Japanese high schools struggle for normalcy, Nikkei survey finds

TOKYO — Seventy percent of Japanese prefectural boards of education say schooling will be limited in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the government’s lifting of the state of emergency, a Nikkei survey has found.

Japan lifted the state of emergency in all prefectures on Monday, as the spread of the novel coronavirus has slowed. The survey was conducted between May 22 and 26 as high schools prepare to resume classes nationwide in June.

The majority of school boards said measures to prevent disease, such as staggered attendance, will impose restrictions on students. Japanese schools have been closed for

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Japanese government and BOJ vow to support virus-hit economy

TOKYO — The Bank of Japan on Friday launched a 30 trillion yen ($278 billion) program to support small businesses, moving in step with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to keep the sector alive amid the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

In an effort to showcase their coordinated campaign, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Finance Minister Taro Aso appeared before the press together late Friday, in the first such move since the crisis following Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union in 2016.

In a joint statement, the monetary and fiscal policy chiefs said that the government

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SoftBank to sell 5% stake in Japanese mobile arm

TOKYO — SoftBank Group on Thursday said it will sell a 5% stake in SoftBank Corp., its Japanese mobile unit, through securities companies as part of a $41 billion asset sale program.

The official price tag will be announced after a sale and purchase agreement has been signed, SoftBank said in a news release. The deal is valued at around 330 billion yen ($3 billion) based on SoftBank Corp.’s closing share price of 1,375 yen on Thursday. The transaction is scheduled to close on May 26.

SoftBank will still own 62.1% of the mobile unit after the sale.

The move

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Japanese exports in April crash 21.9% to 10-year low

TOKYO — Japanese exports fell 21.9% in April, marking their biggest dive in over ten years as the new coronavirus weighed on economic activity, especially the auto industry.

Data released by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday revealed that Japan’s exports fell to 5.2 trillion yen ($48 billion) from a year earlier — the biggest decline since the October 2009 Lehman shock.

The decrease followed an 11.7% drop in March.

The auto sector was hit hardest, with car exports cratering over 50% as shipments declined globally, including those to the U.S. and Asia. Exports of auto parts also fell 39.2%.

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