Japan jobless rate hits new high

JAPAN - Japan's unemployment has reached a new record high of 5.6%.

The figure for December is the worst since records began in the early 1950s.

Since last summer, when the recession began to bite in earnest, Japanese unemployment has climbed ever higher.

It is a novel and humbling experience for what was long the world's most successful industrial economy.

Slack demand is forcing the closure of thousands of small and medium size businesses every month.

Bigger corporations are cutting jobs in