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Japan to use data from outside clinical trials in drug approvals

Japan to use data from outside clinical trials in drug approvals

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan's health ministry will issue new guidelines next fiscal year aimed at helping new drugs get to market faster, by allowing pharmaceutical companies to use data from outside of clinical trials.The health ministry will accept medical information for patients that have taken the drug in other settings, in place of, or as a supplement to, data on a placebo group. Requirements for clinical trials, including duration and number of participants, will also be relaxed. The guidelines will be drawn up before this fiscal year ends in March.The goal...

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3d ago
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China tech giants accused of 'bullying' consumers with algorithms

China tech giants accused of 'bullying' consumers with algorithms

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.A government-backed Chinese consumer group has accused the nation's tech giants of using their data-based algorithms to "bully" consumers and put them at a disadvantage.At a symposium on the topic held by the China Consumers Association on Jan. 7, the group released a three-section, 14-point document outlining the ways data-driven algorithms impinge the rights of consumers in their interactions with large tech platforms, and calling for beefed-up powers for regulators.It's the latest sign that the technology broadly described as "artificial...

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5d ago
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China tightens rare-earth regulations, policing entire supply chain

China tightens rare-earth regulations, policing entire supply chain

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BEIJING -- China will strengthen regulation over the rare-earth metals industry, from mining to exports, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Friday, in what some see as its latest response to ongoing tensions with the U.S.Whereas current regulations focus on the production stage -- such as mine development, smelting or separation -- the draft law of the new regulations seeks to manage the "entire industry chain" of the precious ore, including refining, product transport and all the way up to exports.The rules state that companies...

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5d ago
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The next wave of globalization: Asia in the cockpit

The next wave of globalization: Asia in the cockpit

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.Four years ago, the Trump administration came into office promising to bring back industrial jobs from Asia and revitalize America's manufacturing foundation. He pledged to slash the country's trade deficit with China by forcing it to buy more oil, food and industrial goods from the U.S.But things haven't worked out as planned. November 2020 was the busiest month in the history of the port of Los Angeles, with up to 20 container vessels being unloaded every day -- mostly from China, which sent a record $52 billion of goods across the Pacific Ocean...

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Jan 12
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Asians dump WhatsApp for Signal and Telegram on privacy concerns

Asians dump WhatsApp for Signal and Telegram on privacy concerns

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HONG KONG/NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE -- A theme has been trending on social media over the past week in Hong Kong, which has come increasingly under the watchful eye of Beijing after a national security law imposed on the territory last year."We made it from ICQ to MSN, from MSN to WhatsApp. It's not that hard to switch to another app!" The line refers to popular instant messaging tools that have come and gone over past 20 years.It is an indication that people in the city have joined social media users around the globe in a shift to other messaging platforms...

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Michelle Chan
7d ago
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Japan scrambles to avoid blackout as cold wave grips East Asia

Japan scrambles to avoid blackout as cold wave grips East Asia

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Amid high electricity demand due to unseasonably cold weather and tight liquefied natural gas supply, Japan is scrambling to prevent a national blackout by calling on power companies to generate more and the public to use less.Peak electricity demand in the country is about 90% more than expected supply on Tuesday and as high as 97% in the northern Tohoku area, according to OCCTO, a Japanese organization that coordinates and oversees power transmission in the country. This unusually cold winter, combined with short supply of solar energy and...

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Jan 12
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Japan and EU race to develop 'green hydrogen'

Japan and EU race to develop 'green hydrogen'

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan and the European Union are racing to develop hydrogen, which has long been promised as a clean energy source of the future.That future is now taking shape off the coast of the Netherlands, where one of Europe's biggest green hydrogen projects is underway. The NortH2 project is intended to produce up to 4 million kW of offshore wind power by 2030. The energy is to then power seawater-to-hydrogen electrolysis, with the hydrogen to be delivered to industries across the Netherlands and Western Europe. Its use is expected to reduce carbon...

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Jan 11
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Samsung to pour $30bn into booming chip business

Samsung to pour $30bn into booming chip business

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics looks set to invest more than $30 billion in its semiconductor operations for the first time this year, spending aggressively amid the coronavirus to tap steady demand for memory and ramp up its foundry business.Brisk demand for memory chips -- for which Samsung leads the global market, with a roughly 40% share -- was a major factor in strong 2020 , which showed operating profit jumping 29% to 35.95 trillion won ($32.8 billion) on a 3% rise in sales despite a sluggish global economy.The rise in videoconferencing and online...

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Jan 8
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Global chip shortage threatens automakers worldwide

Global chip shortage threatens automakers worldwide

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- The auto industry is facing a severe lack of semiconductors amid rising use of the chips in other products, like smartphones and communication base stations.This has forced Germany's Volkswagen as well as Japanese makers like Honda and Nissan to reduce production.Toyota Motor has decided to reduce production of its Tundra pickup truck at its plant in the U.S. state of Texas due to the semiconductor shortage. The company has not released details on the size or time frame regarding the production cut but is looking into whether the lack of...

nikkei.com
Jan 9
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Japan finds new COVID strain, distinct from UK and Africa types

Japan finds new COVID strain, distinct from UK and Africa types

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- A new variant of the virus behind COVID-19 has been detected in Japan, the country's Health Ministry announced on Sunday.The mutation was found in four people -- male and female, ranging from their teens to their 40s -- who arrived from Brazil. While there are similarities to strains first reported in the U.K. and South Africa, this particular type does not appear to have been spotted before.The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has reported the variant to the World Health Organization.The infected passengers arrived at Tokyo's Haneda...

nikkei.com
Jan 10
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Indonesia finds body parts, debris, detects emergency signal of crashed jet

Indonesia finds body parts, debris, detects emergency signal of crashed jet

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.JAKARTA (Reuters) -- Indonesia detected signals on Sunday that could come from a flight recorder of a Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the sea after taking off from the capital Jakarta, as human body parts and suspected pieces of the plane were retrieved. The Boeing 737-500 with 62 passengers and crew was headed to Pontianak in West Kalimantan before it disappeared on Saturday from radar screens four minutes after takeoff.The crash is the first major airline incident in Indonesia since the crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max in 2018 that killed all...

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Jan 10
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Facing blackout, Japan's Tepco asks other sectors for electricity

Facing blackout, Japan's Tepco asks other sectors for electricity

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Tepco Power Grid, the transmission unit of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings, has asked commodities companies with private power generation equipment to help it provide electricity, as Japan faces a power outage, Nikkei learned Wednesday.A series of cold spells has caused a surge in demand for liquefied natural gas, or LNG, a fuel used to generate heat. As Japan faces a shortage of LNG, Tepco Power Grid is hoping to buy electricity from other industries, an unusual move that hints at a severe outlook, so that it can continue to supply its...

nikkei.com
Jan 6
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China's auto market survives 2020 with just 2% dent

China's auto market survives 2020 with just 2% dent

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BEIJING/GUANGZHOU -- The Chinese automobile market shrank by only 1.9% last year, with economic stimulus softening the blow of the coronavirus, according to industry estimates released Wednesday.About 25.3 million new vehicles were sold in 2020 in the world's largest auto market, led by trucks, according to preliminary numbers from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.This marks the third straight annual decline, but sales have beaten year-earlier numbers for nine straight months through December, the estimates show.Japanese automakers...

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Jan 6
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US yanks $480m aid to Sri Lanka with eye on China

US yanks $480m aid to Sri Lanka with eye on China

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- The U.S. abruptly withdrew $480 million in infrastructure aid to Sri Lanka in an apparent rebuke against the island's growing economic ties with China, but the recent move will likely bring the two Asian countries even closer together.The grant was to be allocated over five years by Millennium Challenge Corp., a U.S. foreign aid agency, with a focus on tackling poor transportation and logistics infrastructure.Intended projects included upgrading 205 km of roads in the metropolitan region of Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, modernizing the city's...

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Jan 4
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Pandemic triggers flight from Tokyo as people work from home

Pandemic triggers flight from Tokyo as people work from home

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- The coronavirus pandemic has driven thousands out of Tokyo to its suburbs as working from home becomes the new normal.About 28,000 people moved out of Tokyo in November 2020, up 19% from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.The net number of people who moved out -- the number who moved out minus those who moved in -- was about 4,000 in November.Indeed, the Bank of Yokohama, based in the city neighboring Tokyo, reported that the number of mortgage applications it received between September...

nikkei.com
Jan 3
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China caps mortgage loans to ward off housing bubbles

China caps mortgage loans to ward off housing bubbles

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.BEIJING -- China on Thursday ordered banks to cap loans to homeowners and property developers, the latest effort by the government to rein in a real estate bubble that has erupted in cities.The directive, which applies only to Chinese lenders and not international banks operating in China, will go into force Friday.The biggest banks, such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the China Construction Bank, will face a new cap of 32.5% of all outstanding loans that can be lent as home mortgages.Medium-sized banks, such as China Merchants...

nikkei.com
Dec 31
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UN treaty envisions total elimination of nuclear arms

UN treaty envisions total elimination of nuclear arms

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.UNITED NATIONS -- The latest draft of a U.N. nuclear arms treaty requires a commitment to abandon such weapons as a condition of joining the framework, but the lofty language falls on deaf ears as nuclear powers refuse to take part.Any nuclear-armed country looking to join "shall immediately remove from operational status its nuclear weapon systems and destroy as soon as possible any nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices it owns, possesses or controls," the draft reads.Those choosing to join the treaty must then submit a time-bound and...

