December 08, 2015

White Paper Japanese Customer 2015


Japanese Customer 2015 The Year in Review



Introduction


Japan is the most developed Asian market and Japanese customers are very important to our understanding of Asian consumers. Their behavior, consumption and insights help us to see the world through their eyes and to learn what they want, need and aspire to become.

Each year for the past ten years I have studied the market through watching the news, reading articles, books, video’s, movies, talking to companies, interviewing executives, consumers and through visiting Japan. This year 2015 represents the tenth anniversary of this annual white paper.

I hope as you read this year’s white paper you can feel the excitement and energy, I get when I research the market and discover the creativity, convenience and innovation that comes from the Japanese consumer market. It has an Australian perspective as Japan now invests heavily in the continent for its high quality natural resources as it sets up its Asia operations.

Sadly, in Western media this year Japan coverage sank to an all- time low in terms of content particularly in broadsheet newspapers. Internet coverage is slowly expanding each year and with each new technological advance we seem to find many new windows that expand our knowledge and allow us to learn even more about Japanese customers.

In this year’s white paper, I have included visuals including photos, videos and a range of useful external links.

1. Overview and Analysis

Disclaimer:


This analysis is my personal opinion and does not claim to be business advice. Any errors or omissions are solely my own.

The year of 2015 has been a tough year for Japanese customers as they have faced a range of challenges in their daily lives. In this analysis I will speak broadly about some of the major events, influences and trends that have impacted consumers.

A number of foreign companies set up shop in Japan this year, notably, we saw Taco Bell set up a retail outlet in downtown Shibuya which was very well visited and blogged about at Kotaku.com.

Japanese customers continue to search for value as wages have hardly risen over the year and for many older people who would like to retire, 2015 was a year to stay at work for another year and continue to build their nest eggs. As they want as much money as they can in cash before considering stopping work as interest on deposits and investments is close to zero.

We saw for the first time the yield on a five year Japanese government bonds reach zero. Even though the stock market showed some growth, notably the Nikkei 225 stock index after nearly eight years finally broke through the 20,000 mark, giving mom and pop investors a smile of joy as they finally recouped some of their past investments. How far will the Nikkei rise and how long will it stay at this level is anyone’s guess? But according to research it has peaked close to 21,000 three times over the past decade.

As Japan is still a cash economy (EFTPOS is slated to be launched in 2017) the majority of people still like quick access to their money for the necessities of daily life including paying funeral gift money when someone dies, paying the annual premium on an insurance savings policies, taking a short break to a traditional Japanese hotel and visiting an onsen resort for a day or two or maybe an overseas trip (in 2012 the number of overseas trips reached nearly 20 million with an estimated expenditure close to US $50 billion), maintaining a car for running errands and shopping. A survey revealed that up to 70 % of Japanese need their smartphone when they travel.

Also people want to keep cash for unexpected medical bills and home improvements such as having the exterior of their house refurbished a job that can only be done by hired professionals as the DIY market is still very underdeveloped.

From a technological point of view, life in Japan became more convenient in 2015 with a new range of hydrogen fuel cell cars available that stretched fuel consumption to even more dazzling figures which seems to be a yearly figure that companies excel at stretching as far as they can. Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell car claims 500 kilometres per tank which is remarkable.

Rakuten and Amazon improved their delivery services. Rakuten with a 20 minute delivery for four wards in Tokyo and Amazon customers in eight wards getting access to their one hour delivery services. What is great about this is that companies are starting to see the importance of delivery in meeting customer service needs particularly with a growing elderly population where this year the number of people over 65 in Japan is expected to reach 27% of the total population.

From a business perspective Japanese companies kept a focus on cutting costs and streamlining operations which is useful for customers who rarely see the price of common household staples rise as companies analyse their internal operations for continuous improvement. This is a double edged sword as often there comes a point where costs can’t be reduced beyond a point and quality suffers. In 2015 a number of companies had quality problems.

One of the greatest challenges businesses and government faced in 2015 was grappling with the ageing population. It must be noted that pensioners made up 38% of all households, so they are a large and influential group within the market that continues to need a lot of help and support.

A major challenge yet to be faced is how people can care for their elderly parents while still working at a company. Japanese culture has strict ideas about letting strangers enter the family house even for caring, plus the actual cost of the service. Who pays is a big question, will the government pay or does health insurance pay or do consumers find themselves having to quit their job and pay the majority of the costs?

The government is trying to lower corporate tax progressively and under the 30% level to be on par with Germany, will this reduce prices further for consumers? Added to this we see Japanese companies continuing to invest outside of Japan for revenue growth in countries such as the USA for vehicle manufacturing, Australia for a wide range of investments including natural resources, agriculture, fixed income products and real estate (construction and property trusts). This is reflected in the statistic which shines a light on positive Japanese financial news in terms of net foreign assets which have been estimated at nearly US$3 trillion.

Japanese companies are turbocharging their investments in greater Asia from countries such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia. This seems to be part of a wider plan to set up new growth corridors that funnel income back to Japan. Japan’s participation in a trade deals throughout the region show a methodical plan.

Part of this plan includes more offshore production particularly in the area of food. It was estimated that Japan’s self-sufficiency ration on a calorific basis was low at just 39%. We saw that old manufacturing plants are being transformed by a number of companies to grow indoor vegetables in clean rooms.

Japanese customers love food and count eating as a major hobby in many instances. The trend for more convenient cuisines is increasing along with more choice. Fast food grew as a segment by 16% between 2009 - 2014 which may be linked to the ageing population who may behind the demand for more convenience, choice and variety.

Japanese government debt was a major story throughout the year and Fitch ratings downgraded Japan’s rating as a result of lower than expected growth. Finding growth in an ageing population is proving to be elusive, even though tax revenues increased 10 trillion yen possibly off the record corporate profits generated by the 28% devalued yen.

We have seen a lot of company tie ups in 2015 as a way to add convenience and boost sales, for example: Uniqlo and 7 Eleven to allow consumers to order clothing online and pick up at their local convenience store. Talking about convenience stores, I noticed in my neighbourhood of Tokyo, four new 7 Eleven stores built on refurbished blocks. Can the market sustain all these new stores? As a note I have seen a number of convenience stores close due to poor traffic, so only time will tell how all these stores will go, fingers crossed.

