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TOKYO (AP) — Japan's economy grew at an annual pace of 2.1% in the first quarter, marking the second straight quarter of expansion, according to government data released Monday.

The Cabinet Office said seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product, the total value of a nation's goods and services, grew 0.5% in the January-March period from the previous quarter.

Healthy public investment and private residential investment helped boost growth during the quarter, according to the data, which is likely to be revised.

Japan's economy has recorded moderate growth under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" anti-deflation programs but contracted in some recent periods because of natural disasters and other factors.

The impact from the deepening trade dispute between the U.S. and China also is crimping demand for export-reliant Japan.

Worries have been growing that the momentum for Japan's economic growth may be slowing.

Harumi Taguchi of IHS Markit in Tokyo said one factor behind the better-than-expected results was that imports slowed as well as exports, which signals slowing internal demand.

"Extra holidays related to the new emperor, the Rugby World Cup and a lift in consumption ahead of an expected sales tax increase are expected to support consumption for some time," he said.

But he noted that extra government measures may be needed to support spending after the tax takes effect.Read more on NewsOK.com

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TOKYO (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly lower Tuesday after Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged ahead of a much anticipated U.S. Federal Reserve decision later this week on whether to raise interest rates.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 percent to 18,026.48 and South Korea's Kospi edged 0.3 percent higher to 1,937.56.Read more on NewsOK.com

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South Korean Unification Minister Hong Yong-Pyo (L) shakes hands with Kim Yang-Gon, a senior North Korean official responsible for South Korean affairs, as South Korean presidential security adviser Kim Kwan-Jin looks on after their meeting at the Panmunjom on Aug. 25, 2015, in Paju, South Korea. Both countries came to an agreement to ease tensions after an exchange of artillery fire last week. (South Korean Unification Ministry via Getty Images)

The Minumurra River floods farm land in Jamberoo on Aug. 25, 2015, in Jamberoo, Australia. Residents downstream of the Jerrara dam which feeds into the river have been evacuated following the flooding of Jerrara dam. (Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Smoke billows from Ain El-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp near Lebanon’s southern port city of Sidon during fighting between members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah movement and Islamist militants on Aug. 25, 2015. Tensions between Islamists and Fatah have risen in recent months in the refugee camp. In July, two people were killed in clashes between the two sides. (Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 25, 2015 in New York City. Following a day of steep drops in global markets, the Dow Jones industrial average rallied early in the day only to fall over 200 points at the close. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Lava flows out of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, as it erupts on Aug. 25, 2015, on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean. The volcano started to erupt on August 24, 2015 for the fourth time since the beginning of the year, according to a statement released by the Prefecture. (Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images)

A Cambodian police official holds packets of marijuana for the media in a room filled with bags of the narcotic at the Anti-Drug Department in Phnom Penh on Aug. 25, 2015. Cambodian police on Aug. 25 said they have made a large seizure of nearly 1.5 tonnes of marijuana packed into coffee bags that worth more than 7 million USD in Western markets. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)

Afghan mourners offer funeral prayers during a ceremony after a series of explosions at a gas storage facility on the edge of the western city of Herat on Aug/ 25, 2015. At least 11 people including several children were killed in a series of explosions at a gas storage facility on the edge of the western city of Herat, officials said on Aug. 25. The explosions triggered an inferno which spread to a nearby camp for internally displaced people where most of the deaths occurred. (Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images)

A police investigator (C) and firemen walk among wreckage left by a fire that struck a sports hall that was intended to house refugees and migrants applying for asylum in Germany on Aug. 25, 2015, in Nauen, Germany. Police announced they have ruled out a technical source as causing the fire and are assuming arson is to blame. Germany has seen a spate of protests, arson attacks and violence in recent weeks from right-wing groups opposed to Germany accepting more refugees. German authorities recently announced they expect 800,000 refugees and migrants to arrive in the country this year, many of them from war-torn countries including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

An African illegal migrant carries his belongings following his release from the Holot Detention Centre in Israel’s Negev desert, on Aug. 25, 2015. Israel began releasing hundreds of African migrants from the detention center after a court order, but the asylum-seekers were barred from entering two cities. A recent court decision ordered Israel to release the illegal migrants held for more than a year at a detention centre in the Negev desert, a ruling affecting 1,178 of the asylum-seekers. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

