Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
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Feb 25, 2014

Uniqlo tweaks ‘Made for All’ to give U.S. shoppers a ‘3-D’ fit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Fast Retailing Co’s (9983.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) casual clothing brand Uniqlo is rethinking its “Made for All” strategy, looking to offer lower priced lines in smaller Asian cities and more generous sizes to fit the U.S. market, a top executive said on Tuesday.

Asia’s biggest clothing retailer is studying ways to offer a better fit for U.S. consumers – a move that could help Uniqlo expand its customer base in the world’s biggest market as it adds more stores in suburban areas.

Feb 14, 2014

Japan’s Rakuten buys chat app Viber for $900 million to expand digital empire

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc, controlled by billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, will buy call and messaging app provider Viber Media Inc for $900 million in a deal that would more than double the number of users in its digital empire.

Rakuten offers services from financing to shopping to online video on its e-commerce platform, the largest in Japan. But in the face of a shrinking population and weak consumer spending at home, Mikitani is trying to re-invent Rakuten as a one-stop-site for a global audience.

Feb 14, 2014

Japan’s Rakuten says to buy Viber Media for $900 mln

TOKYO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten
Inc said on Friday it will buy call and messaging app
provider Viber Media Ltd for $900 million, aiming to use the
Cyprus-based company’s network in emerging markets to expand the
reach of its digital content.

Viber, run from Cyprus by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco,
will add 300 million users to Rakuten’s existing 200 million
users, Chief Executive Hiroshi Mikitani told reporters in Tokyo.

Jan 17, 2014

Nintendo warns of full-year loss on weak Wii U, 3DS sales

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nintendo Co Ltd said it expects an operating loss of 35 billion yen ($336 million) for the year to end-March, citing much weaker-than-expected sales of its Wii U and 3DS game machines during the crucial holiday season.

The move reverses its previous forecast of a 100 billion yen profit and would mark the third consecutive year of operating losses for the embattled company, falling drastically short of the average estimate of a 54.7 billion yen profit in a survey of 18 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Dec 5, 2013

Japan regulator sanctions Deutsche Securities, employee detained on suspected bribery

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s securities regulator sanctioned the domestic investment banking unit of Deutsche Bank on Thursday and one of its employees was arrested for lavishly entertaining pension fund clients, an act considered bribery under the law.

The moves mark the latest crackdown by Japanese authorities on pension fund executives who are subject to the same anti-bribery laws as government employees because part of the money they manage is invested in the national pension scheme.

Dec 5, 2013

Tokyo police arrest Deutsche Sec employee, client on suspected bribery

TOKYO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Tokyo police on Thursday arrested a
Deutsche Securities employee and a former Japanese client of the
brokerage for suspected bribery after the Deutsche official
allegedly spent thousands of dollars to entertain him.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said it had detained
Deutsche’s Shigeru Echigo, 36, and 60-year-old Yutaka Tsurisawa,
a former official at a corporate pension fund affiliated with
Mitsui & Co.

Nov 24, 2013

U.S., Japan slam China’s ‘destabilizing’ move on East China Sea airspace

TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japan and ally the United States sharply criticized China’s move to impose new rules on airspace over islands at the heart of a territorial dispute with Tokyo, warning of an escalation into the “unexpected” if Beijing enforces the rules.

China’s government-run Xinhua news agency published coordinates for a newly established “East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone,” which covers most of that sea and includes the skies over the disputed islands.

Jun 1, 2012

Korean, Japanese automakers post solid May sales

SEOUL/TOKYO, June 1 (Reuters) – Automakers in Japan and
South Korea continued to post solid gains in global sales in May
with Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors
benefiting from the sustained recovery of the U.S. market while
Japanese car sales were supported by government incentives for
fuel-efficient models.

Auto sales are among the earliest indicators of demand in
global economies and U.S. auto sales have proven to be a bright
spot while negative headlines from euro zone countries dims the
outlook there.

May 25, 2012

Toyota plans eight compacts for emerging markets

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday it would roll out eight compact car models tailored for emerging markets by 2015 in an attempt to catch up to front-runners such as Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Toyota, which lost the crown as the world’s top automaker last year, is looking to reduce its dependence on the mature North American, European and Japanese markets. It wants to shift more of its weight to growth markets such as China, India and Brazil, where Volkswagen, GM and Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have taken the lead.

May 23, 2012

Mazda, Fiat tie up on sports cars, may strengthen link

TOKYO, May 23 (Reuters) – Mazda Motor Corp, maker
of one of history’s most iconic two-seater convertibles, and
Fiat SpA are teaming up to produce a new generation of
sports cars to revive their flagging fortunes.

Automakers around the world have been forging partnerships
to share the rising burden of research and development as
governments tighten environmental and safety regulations, and to
lower costs amid stiffer competition.

    • About Chang-Ran

      "I have been covering the Japanese auto industry since 2002, broadening coverage to the Asian region in 2003."
      Joined Reuters:
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