Japan finance minister under fire for Nazi comment

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso is surrounded by reporters at the ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013.

According to a transcript of the speech published by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun, Aso decried the lack of support for revising Japan’s pacifist constitution among older Japanese, saying the Liberal Democrats had held quiet, extensive discussions about its proposals. “I don’t want to see this done in the midst of an uproar,” Aso said, according to the transcript. Since revisions of the constitution may raise protests, “doing it quietly, just as in one day the Weimar constitution changed to the Nazi constitution, without anyone realizing it, why don’t we learn from that sort of tactic?” Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “in no way looks positively at the Nazi regime. Since the end of the war (World War II), our nation has consistently built up a society which thoroughly advocates peace and human rights.” “This direction remains unchanged, going forward,” he added.

RPT-Market Chatter-Corporate finance press digest

* Management software company Compuware Corp has renewed efforts to sell itself, courting not just the buyers of rival BMC Software Inc but also CA Technologies Inc and other buyout firms, several people familiar with the matter said. * Sports nutrition drinks company CytoSport, the parent of Muscle Milk, is considering an initial public offering later this year, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday. * Lukoil, Russia’s second-biggest crude oil producer, has its sights set on Iraq’s northern Kirkuk oilfield that straddles the border with the autonomous Kurdish region and is a flashpoint in relations between the two sides, an industry source said on Friday. * Gavilon, which earlier this year sold its grain-trading business, has retained Barclays to help it find a buyer for its remaining energy business in a deal that could fetch around $1 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Ferro Rejoins STMicro as Finance Chief After Unit Split

Ferro was moved to ST-Ericsson last year to revive the joint venture, whose cessation was completed today. STMicroelectronics and Ericsson decided to dissolve the 50-50 partnership, which designed chips used in mobile phones, in March after failing to find buyer during a three-month search. Ericsson said today the ventures split is complete and 1,800 employees working with modems will join the Swedish company, while STMicro would take on the ventures other parts. STMicro said Ferro will also be responsible for legal, central operation planning, procurement, information technology and investor relations on top of his financial duties.

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