Fresh & hot from Japan, from 5 to 9 June 2017

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Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

5 Jun. Experiment of the remote control of a car on a public road starting this summer in Aichi-ken

The Governor Hideaki Omura of Aichi-ken announced at a press conference of 5th that experiments of the remotely controlled  cars on the public roads  in Nagoya-shi, Kasugai-shi and Kota-cho for the first time in Japan this summerA driver does not get on the driver‘s seat of the car and she/he controls the car from the remote place.

Comments: An automatic driving car coming closer to the reality.

6 Jun. Increasing “Curving out” of business, even despite good performance. Why?

Major reason of the sale of subsidiaries and business branches were restructuring of the parent company or bad performance. Nowadays the number of the sale by good performing companies are increasing. The total volume of such sale amount to one trillion yen scale among major companies since 2013. Such sale is calledcurving out” (business separation), and often investment funds are involved. The selling company performs new investment financed by the curving out and the buying fund aims at securing of profit from the purchased company.

Comments: What is a company for? Its mission is being questioned.

7 Jun. The summer with an reactivated nuclear plant after being put on-hold for four years in the Kansai region, foreseeing excess of the power

Kansai Electric Power Co. has resumed operation of the third unit of Takahama Nuclear Power Plant  (Fukui-ken) again, and this will bring back the Kansai region “the summer with a nuclear power plant in operation” for the first time in the past four years. Despite a repeated threat by the Power company that advocated the need for a nuclear power plant, there will be excessive power even during the peak hours in summer. With a small reduction of the electricity bill for consumers yet remaining doubt on the security of neighboring inhabitants of nuclear plants, re-starting of operations of nuclear plants goes on in Japan.

Comments: Do we really need the nuclear plants to supply power to Japan?

8 Jun. The world’s first Nintendo area to be constructed in the USJ, right next to the Harry Potter zone

Universal Studios Japan (USJ, Osaka-shi) inaugurated the beginning of construction of the new area of Nintendo filled with popular game characters such as “Mario”. This is the first theme park of Nintendo in the world. USJ will invest record-high over 60 billion yen in the Nintendo area aiming at its opening before the Tokyo Olympic Games of 2020.

Comments: Game characters are a major part of international attraction of Japan.

任天堂USJ

Video –> http://www.usj.co.jp/nintendo/

9 Jun. “Please enjoy time for the couple”, a one-off law for the Emperor’s abdication is passed

A one-off law to enable abdication of His Majesty the Emperor was passed on the 9th. The voice of thanks was heard from those related to the Imperial couple for His Majesty the Emperor who embodied the symbol of Japan since his enthronement in 1989, and the Empress who supported him all the time.

Comments: When all the population is aging, kings/Queen and Emperors/Empresses are not exception. Why Japan handled the Emperor’s retirement by an one-off law that applies to the present Emperor only, instead of a regular law that applies to all the Emperors in the future?

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

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Fresh & hot from Japan, from 8 to 12 May 2017

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8 May LIXIL returned the best sales performance, thanks to a solid shower toilet selling well in China

The net income of the settlement of accounts (international accounting standards) of a house equipment major, LIXIL Group, recorded the highest gain of 42,500 million yen for March, 2017 period (cf. a deficit of 25,600 million yen in 2016).  This was due to results of cost cutting and good sales performance of overseas restroom business including China.

Comments: This news indicates consumer interests in China have turned to the improvement of living conditions.

9 May You may be a sales person even above 70 years old, Daiwa Securities to lift the age limit of reemployment

Securities major Daiwa Securities Group Inc. decided to lift the age limit of the reemployment of the sales job, which presently is 70 years old. It is intended to reinforce sales force by utilizing abundant experience of the veteran work force.

Comments: Good not to eliminate resources because of the age, but what will be their payment? A major problem of the present Japanese reemployment after the legal retirement age is a sharp decrease of wages even for the same job.

10 May Film for tablets that may not be broken, invented by RIKEN TECHNOS Corp.

A plastic film maker, RIKEN TECHNOS CORPORATION, returned a record high operating income of 5,800 million yen for March 2017, up by 15.3% from the previous year.  While the main product was a vinyl  chloride material for automobiles, the company developed a plastic film which was hard to be broken for the screens of tablet terminals, anticipating that the number of cars produced in Japan may not grow any more.

Comments: From core-competence, taking into account the digital markets, innovation is born.

12 May Search by a smartphone application of strolling person due to dementia, the first field trial in Aichi-ken

A trial to look for an elderly person strolling around because of dementia using an application of smartphone started. Those who look for such person may send some information of the missing person such as his/her characteristics to  the smartphones of the cooperators, thus expand a search network to the entire region. The first field experiment in Japan took place in Kasuga-shi, Aichi-ken in April.

