Japan, Russia Discuss Joint Economic Activity

Japan, Russia discuss joint economic activity

Senior officials from Japan and Russia have held talks regarding joint economic activities on four Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan.

They met in Moscow Wednesday for more than four hours. Japan sent officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, economy and the environment, as well as from tourism and fishery agencies.

Japan, Russia To Upgrade Talks On Joint Projects

Japan, Russia to upgrade talks on joint projects

Japan and Russia have agreed that senior officials will begin new working-level talks on joint economic activities on the four Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan.

Japan's Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori and his Russian counterpart Igor Morgulov reached the agreement in Moscow on Wednesday.

Japan To Consider Joint Custody After Divorce

Japan to consider joint custody after divorce

Japan plans to start looking at the idea of granting divorced couples joint custody over children. The law now grants custody to one parent only.

Justice Ministry officials say they will begin discussions on the pros and cons of joint custody after completing an ongoing survey around July. They have been reviewing regulations and operations in 24 countries, mostly Western nations, where joint custody is widely practiced.

Toyota, Panasonic Form Joint Venture — To Build Houses

Toyota, Panasonic form joint venture — to build houses

TOKYO — Japanese automaker Toyota and electronics giant Panasonic are forming a joint venture combining their housing businesses in Japan to showcase technologies such as connected cars and the internet of things. Toyota, which offers housing as well as vehicles in Japan, said the new company will offer homes showcasing those technologies. Panasonic said its housing subsidiary will become part of the joint venture. The companies said Thursday the deal should concluded by January 2020. Both sides said communities will increasingly want connected cars, autonomous driving, car-sharing and ecological vehicles, and homes offering sustainable energy and gadgetry. Earlier this year, Toyota and Panasonic announced a joint venture to research, manufacture and sell batteries for ecological autos, an increasingly lucrative sector amid concerns about global warming. The companies have been studying working together on batteries since 2017. The housing joint venture brings together all the two companies' housing brands, including Misawa Homes, Toyota Housing and Panasonic Homes. Toyota Chief Executive Akio Toyoda said the automaker was eager to collaborate with various companies as the industry develops. He said he wanted to bring "together the strengths of Toyota, with its vehicle business and connected business, and Panasonic, with its home appliance business, battery business and IoT business, and enhancing our competitiveness," in the housing venture. Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said the companies want to move ahead on "town development." "We will put our respective strengths together to offer new value in everyday life," he said. Toyota, which makes the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models, has been bullish on partnerships with other automakers and with technology outfits such as ride-sharing giant Uber and Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. Toyoda has repeatedly said that to survive Toyota must do more than just sell cars, and have various net, ecological and robotics technology under its wings.

Renault To Propose Joint Holding Company With Nissan, Nikkei Reports

Renault to propose joint holding company with Nissan, Nikkei reports

TOKYO — Renault SA will propose to Nissan Motor Co a plan to create a joint holding company that would give both firms equal footing as the French automaker seeks further integration with its Japanese partner, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Friday. Under the proposal, both firms would nominate a nearly equal number of directors to the new company in which ordinary shares in both Nissan and Renault would be transferred on a balanced basis, the newspaper said, without citing sources. This would effectively dilute the stake held by the French government in Renault to around 7-8 percent, from its current 15 percent, it added. The new company would be headquartered in a third country, such as Singapore. Renault plans to make the proposal to Nissan soon, the Nikkei said, having modified an earlier merger idea that Nissan rejected on April 12. Nissan declined to comment on the issue. The Financial Times newspaper reported that both Nissan and the Japanese government have refused to engage in merger talks with Renault. The report of the proposal comes as the outlook for the alliance — one of the world's top automaking partnerships — has clouded since the arrest in November of its main architect, Carlos Ghosn, for suspected financial misconduct. It also comes as Nissan's financial performance struggles following years of focusing on volume sales over building its brand, particularly in the United States, its biggest market.

Nissan slashes its forecast

This week, the Japanese automaker slashed its profit forecast for the year just ended to its lowest in nearly a decade, citing weakness in its U.S. operations. Renault for years has been vying for a closer merger with Nissan, which it rescued from the brink of bankruptcy two decades ago. Ghosn had been working to achieve a deeper integration before his arrest on financial misconduct charges in November last year. While the automakers have been consolidating many of their operations over the past decade, including procurement and production, many executives at Nissan have opposed an all-out merger with Renault. Instead, Nissan has argued for a more equal footing with Renault, which holds a 43 percent stake in its bigger partner. Nissan holds a 15 percent stake in Renault. It was unclear whether Renault would hold the casting vote in major decisions at the new company, as it did in Renault-Nissan B.V., a strategic management company jointly held by both companies that oversaw operations for the partnership. That company was disbanded last month after an internal investigation by Nissan following Ghosn's arrest indicated that the company may have been involved with financial misconduct by the former chairman. Nissan's partnership with Mitsubishi Motors Corp, in which it holds a 34 percent stake, would remain unchanged under the new proposal, the Nikkei said.

Japan And China Plan Joint Development Assistance

Japan and China plan joint development assistance

After 40 years, Japan's official development assistance to China is coming to an end now that China is the world's second largest economy. The two nations are instead aiming to work together as equal partners in providing economic support to other countries.

At a summit last October, the leaders of both nations agreed to stop commitments to assistance for new projects as of the current Japanese fiscal year through March.

Toyota, Panasonic Announce Big Ev Battery Joint Venture

Toyota, Panasonic announce big EV battery joint venture

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp are launching a joint venture next year to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries, leveraging the heft of one of the world's largest automakers and battery makers to expand their EV push. Toyota will own 51 percent of the joint venture, and Panasonic the rest, the two companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday, confirming previous reports. The joint venture, which builds on an initial lithium-ion battery partnership struck between the two companies in late 2017, reflects the aim of the Japanese companies to become a bigger global player in the battery industry, which is vital for the development of affordable EVs. The two companies will pool part of existing battery-related equipment and engineers to the joint venture. Panasonic will also transfer its manufacturing capabilities in Japan and China for its thin, rectangular prismatic batteries. The two companies will transfer a total of 3,500 employees. Batteries produced by the joint venture will be sold to various automakers. The capital size of the venture has not been decided yet, the two companies said. While Panasonic is one of the world's biggest EV battery suppliers, it is facing rising competition from South Korean makers Samsung SDI Co and LG Chem, and CATL of China. Panasonic is currently Tesla's exclusive battery cell supplier, but Reuters reported that the U.S. EV maker has been in discussions with other companies including China's Tianjin Lishen to supply batteries for its new Shanghai car factory. Toyota and Panasonic already operate a joint venture called Prime Earth EV Energy, which manufactures batteries mainly used in gasoline hybrid vehicles. The new joint venture also shows that Toyota is expanding further into development and production of EV batteries just as many rivals have been stepping away from their development due to the heavy costs involved.

Japan, Us Issue Joint Statement

Japan, US issue joint statement

Japan and the United States have reaffirmed their cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region with energy, infrastructure and digital connectivity development.

The countries said in a joint statement on Tuesday that they will deepen and expand their partnership in various areas. The statement coincided with a meeting between Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo.