Japan stocks decline as recession dents demand for materials

STOCKS Japan stocks slumped as prospects for a prolonged recession dimmed the earnings outlook for manufacturers and commodities producers. (14) [BLOOMBERG]

Job-reneging firms’ names to be released

BUSINESS Aiming to embarrass companies into better behavior, the labor ministry plans to publish the names of those that withdrew job offers made to graduating students in an attempt to discourage unilateral cancellations, sources said. (5) [ASAHI]

Nippon Oil, Nippon Mining to integrate business

BUSINESS Nippon Oil Corp., the largest oil distributor in Japan, and major distributor Nippon Mining Holdings Inc., will integrate their business by establishing a holding company, possibly in the fall of 2009, sources familiar with the plan said Thursday. (7) [KYODO]

US policy adviser predicts dollar slipping below 90 yen

BUSINESS Lawrence Lindsey, a former economic policy adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush, told Japanese lawmakers in Tokyo on Wednesday the U.S. dollar could slip below 90 yen, the lawmakers said. (5) [KYODO]

Gov’t to grant 1 mil. yen to firms hiring part-timers as full-timers

BUSINESS The government is drafting a new employment stimulus package under which it will grant a subsidy of up to 1 million yen per person to companies hiring non-student part-timers as full-time employees, informed sources said Tuesday. (1) [KYODO]

BOJ takes steps to thaw credit crunch

POLLS In an extraordinary monetary policy meeting Tuesday, the Bank of Japan said it would help companies get operating funds toward the yearend by accepting lower-rated corporate debt from banks as collateral for loans. (2) [THE JAPAN TIMES]

Companies plan for citizen judge start

BUSINESS With the new citizen judge system just months away, companies are trying to figure out ways to cope with possible interruptions to their business caused by staff forced to take leave. [ASAHI]

30,000 nonregular workers to lose jobs by March

BUSINESS About 30,000 nonregular workers have lost or are set to lose their jobs in the six months through March, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Friday. [YOMIURI]

Small firms’ business confidence logs worst level on record

BUSINESS Business sentiment among small and midsize companies has deteriorated to the worst level on record, with falls in exports of automobiles and home appliances hitting subcontractors, according to recent surveys by two government-affiliated financial institutions. [KYODO]

Japan stocks post best weekly rally in a month; Panasonic drop

STOCKS Japan stocks rose, capping their best weekly gain in a month, on expectations governments will take more steps to pull the global economy out of recession. [BLOOMBERG]

Sapporo dropped by British brewery

BUSINESS The British beer maker Diageo plc said Wednesday that it will end its sales and distribution contract with Sapporo Breweries Ltd. in May next year. [ASAHI]

Nokia to withdraw from Japanese market

BUSINESS The world’s leading mobile phone maker Nokia said on Thursday it would stop selling and marketing its mobile devices in Japan because its market share there remained below expectations. [AFP]

Tokyo stocks plunge after Fukuda’s resignation announcement

STOCKS Tokyo stocks gave up early modest gains to close sharply lower Tuesday due to falls in key Asian equities and anxiety about Japan’s political landscape following Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s abrupt announcement Monday that he will resign. [KYODO]

Politicians still meddling with BOJ

BUSINESS The ordinary Diet session that came to a close Saturday was characterized by a number of unprecedented events. [YOMIURI]

40% of business leaders say local economies are slowing

BUSINESS Nearly 40 percent of local business leaders believe their regional economies are slowing down or deteriorating because of soaring prices of crude oil and raw materials, according to a recent Asahi Shimbun survey. [ASAHI]

Fukuda may signal cut in corporate taxes

BUSINESS Japan’s government may signal it will consider cutting corporate taxes in an effort to encourage more foreign investment into an economy expected to grow at the slowest pace in five years this year. (1) [BLOOMBERG]

Nikkei at nearly 1-month closing low

STOCKS Japan’s Nikkei stock average slid 0.6 percent to a nearly one-month closing low on Monday as Mitsubishi Estate Co and other property developers took a beating on reports of lower condominium prices, while blue-chip exporters slid after Wall Street tumbled. (2) [REUTERS]

Labor, business, government agree on wage floor increase

BUSINESS Representatives from labor organizations, employers and the government have reached a broad agreement to raise minimum hourly wages to a national average of about 755 yen, up 68 yen from the current 687 yen, over the next five years. [YOMIURI]

SESC pushes for record fine against IHI for forging statements

BUSINESS The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission on Thursday urged the Financial Services Agency to slap an administrative fine of about 1.6 billion yen on heavy machinery maker IHI Corp. for submitting false financial statements. [ASAHI]

Citigroup offers 1,350 consumer finance employees early retirement

BUSINESS Citigroup Inc. offered 1,350 employees at its consumer finance unit in Japan early retirement with two months’ pay as the company withdraws from the business, a proposal the workers’ union called unacceptable. [BLOOMBERG]

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