News

Sales of Nintendo’s Wii U console have been weaker than expected, leading to slashed profits

Hamish McRae: What if revenues fail to recover?

Could the UK become the new Japan? The two bits of news that spark that question are the public finance figures for June, released yesterday, and the creation by the Chancellor of this new Office for Tax Simplification. The June numbers are disturbing, for they show that the apparent recovery in tax revenues seems to be petering out, while the latter matters because a radical simplification of the tax system may be the only way the Government can generate enough tax to dig its way out of the fiscal catastrophe it inherited.

Islanders prepare for second battle of Okinawa

American bases seized from Japan in 1945 have been a cause of bitterness since the Second World War. David McNeill meets the locals and the US Marines they want out

Sumo scandal spreads as top wrestler is sacked

Japan's national sport is in crisis after one of its top wrestlers was sacked last night for illegally laying thousands of dollars in bets with Yakuza gangsters.

Markets stay calm amid another day of political drama

The high drama in Westminster was not matched in the City yesterday as markets remaining sanguine, despite the political upheaval.

Nintendo sales sink as sheen comes off Wii

Nintendo was reported its first fall in profits in six years after sales of its popular Wii console hit the rocks.

Charm offensive: the hostess bites back

It's meant to be a dream job – but Japan's modern geishas have had enough

Mark Dampier: Japan - the land of the rising fund

The Analyst

The black widow of the web

Kanae Kijima is accused of meeting men online – and then killing them. David McNeill reports from Tokyo

Simon Calder: 'The yoghurt that ate my meal allowance'

The man who pays his way

Japan's embattled finance minister steps down at 77

Japan’s 77-year-old finance minister is to quit because of poor health. Hirohisa Fujii, who took on the role after elections last summer, in the midst of the worst recession in Japan since the second world war, is said to be concerned that he may not be able to physically cope with days of questioning in the Japanese parliament, and other strains of official life.

Stephen King: US policymakers playing with fire as the dollar continues to tumble

A dollar collapse would be a disaster all round. It would drive up the cost of borrowing in the US

Nintendo hit by falling Wii sales

The Japanese computer game giant Nintendo yesterday revealed it expects annual profits to fall for the first time in four years after quarterly profits were hit by tumbling sales of its Wii video game consoles.

Family berate murder suspect's parents

The family of a teacher murdered in Japan pleaded with her suspected killer's parents to "redeem some self-respect" and help to trace him.

Slump hits Japan's most expensive melons

The latest victim of Japan's recession is round, sweet and famous for being shockingly expensive.

Sony reports $1bn annual loss

Sony Corp. said it lost 98.9 billion yen ($1 billion) in the fiscal year through March, its first annual net loss in 14 years, and projected it would lose even more money this year amid a slump in consumer demand for electronics goods.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there