nikkei.com
Jun 27
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Japan tapers imports of logs from tropical trees to near zero

Japan tapers imports of logs from tropical trees to near zero

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan's biggest importer of logs from tropical rainforests will go out of business come spring, signaling that these imports may drop to nil sooner or later."We considered ourselves the last 'goalkeeper' indispensable to our industry," said Yoshimasa Hirano, president of Daishin Plywood Industry Co. "But we lacked strength."Daishin Plywood in June announced that it would stop operating and go into liquidation in March.Based in the city of Niigata, on the Sea of Japan coast, Daishin was founded in 1957 and has since been processing imported...

nikkei.com
Jan 2
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Analysis: Deleted words from Xi's economic policy speak volumes

Analysis: Deleted words from Xi's economic policy speak volumes

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff writer and editorial writer at Nikkei. He has spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He is the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize for international reporting.TOKYO -- When it comes to statements issued after key meetings of the Chinese Communist Party, what is not written -- especially what has been deleted from previous statements -- often carries much more significance than the complex language that remains.This year's Central...

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Katsuji Nakazawa
Dec 23
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Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia seen fully recovering in 2021

Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia seen fully recovering in 2021

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HANOI -- Southeast Asia's six leading economies are expected to face diverging fiscal paths in 2021, with Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia gaining from pre-pandemic levels while Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand struggle to return to health.Nikkei compiled the International Monetary Fund's country-based projections for real gross domestic product, setting the 2019 figures as a baseline of 100. Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia all scored above the 100 mark for 2021, meaning their economies are seen expanding next year compared with the level before...

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Tomoya Onishi
Dec 28
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Mitsubishi Heavy to build biggest zero-carbon steel plant

Mitsubishi Heavy to build biggest zero-carbon steel plant

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will soon complete in Austria the world's largest steel plant capable of attaining net-zero carbon dioxide emissions.Mitsubishi Heavy, through a British unit, is constructing the pilot plant at a complex of Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine. Trial operation is slated to begin in 2021.The plant will use hydrogen instead of coal in the reduction process for iron ore. The next-generation equipment will produce 250,000 tons of steel product a year.The global steel industry generated about 2 billion tons of CO2 in...

nikkei.com
Dec 27
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Online real estate auctions surge among China's well-to-do

Online real estate auctions surge among China's well-to-do

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SHANGHAI -- Internet auctions of real estate have taken off in China as the affluent make the most of the laxer rules for auctions compared with conventional transactions.A 20-year-old condominium unit in Xianxia Lu, a residential area in western Shanghai, drew 90 bids in an auction that ran from Monday to Thursday last week. The race to purchase the property turned into a dead heat.The 180-sq.-meter unit eventually sold for 15.95 million yuan ($2.4 million). The final price tag amounted to nearly 50% more than the initial quote of 10.85 million...

nikkei.com
Dec 27
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Pakistani militants shift focus to cities in targeting of Chinese

Pakistani militants shift focus to cities in targeting of Chinese

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.KARACHI -- Recent attacks on Chinese citizens in Karachi show that Pakistani militant groups opposing China's Belt and Road Initiative have changed their strategy -- focusing on the country's urban centers and targeting Chinese nationals and investments.On Tuesday, a Chinese citizen and his interpreter survived a gun assault on a car showroom in the outskirts of Karachi, the country's key port city and economic hub. A week before, another Chinese national survived an attempt to blow up his vehicle outside the restaurant he owns in Karachi's upscale...

nikkei.com
Dec 27
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Japan bans entry from all countries to block new strain's spread

Japan bans entry from all countries to block new strain's spread

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan will ban entry from all countries to prevent the spread of the more contagious U.K. strain of the coronavirus, the government announced Saturday.The ban takes effect Monday and continues through the end of January. Japanese nationals and foreigners living in Japan will be permitted to return to the country. A 14-day quarantine request will apply to all without exception.Japan currently bans entry from 152 nations, but since October, it has allowed in foreign students or business professionals planning long-term stays. Now the issuance...

nikkei.com
Dec 26
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Be water: Japan's big, lonely bet on hydrogen

Be water: Japan's big, lonely bet on hydrogen

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- While it looks like any other filling station in Japan, the Iwatani Hydrogen Refueling Station in the Shibakoen neighborhood of Tokyo is distinguished by three things: the large "H2" on the pumps, an absence of any smell of gasoline, and the lack of very many customers. Five cars in one hour were considered exceptional, according to one station employee last Wednesday.And this was one of the busier days he had seen, at one of the busiest hydrogen refueling stations in Japan. "Generally speaking, other stations average around three drivers per...

nikkei.com
Dec 22
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