One of my wishes with the latest TPP and trade deals with Australia under the JAEPA agreement is that convenience stores sell more fruit and vegetables instead of just bananas. My father in law often recalls to me how when he was a child growing up in the 1940’s in Japan. The only bananas available were banana chips so things have made great progress!

Japanese consumers are set to be some of the biggest winners from a number of recent trade deals including the JAEPA free trade deal with Australia and the TPP trade deal. Time will reveal just how it impacts consumer’s daily lives but from all accounts in the press so far they seem to be very positive particularly with regard to access to cheaper products, newer medicines and a variety of agriculture products.

See my special report on “How will Japanese customers benefit from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal 2015

Based on modelling it is estimated that Japan’s GDP will grow from US$ 5 trillion to 8 trillion between 2014 and 2050 helped no doubt by trade deals with other countries.

More foreigners invested in Japan in 2015 which was reflected in a 181% increase in 2014 which was split between Asian investors 54% and US 47%. Domino’s Pizza expanded its footprint in Japan after the Australian arm invested in Japanese franchises and upgraded its forecast for opening new stores from 700 to 850 which is a positive sign. Pizza is notoriously expensive in Japan compared to other countries, so any chance to reduce the cost and increase the convenience will be warmly received.

The stories that really caught my attention this year included Casio planning to fully automate its digital camera factory by 2018, Japan’s place in Asia where it counts for only 6% of the population but 14% of the total Asian economy valued at $US 35 trillion along with the change in popular baby names, port /harbour for boys and Sakura for girls which appeared twice within the top five list, once in hiragana and once in Chinese characters.

This may be well be a reflection of nostalgia or longing for the past which presented itself clearly after Lehman Brothers collapsed and people where attracted back to popular Japanese street foods such as Taiyaki (redbean dessert) and Takoyaki (balls battered with octopus and vegetable pieces). Japanese often reflect backwards to other time periods for drawing through difficult periods and this is also often reflected in the period dramas shown on television and in movies.

As Chinese growth has slowed Japan finds itself economically connected but reliant for only 18% of exports whereas total trade between the two countries reached US $340 billion in 2014. The relationship has actually strengthened it seems through the unlikely vehicle of tourism. “Explosive” is the new catch phrase when Japanese refer to Chinese tourism, meaning the growth and numbers have been more than anticipated. Chinese travellers continue to flock to Japan and buy a range of Japan made products including rice cookers and automated toilets. It has been estimated that 5 million Chinese are on waiting lists for a visa to visit which is a very healthy sign.

The lead up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 is spurring a new energy in a number of sectors as the country prepares to showcase its technology, innovation and hospitality to the world. If the 1964 Olympics are anything to go by, the drive to achieve goals and the opportunity to see some of the technological advances Japan has been working will be pleasantly worth the wait.

NTT Docomo and its research partners recently tested 5G mobile and found in a test that they could achieve download speeds of up to 10GB per second which is fantastic news.

Hotels are changing and this can be seen as more of a lifestyle change, for example: ‘Love hotels” which have been predominately by young people wanting some privacy with a loved one after the confines of the family house have slowly seen their total numbers begin to decline and are hotly being sought out for refurbishment as backpacker accommodation.

Another angle recently hitting the news is the government’s plan to change rules relating to private residents being rented out. With the success of AirBnB in other countries the disruptive pace is casting a shadow over Japan.

How authorities will respond is yet to be known but with a shortage of hotels and rooms in the major cities any new spaces that are cheaper, offer western amenities and technology including no smoking rooms will be much welcomed by tourists.

This white paper includes a lot of information about Japan but I need to refocus your attention back to the customer which is the main theme. When we think about lifestyle changes in Japan in 2015 a number of statistics are available for deeper insights.

The number of non-regular jobs has increased by 1.7 million and the number of permanent full time positions has decreased by 700,000 in the last two years. Household incomes have stagnated and in some cases have been shrinking. A law was passed recently that mandated that workers have a minimum of five days paid vacation a year even though many take less than half of their entitlements. Pensions have fallen over the past six years and many companies are beginning to cut pension entitlements for workers already retired.

Minimum wage workers were recently given a modest Y18 yen increase which took the national average hourly wage to 780 yen. If we take a look at a typically temporary office worker who may work for a recruitment company they typically get 10,000 yen a day less their transport expenses and lunch leaving possible 8500 yen a day. If we multiply it by 5 days, a weekly wage of 40,000 yen a week is possible or 200,000 yen a month which is the equivalent of 2.4 million yen a year or $26,552 Australian dollars less tax and living expenses. This meager amount leaves the worker with little for saving or spending.

Summer bonuses this year were down 5% the lowest in a number of years but this is given only to fill time salaried employees. An example of teachers around the world showed Japanese teachers to be lower paid than their counterparts in other countries. The government announced it was hoping to encourage companies to reduce mobile phone usage charges as a way to stimulate the economy.

Over the past six years Japanese household savings percentage of income has averaged 1.5% which is lower than countries such as Australia which has seen up to 10% rates in recent years.

As a result many consumers are reluctant to spend particularly after last year’s consumer tax hikes and more sales tax hikes are planned but were recently delayed

On the positive side Japan ranks 117 out of 120 in terms of safety when it comes to crime and boasts the highest life average expectancy rates in the world at 84.74 years

I hope that you enjoy reading this year’s overview and that it helps you to gain a picture of the many changes that have occurred in Japan in 2015.


JapaneseCustomer.com


2. News by topic

In this year’s white paper I have sorted the news into a range of related topics including:

● Business

● Culture

● Education

● Finance

● Food

● Foreign Investment in Japan

● Innovation

● Investment

● Japan Knowledge

● Lifestyle

● Mergers and Acquisitions

● Statistics

● Technology

● Trade

● Travel

● Video


Business



● “a focus on cost-cutting over investment and incremental change over fundamental innovation, which is what has happened in Japan since the 1980’s, according to Clay Christensen, a Harvard Business school professor”

Source: Corporate world should look to the future, not just the short term, By Martin Sorell, The Australian Newspaper, Friday January 2nd, 2015, page 17.


“(Australia 2014) …Japanese vehicles remained the most popular, taking out the top three positions for sales….Toyota was the biggest manufacturer by sales volume, moving 203,501 new vehicles last year almost double Holden which was in second place, selling 106,092 vehicles "(Japanese Manufacturer Sales were approximately 512,367 units representing a 60.1% share)

Source: Devotees rush for a piece of history, By Anthony Klan, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday, January 7th, 2015, page 2.


“Government data going back to 1978 shows that suicides in Japan are closely tied to the economy. The number of deaths fell to a low of 20,434 in 1981 during the boom years. In 1998 it hit 32,863, after surging 35 per cent in a year as a banking crisis saw some financial institutions collapse…. 70 to 80 people taking their own lives each day, we are still in a state of emergency," said Shimizu at Lifelink….Japan, …. has a tighter link between economic developments and suicide”

Source: Recession hurts Japan’s fight to change suicide culture, By Chikako Mogi, The Age Newspaper, Online, January 9th, 2015
http://www.smh.com.au/business/recession-hurts-japan8217s-fight-to-change-suicide-culture-20150109-12kzsb.html#ixzz3OMxXKAE9


“The more Honda resembles a foreign company - North America now generates more than half its revenues - the fewer incentives it has to invest in Japan and Japanese workers”

Source: Why isn’t Japan Inc. helping Japan? By William Pesek, Wednesday 13th January 2015, www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-01-13/japan-inc-isnt-very-japanese-any-longer


“agricultural productivity in Australia lagged that of the US and Canada and Japanese technology and capital could help boost that.”

Source: FTA to spur new wave of Japanese investment in agriculture by Rick Wallace, The Australian Newspaper Online, Wednesday January 14th, 2015. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fta-to-spur-new-wave-of-japanese-investment-in-agriculture/story-e6frg6n6-122718386


“Japan’s third-largest trading company Itochu...has been in business since Japan opened to the world in the late 1800’s”

Source: The new reality of Asian business is regional supply chains, by Greg Earl, The Australian Financial review Newspaper, Thursday January 22nd, 2015, page 29.



“Toyota…the Japanese company- held on to pole position in the global car market with sales of 10.23 million cars and trucks in 2014…North America - it’s biggest region, with about 28 per cent of volume sales…sales of 1.1 million in China this year, an annual rise of 6.6 per cent…The company is expecting 3 per cent growth in the US”

Source: Toyota’s car sales reign threatened by Kana Inagaki and Andy Sharman, The Financial Times, Australian Financial Review Newspaper, Friday 23rd January, 2015 page 20.

● “the Japanese corporate structure is too rigid….in the age of the Internet, the company must respect its employees and encourage them to innovateZang Ruimin, Chairman of Haier Group

Source: Haier model at the vanguard of a new wave of innovation in China, By Peter Cai, The Weekend Australian Newspaper January 31st - February 1st, 2015, page 31.

“Abe’s cabinet will cut the company income tax rate by 3.29 percentage points over the next two fiscal years, aiming for a final levy below 30 per, on par with Germany”

Source: Cheap yen spurs investment by Keiko Ujikane, Bloomberg, The Australian Financial Review, Tuesday February 10th, 2015, page 42.


● Video: Japanese Television commercials for January 2015

Source: JPCMHD You Tube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_6CGaFYSmM&index=22&list=PLBCA0F10FE6785BE6


“(Casio) Since 2008, costs have fallen more than revenue allowing operating margins to expand by 2 percentage points , to 8 per cent. Net income has doubled the success of the company’s selfie cameras and G-Shock watch range have supported Asian revenue…The share price is at a seven year high”

Source: Japanese electronics win ugly to claim victory, The Lex Column, The Financial Times, Australian Financial Review Newspaper, Thursday March 5th, 2015 page 3.


“The Bank of Japan is aggressively supporting the economy, and corporations are taking more steps to enact shareholder-friendly policies”


Source: Easy money drives global markets to highs, by Tom Lauricella, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday April 2nd, 2015, page 31.


● “Japanese companies are vying for chances to join three fast-train projects under construction in the US, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Dallas and Houston; and New York and Washington with high -speed systems

Source: Abe wants US to get on board Japan’s bullet train, by Mitsuru Obe, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday April 28th, 2015, page 25.


“Mr. Cook, effectively second-in-charge of the Australian subsidiary (Mitsubishi Motors Australia) …he recently warned that aggressive sales targets set by Japan for 100,000 cars a year by 2017, might not be achievable despite recent strength in sales of light commercial and SUV vehicles”


Source: Fraud fear as Mitsubishi mourns boss, by Rebecca Urban, The Australian Newspaper, April 30th, 2015, page 5.


“Toshiba shares…fell (Monday 11th) more than 16 per cent after... (it) withdrew its earnings forecast and said it won’t pay a dividend, citing a probe into accounting irregularities on infrastructure projects”

Source: Japan’s Sharp and Toshiba plunge, by Grace Huang, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 12th May, 2015, page 13.


“The worst is yet to come for Sharp because no one can imagine how it will survive” Akie Iriyama, an associate professor at Waseda Business School

Source: 3500 to lose jobs as Sharp announces $2.1 billion bailout strategy by Takashi Mochizuki and Megumi Fujikawa, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Friday May 15th, 2015 page 24.


“..pensioners, a big and growing category of consumers, are clinging on to their cash, limiting the chances of a demand-led recovery….but spending by households where no one was employed, which includes pensioners, fell 1.5 percent, keeping overall household spending flat… (pensioners) …which made up 38 percent of all households last year, up from 24 percent in 2000, won't be helped by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's big push for companies to raise workers' pay.

Source: Pinched pensions limit Japanese consumer clout, by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White, Reuters, Wednesday June 17, 2015. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-japan-consumers-idUKKBN0OX07S20150617


“Mr. Abe’s deficit reduction plan…is expected to set a midterm checkpoint, with a goal of reducing the deficit to 1 per cent of GDP before April 2019 from the current 3.3 per cent”

Source: Abe’s five year plan to tackle Japan’s huge debt and deficit, by Tatsuo Ito, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Friday June 19th, 2015, page 24.


“The operators of Uniqlo and 7-Eleven are considering a tie -up that would allow customers to order clothing online and pick it up at their local convenience store

Source: The Small Print, August 27th, 2015, Issue 1118, by Steve Trautlein, www.metropolisjapan.com


“Japan’s most profitable high-speed rail operator, JR Tokai, is building a maglev system between Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka without government subsidies. The system relies on superconducting magnets to lift, stabilise and propel trains at 500km/h within a guide-way”

Source: We will get better cities if we have more of them, by Brian Toohey, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 20th October, 2015, page 55.



● “43% of Japanese consumers are unsatisfied with the value of digital subscription services and will need convincing before they sign"

Source: Tuesday December 15th, 2015 MIS Asia, Web, Capitalizing on Asia’s growing appetite for digital content. 


● “has kept unemployment low, real wage growth has been stagnant, giving Japanese consumers little reason to increase their spending either"

Source: Fortune, December the 9th, 2015, Why Japan’s economic troubles should worry the US.




Culture



“More broadly, the nation needs to address cultural and social traditions that have made the Japanese more tolerant of people taking their own lives, said Mafumi Usui, a psychology professor at Niigata Seiryo University. Those traditions date back centuries and were elevated by samurai who used "seppuku," more commonly known outside Japan as "harakiri," or belly-cutting, as a ritual suicide to protect honour, Usui said. Lovers' suicide pacts are often depicted in Japanese film and literature as romantic, while dying for a company was seen as a way of taking responsibility, he said.”

Source: Recession hurts Japan’s fight to change suicide culture, By Chikako Mogi, Bloomberg, The Age Newspaper, Online, January 9th, 2015.http://www.smh.com.au/business/recession-hurts-japan8217s-fight-to-change-suicide-culture-20150109-12kzsb.html#ixzz3OMxXKAE9



“Predictability in social and public life makes Japanese cities the safest on earth” Taggart Murphy

Source: Ours is not to reason why, The Economist, Review of book “Japan and the shackles of the past by Taggart Murphy”, Oxford University Press, The Australian Financial Review Newspaper, Thursday January 15th, 2015, page 35.


“Japanese saying, “Nana - korobi, ya-oki” - Fall seven times, get up eight”

Takashi Ueda, President of Sanoyas Holding Corporation.

Source: Dizzy Dreams by Patrick Durkin, Boss Magazine, Australian Financial Review, April, 2015 issue, page 7.



“The Taiwan Alliance to end the Death Penalty…cited a Japanese study which found random killers were often solitary, unstable young men with a fascination for murder and death sentences. Japan which occupied Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, has 123 people on death row”

Source: Girls death triggers Taiwan killings by Rowan Callick, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday June 9th 2015, page 8.


“Takashi Sakai is a healthy 41-year-old heterosexual man with a good job and a charming smile. But he’s never had sex…Sakai has never even had any kind of relationship with a woman, and says he has no idea how he might get to know one. In …(a) 2010 survey, 68 per cent of 18 and 19 year-olds in Japan said they were virgins…Shingo Sakatsume, NPO, White Hands, “In today’s Japan, we have no place to learn about sex or how to form a romantic relationship”


Source: Day in the life of Japan’s middle age virgins, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday 10th June, 2015, p10.



“Japan is responsible for its own losses. The country’s delayed adaptation to the international environment and its weaknesses in international competition in terms of industrial bases, work force, businesses entrepreneurship, and globalisation – none of these things were forced on Japan by any external actor”

Yoichi Funabashi in the book “Examining Japan’s Lost Decades

Source: Graceful decline in need of disruption by Greg Earl, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday June 24th, 2015, page 41.


“Almost three years ago the voters in Japan and South Korea took the curiously simultaneous backward looking step of electing leaders whose grandfathers and fathers had once run their countries”

Source: Seventy years on, it’s time for Asia’s dynasties to make up, by Greg Earl, Australian Financial Review, Thursday June 25th, 2015, page 14.


“A key question is whether a Japanese, Korean or Taiwanese buyer might more openly pursue a strategy of buying low-priced spot cargoes while backing out of long-term contracted volumes”

Energy forecaster Fereidun Fesharaki

Source: Sanctity of LNG contracts under question by Angela MacDonald –Smith, Australian Financial Review, Friday 26th June, 2015, page 20.


“Last year (2014) was the first since the National Police Association began keeping track in 1989 that more elderly people than juveniles were the subject of “ police actions”

Source: The Small Print August 27th, 2015 by Steve Trautlein, Issue 1118, www.metropolisjapan.com


“What is the correct etiquette when on an escalator?....In Tokyo, people tend to stand to the left to let others pass on the right; in Osaka they tend to stay on the right”

Source: Stand aside for Japan’s new escalator etiquette, by Adam Taylor, Washington Post, Australian Financial Review, Friday 28th August, 2015, page 29.


“Japan reworked the scale of famous rugby upsets with their 34-32 victory…If ever a team was primed to cause an upset, it was Japan….It’s difficult to quantify what Japan’s win has done for the World Cup but it has been immense”

Source: Japan shocks boks to ignite Cup, by Wayne Smith, The Australian, Monday September 21st, 2015, page 33.


“Hidekichi Miyazaki…This week the 105 year-old Japanese athlete entered the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest sprinter to compete in a 100m sprint...at 42.22 seconds…”I’m not happy with the time” said Miyazaki after his run”

Source: A week at a time by Simon McLoughlin, The Weekend Australian, Saturday 26th September 2015, page 40.



“Japan’s capacity to influence regional events is limited by the struggles of “Abenomics” to restore economic health”

Source: US asserts Asia-Pacific shift by Rowan Callick, The Australian, Monday 12th October, 2015, page 9.


“Japan …Three companies disclosed internal malfeasance in the space of 24 hours last week…Toyo Tire and Rubber...Asahi Kasei and Matsumoto Kiyoshi …optimists see it as a positive sign that companies are publicly admitting to problems; pessimists say companies are engaging in more bad behaviour without consequence”

Source: Japanese corporate scandals erupt like Whack-a-mole’, by Chris Cooper, Bloomberg, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday 21st October, 2015, page 12.


