In May, Nissan Motor Corp. moved with lightning speed to bail out the embattled Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which was plunged into yet another battle for survival—its third to date—after admitting three weeks earlier it had falsified fuel efficiency test data.
Nissan will take de facto control of Mitsubishi with a 34 percent stake in the company after it completes its acquisition of 506.6 million shares at a cost of ¥237 billion by the year's end. Nissan will become Mitsubishi's largest shareholder—boasting a larger stake than any other top Mitsubishi Group company—thus effectively obtaining management rights. Four of Mitsubishi's 11 board members are expected to hail from Nissan.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trumpeted plan to export conventionally powered submarines to Australia suddenly came to an unsuccessful end when Canberra decided to place the order with a French maker.
This was not merely a transitory case of Japan failing to sell a piece of defense-related equipment abroad. Abe had treated the submarine export deal as a top priority in his attempts both to counter China's maritime ambitions and to push his economic growth strategy.
U.S. President Barack Obama deeply impressed the Japanese public with the speech he delivered in the world's first atom-bombed city of Hiroshima on May 27. But on his home turf, he is clandestinely pushing a plan to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
The plan, with its development cost estimated at $1 trillion over the next 30 years, is aimed at downsizing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and improving their mobility with new delivery systems and platforms.
Another month, another Mizuho Bank executive behaves disgracefully—and adds a fresh twist to the ongoing reshaping of the bank's awkward internal balance of power.
This time, the executive's despicable conduct occurred at a party in April, a time of year when many Japanese companies welcome in a new batch of recruits and move employees to other departments. The party was held for Mr. M to celebrate his transfer to the head of Mizuho's Kashiwa branch. However, the party descended into pandemonium as M himself set new standards for how not to behave at an event being held in your name.