Japan Times (Japan)

  • Please use this: White paper urges households to save more energy

    A government white paper issued Tuesday calls on households to save energy as a means of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. According to the paper, the ratio of carbon dioxide emissions in Japan from the household sector compared with overall emissions of such global warming gases is lower than in the United States and Europe. However, household energy consumption in Japan surged 44 percent in 2005 from 1990, the white paper on the environment and recycling says.

  • Report increases hepatitis C exposure cases to 8,896

    Opening the door to further claims for compensation by hepatitis C sufferers, the health ministry released a report Friday upping the number of people administered tainted fibrinogen blood-clotting agents in Japan to 8,896. However, it is not known how many of them have suffered liver disease as a result. Of the 8,896, only 3,632, or about 40 percent, have been told by medical organizations that they were given the contaminated fibrinogen blood products to stop bleeding, mainly during delivery, ministry officials said. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry worked out the figure in a nationwide survey on about 6,600 medical institutions to which the fibrinogen blood products were supplied. Of the medical institutions, 1,622 have kept medical records, operative notes or prescription documents that could help hepatitis C sufferers seek benefits from the government and drugmakers. This represented an increase of some 1,100 from the ministry's previous survey in 2004. This may lead to an increase in the number of people who can seek compensation from the government. Health minister Yoichi Masuzoe on Friday criticized the ministry's 2004 survey, saying the checks should have been more thorough. Earlier, hepatitis C sufferers who filed damages suits against the government and drugmakers estimated that only up to 1,000 people could prove they had been administered tainted blood products, based on the 2004 survey. Hepatitis C sufferers had earlier reached a compromise agreement with the government to end their court battle under a new law that provides blanket relief measures for the sufferers. The accord calls for providing benefits to sufferers who can prove they received contaminated blood products if the causal relationship between their hepatitis C and the products are confirmed. Under the law, sufferers will receive compensation ranging from

  • Suits planned over vaccine-induced hepatitis B

    SAPPORO (Kyodo) Hundreds of people who contracted hepatitis B in their childhood through mandatory vaccinations will file a series of damages suits against the government starting next month, according to a group of lawyers. The move comes after the Diet moved to enact relief measures in January for people who contracted hepatitis C from tainted blood products and fought their cases against the government in court. Lawsuits will be filed at a total of 11 district courts across Japan. The lawyers' group said after a meeting Saturday in Sapporo that the government has failed to present concrete measures to redress other patients following a Supreme Court ruling in 2006 ordering it to compensate five hepatitis B victims. In that ruling, the top court recognized causal links between the plaintiffs' inoculations and infections. It also found the government responsible for physicians using the same hypodermic needles repeatedly when giving group vaccinations at public health centers. Vaccinations against several diseases had been mandated by the government prior to 1994 but are now only recommended, following a number of lawsuits involving side effects from inoculations. The first group of about 20 patients, who are believed to have contracted hepatitis B from group vaccinations because transmission of the virus from their mothers was unlikely, will go to the Sapporo District Court on March 28. They are seeking compensation of

  • New models seen giving a boost to '08 vehicle sales

    New models seen giving a boost to '08 vehicle sales Bloomberg Domestic vehicle sales may rise this year as carmakers introduce new models, the country's automobile dealers group said. Vehicle sales excluding minicars may be higher than the 3.43 million sold in 2007, Yoichi Amano, chairman of the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, said Monday in Tokyo. Vehicle sales fell to the lowest in 35 years in 2007 as declining wages and a shrinking population cut demand for automobiles. Toyota Motor Corp. introduced a new version of its Crown sedan earlier this month and Honda Motor Co. brought out a new version of its Fit compact, the country's best-selling car, in October. Nissan forecasts gain Nissan Motor Co. forecast its sales in China will rise 11 percent this year as it introduces new car models. The company expects to sell 500,000 vehicles in the country this year, including light commercial vehicles, compared with 450,000 last year, it said in a statement Monday. The carmaker will introduce three Nissan-brand vehicles in the world's fastest-growing major car market this year, starting with the Qashqai sport utility vehicle in March. Last month, the company brought out the Infiniti M35 sedan in an effort to win customers from Daimler AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG.

  • Bill would take aim at unsafe pet food

    A bill that would ban the manufacture, sale and import of pet food containing harmful substances was approved Tuesday at a Cabinet meeting.

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