I try to read news in Japanese and sometimes I see equals sign used inside sentences. I tend to think text to the right side of "＝" is kind of a consequence of the left part. It does not look like it has anything to do with any sort of equality. This Wikipedia article notes that it can be used as the separator for names, but this usage doesn't seem to fit my case. Here is an example taken from Jiji Press' site:
I hope somebody can clear this out for me.