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Jan 13, 2012

Japan PM picks fiscal hawk as deputy in reshuffle

TOKYO, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Yoshihiko
Noda appointed fiscal hawk Katsuya Okada as his deputy in charge
of tax and social security reform on Friday, signalling
determination to forge ahead with sales tax increases despite a
deadlocked parliament.

Noda also chose Naoki Tanaka, an upper house lawmaker from
the ruling Democratic party, to replace gaffe-prone Defence
Minister Yasuo Ichikawa, the top government spokesman said in
announcing a cabinet revamp.

Jan 12, 2012

Analysis: Japan PM bets on breaking “Groundhog Day” cycle

TOKYO (Reuters) – A prolonged cycle of dashed hopes, failed strategies and policy deadlock — Japanese politics is reminding some critics of the comedy film “Groundhog Day,” in which the hero repeatedly wakes to find he is living the same wintry day over and over.

But Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, now trying to crack that cycle and enact a tax rise to curb a huge public debt, might take heart from the 1993 film’s happy ending, where the time-loop is broken by learning from past mistakes.

Jan 12, 2012

Analysis – PM bets on breaking “Groundhog Day” cycle of politics

TOKYO (Reuters) – A prolonged cycle of dashed hopes, failed strategies and policy deadlock — Japanese politics is reminding some critics of the comedy film “Groundhog Day”, in which the hero repeatedly wakes to find he is living the same wintry day over and over.

But Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, now trying to crack that cycle and enact a tax rise to curb a huge public debt, might take heart from the 1993 film’s happy ending, where the time-loop is broken by learning from past mistakes.

Jan 10, 2012

Olympus sues execs over scandal, shares surge on M&A hopes

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s disgraced Olympus Corp is suing 19 current and former executives, including its current president, for up to almost $50 million in compensation, as it struggles to recover from one of the nation’s worst accounting scandals.

The maker of cameras and medical equipment said on Tuesday all board members subject to the lawsuit would quit in March or April, leaving it in the extraordinary position for now of continuing with its most senior executive, Shuichi Takayama, and several other directors it is suing for mismanagement.

Jan 10, 2012

Olympus sues executives over scandal

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s disgraced Olympus Corp is suing 19 current and former executives, including its current president, for up to almost $50 million in compensation, as it struggles to recover from one of the nation’s worst accounting scandals.

The maker of cameras and medical equipment said on Tuesday all board members subject to the lawsuit would quit in March or April, leaving it in the extraordinary position for now of continuing with its most senior executive, Shuichi Takayama, and several other directors it is suing for mismanagement.

Jan 10, 2012

Japan’s Olympus sues execs over scandal, shares surge on M&A hopes

TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Japan’s disgraced Olympus
Corp is suing 19 current and former executives,
including its current president, for up to almost $50 million in
compensation, as it struggles to recover from one of the
nation’s worst accounting scandals.

The maker of cameras and medical equipment said on Tuesday
all board members subject to the lawsuit would quit in March or
April, leaving it in the extraordinary position for now of
continuing with its most senior executive, Shuichi Takayama, and
several other directors it is suing for mismanagement.

Dec 21, 2011

Abductees feud ties Japan’s diplomatic hands on N.Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan wants China to help keep North Korea from imploding and might need U.S. defence backup if it does, but its own ability to take diplomatic initiatives is being constrained by its focus on the fate of citizens abducted by Pyongyang decades ago.

Japan, whose territory is within range of its unpredictable neighbour’s missile arsenal, has made a show of solidarity with its closest ally, the United States, since Monday’s sudden announcement that 69-year-old North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had died.

Dec 21, 2011

Analysis: Abductees feud constrains Japan diplomacy with N.Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan wants China to help keep North Korea from imploding and might need U.S. defense backup if it does, but its own ability to take diplomatic initiatives is being constrained by its focus on the fate of citizens abducted by Pyongyang decades ago.

Japan, whose territory is within range of its unpredictable neighbor’s missile arsenal, has made a show of solidarity with its closest ally, the United States, since Monday’s sudden announcement that 69-year-old North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had died.

Dec 13, 2011

Deadline time as Japan’s Olympus struggles to survive

TOKYO, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Japan’s scandal-ridden
Olympus Corp faces one of its biggest challenges to
survive as an independent company on Wednesday, when it must
meet a deadline to file its second-quarter results or be
delisted from the Tokyo stock exchange.

The 92-year-old maker of cameras and medical equipment has
been engulfed by a $1.7 billion accounting fraud, one of Japan’s
worst corporate scandals, and has vowed to iron out its accounts
in the eagerly awaited filing due later in the day.

Dec 12, 2011

Little appetite in Japan for major post-Olympus reform

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is unlikely to make sweeping reforms to rules on corporate governance in the wake of the Olympus Corp accounting scandal because of a largely hostile business lobby and a lack of political will to clip the wings of top executives.

The $1.7 billion scheme to hide two decades of investment losses at Olympus (7733.T: Quote, Profile, Research) is one of Japan’s worst accounting frauds and highlights long-standing criticism of lax corporate governance, yet analysts say only minor reform is likely.

    • About Linda

      "I direct a team of reporters responsible for covering politics, diplomacy, social and security policies in the world's second-biggest economy, as well as natural disasters, entertainment and lifestyle trends. I have been in my current position since April 1999 and prior to that was Chief Economics Correspondent, Japan."
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