Japanese women are in demand as never before. "Women have the greatest potential," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently told media, "and allowing them to demonstrate their full abilities is the core of our growth strategy." He must be pleased by the recent news flow. Even Japan's conservative financial companies are taking women executives more seriously.
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.
The Japanese government will promote the use of robots to start a new industrial revolution and double the size of the robotics market in the manufacturing sector by 2020. It plans to include measures to promote the robotics industry in its draft of its new growth strategy. The government says robotics technology will be used to improve the productivity and profitability of Japanese businesses.
What better way to use your hard earned Japanese skills than making friends all over the world while avoiding being crushed to death by spiked ceilings or knocked into a bottomless pit? Japan-based educator and PhD student James York knows a thing or two about learning a language. As well as having passed the toughest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, he’s also an assistant professor at a Japanese university where he teaches English.
America may have put the first man on the moon, but Japan is going to be the first to send up the first advertising billboard — in the shape of a can. Japanese drink-maker Otsuka is going to send a titanium can that weighs about 2.2 pounds and that can serve as a mini-sized billboard for the company. It’ll be packed with Pocari Sweat powder, which forms into a non-carbonated, citrus-flavored drink when liquid is added, United Press International reported.
Competition between power companies is likely to intensify after Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Thursday announcement of a plan to sell electricity across the nation. Other power companies have already begun expanding their markets into the Tokyo metropolitan area, in the run-up to a full and nationwide liberalization of the electricity retail business planned for 2016. TEPCO’s latest moves will target businesses in Kansai and Chubu, as well as other regions.
The Japan Tourism Agency has devised guidelines to improve signboards and make them easier to understand for foreign visitors. Tourism officials are trying to turn Japan into a more tourist-friendly country by enhancing explanations of facilities and places in foreign languages. The draft guidelines say names of facilities, such as parks and museums, will be translated. For example, "Hibiya Koen" will become "Hibiya Park."
Toyota has announced it will cease making cars and engines in Australia by 2017. A number of factors were cited including high manufacturing costs, and an extremely competitive market. Around 2,500 jobs are set to go. The country’s carmaking industry has traditionally received billions of dollars in government subsidies.
DOMINO’S Pizza Enterprises has reaffirmed its full-year guidance for Australia and Europe and lifted its guidance for Japan after increasing profit following its acquisition of Domino’s Pizza Japan. Net profit rose by 28.2 per cent to $18.6 million in the six months to December 2013. Revenue soared 89.49 per cent to $265.4 million in the first half. Domino’s will pay an interim dividend of 17.7c, fully franked, on March 11 to shareholders on the record on February 24.
Long under siege from Facebook, Twitter, and more recently, the semi-social Line, and confronted by a shift toward more open and international social networking preferences, Japan’s native mixi has signaled what looks a lot like retreat: it’s been announced that they will effectively merge with istyle, an online marketing company best known for its cosmetics sales site, @cosme.