Starbucks Coffee Japan plans to open new outlets at an accelerated pace while shifting its focus from urban centers to suburban areas. Over the next three years, the company will spend roughly 15 billion yen ($146 million) to open 260 new coffee shops, which is 60% more than were opened during the last three years. Starbucks now operates some 1,000 stores in Japan, of which around 10% are located in suburban areas along main streets.
Japan can increase its female workforce by about one million if it takes steps to improve the working environment for women raising children, the government said in its annual economic and fiscal white paper on Friday. The white paper, submitted to the day's cabinet meeting by Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari, stressed the importance of encouraging women and elderly people to work in order to tackle the problem of a shrinking labor force, which has been constraining Japan's economic growth.
Japanese education minister Hakubun Shimomura said Tuesday that the government plans to introduce an income limit for free preschool education for five-year-old children. Families with an annual income of less than 3.6 million yen are expected to be eligible for the free schooling from fiscal 2015, Shimomura said at a press conference.
The five biggest convenience store operators in Japan claimed more than 90% of the market by sales for the first time in fiscal 2013. Sales for all Japanese convenience store locations totaled 9.81 trillion yen ($95.7 billion) for fiscal 2013, according to a Nikkei survey.
Many Japanese purchasers of e-books are facing a situation inconceivable to owners of conventional texts: They are no longer able to read the books they purchased. With an increasing number of e-book distributors withdrawing from the market, some people are calling for a new system to protect e-book consumers. On May 29, Yamada Denki Co. notified users of its Yamada E-book service that it would discontinue its e-book distribution service.
Two years after celebrating the manga’s 20th anniversary, fans finally get their present In 1992, a 14-year-old Japanese girl set out to save our universe from total anhiliation. She became a hero for young women around the world, saving them from evil and from the macho male heroes that permeated the media at the time. Her name was Usagi Tsukino, but you may know her better as the one named Sailor Moon.
Japan has a Kawaii Ambassadur - a cute ambassador. Yep, that is a thing. At least in Jaoan. Kawaii ambassador and model Misako Aoki travels such countries as France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Russia and Brazil under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry. Lolita fashions served as one of the program's major highlights. During the time of the Kawaii Ambassadors program, the Japanese media used to ask her all the time: "Why Lolita fashion?"
A government panel has adopted a proposal for regulatory changes that would block plans by discount mobile carrier Ymobile Corp. to offer fourth-generation wireless services. The proposal sets new conditions under which the communications ministry plans to allocate frequency bands for 4G services later this year. Under the previous conditions, a company with a parent that holds one-third or more of its voting rights was forbidden from applying for frequency bands at the same time as its parent because they are regarded as belonging to one group.
While most ATMs in Tokyo are located in convenience stores, in train stations, or on important street corners, Tokyo’s first fully operational Bitcoin ATM is located in The Pink Cow, a Cal-Mex restaurant and bar in the middle of Roppongi. The bar is a popular expat hangout in the city, and is a gathering place for artists and musicians. More recently, the restaurant has been home to frequent gatherings of Bitcoin fans in Tokyo, and incidentally became the first restaurant in Japan to accept Bitcoins.
Fast-fashion titan Uniqlo had already ventured into the domain of smartphones applications with not-so-exciting Uniqlo Calendar, fashion-style browsing Uniqlooks or again Uniqlo Wake Up applications. However, the Japan-based brand has finally released something that speaks directly to its target customers with UTme!, an application that lets smartphone users design their own T-shirts.