● Video: Japanese Television commercials for February 2015

Source: JPCMHD You Tube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE2U-1XxTkg&index=21&list=PLBCA0F10FE6785BE6


“More than 50% of Japanese hotels and ryokans nationwide bar entry…by guests with tattoos according to a survey by the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA)”

Source: 56 per cent of hotels in Japan bar visitors with tattoos from bathing facilities, October 22nd, 2015, Japan Today https://www.japantoday.com/mobile/view/56-of-hotels-in-japan-bar-visitors-with-tattoos-from-bathing-facilities


“LNG made from coal seam gas (CSG)…low energy value (gas)…the low calorific value LNG….many Japanese importers could only accept gas with a higher energy value…market perceptions of CSG based LNG has changed markedly….and the Japanese are adapting to the new norm”

Source: ‘Girly Gas’ opens new LNG export markets, by Angela Macdonald- Smith, Australian Financial Review, Friday 23rd October, 2015, page 24.


  “(Most popular boys name in 2015 was) the kanji for “harbor/port” (and three different ways to read it) takes the number one spot this year. Perhaps it’s the parents’ desire for their child to travel the world? …. (Girls names) The most popular names are Sakura (“cherry blossom”) and Riko (“lavender child” in this instance).”

(Japanese parents not only pick out a name they like for their child, but, in the majority of cases, kanji characters they like as well.)

Japanese Baby Names 2015

Boys names 2015, 1. Sou, Minato, Ichika, 2. Itsuki, Tatsuki, 3. Ren, 4. Hinata, Haruta, 5. Asaghi, Haruki, Tomoharu. Girls names 2015, 1. Sakura, 2. Riko, 3. Aoi, 3. Wakana, 5. Sakura, Sara.”

Source: Japan’s top baby names for 2015, by Scott Wilson, RocketNews24, November 16th, 2015. http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/japans-top-baby-names-for-2015


“Australia and Japan have agreed to significantly increase defence co-operation with more joint military exercises and a closer trilateral relationship with the US”

Source: Defence ties with Japan to deepen by Brendan Nicholson, The Australian, Monday 23rd November, 2015, page 6.


“Japanese stand-up comedienne Yuriko Kotani won this year’s BBC Radio New Comedy Award for aspiring comics last Friday, beating five other finalists at the Comedy Store in London with a five-minute act blending humour and sarcasm.”

Source: Japanese woman wins BBC newcomer comedy award, by Magdalena Osumi, November 25th, 2015, Japan Times Online, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2015/11/25/entertainment-news/japanese-woman-wins-bbc-newcomer-comedy-award/#.Vlj-B30Rp2_



“Most Memorable Overseas Dining “This would be the 11-course meal I had at Saami, a traditional Japanese restaurant set in a 15th-century building in the hills overlooking the beautiful city of Kyoto. The attention to detail and presentation were like nothing I have seen before
Melanie Cochrane, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Merchant Services, Japan and Asia Pacific, American Express “

Source: Traveller, Life &Leisure, Australian Financial Review, Weekend, Friday November 27th - 29th, 2015, LI2.



“An Actors Revenge (114 minutes) Rated M in Australia Japanese director Kon Ichikawa is best-known in the west for this theatrical, gender-bending melodrama about a kabuki actor (Kazuo Hasegawa) bent on avenging the deaths of his parents. The stylised wide-screen imagery often approaches delirium – especially the use of colour against a dark background, with much of the skulduggery occurring at night.”

Source: Our pick of what's showing on the big screen, by Jake Wilson, The Age Online, November 27, 2015 http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/our-pick-of-whats-showing-on-the-big-screen-20151125-gl6sgt.html#ixzz3sjmuHjNa


  ● Japanese movies released in 2015 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_films_of_2015



“The president of Nippon Life Insurance says his company will allow policy holders to list same-sex partners as beneficiaries”

Source: The Small Print, December 10th 2015, by Steve Trautlein, Metropolisjapan.com



Education



“Percentage of 25 - 34 year olds with tertiary qualifications including vocational, Korea 67.1, Japan 58.4, Australia 45.7, USA 44.8, Source: OECD”

Source: Data Point: World Leader, Education, Australian Financial Review, April 13th, 2015, page 24.





“Leading Japanese firms with subsidiaries in Australia…such as Kirin… have found difficulty in persuading employees in Australia to latch on to opportunities in ASEAN and beyond”

Source: Japanese seek Asian focus, by Greg Earl, Australian Financial Review, April 21st 2015, page 21.


“Singapore ranked first in maths and science followed by South Korea, Japan and Taiwan in a report titled Universal Basic Skills. Australian teenagers are trailing their Asian counterparts…a report by the OECD has revealed...”

Source: Asian kid’s race ahead on learning by Gina Rushton, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday May 14th, 2015, page 3.




“Share of individuals with low numeracy skills aged 16-29

Korea 6%

Japan 7%

OECD Average 15%

Australia 17%

US 28%

Source: OECD”

Source: Skills shortage to worsen as apprentice numbers tumble by Natasha Bita, The Australian, Thursday May 28th, 2015, page 5.


“the central government plans to boost the number of nursery school staff from 380,000 to 450,000 over the next year or so”

Source: The Small Print by Steve Trautlein, August 27th, 2015, Issue 1118, www.metropolisjapan.com


● Video: Japanese Television commercials for March 2015

Source: JPCMHD You Tube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAflMweFrXk&index=17&list=PLBCA0F10FE6785BE6



Finance



“Japan’s government debt burden is astonishingly heavy…About 40 per cent of all tax revenues is spent paying interest on this debt, and that’s an interest rate of about 0.5 percent on the bonds. If the Bank of Japan stopped buying Abe’s bonds the interest rate would be about 2 per cent, and the Japanese government would have no funds to pay the interest…Ask yourself, what are the security consequences for Australia of a financially crippled Japan?...Given the reckless mathematics of Abenomics and the impossibility of reform in Japan we had better acknowledge that Australia faces graver risks than a falling iron ore price”

Source: Why Abenomics has become a failed experiment, By Andrew Thomson, Editorial Opinion, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday January 7th, 2015, page 39.


“there is already an appetite for Australian dollar fixed income products (in Japan) but huge untapped potential for selling diversified fund products to consumers.”