Comments: A key to success may be to have a large number of people who install and pay attention to such an application, or social awareness raiding.

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

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Fresh & hot from Japan, from 1 to 5 May, 2017

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Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

1 May On May day, workers demonstrated advocating prevention of long working hours and the death from overwork

A number of meetings and the demonstrations of workers were held in Osaka-shi on 1st of the May Day. Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO) organised a meeting, in which 37,000 people participated in the Osaka Castle Park, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, and appealed to the public,  “Stop long working hours” or “Stop the death from overwork”. 

Comments: Too much work that may lead to the death is a major problem for workers in Japan, rather than a job itself, inlike many other countries suffering from economic downturn.

2 May 93% said “Uneasy” on national security, according to opinion polls by The Asahi Shimbun

The latest public opinion poll (by post mail) of the Asahi Shimbun (a Japanese major news paper) asked opinions on national security in connection with the constitution of Japan. With regard to the level of uneasiness in recent security environment around Japan, the sum of those who responded “very much” and “To some extent” added up to 93%. Regarding the overseas activity of the Self-Defense Forces, the majority responded “Good”,  thus the status quo was preferred.

Comments: The present feeling of the Japanese is “uneasy” looking at security status around the country.

5 May Ginza now a fierce battle field of watches,  “I’ve come to Japan to visit here” said a foreign visitor

Japanese major watch makes are opening their own shops for direct sale one after another in Ginza, the high-street in Tokyo. This is because Ginza has become a fierce battle field of watches incomparable in the world as a consequence of concentration in a small area of shops of international high quality watch makers.

According to a watch specialist, “Ginza is a crossroads of major watch brands of the world. Famous brands gather within a radius of 1 kilometer and one can look around every brand in a short time. The time efficiency is the number one in the world.”

Comments: Japanese shops has largely been inward looking, not expecting to handle foreign currencies or discussing with customers in English, let alone other languages. Hope this change in Ginza and many other similar ones in major cities in Japan will make the retail business outward looking.

銀座wako02

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

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Fresh & hot from Japan, from 10 to 14 April, 2017

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Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

10 Apr. Population in Japan to be 88.08 million after 50 years,  becoming less than 100 million in 2053

National Institute of Population and Social Security Research announced estimation of future population in the coming 50 years, saying that population would become 88,080,000 in 2065. The prospect of the number of children whom a woman would give birth to (average number of birth per woman) after 50 years is 1.44, recovered from the estimation (1.35) in the last time in 2012. The speed of population decreased has become slower than the estimation last time. That said, the population decrease will continue in the coming 50 years to be 30% less than the present population, and the low birthrate and aging of population will remain unchanged.

Comments: The low birthrate, aging and decrease of population will continue being major factors of Japanese markets.

11 Apr. SDGs, Japanese companies have a long way to go, according to the first survey by a think tank

Japanese companies are yet to start activities for children in the future — concluded by the first report on actions and challenges of Japanese companies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocated by the United Nations.

Comments: It is like CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility. It may take some time for Japanese companies to digest and understand what SDG is for their own business. SDGs is not a charity slogan, but must be their underlying principles of business.

Logo_SDGs

12 Apr. Cyber attacks at infrastructure, such as the electricity and gas, under investigation by Metropolitan Police Department

The existence of a cyber attack aimed at companies and the government offices in charge of critical infrastructure such as the electricity, gas and railways became clear. There are even some cases in which no one noticed infection for nearly two and a half years while attacks had been there for four years. There is a risk that a large quantity of data might have been stolen without being found. The Metropolitan Police Department has been investigating these cases, saying that new infection routes were found.

Comments: Better late than never to investigate the cyber attacks.

13 Apr. Toyota to offer rental of rehabilitation support Robots, aiming at 1,000 rental in three years

Toyota Motor Corporation enters the new business of rehabilitation support using the robot. The robot is made applying the technique of the industrial robot for car manufacturing. The company will start the rental to medical institutions in SeptemberA market of robots for rehabilitation and care of the aged is growing to make up for the shortage of labour force.

Comments: An interesting idea to apply the core competence of a company to an emerging business opportunity in the aging society.

14 Apr. IRIS OHYAMA INC. to enter air conditioner markets, with remote- control functions by a smart phone

IRIS OHYAMA INC. announced that the company had developed the home air-conditioner equipped with a built-in radio communication devise so that one may control from a remote place using a smart phone. The company will start selling it in general merchandising stores of household appliances, etc. all over Japan from the 28th.

Comments: This is a home appliance version of the Internet of Things (IoT) !

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

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