Japan machine tool orders hit record high for 1st time in decade
Jiji -- Apr 25
Orders for Japanese machine tools hit a record high for the first time in a decade in fiscal 2017, backed by strong demand from smartphone makers and others in China, industry data showed Tuesday.

Total orders jumped 38.1 pct from the previous year to 1,780.3 billion yen, surpassing the previous peak of 1,593.9 billion yen set in fiscal 2007, before the 2008 global financial crisis, according to the Japan Machine Tool Builders' Association.

Orders from abroad soared 44.2 pct to 1,092.3 billion yen, the first rise in three years, reflecting higher demand in Europe and the United States, as well as China.

Domestic orders rose 29.4 pct to 687.9 billion yen, led by those from semiconductor manufacturers and automotive-related companies.

"The current boom is expected to continue as companies are willing to invest in factory equipment," Yukio Iimura, chairman of the association and also of Toshiba Machine Co. <6104>, told a press conference.

News source: Jiji
May 26
The balance of foreign assets held by Japan as of the end of 2017 surpassed 1,000 trillion yen for the first time ever, a government report showed Friday. (Jiji)
May 25
Chinese money is pouring into Hokkaido at a much greater scale than imagined. In his recent visit to the island prefecture, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attended a forum of Japanese prefectural and Chinese provincial governors in Sapporo on May 11, but a Chinese diplomatic source said he was just using the meeting as an excuse for touring the island. (Japan Times)
May 22
Social security costs in Japan are estimated to reach up to 190 trillion yen in fiscal 2040, when the number of people aged 65 or over is projected to peak, the government said Monday. (Jiji)
May 19
Japan's lower house on Friday passed a bill to ratify the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, paving the way for its enactment before the current Diet session ends in June. (Japan Today)
May 19
The Japanese government has notified the World Trade Organization that it is prepared to take countermeasures against US tariffs on steel and aluminum. (NHK)
May 19
The Japanese government cannot set a numerical goal for curbing annual growth in its social security spending from fiscal 2019 to 2021, informed sources said Friday. (Jiji)
May 12
The Japanese government is considering setting a new target to reduce its fiscal deficit to 3 pct of nominal gross domestic product by fiscal 2021, informed sources said Friday. (Jiji)
May 11
Japan's Finance Ministry says central government debt hit another record high at the end of the last fiscal year. (NHK)
May 10
Japan's overall average wages in March increased 2.1 pct from a year before to 284,464 yen, up for the eighth consecutive month and posting the biggest growth since June 2003, the labor ministry said in a preliminary report on Wednesday. (Jiji)
May 07
Private-sector analysts in Japan predict the country's GDP growth for this year's January to March period will be flat or lower than the previous quarter. (NHK)