While internet users worldwide are now proudly boasting a growing online contacts list made up of people they know, people they used to know, people they can’t remember how they know, people they would rather not know (but can’t say NO to), and people who they want to know, a recent study has revealed that Japan just doesn’t want to know.
Consumer electronics retailers nationwide are seeing a rush in demand as the beginning of December approaches, when the government's eco-point subsidy program for purchases of eco-friendly home appliances will be nearly halved. In particular, flat-screen televisions are seeing high demand, with November seeing nearly six times the sales from a year earlier. Many models have already gone out of stock at stores, forcing some customers to wait on backorders of as much as three months.
Sony Corp. said Thursday it will release two new e-book readers in December as it aims to secure a leading position in the budding domestic market. "We are pleased to announce our entry into the Japanese e-book market as our new business," Nobuki Kurita, president of Sony Marketing, said, revealing a first-year sales goal of about 300,000 units.
An increasing number of Japanese companies are capitalizing on the globalization trend and strong yen to raise funds or acquire businesses in Asia. Some startups are now going public in South Korea and Taiwan to take advantage of simpler screening procedures at bourses for emerging companies.
Despite assumptions that the iPhone would struggle to achieve a foothold in Japan, a country on the cutting edge of mobile technology, the iPhone has taken the land of the rising sun by storm. In 2009 the iPhone accounted for 72.2% of the smartphone market in Japan, and 4.9% of the entire cell phone market in the country.
One in 10 Japanese companies has a female president, according to a wide-ranging survey by a credit research agency. Tokyo Shoko Research said it conducted a poll in July on 2.09 million firms of all sizes and found that 10.1 percent were headed by women.
The average amount spent annually on pet-related expenses by households with at least two members rose 4.6 percent in 2009 from the previous year to 18,323 yen, the highest figure since comparable data become available in 1990, according to a recent government survey. While family spending as a whole is on the decrease, there are no signs of recession in the pet industry.
Toray Industries Inc., which produces the popular Heattech, a heat-retaining fabric used in clothing sold at Uniqlo outlets, will decrease the percentage manufactured in China from 80 percent to 50 percent by 2015. Production will be moved to other Asian nations because production volume in China is fast approaching capacity and also because personnel expenses in China have shot up.
Something is happening to Japan's young men. Compared with the generation that came before, they are less optimistic, less ambitious and less willing to take risks. They are less likely to own a car, want a car, or drive fast if they get a car. They are less likely to pursue sex on the first date - or the third. They are, in general, less likely to spend money. They are more likely to spend money on cosmetics.