TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit surged to a record 7.6 trillion yen ($74.9 billion) in the first half of the year as exports failed to keep pace with surging imports, the Finance Ministry reported Thursday.
Japan's bulging import bill was partly due to a jump in demand as businesses and consumers stepped up purchases ahead of an April 1 increase in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent.
Imports for the six months jumped 10 percent to 42.6 trillion yen ($420 billion) while exports rose 3.2 percent to 35.1 trillion yen ($346 billion), the preliminary data show.
TOKYO (AP) — Rocket science long dismissed as too impractical and expensive for everyday cars is getting a push into the mainstream by Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker.
Buoyed by its success with electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, Toyota is betting that drivers will embrace hydrogen fuel cells, an even cleaner technology that runs on the energy created by an electrochemical reaction when oxygen in the air combines with hydrogen stored as fuel.
Japan's move to declare two nuclear plants safe to resume operations likely won't do much to lower liquefied natural gas prices, market analysts say, because there's little indication that the nation's 46 other nuclear generators will come close to restarting this year, Bloomberg reports.
Japan's move to vouch for the safety of two idled reactors is a step toward a nuclear restart in the country, a development market analysts say could boost struggling uranium prices, Bloomberg reports.
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese nuclear plant won preliminary approval Wednesday for meeting stringent post-Fukushima safety requirements, clearing a major hurdle toward becoming the first to restart under the tighter rules.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority accepted a 418-page report that found that design upgrades and safety improvements at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s two reactors at the Sendai Nuclear Power Station have complied with the requirements introduced last July.
TOKYO (AP) — For years, Japan has struggled to find a site to safely store highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants for as long as 100,000 years.
Tens of thousands of tons of spent fuel stored at nuclear power plants will remain dangerously radioactive for thousands of years — a vexing problem that nuclear-powered nations around the world face. After decades of studies, scientists now agree that underground storage is the best option, but finding a community willing to host a radioactive dump site is difficult.
The restart of Japan's idled nuclear reactors may face local opposition beyond national safety clearances, illustrated by an election victory for an anti-nuclear candidate in a region with several reactors, The Wall Street Journal reports.
HORONOBE, Japan (AP) — Reindeer farms and grazing Holstein cows dot a vast stretch of rolling green pasture here on Japan's northern tip. Underground it's a different story.
Workers and scientists have carved a sprawling laboratory deep below this sleep dairy town that, despite government reassurances, some of Horonobe's 2,500 residents fear could turn their neighborhood into a nuclear waste storage site.
TOKYO (AP) — A strong earthquake hit Japan's northern coast near the nuclear power plant crippled in the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake early Saturday triggered a small tsunami and prompted towns across the northern coast to issue evacuation advisories.
Japan's Meteorological Agency said the 6.8-magnitude quake struck 10 kilometers (6 miles) below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima, about 250 kilometers (120 miles) northeast of Tokyo.
The prices for liquefied natural gas shipped to Asia next winter may be the lowest for years, according to a Bloomberg analysis, which cites rising supplies in the region and dropping demand in Japan, which is preparing to restart a number of its nuclear reactors.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday lifted a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, although legal arguments on challenges to some aspects of the regulation are set to take place next March, E&E reports.
Producers for American Crude Exports, or PACE, for short, is made up of more than a dozen independent oil companies who would like to see the decades-old U.S. ban on crude exports overturned, Reuters reports.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff has cleared the Constitution pipeline on its environmental impact, leaving Commissioners to make the final decision on the project, which is intended to add some 650 million cubic feet of natural gas capacity in New York and New England, FuelFix reports.
If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves changes that PJM Interconnection will suggest to the rules, it’s possible the wholesale electricity market manager might find a way to keep a demand response program going despite legal challenges, E&E reports.
Rising global supply and sluggish demand were continuing to weigh on oil prices. U.S. benchmark crude for December delivery dropped $1.08 to settle at $81.01 a barrel on the Nymex, $1.74 lower than the price a week ago, while Brent finished at $86.13, a loss of 70 cents on the day and 3 cents less than last Friday’s settlement price, Reuters reports.
ConocoPhillips, alongside partners including BP and Exxon Mobil, has announced what it says is the first new drilling in the North Slope’s Kuparuk River Field in nearly a dozen years, a well to come on line in 2016 that will add 8,000 barrels a day of production, Platts reports.
In one of the most hotly contested and expensive House races in the country, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is battling against Republican candidate Evan Jenkins and powerful conservative groups backed by the Koch brothers, The New York Times reports.
Kristin Jacobs – who has turned in a strong performance in her campaign to be elected to the Florida House of Representatives in a flood-prone Miami district – is one of a number of candidates who are successfully pressing climate change as an issue even when polls say it’s not a top voter concern, The New York Times reports.
Opower says pilot programs run in Vermont and Southern California over the summer, which involved contacting customers to ask them to go easier on their air conditioning and then reporting back to them on how much electricity they saved compared to their neighbors, cut usage by nearly 3 percent on a number of hot days, The Washington Post reports.