Japan's population declines for 5th straight year
TOKYO - Japan's population stood at 126,434,964 on a resident register basis as of Jan. 1, down 243,684 from a year earlier and declining for the fifth straight year, amid a falling birthrate and a growing proportion of elderly people, government data showed Wednesday.
The number of deaths last year hit a record high of 1,267,838, while the number of births increased slightly to 1,030,388, according to the data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Japan's key bond yield falls to 0.570%
TOKYO - The yield on the bellwether 10-year Japanese government bond finished lower Wednesday as risk aversion set in amid the instability in Iraq and falling Tokyo stocks.
The yield on the No. 334, 0.6 percent issue, the main yardstick of long-term interest rates, ended interdealer trading at 0.570 percent, down 0.005 percentage point from Tuesday's close.
Prime ministers of Bhutan, Macedonia to visit Japan
TOKYO - Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will visit Japan from June 29 to July 3, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
During the visit, Tobgay will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the ministry said. Abe plans to host a dinner for the visiting prime minister, it added.
Paul McCartney posts video message after canceling concerts
LONDON - Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney has released a video message to fans, including those in Japan, after he canceled concerts in May due to ill health.
"Everybody has been asking me how I feel. I feel great. Thank you very much for asking," said the British rock icon in the video message.
Two Koreas to hold talks on forestry cooperation
SEOUL - Representatives of a South Korean civic group will hold talks with North Korean officials in the North's border city of Kaesong to discuss the resumption of forestry cooperation, the South's Unification Ministry said Wednesday.
The meeting, between Green One Korea and North Korea'sCouncil for National Reconciliation, will take place Thursday.
FOCUS: Suntory faces test of changing itself with new blood
TOKYO - When Takeshi Niinami, the chairman of convenience store operator Lawson Inc., was surrounded by reporters Tuesday, he stressed he wants to "create new value" when the new blood of Japan Inc. assumes the presidency of one of the most traditional companies in the country later this year.
Hours earlier, Nobutada Saji, the president of 115-year-old brewer Suntory Holdings Ltd., which recently bought U.S. whiskey maker Beam Inc., revealed his plan to be succeeded by Niinami in October following approval from the board next month, in a change that will put someone outside Suntory's founding family at its helm for the first time ever.
Toyota to launch hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Japan by next March
TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it will begin selling a sedan-style hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Japan by March 2015 with a retail price of around 7 million yen.
The world's top-selling automaker also said it will launch FCVs in the United States and Europe around summer 2015.
Tokyo stocks drop on selling to lock in recent gains
TOKYO - Tokyo stocks ended lower Wednesday on selling to lock in recent gains after overnight falls in U.S. shares.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 109.63 points, or 0.71 percent, from Tuesday to 15,266.61. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 7.67 points, or 0.60 percent, lower at 1,260.83.