Source: FTA to spur new wave of Japanese investment in agriculture by Rick Wallace, The Australian Newspaper Online, Wednesday January 14th, 2015. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fta-to-spur-new-wave-of-japanese-investment-in-agriculture/story-e6frg6n6-122718386


“Japan is the world’s most indebted major economy, with total government debt more than twice its GDP”


Source: Tokyo tax revenue forecast fuels Abe, By Mitsuru Obe, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday January 15th, 2015, page 21.


“The yield on the five-year (Japanese) government bond hit zero for the first time, while the benchmark 10 year yield fell to a record low 0.255 per cent”


Source: Japanese bond yield falls to zero as investors look for safe haven, By Eleanor Warnock and Kosaku Narioka, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday January 15th, 2015, page 23.


“Advocates of QE (Quantitative Easing) point to Japan, which has endured bouts of deflation since its economy imploded in 1990..collectively, the Japanese enjoy the biggest net foreign asset position in the world”

Source: Printing more money not the answer for ailing European economies by Adam Creighton, The Australian Newspaper, Friday January 23rd 2015, page 29.


“According to data from Swift, the international currency clearing system….the Japanese yen… (accounted for) 2.7 per cent of (all) transactions (in 2014)”

Source: Renminbi hits top five for global transactions by Josh Noble, The Financial Times, Australian Financial Review Newspaper, Friday January 30th, 2015, page 20.


“Takahide Kiuchi (a Bank of Japan policy board member)...said if the bank continued with the current program, which absorbs nearly all of newly issued government debt, the market would see a drop in liquidity - the ease with which investors can buy or sell bonds when needed”

Source: BOJ easing steps unsustainable: dissenter, By Takashi Nakamichi, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekend Australian Newspaper, March 7th - 8th, 2015, page 30


“with reasonable expectations of earnings growth between 12 - 13 per cent this year, Japan is one of the few markets with positive revisions in earnings-per-share momentum”

Source: Stick with Japan it’s paying off, By Stirling Larkin, The Weekend Australian Newspaper, March 7-8th, 2015, page 33.


“Japanese investors bought $2.87 billion of Australian bonds in February…(2015)…the second-biggest amount in the past 10 years, Ministry of Finance data showed….Australian bonds have remained attractive (2.25 per cent)…to Japanese investors, where yields are not far from zero”

Source: Japanese bond buying slows Aussie’s descent, by David Rogers, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday April 9th, 2015, page 31.


“The Nikkei average of 225 stocks closed up 224.81 points….at 20,133.90, the first close above the 20,000 mark since April 14, 2000”

Source: Nikkei surges above 20,000 by Kosaku Norioka, The Wall Street Journal, Thursday April 23rd, 2015, page 31.


● “Nikkei is a simple average of 225 (companies), what’s behind its rise is expectations for higher corporate earnings” Toshihiko Matsuno, SMBC Friend Securities…” (The Nikkei) could climb higher if TPP talks reach an accord, sparking hopes for the promotion of external trade” Mr. Matsuno said….Japan posted its first trade surplus in nearly three years in March, as imports fell due to tumbling oil prices, while the value of exports to North America soared”

Source: Nikkei hits 15-year record on earnings optimism, AFP, Australian Financial Review, Thursday April 23rd 2015, page 17.


“Fitch ratings downgraded Japan’s credit rating…long-term foreign and local credit issuer rating by one notch to A from A-plus…”Japan’s main sovereign credit and rating weakness is the high and rising level of government debt”…adding that lack of growth was another ratings weakness”

Source: Fitch cuts Japan’s credit rating, by Eleanor Warnock, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, April 29th 2015, page 24.


“Japanese life insurance firms prefer to invest in domestic bonds as they generally make payments to their customers in yen and don’t have to worry about forex risks”

Source: Japan insurers pile into US debt market by Kosaku Narioka and Eleanor Warnock, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday April 28th, 2015, page 24.


● “in Japan, where companies have tended to hang on to their cash, rather than paying generous dividends, deals that are seen as creating value over the long term often bring a share price - pop”


Source: Deals on rise as Japanese companies snap up overseas assets, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday April 30th, 2015, page 24.


● “The growth miracle of an ascendant Japanese economy was premised on an unsustainable suppression of the Yen. When Europe and the United States challenged this mercantilist approach with the 1985 Plaza Accord, the Bank of Japan countered with aggressive monetary easing that fuelled massive asset and credit bubbles”

Source: QE is merely financial engineering, not real growth, by Stephen S. Roach, Australian Financial Review, May 5th, 2015, page 43.


“decisions made by policy makers in Japan in 1998, when that country was on the precipe of deflation (Japan’s deflationary slide was triggered by a massive debt build -up, a greying population and rigid industrial policies”

Source: China’s central bank needs to learn from Japan’s mistakes, by William Pesek, May 13th, 2015, The Age Newspaper online.


“Shares in Japan’s Sharp plunged 31 per cent on Monday after weekend reports the struggling electronics maker is planning a drastic capital reduction to help wipe away losses”


Source: Japan’s Sharp and Toshiba plunge, by Grace Huang, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 12th May, 2015, page 13.


“FX online brokerage firm Pepperstone…was forced to pull out of the Japanese market where local regulators have restrictions on leverage that are not enforced in Australia”

Source: ASIC puts a block on FX Primus Group float, by Sarah Thompson and Jonathon Shapiro, Australian Financial Review, Friday May 15th, 2015, page 37.


“I think the services area is an interesting place for Japanese capital. They have a high regard for Australia and the quality of the people and businesses here” Stuart Irvine, Lion, Chief Executive, Australia

Source: Cheese revamp aimed at Asia, by Tim Binsted, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday May 20th, 2015, page 22.


“Japan’s economy has expanded for a second straight quarter…GDP grew at an annualised 2.4% in the three months through March….”The Japanese have yet to shed fully their deflationary mindset”

Source: Japan’s growth looks better than predicted, By Keiko Ujikane, Australian Financial Review, Thursday 21st May, 2015, page 13.



“Yields on government bonds of the big advanced economies peaked in the early 1980’s: Japan’s peak was near 10 per cent….Then came the decline. Japan’s rate had fallen below 2 per cent by the late 1990’s”



Source: The wary retreat of the premium bond bulls by Martin Wolf, Financial Times, Thursday May 21st, 2015, Australian Financial Review, page 24.


