suit in California against Toshiba Corp. for stock losses resulting from the accounting fiasco at the Japanese electronics giant.
The image of a drone prototype that will be developed by Sony Corp. and ZMP Inc. (Provided by Sony Mobile Communications Inc.)
Sony to start survey business using high-tech drones
Sony Corp. will begin a drone business next year that specializes in inspecting and surveying bridges and disaster sites.
A self-driving car, based on Toyota's Prius hybrid vehicle, is tested on a public road. (Provided by ZMP Inc.)
Toyota, SMBC, Sparx plan fund to finance advanced-technology projects
Toyota Motor Corp. and two financial institutions will establish an investment fund around autumn to finance long-term development of next-generation technologies, including artificial intelligence.

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