Asia Top News and Analysis Japan

  • VIENNA, Oct 4- The fabled Viennese fondness for fine funerals and "a schoene Leich"- a beautiful corpse- is about to get a modern twist. The first QR codes will start appearing on graves in Austria within weeks, said Joerg Bauer, project leader for Austrian bereavement company Aspetos, who has been working on the QR project for five years.

  • *Island row taking toll on sales for Japan automakers. Violent protests and calls for boycotts of Japanese products broke out across China in mid-September after Japan bought two of the East China Sea islands, known as the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku in Japanese, from their private owners.

  • *Japan smelter offers $85 a tonne for 2013 vs $100 for 2012* Top producer Codelco said to be mulling $105 a tonne. TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's biggest copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper, is in talks with buyers in China to slash its term premium for 2013 shipments by 15 percent from this year, a source familiar with the matter said, as demand slows in the metal's top consumer.

  • LONDON-- Financial markets remained subdued Thursday in the run-up to the monthly policy meeting of the European Central Bank and another round of U.S. economic data. "Investors will be meticulously analyzing any indications... as to whether Spain is actually any closer to requesting a bailout," said Shavaz Dhalla, financial trader at Spreadex.

  • *Japan smelter offers $85 a tonne for 2013 vs $100 for 2012. TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's biggest copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper, is in talks with buyers in China to slash its term premium for 2013 shipments by 15 percent from last year, a source familiar with the matter said, as demand slows in the metal's top consumer.

  • HONG KONG, Oct 4- Asian credit spreads continued to grind tighter on the back of strong technicals despite investors turning slightly more cautious ahead of central bank meetings in Europe and Japan.

  • *FTSE 100 falls 0.2 pct, sheds early gains. LONDON, Oct 4- UK shares turned lower on Thursday, hit by concerns over bailout talks in Greece and tensions in the Middle East, ahead of central bank meetings in Britain and Europe that are unlikely to generate new stimulus moves. By 0836 GMT, the UK's FTSE 100.

  • TOKYO, Oct 4- Government officials from China and South Korea are expected to participate in the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Tokyo next week, a Japanese government official said, despite territorial rows over disputed islands.

  • TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's new Economics Minister Seiji Maehara, an advocate of allowing the Bank of Japan to buy foreign bonds, said on Thursday it should be considered a tool to supply funds to the financial system, not a means to manipulate currencies.

  • *Hyundai global sales reach 371,743 vehicles, up 3.4 pct. *Hyundai may have benefited from anti- Japan protests in China. The figures, although below some expectations for record monthly numbers, will provide some reassurance that Hyundai has put its costliest strike ever behind it.

  • TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan government bonds steadied on Thursday as firm demand at a 10- year sale gained the upper hand over stronger stocks. The Ministry of Finance offered 2.3 trillion yen of reopened 10- year notes with a coupon of 0.80 percent, matching that of the previous three sales.

  • *To finance acquisition through cash, loans* Mitsubishi UFJ Lease shares climb 3.0 percent* Japan firms are expanding aircraft lease operations TOKYO, Oct 4- Mitsubishi UFJ Lease& Finance Co.

  • SYDNEY, Oct 4- Australian shares extended their gains by 0.3 percent on Thursday, hitting a 14- month high after banks offset losses in mining, as investors eyed further interest rate cuts in the wake of soft retail sales data. Top banks continued this week's post rate-cut gains, led by Westpac Banking Corp.

  • *Weaker yen drives shares in Toyota, Honda, Nissan higher. *Canon, Nidec sag after Hewlett-Packard warns on outlook. TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's Nikkei share average snapped a four-session losing streak on Thursday as sentiment was boosted by a strong showing by the pro-business U.S.

  • BEIJING, Oct 4- Mazda Motor Corp said on Thursday sales in China for September tumbled 35 percent, one of the first signs that sales from Japanese automakers there are likely to weaken sharply on a row over islands claimed by both nations.

  • Oct 04- Fitch Ratings has affirmed Daido Life Insurance Company's Insurer Financial Strength rating at' A+'. The IFS rating reflects Daido Life's and its parent T&D Life Group's overall solid life insurance underwriting and robust capitalisation, the highest among Japanese traditional life insurers.

  • agreed to buy U.S. aircraft leasing firm Jackson Square Aviation from Oaktree Capital Group LLC for about $1.3 billion yen, signaling rising interest from Japanese companies to tap the growth potential of aviation finance industry. Japan's No. 3 lender Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.

  • SYDNEY, Oct 4- Australian shares extended their gains by 0.3 percent on Thursday, hitting a 14- month high after banks offset losses in mining. Top banks continued this week's post rate-cut gains, led by Westpac Banking Corp.

  • *Hyundai global sales reach 371,743 vehicles* Hyundai ramps up output after strike ends* Production rises in U.S., China help ease tight supply SEOUL, Oct 4- South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co.

  • TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's Nikkei share average snapped a four-session losing streak on Thursday after Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who is seen as pro-business, appeared to come out on top over U.S. President Barack Obama in their first debate.