“Japan’s version of quantitative easing has suppressed bond yields and helped fuel a rally in Japanese equities - chiefly the Nikkei 225”

Source: Don’t get too excited about Japan’s growth, by Vesna Poljak, Australian Financial Review, Thursday 21st May, 2015, page 27.


“Asia’s savings rate is high compared with that of developed economies, “we estimate the aggregate financial wealth of Asia ex- Japan alone comes to more than $US 50 trillion”

Source: Australia is well placed to benefit from Asia’s infrastructure needs, by Tony Cripps, The Australian Newspaper, Weekend edition, 23rd - 24th May, 2015, page 35.


● “April...data from the Ministry of Finance showed this week exports grew 8 per cent on year, while imports fell 4.2 per cent…A plunge in global oil prices has remained a factor curbing the value of the country’s overall import bill….The value of crude oil imports fell 34.6 per cent from a year earlier compared with a 51 per cent decline last month”

Source: Japan slides back into trade deficit by Tatsuo Ito, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Tuesday May 26th, 2015, page 24.


● “Japan’s benchmark Nikkei Index is up 17.5 per cent year to date, having risen 91 per cent since Mr. Abe was elected in September 2012”

Source: Japan, China and India singing in harmony, by Sally Rose, Australian Financial Review, Thursday 9th June, 2015, page 29.


“Japanese companies are scrambling to fill thousands of board seats after a new corporate governance code went into effect this month, calling on publicly traded firms to name at least two independent directors within half a year of their next shareholder meetings…”All of a sudden every company wants to find at least one woman and at least one foreigner to put on their boards” Nicholas Benes, Training Institute of Japan.

Source: Japan’s fresher, less male boards, by Eric Pfanner, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Wednesday 10th June, 2015, page 25.


“There is no money to be made lending in Japan because money is free” Peter Davis, CEO of ANZ Banking Group in Japan.

Source: Pockets full of dollars: M&A rise for Japan, by James Eyers, Tuesday 16th June, 2015, page 17.


● “…a Japanese corporate governance code that took effect this month…as cross-shareholding structures come under fire…a decades-old practice in which companies strengthened alliances by buying each other’s stock. These cross- share-holdings enabled companies to more easily fend off outside interference…takeover attempts or investors demands for higher returns”

Source: New rules unravel Asian shareholdings, by Atsuko Fukase, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Thursday June 17th 2015, page 26.


● “Tax revenues have risen by about Y10 trillion overall in the past three years”

Source: Abe’s five year plan to tackle Japan’s huge debt and deficit, by Tatsuo Ito, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Friday June 19th, 2015, page 24.


“while big manufacturers in Japan are highly efficient, companies in the services sector which make up 70 per cent of the nation’s economy, tend to lag behind”

Source: Japan’s productivity revolution targets IT, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, by Mitsuru Obe, Wednesday June 24th, 2015, page 24.


Food


● “More and more restaurant chains are looking to establish factories in Australia and make food down there and send it to Japan….(Japanese) Convenience stores are more and more looking to Australian markets to secure food and wine.”

Source: FTA to spur new wave of Japanese investment in agriculture by Rick Wallace, The Australian Newspaper Online, Wednesday January 14th, 2015. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fta-to-spur-new-wave-of-japanese-investment-in-agriculture/story-e6frg6n6-122718386


● Japan is the second largest market for Australian Citrus

“China is now the third largest market for Australian citrus after the US and Japan”

Source: Barnaby bags credit for bounce, By Sue Neale, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday March 4th, 2015, page 2.


“ four years ago, when (Australian) companies were allowed to introduce a twin system of “self-regulation”, using their own inspectors throughout meat work’s except for the final carcass health check, Europe and Japan refused to buy “self-inspected” beef products as they did not meet their standards”


Source: Quality fears if beef tick privatized, by Sue Neales, The Australian Newspaper, Monday 23rd March, 2015, page 3.


● “Lion owned by Japanese…Kirin, is the largest supplier to Australian supermarkets through its wide portfolio of brands and foods…dairy products such as white…flavoured milk and cheeses to juices…it is the nation’s biggest brewer”

Source: Lion’s roar over looming price war by Eli Greenblat, The Australian Newspaper, Monday 20th April, 2015, page 19.


“Demand for convenient cuisine has increased with the proportion of spending on dining out or eating ready-to-cook dishes at roughly 44 per cent, from less than 30 per cent in the mid 1970’s according to Foodservice Industry Research Institute”

Source: US fast food picks right ingredients for Japan, by Kana Inagaki, Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday May 5th, 2015, page 20.


“Taco Bell international…opening its first store in Tokyo last week…is selling shrimp and avocado burrito for Y590 and a taco rice bowl for Y530”

Source: US fast food picks right ingredients for Japan, by Kana Inagaki, Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday May 5th, 2015, page 20.


● “Yuriko Mitani, Research Analyst at Euromonitor…Euromonitor data project Japan’s fast-food market grew about 16 per cent in total to US$43 billion from 2009 to 2014”

Source: US fast food picks right ingredients for Japan, by Kana Inagaki, Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday May 5th, 2015, page 20.


● “Australians consume 300kg of dairy product per person every year, while the Japanese are up to 80 kg each, China is still at 30 kg a head: the opportunity for growth is huge” Charlie McEhone, International Trade Manager, Dairy Australia

Source: Big-cheese ambition is a feta accompli, by Sue Neales, The Australian, Monday 26th October, 2015, page 2.


“Japan is likely to win a multi-billion-dollar contract to build India’s first high speed railway, a 500 km high-speed railway link between Mumbai and Ahmedabad…valued at about AUS $20.4 billion”

Source: Japan nears India bullet train train deal by Mitsuru Obe and Rajesh Roy, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday 10th December, 2015, page 24.




“The Seikasu Club Consumers Co-operative Union (SCCCU) of Japan , teamed up with the Centre for Food Safety in Washington to oppose (GM Salmon)"

Source: December 10th, 2015, Interfish.com, Japanese consumer union opposes GM Salmon



“They looked slightly larger than those familiar to Japanese Consumers” "Most imported avacados are of the Haas variety"



Source: December 8th, 2015, Chicago Tribune, In Japan 7 years of labor bare fruit with avocado crop.





