Foreign Visitors To Japan Hit Record For May

Foreign visitors to Japan hit record for May

The number of foreign visitors to Japan in May marked a record high for the month. Tourism officials attribute the increase to more travelers from mainland China due to the easing of visa requirements.

The Japan National Tourism Organization estimates that more than 2.77 million travelers came to the country last month. That's up 3.7 percent from a year earlier.

Police Attack Suspect May Be Tokyo Man In His 30s

Police attack suspect may be Tokyo man in his 30s

An investigative source has told NHK that a suspect who stabbed a police officer and stole a loaded firearm in Osaka Prefecture may be a Tokyo resident in his 30s.

The officer, Suzunosuke Kose, was found stabbed in the chest at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday near the police box in Suita City where he had been on duty. Kose remains unconscious.

156 Scratched Horses May Have Eaten Stimulant

156 scratched horses may have eaten stimulant

The Japan Racing Association says it has scratched 156 horses from races this weekend after discovering that the animals may have been fed a banned substance.

Officials say they pulled the horses from races on Saturday and Sunday at tracks in Tokyo, Hanshin in western Japan, and Hakodate in northern Japan.

Fca-renault Revival May Hinge On Willingness To Cut Nissan Stake

FCA-Renault revival may hinge on willingness to cut Nissan stake

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault are looking for ways to resuscitate their collapsed merger plan and secure the approval of the French carmaker's alliance partner Nissan, according to several sources close to the companies. Nissan is poised to urge Renault to significantly reduce its 43.4% stake in the Japanese company in return for supporting a FCA-Renault tie-up, two people with knowledge of its thinking also told Reuters. It is still far from clear whether any concerted effort to revive the complex and politically fraught deal can succeed. FCA Chairman John Elkann abruptly withdrew his $35 billion merger offer in the early hours of June 6 after the French government, Renault's biggest shareholder, blocked a vote by its board and demanded more time to win Nissan's backing. Nissan representatives had said they would abstain. The failure, which FCA and Renault blamed squarely on the French government, deprived both companies of an opportunity to create the world's third-biggest carmaker with 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in promised annual synergies. It also shone a harsh light on Renault's relations with Nissan, which have gone from frayed to fried since the November arrest of former alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn, now awaiting trial in Japan on financial misconduct charges he denies.

REVIVAL TALKS

Italian-American FCA — whose brand stable encompasses Fiat runabouts, Jeep SUVs, RAM pickups, Alfa Romeo luxury cars and Maserati sports cars — has so far turned a deaf ear to suggestions by French officials that its merger proposal could be revisited. But since the breakdown, Elkann and his French counterpart Jean-Dominique Senard have had talks about reviving the plan that left the Renault chairman and his Chief Executive Thierry Bollore upbeat about that prospect, three alliance sources said. Renault and a spokesman for FCA declined to comment. One of Elkann's senior advisors on the Renault merger bid, Toby Myerson, was expected at Nissan headquarters in Yokohama on Monday for exploratory discussions with top management, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa is likely to attend. Myerson did not respond to a message from Reuters seeking comment. The meeting comes amid mounting strains that may preclude compromise, after Senard warned Saikawa that Renault was prepared to block key Nissan governance reforms in a dispute over board committees. Alternatively, the escalating tensions and negotiating positions could give way to a breakthrough, as FCA-Renault's industrial logic and savings prove hard to ignore.

REBALANCING ACT

Saikawa, who has argued consistently that alliance shareholdings need "rebalancing" to reflect Nissan's superior size, would press for a substantial reduction to Renault's stake as part of any agreement, according to the same people. Nissan's 15% stake in Renault carries no voting rights. "If FCA are expecting some sort of negotiation, they must be anticipating that request," said one. The FCA-Renault deal that Elkann whipped off the table — at least for now — would have seen both companies acquired by a listed Dutch holding company owned 50-50 by current FCA and Renault shareholders, after payment of a 2.5 billion euro special dividend to FCA shareholders. Paris had secured stronger job guarantees and terms including a cash payment to Renault shareholders, following public criticism that the bid undervalued Renault. For Nissan, however, the merger would "swap out one small 43% shareholder for a bigger 43% shareholder it doesn't know," said a source familiar with top management thinking. Nissan could back the FCA-Renault deal only with a "substantial reduction" in the French carmaker's holding, they said. France may not automatically oppose a reduction to the Nissan holding if it secured Renault's place at the heart of a consolidated group. The government has also said it could reduce its own 15% Renault holding, to the same end. "All options can be considered," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Le Figaro after the deal collapsed, when asked about Japanese pressure for Renault to reduce its Nissan stake. But a senior ministry official declined to elaborate on that possibility. "The proposal is gone," he said. FCA may also be prepared to compromise for a tie-up that promises to plug the technology gaps threatening its ability to keep pace with vehicle electrification and emissions compliance. It has few other potential partners, after talks with Peugeot maker PSA ended inconclusively earlier this year. Estimated FCA-PSA synergies were closer to 3 billion euros, according to one person briefed on the matter. FCA has already floated a call option that would allow Nissan to increase its 7.5% voting stake in the combined FCA-Renault, another person involved in the talks said. Nonetheless, anything beyond a token reduction of Renault's Nissan stake would likely upset the deal valuations and prove unpalatable to its prospective merger partner. "It's not something FCA would want to reduce," the same person said. "It's an intrinsic part of the value of Renault." Elkann and Senard had planned to press ahead with a merger agreement and formal talks over Nissan's abstention, in the belief that the deal economics would compel it to follow and cooperate, sources close to the Renault board have said. By blocking that strategy at the eleventh hour, the French state may have handed the Japanese company a new negotiating opportunity. One thing Renault and Nissan can agree on is that any window to revive the merger is likely to be short. "If there's going to be a deal it will probably be in weeks rather than months," one alliance executive said.

