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    Business News: Pioneer Corporation Sees Red, Japanese Exports Rise

    The heads of Pioneer Corporation resign over losses, and Japanese exports continue to rise in October. That and more in our weekly look at business news in Japan.

    Japan's Pioneer Corporation saw significant losses replace the healthy profits it earned last year, triggering a radical restructuring.

    Lower sales of the company's DVD recorders and plasma display TVs meant the electronics manufacturer had a loss of $105 million, compared to a $44 million profit for the same period last year.

    The company plans to cut 1,000 jobs in Japan, which is 10 percent of its domestic workforce, and cut pay for its 2,000 overseas workers.

    Both the chairman and the president of Pioneer resigned. Tamihiko Sudo will become the company's new president in January.

    Japan's exports continued to rise in October for the third consecutive month. Figures released Thursday show growth of eight percent over September to nearly $53.7 billion.

    HSBC's chief economist in Tokyo, Peter Morgan, says the overall outlook for Japan remains good.

    "The key point is that in seasonally adjusted terms the growth rate month and month was quite strong - about 3.9 percent nominal, about 3.2 percent in volume terms," said Peter Morgan. "And this means that the level in October was quite a bit above the third quarter level and that points to strong growth of exports in the fourth quarter."

    There was also good news for Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Japan's third-largest lender. The bank had a profit of $3.3 billion, an increase of $485 million on last year. The gains were attributed to Japan's improved economy and the elimination of bad debts.

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