Posts Tagged ‘recession’

Japan-related Links of the Week: 22 May 2010

Posted 22 May 2010 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Japan, Links of the Week, News, Only in Japan, Tokyo

A roundup of some of the best Japan-related links from this week.

The [Yokohama branch of the Japan Teachers’ Union] said the textbooks made by right-wing groups contain many inaccuracies, including the Japanese government’s attempt to legitimize the country’s past aggression in Asia.

Japanese Teachers’ Union Boycotts Right-wing Textbook
The Dong-a Ilbo

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A Japanese man has been detained by police after scattering tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of banknotes across a busy highway in Japan.

Japanese man arrested for throwing £20,000 onto highway
The Daily Telegraph (Danielle Demetriou)

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Hiromu Nonaka, a former chief cabinet secretary, revealed last month that from 1998-99 he spent up to ¥70m ($600,000 at the exchange rate of the time) a month from his secret little piggy bank.

A slush fund is revealed in Japan: See no evil
The Economist (Banyan’s column)

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“The amount of money a Chinese person is spending [in Japanese department stores] is incomparable to that of a Japanese customer.”

Chinese invasion offers a ray of hope to tourist trade
The Asahi Shimbun

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The Japanese economy grew at a healthy clip of 1.2 percent in the first quarter, the government said on Thursday, hinting that Japan’s recovery from a crippling recession was finally gathering momentum.

Figures Suggest Japan’s Recovery Is Gaining Strength
The New York Times (Hiroko Tabuchi)

Japan-related Links of the Week: 15 May 2010

Posted 14 May 2010 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Entertainment, Japan, Japanese Politics, Links of the Week, News, Only in Japan, Tokyo

A roundup of some of the best Japan-related stories from this week:

Gross public debt has edged up to 200 per cent of GDP. Net debt, at 100 per cent of GDP, is still in acutely dangerous territory.

Japan in risky territory: Things could turn ugly fast
The Times (Leo Lewis)

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Japanese driving schools are offering more than instruction behind the wheel, with Hawaiian massage and lessons in BMWs among the services available to compete for a dwindling number of potential students.

Japan driving schools rev up with BMWs, manicures
Reuters (Chris Gallagher)

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Japanese companies have long had a reputation of being unfriendly to women, especially mothers. That image was reinforced recently by the World Economic Forum, which downgraded Japan in its Gender Gap Report from 98th of 130 countries in 2008 to 101st out of 134 countries in 2009.

Japan sinks (even) lower on gender discrimination report
The Christian Science Monitor (Gavin Blair)

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“[Yukio Hatoyama’s] shirt comes from the ’80s or ’90s. His ideas and philosophy are old. Japan is facing a crisis and we can’t overcome it with a prime minister like this.”

Japan’s prime minister under fire for fashion choices
CNN (Kyung Lah)

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“If you’re eating dolphin meat, you’re eating poison, and if you’re eating a lot of dolphin meat, you’re eating a lot of poison.”

Tests show residents in dolphin-hunting village in ‘The Cove’ have elevated mercury levels
The Los Angeles Times (Jay Alabaster)

Kuruma banare (車離れ): de-motorisation

Posted 18 Jan 2009 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category News, Shopping in Japan, Technology, Travel

Lots of cars

While car companies are currently in a terrible financial situation, with sales having slumped in developed countries, most do see light at the end of the tunnel and anticipate a recovery. In Japan, however, the decline may be much harder to reverse.

In 2009 it is predicted that 4.86 million new cars will be sold in Japan, which would be the first time in 30 years that sales have fallen below five million. What is even more worrying for Japanese car makers is that young people – men especially – are far less interested in cars than they used to be.

Car sales demographic

While owning a car used to be a status symbol, Japanese youngsters these days are more likely to be spending their money on the latest mobile phones, MP3 players and other electronic gadgetry than on their first car. The convenience of public transport in urban areas also leaves childless 20- and 30-somethings with little reason to buy one.

So how can car manufacturers make their products more appealing to young Japanese? Perhaps one way forward is for companies to generate more revenue from car-related services than from car sales. A car-sharing scheme could prove popular, especially when coupled with an online “car booking” service that can be accessed from mobile phones. All for a monthly fee, of course.

What do you think will happen to the Japanese car industry?

Related: “Japan auto sales plunge as young lose interest” – The Detroit News