Abe Wants Avigan Fast-tracked As Virus Treatment

Abe wants Avigan fast-tracked as virus treatment

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says he wants to get the anti-flu drug Avigan approved as a new coronavirus treatment by the end of this month.

Abe was speaking at an executive committee meeting of his Liberal Democratic Party on Monday.

Govt. Wants Firms To Reduce In-office Workers

Govt. wants firms to reduce in-office workers

The Japanese government plans to continue asking businesses to let more employees work from home, to substantially cut social contact for the coronavirus in state-of-emergency areas.

The government wants to mitigate person-to-person contacts by at least 70 percent, or preferably by 80 percent, in Tokyo and six other prefectures. It says the reduction will help contain the spread of the virus as quickly as possible.

Nissan Reportedly Wants A $6.4 Billion Loan To Weather Virus

Nissan reportedly wants a $6.4 billion loan to weather virus

TOKYO — Nissan Motor Co has requested a $4.6 billion commitment line from major lenders to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic while it seeks to engineer a desperately needed turnaround, people with knowledge of the matter said.

As the virus decimates car demand and disrupts production across the industry, Nissan is particularly vulnerable, still reeling from sharp drops in profits after decades of aggressive expansion as well as management chaos due to the scandal surrounding ousted leader Carlos Ghosn.

Abe Wants Option To Call State Of Emergency

Abe wants option to call state of emergency

Japan's government is ramping up its battle against the coronavirus. The prime minister wants opposition leaders to back plans allowing him to declare a state of emergency should that become necessary.

This comes as the number of infections reported in the nation climbs above 1,000... including over 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Kia Australia Wants A Body-on-frame Suv To Rival The Land Cruiser

Kia Australia wants a body-on-frame SUV to rival the Land Cruiser

The team in charge of Kia's Australian division is asking the company's top brass for a rugged, body-on-frame SUV with Toyota Land Cruiser-like off-road capacity. The model could arrive quickly if it's approved for production. "We need probably one or two bigger [SUVs], to be quite honest. That would help us dramatically," affirmed Damien Meredith, the chief operating officer of Kia Australia, in an interview with Motoring. He added there's room above the Sorento for a new SUV, and he requested a sturdy model capable of towing and going off-road. In the United States, Kia's biggest SUV — and the largest car it has ever put its name on — is the well-received Telluride (pictured) released in 2019. It's not as tough as the body-on-frame model Meredith has in mind, and it's not sold in Australia because it's currently only available with left-hand drive. Kia would need to create a new model to challenge the Land Cruiser Prado (which is smaller than the standard model, and sold as the Lexus GX in the United States) and the Ranger-based Ford Everest in Australia, but it might not have to start from scratch. In 2019, Meredith confirmed Kia and sister company Hyundai are jointly developing a body-on-frame pickup aimed at Toyota's Tacoma-sized Hilux and the Ford Ranger, Australia's best- and second-best-selling vehicles in 2019. Kia could follow the path blazed by its rivals and turn its upcoming medium-sized truck into a family-friendly SUV. This strategy would give its Australian division the Land Cruiser-punching model it's asking for, while allowing it to leverage the benefits of economies of scale by sharing parts across several model lines. Kia stressed the SUV on Meredith's wish list hasn't been approved for production yet, so it's far too early to tell whether it will be available in the United States. Offering it outside of Australia is a must, though. Toyota sold 18,335 units of the Land Cruiser Prado on the Australian market in 2019; even if Kia tops it with 20,000 sales, that's not nearly enough volume to justify developing a new car, even one built on an existing platform. We'll have a better idea of what the future holds for Kia's global SUV range when the aforementioned trucks make their debut. Both are expected on sale by 2021, so they're around the corner, and neither has been confirmed for the American market yet; Hyundai's version is unrelated to the Santa Cruz also under development.

Nissan Wants Ghosn To Leave Company Home In Beirut

Nissan wants Ghosn to leave company home in Beirut

Nissan Motor says it intends to keep demanding that former chairman Carlos Ghosn leave a Beirut residence owned by the carmaker.

Nissan officials say the firm asked Ghosn and his family to stop using the property in January last year as part of efforts to protect its corporate assets.

