News Column

Kyodo news summary -5-

January 30, 2014

TOKYO , Jan. 31 -- ( Kyodo ) _ ---------- Japan's housing starts climb for 4th straight year in 2013 TOKYO - Japan's housing starts climbed for the fourth straight year in 2013, up 11.0 percent from the previous year to 980,025 units, government data showed Friday. Starts on privately owned houses grew 13.9 percent to 354,772 units, a rise for the fourth consecutive year, while those on rental housing also jumped 11.8 percent to 356,263, up for the second year in a row, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. ---------- Honda group net profit up 38.5% in April-Dec. TOKYO - Honda Motor Co. said Friday its group net profit in the April-December period in 2013 rose 38.5 percent from a year earlier to 403.60 billion yen , due to a weaker yen boosting its overseas sales. Its operating profit increased 43.1 percent from the previous year to 584.99 billion yen on sales of 8.75 trillion yen , up 22.6 percent. ---------- Japan's auto output in 2013 falls 3.1%, exports down 2.7% TOKYO - Japan's vehicle production in 2013 fell 3.1 percent from the previous year to 9,630,070 units due to a decline in passenger car output, an industry body said Friday. The lower production comes after an 18.4 percent jump in 2012 when output recovered from a steep fall the previous year. By vehicle type, passenger car production in 2013 went down 4.3 percent to 8,189,323 units following a double-digit drop in 2012. Truck output grew 3.3 percent to 1,308,066 units and bus production rose 8.6 percent to 132,681 units, both showing the second straight year of increase, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said. ---------- Nikkei drops to 2.5-month low on yen's appreciation TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index finished Friday at a fresh two-and-a-half-month low as an early gain was erased on the back of the yen's appreciation and lingering concerns over the course of emerging markets. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 92.53 points, or 0.62 percent, from Thursday at 14,914.53, its lowest finish since Nov. 14 . The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 3.45 points, or 0.28 percent, lower at 1,220.64. ---------- Japan-S. Korea row emerges at international manga festival in France TOKYO /ANGOULEME, France - Japan expressed its disappointment Friday that South Korea is using an international comic book festival in France to publicize the issue of women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. "It's extremely regrettable that the situation is contrary to the purpose of the manga festival, which is aimed at promoting international cultural exchanges and friendship," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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