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Kyodo news summary -8-.

TOKYO, April 27 Kyodo

---------- Japan's March housing starts up 5%, rise for 2nd month

TOKYO - Housing starts in Japan rose 5.0 percent in March from a year earlier to 66,597 units for the second straight monthly increase, the government said Friday.

The rise was attributable to strong starts in rental homes and condominiums for sale, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said.

---------- Key bond yield hits 1.5-year low after BOJ monetary easing

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark Japanese government bond ended at its lowest level in nearly one and a half years Friday after the Bank of Japan decided to loosen its monetary policy by stepping up purchases of Japanese government bonds.

The yield on the No. 321, 1.0 percent issue, the main barometer of long-term interest rates, was down 0.025 percentage point from Thursday's close, ending interdealer trading at 0.885 percent, the lowest closing level for a benchmark 10-year issue since late October 2010.

---------- NEC incurs heavy loss in FY 2011

TOKYO - NEC Corp. said Friday its group net loss for the 2011 business year expanded to 110.27 billion yen from the previous year's 12.52 billion yen due to tax changes as well as heavier extra losses including structural improvement costs and appraisal losses on securities holdings.

Consolidated operating profit in the year ended in March increased 27.5 percent to 73.74 billion yen on 3.04 trillion yen in sales, down 2.5 percent.

---------- Honda posts 60% fall in group net profit for FY 2011

TOKYO - Honda Motor Co. said Friday it logged a group net profit of 211.48 billion yen in fiscal 2011, down 60.4 percent from the previous year, largely dragged down by the impact of the massive flooding in Thailand.

For the business year ended March, the automaker also reported a consolidated operating profit of 231.36 billion yen, down 59.4 percent from a year earlier, on sales of 7.95 trillion yen, down 11.1 percent.

---------- Mazda posts 108 billion yen group net loss in FY 2011

TOKYO - Mazda Motor Corp. said Friday it posted a 107.73 billion yen group net loss in fiscal 2011 ended last month, larger than the previous year's 60.04 billion yen net loss, on a 12.6 percent decline in sales from a year earlier to 2.03 trillion yen.

The automaker said it logged a consolidated operating loss of 38.72 billion yen, compared with a 23.84 billion yen operating profit the previous year. Mazda will not make dividend payments for fiscal 2011, the same as the year before.

---------- BOJ additionally eases policy as deflation likely to persist

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan on Friday took additional steps to combat the nation's chronic deflation as the central bank's forecast of price increases indicated it must pursue powerful monetary easing at least over the next few years.

The BOJ Policy Board voted unanimously to expand its asset-purchase program by 5 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen, primarily by increasing the buying of Japanese government bonds from financial institutions, as a step to inject more liquidity into the banking system and help support business activity.

---------- Japan vehicle output rises in FY 2011 for 2nd straight year

TOKYO - Japan's vehicle production in fiscal 2011 expanded 3.0 percent from the previous year to 9,267,037 units, growing for the second straight year, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association reported Friday.

Vehicle output recovered in the second half of the year to March 2012 after falling after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

---------- Dairy cow infected with BSE in U.S. aged 10 years

WASHINGTON - The dairy cow found infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy was 10 years and 7 months old and came from a dairy farm in California, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday.

The department said in a statement the dairy cow ''was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, did not enter food supply channels, and at no time presented any risk to human health.''
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 30, 2012
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