SLIMMING DOWN THE HYPE in Japanese diet ads

SLIMMING DOWN THE HYPE: Ministry moves to ban false ads for miracle dietary supplements
….In one ad, the powdered supplement was dropped into a glass of water containing olive oil. Then, oily clumps formed and sank, implying similar results occur in the stomach.
“Even if you eat anything, as much as you want,” another said, “fats will be expelled.”….
…Researchers found 90 percent or more of consumed fats and carbohydrates were absorbed by the rats’ bodies-in all 10 groups. “We can surmise that the same thing takes place in the human body,” said Kazuhiko Yamada, manager of the institute’s Applied Food Research Division….

Japan’s Parliament Approves Bill To Let Japanese Companies Sue U.S. Companies In Dumping Disputes

Japan’s Parliament approves bill to let Japanese companies sue U.S. companies in dumping disputes
Japan’s measure allows Japanese businesses to retaliate against U.S. companies that gain from U.S. government duties imposed on Japanese products allegedly dumped —or sold at below-market prices— in the United States

“Mira Gino” minicar designed for mini-crashes

Mira GinoDaihatsu launches Mira Gino minivehicle
The Japan Times Online—
….The Toyota Motor Corp. subsidiary said the Mira Gino is targeted at female baby boomers as well as their daughters. The model, first introduced in March 1999, is now geared toward nostalgic and modern tastes with its curved exterior design, the firm said..
It is the first minivehicle to meet safety standards set by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry aimed at minimizing injuries to pedestrians hit by vehicles…

Liberty Media seeks stake in Japan telecom

Rocky Liberty seeks stake in Japan telecom
John Malone’s Liberty Media International Inc. agreed today to a transaction that will give it control of Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Japan’s largest cable- television company, if Jupiter sells shares to the public.
Liberty said in a statement that it will contribute all of its Jupiter holdings, a 45 percent stake, to a holding company and Sumitomo Corp. will contribute its 20 percent stake. Within a year after that transaction is complete, Sumitomo will contribute its remaining 12 percent stake to the holding company

Japanese inquiry on Citigroup’s woes


Japan Inquiry Hears Citigroup on Scandal
TOKYO, Nov. 30 (Reuters) –
Citigroup’s top executive in Japan was subjected to intense questioning by lawmakers on Tuesday over abuses at the firm’s private bank here, the latest turn in a case that has embarrassed the company. Douglas Peterson, the chief executive of Citibank Japan, told a finance committee of Parliament that lax corporate governance and an “aggressive sales culture” caused the abuses at the unit, which regulators closed in September….

Coming to Japan: preserving an umbilical cord in acrylic resin to make a personal “hanko” seal

umbilical cord
Golden umbilical cords to keep birth memories
….Parents can preserve their child’s umbilical cord in acrylic resin to make a personal seal or even have it gold-plated. In this Confucian society where family values are highly prized, suppliers also offer services for parents to have traditional Korean calligraphy brushes made from their child’s hair….
… Agamo, which makes calligraphy brushes from human hair and preserves umbilical cords in personal seals, hopes to branch out to Japan. “We got the idea from mothers just storing umbilical cords and navels in an album or what-not,” said Agamo’s Suk Tae-jino….

Japan Movie Fund Starting Strong

Yahoo! News – Japan pic fund starting strong
(Variety) — TOKYO — Japan’s first film fund for private investors was off to a strong start Tuesday, when shares in the 1.5 billion yen ($14.4 million) Shochiku production “Shinobi” (Heart Under Blade) went on sale through three securities firms.
“As expected, we’re enjoying very strong demand,” said Morito Ito, general manager….

Japan’s Fuji Photo is building a new super-duper research center:

Yahoo! News – Japan’s Fuji Photo to build world-class research center: report
The world’s number two film-maker Fuji Photo Film will invest roughly 46 billion yen (446.6 million dollars) to build a world-class basic technology research center in Japan……

Japanese game makers mine the past

telstar game
Asahi.com : Video game makers rely on oldies as new titles flop

Video game software developers are struggling to survive in a shrinking domestic market. They’ve been hurt by a lack of success with new titles, and are relying instead on sales of updated versions of well-known titles…..

New merit-based pay systems strike terror in the hearts of Salarymen

EDITORIAL: Employee evaluations
Subject executives to the merit-based pay system.
Asahi.com

…When the Japanese economy kept growing vigorously year after year, the seniority system of automatic pay increases was the norm in Japan…However, as the Japanese economy has entered an era of slow growth or even contraction, many companies now cannot afford to keep paying handsome salaries to all their senior workers…. quite a few companies that have used the new pay system to give raw deals to young employees while providing generous compensation for sections with big in-house clout….