Noda to dissolve Diet paving way for Japan poll
Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda said he will dissolve the Diet on November 16, paving the way for elections next month that polls show his Democratic Party of Japan will lose. Speaking in parliament a day after the DPJ reached a deal with two opposition parties on legislation to fund the rest of this year’s budget, Noda said he would dissolve the lower house if a deal is reached to cut the number of lawmakers in the chamber. Former premier Shinzo Abe, head of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, agreed to the proposal. “Based on that, I will dissolve parliament on November 16,” Noda said. DPJ acting secretary-general Jun Azumi told reporters the party agreed to a December 16 election date. The prime minister’s popularity has plummeted over his management of an economy burdened by stagnant growth, deflation and the world’s largest debt. He faces discontent within the ruling party from some lawmakers who sought to put off an election.
Nokia buys Earthmine for 3-D ability
Nokia Oyj, the struggling Finnish smartphone maker, is acquiring 3-D map-technology maker Earthmine Inc. and revamping its mapping tools under a new brand name to win back customers from rivals such as Apple Inc. The Earthmine purchase will help Nokia expand in mapping, a growing business it considers key to driving smartphone sales and becoming profitable again. The company unveiled Here, the brand for its location services and website, at an event in San Francisco yesterday, and said it has created a mapping app for Apple’s mobile devices. It will also make its map technology open to developers using Google’s Android operating system. Nokia, which started selling its flagship Lumia 920 smartphone this month, is promoting location features to differentiate itself from Apple and devices running Android software. Espoo, Finland-based Nokia bought Chicago-based map provider Navteq for $8.1 billion in 2008 and continues to build its business selling maps to customers such as Amazon.com, Yahoo!, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Nikon Corp.
Infineon plans spending cut as sales top estimates
Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-biggest semiconductor maker, plans to reduce spending next year after reporting fourth-quarter sales and operating profit that topped analysts’ estimates. Operating profit was 116 million euros ($148 million) in the three months ended September 30, beating the 105 million-euro average estimate by analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Sales slipped 1 percent to 982 million euros from the