Japan: “To produce well is to live well.”

Manufacturing still our lifeblood

….encouraging is the revival of manufacturing. With the economy on the mend, this is a good time to reaffirm the importance of making goods. “To produce well is to live well,” as the saying goes. Indeed, Japan’s economic prosperity depends on its ability to produce and export quality products. That ability needs to be refined if manufacturing is to continue to serve as the main engine of economic growth.
Japan has given priority to export-oriented manufacturing since the Meiji Era (1868-1912)….

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

Marketing flash-drives to number-crunching Japanese preschoolers

USB flash duck drive
With today’s data-storage gadgets, you can have your computer to go
This year marks the coming of age of a new red-hot stocking stuffer: the USB flash drive. Or whatever you might call these little data-storage gadgets, each the size of a Matchbox car. ….. In Japan, stores are selling flash drives branded with Disney characters, apparently marketing to those number-crunching Japanese preschoolers. …

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’s Economic Recovery Is Dead

Signs That Japan’s Economic Recovery Is Fading
The New York Times > Business > World Business >

The government reported that spending by households headed by wage earners fell 1.2 percent in October from a month earlier as people spent less on leisure and education. Consumption has been weak amid a long decline in incomes. Wages have fallen in Japan for nearly four years.

Earlier this year hopes were high that the wage and spending slumps would soon end because of healthy gains in corporate profits. But with a range of potential troubles looming – including high oil prices, the rising yen and the risk of a slowdown in China – companies are quickly losing confidence that the good times will continue. And employment data released Tuesday suggested that companies remained hesitant to increase the size of their work forces.

Is 3yen.com soon to be Japan’s first Web media sellout?

Wired News: Web Media Buyouts Coming? Kinda
….Whitmore, a former editor and chief of PC Week, believes that established media brands will have no choice but to adopt blog strategies — and acquisitions will be a part of it. He predicts that by this time next year, Nick Denton, founder of Gawker and Wonkette, or Jason Calacanis, who co-founded micropublisher Weblogs, will have sold a couple of their blogs.
In fact, it may have begun. Last week, while MarketWatch attracted most of the headlines, one of the first blog acquisitions took place: Military.com, a unit of Monster, bought Defense Tech, a popular weblog operated by freelance writer and Wired News contributor Noah Shachtman.
I’m sure there will be more blog-to-riches stories.

Hentai Manga Gears Up For World Exposure

manga girl
Sake-Drenched Postcards
WARNING: Adult content on this link
Hentai Manga Gears Up for World Exposure

….Toshio Maeda’s work, whether it be manga comics or anime (animation), is classified in the genre known as hentai, meaning perverted. Though there is a certain level of perversion in nearly all forms of manga, whether the genre be sports, history, literature, or romance, in hentai, perversion is the point. Storylines are at best secondary, or, perhaps more realistically, tertiary.