Telephone poles lean after Typhoon Goni hit Kamimine town, Saga prefecture, southwestern Japan, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. The powerful typhoon damaged buildings, tossed around cars and flooded streets in southwestern Japan on Tuesday before heading out to the Sea of Japan. (Masahito Ono/Kyodo News via AP)

Tens of thousands of protesters from Gujarat’s Patel community participate in a rally in Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. The members of the community from this western Indian state are demanding affirmative action for better access to education and employment. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

People protest in front of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to support Oleg Sentsov and other political prisoners in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2105. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Citizens walk on handrail as severe flooding blocks the road on Aug. 24, 2015, in Shanghai, China. Shanghai Central Meteorological Observatory has issued yellow and orange alert to rainstorm as the accumulated precipitation data within three hours will rise to 50 mm in most part of Shanghai City. (ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

Syrian refugees wait near the border railway station of Idomeni, northern Greece, in order to be allowed by the Macedonian police to cross the border from Greece to Macedonia, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. The U.N.’s refugee agency said it expects 3,000 people to cross Macedonia daily in the coming days. Greece has been overwhelmed this year by record numbers of migrants who have been arriving on a number of Greek islands. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

Colombians deported from Venezuela return for their belongings and carry them across the Tachira River, border between the two countries, to Cucuta, in the Colombian North of Santander Department, on Aug. 25, 2015. Over a thousand Colombians “who did not have any type of identification” had been deported since Friday, according to the governor of the Venezuelan state of Tachira, Jose Gregorio Vielma. On Aug. 21 Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro indefinitely closed his country’s border with Colombia and declared a state of emergency in part of the frontier region following an attack on Wednesday that wounded four people. (Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images)

Lebanese protesters set fire to barriers and trash behind the barbed wire separating them from the police, during a protest against the trash crisis and government corruption in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. The powerful Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah threw its weight behind mass protests calling for the government’s resignation Tuesday, deepening a crisis that started over trash collection but is tapping into a much deeper malaise. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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Hundreds of couples gathered in Times Square to celebrate the victory over Japan in World War II the same way one of the American sailors did 70 years ago—by a kiss.
The reference is, of course, to the picture by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, taken in Times Square right after President Harry S. Truman announced on August 14, 1945, that Japan had surrendered.
Despite a cheerful atmosphere, today’s recreation wasn’t altogether accurate, since Eisenstaedt remembered the sailor grabbed a woman he didn’t know. This time, participants were specifically encouraged to come with a partner or, at the very least, ask for permission.

At 8:15 a.m. local time on August 6, 1945, a blinding light flashed above the 7th largest city in Japan. An instant later people heard an earsplitting explosion. A searing blaze flashed through the streets of the commercial center, instantly turning people into ash.
Then the shock wave came, ripping through buildings as if through sugar glass, like an invisible tsunami obliterating all in its way as far as one could see. In a matter of seconds, the city of Hiroshima was virtually gone.
Then, out of the rubble of absolute destruction, hundreds of fires emerged, unleashing a vortex of fire. With the ominous mushroom cloud lingering above the city like a sign of death, only the cracked walls of a cathedral, a steel dome of an exhibition hall, and a few other earthquake-proofed buildings peaked out of the desolation. With thick clouds too dark to penetrate, the land fell into darkness.
Some 500 miles north-east in Tokyo nobody knew. Communication with Hiroshima went down, but there was no official confirmation of what happened. A young officer of the General Staff was instructed to fly to Hiroshima, survey the situation, and return to Tokyo. But he didn’t return. He reached the city in the afternoon. It was still burning. He landed in the south, sent a message to Tokyo, and stayed to help with the relief work.
Around midnight in Japan, a public announcement came from the White House and the Japanese leadership for the first time officially learned that the country has been hit by an atomic bomb.
A full account can be read in the report compiled by the Manhattan Engineer District of the U.S. Army which was released on June 29, 1946.

In a new effort to bolster its claim to disputed islands in the East China Sea, the Chinese government has introduced a website under their Chinese name, Diaoyu. Japan already has a website detailing its sovereignty.

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Hawaii is having a white Christmas

Thursday, 25 December 2014 by

A couple views of Mauna Kea this AM from UH Hilo and National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. pic.twitter.com/jRGyRyx00v — NWS Gray (@NWSGray) December 24, 2014 HONOLULU — Some people in…

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American Culture, Riding a Mushroom Cloud

Wednesday, 24 December 2014 by

In “Chewing Gum and Chocolate,” Shomei Tomatsu explored the attractions and contradictions of American culture and the military in postwar Japan.

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