(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Additional reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing and Giulio Piovaccari in Milan; Editing by Richard Chang)

New Updates Add May 2019 Security Patches To A Range Of Xperia Phones

New updates add May 2019 security patches to a range of Xperia phones

Sony Mobile has been on a roll recently, updating many of its Xperia smartphones to add the May 2019 Android security patches. You can see the full list below of Xperia phones that have been updated, which includes the XZ1, XA2 and XA1 ranges. However, even the Xperia L1, L2 and L3 were all updated to the same patches which was good to see.

Toyota, Ram, Nissan Post Strong Sales In May

Toyota, Ram, Nissan post strong sales in May

Major automakers on Monday posted higher U.S. new vehicle sales for May, the first increase for 2019 as a strong economy and upbeat consumer sentiment fueled demand. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV,, Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd all posted sales gains for May compared with the same month in 2018. U.S. new vehicle sales through April had fallen 3%, fueling expectations of a weaker year for automakers in 2019 than last year. Concerns of a downturn have been further heightened by recent threats from U.S. President Donald Trump that he will impose new tariffs on all Mexican imports. Fiat Chrysler (FCA) reported a 2.1% rise in sales, as demand for both light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks remained strong. The Ram pickup, a major profit-driver for FCA, had a 33% gain in sales versus May 2018. FCA and General Motors Co have both launched redesigned pickup trucks. Ford Motor Co has for decades built the single best-selling truck brand in its F-Series trucks, with the Chevy brand a solid No. 2 and Ram a distant third. But in the first quarter of this year, Ram brand trucks outsold Chevrolet-brand trucks. Both GM and Ford report sales quarterly instead of on a monthly basis. Japanese automaker Toyota posted a 3.2% sales increase, boosted by strong demand for its Camry sedans. Nissan said its sales rose 0.1%, driven by SUV and truck sales. The Japanese automaker's sales in the first fourth months of the year had fallen more than the industry average. Nissan has been heavily reliant on consumer discounts and low-margin fleet sales to boost U.S. demand, but has seen its market share drop since 2016. Honda Motor Co Ltd reported a 4.9% drop in sales for May, driven by declining sedan sales. Passenger car sales in the United States have fallen steadily in the last few years as Americans abandon sedans in favor of larger, more comfortable pickup trucks and SUVs, which are also far more profitable for automakers. U.S. auto sales are expected to be about 16.9 million units in 2019, a 2.5% fall from 2018, according to industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

Sony May Launch Foldable Smartphone Under Xperia F Brand

Sony May Launch Foldable Smartphone Under Xperia F Brand


Could Sony be jumping on the foldable smartphone bandwagon as well? A rumor out of China appears to think so. Despite the fact that Sony is exiting the smartphone market in all but four regions, it’s believed that the company may launch its first foldable smartphone under the Xperia F brand.

According to a report out of China, we may see Sony launch its first foldable smartphone in 2020 with the Xperia F moniker. The F would understandably stand for “foldable.” It’s also claimed that the device is going to use Samsung’s flexible OLED display panel, presumably the same one what we saw on Samsung’s own foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold.

Record Heat For May Forecast This Weekend In Japan

Record heat for May forecast this weekend in Japan

Many parts of Japan saw the mercury top 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Weather officials are warning of unseasonal high temperatures over the weekend.

The Meteorological Agency says temperatures surged nationwide due to a high pressure system over the Japanese archipelago.

Okinawa Marines Relocation To Guam May Start 2025

Okinawa Marines relocation to Guam may start 2025

The US military may begin moving some of the Marines stationed in Okinawa, southwestern Japan, to Guam in 2025.

The Japanese and US governments have agreed to relocate about 9,000 Marines and their families from Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii and other places outside Japan. This is part of reorganization plans for the US military in Japan. The two governments say the move will start in the first half of the 2020s.

Ai May Have Passed Japan's Preliminary Bar Exam

AI may have passed Japan's preliminary bar exam

A Japanese venture firm says its artificial intelligence program may have effectively passed the preliminary national bar exam that was held on Sunday.

The Tokyo-based firm Sight Visit says the AI program, named Miraimon, took part in an answer sheet exam, a test that applicants who have not yet graduated from law school are required to take to qualify for the main test.

Playstation 5 May Release In November 2020 For $499

PlayStation 5 May Release In November 2020 For $499


Sony has already confirmed that it’s working on its next-generation console. The company has also pointed out that the console won’t be out before next year. A new report about the price and release date of the PlayStation 5 suggests that the console is going to be released in November next year for $499.

Respected Sony analyst Hideki Yasuda predicts that Sony is going to release its next-generation gaming console in November 2020. He also predicts in his latest quarterly analysis report for the Ace Research Institute that the console will be priced at $499.