Renault Chairman Dismisses Reports Nissan Wants To Split From Alliance

Renault chairman dismisses reports Nissan wants to split from alliance

PARIS — Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said on Thursday there was a "real desire" within the top ranks of both companies for its alliance with Nissan to succeed, dismissing suggestions the partnership was on the rocks. Turmoil within the Franco-Japanese alliance, long dogged by internal rivalries, deepened following the November 2018 arrest in Tokyo of its architect and long-time boss Carlos Ghosn on charges of financial crimes, which he denies. Attempts to restore calm were dealt a fresh blow by Ghosn's dramatic flight from Japanese justice and a series of no-holds-barred allegations he has made from his refuge in Lebanon, including that he was the victim of a plot to oust him and that the alliance is now a "masquerade". Nissan has vigorously rejected Ghosn's stance, while both the Japanese firm and Renault have tried to rubbish suggestions their two decades old partnership is falling apart. "We have a board overseeing the alliance which is made up of people who are all extremely in favor of the alliance," Renault Chairman Senard told a briefing with reporters. "There is a common desire to associate our strategic plans and a real desire to make this alliance a success," he added, dismissing a report that Nissan was examining scenarios for a possible future outside of the alliance as "fake news." The 66-year-old declined to comment on anything related to Ghosn, adding: "I only think about the future." Renault shares were down 2% by 1123 GMT, underperfoming the broader auto sector which was down on news that Washington has threatened to impose tariffs on European car imports due to Europe's stance on Iran. Renault's French rival and Peugeot maker PSA Group also gave a flavor of some industry headwinds, reporting a 10% fall in its global sales last year as Chinese demand tanked. Renault is due to publish its 2019 global sales on Friday.

JOINT PROJECTS

Analysts see Renault-Nissan's cost-saving alliance as vital to both companies as the car industry battles a slowdown and huge investments in cleaner vehicles and automated driving, particularly as rivals PSA and Fiat Chrysler are merging to help meet these challenges. Renault held ultimately unsuccessful talks to combine with Fiat Chrysler last year, which Ghosn described at a Beirut news conference as a huge missed opportunity. Senard, who chairs the alliance's operating board, said on Thursday that once the partnership has been rebooted, other firms might potentially want to join. The executive, who used to run tyre maker Michelin, has become the de facto senior figure in Renault and Nissan's alliance, though without Ghosn's commander-in-chief aura, which had helped hold it together. While that is partly deliberate — both parties are keen to avoid another strongman situation and created a four-member operating board to oversee the alliance — Senard will now have to show he can push through new joint projects. He declined to give details of these beyond saying potential cost savings could be substantial, and that the alliance's board would meet soon to decide on its industrial plan. The meeting is scheduled for Jan. 30, a source close to Renault said. The firms are meanwhile finalizing a management revamp, with Renault close to appointing a new CEO after ousting Ghosn-ally Thierry Bollore in October. A new CEO started at Nissan in December. Luca de Meo, who recently stepped down as the head of Volkswagen's Seat brand, is seen as the frontrunner for the Renault job, although a non-compete clause in his contract is proving a problem, sources have said. Interim CEO Clotilde Delbos is also in the frame. Senard said shaking up the shareholder structure in the alliance was not a priority for either side. Renault, which is part-owned by the French state, has 43% of Nissan, while the Japanese firm has 15% of the French carmaker, with no voting rights attached — a structure that has caused friction.

Google's App Defense Alliance Wants To Stop Bad Android Apps From Reaching Your Phone

Google's App Defense Alliance Wants To Stop Bad Android Apps From Reaching Your Phone

While the Google Play Store has systems in place to try and prevent malware and bad apps from getting listed and downloaded by users, unfortunately, it’s not the perfect system and from time to time, we do come across reports that bad apps find their way into the Play Store where it ends up being downloaded by users.

In a bid to prevent that from happening, or at least reducing the chances of that happening, Google has formed a partnership with various security companies, such as ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium, where they have come together to create the App Defense Alliance. According to Google, this alliance’s goal is to stop bad apps in their tracks before they reach the devices of users.

Aomori Governor Wants Misawa Base To Halt Drills

Aomori governor wants Misawa base to halt drills

The governor of Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan wants a US military base to suspend drills after a fighter jet accidentally dropped an inert bomb.

An F-16 stationed at the US Misawa Air Base dropped the 230-kilogram device on private land near a gunnery range north of the base on Wednesday. The US military has now suspended training with inert bombs at the base.