Jan 30th, 2016


1)   The Bank of Japan has decided to adopt a negative interest rate policy, in an effort to hit its inflation target and boost the economy.

The central bank’s policymakers wrapped up a 2-day meeting on Friday.

They have decided to apply a rate of minus 0.1 percent to current accounts that financial institutions hold at the Bank.

2)   Japan’s Defense Minister Gen Nakatani has issued a command to shoot down any incoming missiles. The ministry has not made it public that he gave the order. But sources close to the ministry revealed the instruction.

3)   The resignation of a key Cabinet minister appears likely to affect how Prime Minister Shinzo Abe manages his government.

Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari stepped down on Thursday amid allegations of mishandling funds. He said he didn’t want the issue to affect Diet proceedings.

4)   A Japanese man who became stranded on a small yacht in the Pacific Ocean while attempting a solo voyage around the world has been rescued by Chile’s navy.

67-year-old Junichi Hamaguchi signaled to Japan’s Coast Guard on Tuesday, Japan time, that his yacht was flooded far off Chile.

In response to an emergency call from Japan, the Chilean Navy sent a helicopter and patrol ships.

5)   Japan’s transport ministry says its inspectors have found that nearly half of the chartered buses they checked were in violation of laws regulating their operations.

The spot checks came after 15 lives were lost earlier this month in the crash of a ski tour bus in central Japan.

6)   US fighter jets and stealth fighter jets have been deployed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, since Monday. Local residents strongly oppose their presence because of the noise.

Twelve F16 fighter jets arrived on Wednesday. Fourteen F22 stealth fighter jets flew to the base on Monday and Tuesday.

7)   European Union regulators have fined two major Japanese companies about 150 million dollars, or more than 137 million euros, for participating in a cartel and coordinating prices for auto parts.

The European Commission released a statement on Wednesday.

It says Mitsubishi Electric, Hitachi, and another firm, Denso, met and illegally determined prices of car engine parts between 2004 and 2010, breaching the EU’s antitrust rules.