Tokyo

Sony CEO praises premier of Japan for ‘Abenomics’

The chief of Sony Corp., one of the best known Japanese companies, praised the country’s prime minister Friday for his efforts to jump-start the economy and put the nation back on the global stage.

Sony leader Kazuo Hirai said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office late last year, is restoring global confidence in Japan, while stressing that delivering on promises with action was critical.

Abe is banking on policies dubbed “Abenomics” that center on structural reforms, easy monetary policy, relaxed labor regulations and free trade to return to growth.

Paris

France upholds its ban on hydraulic fracturing

France’s constitutional council upheld a ban on the energy extraction process known as fracking on Friday, two days after the European Parliament voted to require full environmental reports from companies that want to establish hydraulic fracturing sites.

The decision comes the same day the International Energy Agency predicted the United States would overtake Russia next year to become the world’s largest oil producer outside OPEC, renewing questions about Europe’s ability to compete in a shifting energy landscape.

French President Francois Hollande had promised to maintain the ban imposed by his predecessor in 2011, even though France had been named among the most promising European countries for shale gas extraction. The French, who rely largely on nuclear energy, fear the environmental costs of hydraulic fracturing are too steep.

San Francisco

Del Monte Foods selling part of business to cater to pets

Del Monte Foods is selling off its fruit and vegetable business to focus instead on tasty vittles for pets.

The San Francisco-based company said Friday that it is selling its consumer products business, which includes canned Del Monte pineapple and Contadina tomatoes, to Del Monte Pacific Ltd. in Asia for $1.68 billion. It will then begin focusing on its pets business, which includes Pup-Peroni, Meow Mix and Milk-Bones brands.

Portland

Cruise ship visiting city Saturday, returning Monday

Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas will dock at Pier 2 Berth 2 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday with 2,100 passengers on board. The ship makes a return visit on Monday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

– From staff and news services