Foreign Investment in Japan




“Yahoo will continue to …hold its 35.5 per cent interest in Yahoo Japan...valued at about $US 7.2 billion”

Source: Yahoo chief buys time with Alibaba spin-off, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday January 29th, 2015 page 26.


“Foreign direct investment into Japan more than doubled last year (2014)…Inbound investment rose 181 per cent to 1 trillion yen (AUS $ 8.4 billion), the highest since 2009…Asia accounted for 54 per cent…US 47 per cent…There was a net outflow of investment from Europe”

Source: Cheap yen spurs investment by Keiko Ujikane, Bloomberg, The Australian Financial Review, Tuesday February 10th, 2015, page 42.


“General Electric is putting its $US 5 billion Japanese commercial finance operation up for sale…The sale in Japan of the business that finances the purchase of equipment is part of an effort to win over investors who have pushed GE to slim down after regulatory issues reduced the attractiveness of returns generated…potential bidders…include…Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group”

Source: GE offloads $6billion Japan Unit, By Rick Carew and Atsuko Fukase, Ted Mann, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Thursday 14th May, 2015, page 25.


“Logistics group Qube Holdings will invest $75 million in a joint venture with Japanese petroleum group Tonen General Sekiyu to store and supply fuel in Australia as it expands into wholesale fuel distribution. Tonen General is Japan’s second-largest refiner and exports oil to Australia, supplying 12 per cent of the fuel market”

Source: Qube expands into wholesale fuel distribution with Japan’s Tonen General, by Jenny Wiggins, The Age Newspaper Online, Business Day, August 11th, 2015, www.theage.com.au/business


“Domino’s hoped to boost sales growth in Japan by offering a cut price 1000 yen pizza and introducing GPS driver tracking and quick online ordering once a new point of sale system is installed later this year”

Source: Domino’s orders slice of offshore action, by Sue Mitchell, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday 12th August, 2015, page 22.


“On Monday (August 17th, 2015) Buzz Feed …said it had signed a joint-venture deal with Yahoo-Japan to create a local Japanese-language version of the site. Japan would be the ninth foreign market Buzz Feed has expanded into...”

Source: Chasing eyeballs, by Shalini Ramachandran and Lukas.I.Alpert, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday August 20th, 2015, page 25.






“Where does Australia invest?




Rank         Country                    AUS $Billions              % of total




4.                    Japan                         69.6                         3.6




Source: Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0 September 2015”

Source: Turnbull throws down gauntlet, by Glenda Korporaal, The Australian, Friday December 11th, 2015, page 37.






Innovation



“Panasonic, Toshiba and Fujitsu have converted former electronics manufacturing sites for the production of vegetables, using hi-tech clean rooms”


Source: ‘Made in Japan’ hopes revived by Eric Pfanner, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday January 20th, 2015 p22.


● “Engineers at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are developing a wireless power transmission system that uses microwaves. They hope the system can provide electricity to facilities in remote areas where it is difficult to install power cables”

Source: The Small Print, By Steve Trautlein, MetropolisJapan.com, April 9th 2015, Issue 1098.


● “The land of the rising sun is arguably one of only a few countries in the world to be driving the new dawn creative agenda: Commes De Garcon, Toyota’s fuel Cell car, and the world- renowned Yamazaki Whisky, the list goes on”

Source: Creativity is the New Economy by Justin Graham, B+T Magazine, April/May 2015, page 45.


“rare- earths production is far more a chemical business than a mining one, and some prospective mine players have chosen to leave processing to those with experience, such as the Japanese”

Source: Will Oil, Ore rally last by Robin Bromby, The Australian Newspaper, Monday April 27th 2015, page 26.


“A Tokyo hotel is offering women a special room to cry in. The rooms in Mitsui Garden Yotsuhai hotel, come with a selection of tear-jerker movies and luxury tissues. A hotel spokesperson says the $100 rooms are designed so female guests can “cry heartily in comfort “because crying helps people combat stress”. Make-up remover and steam eye masks are also provided for post-sobbing”

Source: What the? MX Newspaper, Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday 6th May, 2015, page 3.


“Japanese animation house, Studio Ghibli celebrates its 30th anniversary this year (2015)”

Source: Celebrating Japanese animation by Michael Bodey, The Australian, Wednesday 13th May, 2015, page 28.


“Former decathlon champion So Takei (lifted) 700 million yen or (AUD$7.2 million) in cash, weighing about 70kg to promote the “Dream Jumbo Lottery” (in Tokyo)”

Source: MX Newspaper, Melbourne, Australia, Photo Caption, Thursday May 14th, 2015, page 9.


“ After three decades of planning and development…Honda Jet …makes its European debut this week in Geneva…Honda is betting that technological advances will trigger new demand from buyers use to more incremental upgrades from its rivals….tout as much as 17 per cent better fuel efficiency than competitors while having the highest speed in its class: 420 knots or 780 km/h”

Source: With jet, Honda enters new realm, by Jon Ostrower, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Tuesday May 19th, 2015, page 24.


● “Japanese architectural firm…SANAA…were yesterday announced as lead architects for (The Art Gallery of NSW) $450 million Sydney Modern Project. Tokyo Architects..Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa”

Source: Japanese win gallery design job by Michaela Boland, The Australian, Thursday, May 28th, 2015, page 7.


“Japan’s hi-tech toilets…are the latest weapon in the country’s battle to boost its economy…they warm on chilly days…they flush automatically…a cleansing water jet…the first model, the washlet, appeared in 1980…automated wash toilets have dominated Japanese bathrooms”


Source: A day in the life of Japanese toilets, The Times Newspaper, The Australian, Thursday May 28th, 2015, page 10.


“In the world of cafes and restaurants, android waiters are making their mark, with China, Japan and South Korea leading the way…human-looking androids with typical human facial mannerisms, such as Japanese newsreader robot kodomoroid”

Source: Hospitality goes Hi-tech by Chris Griffith, The Australian, Thursday May 28th 2015, page 16.


● “Snowy Hydro’s retail arm Red Energy…will trial a home battery system made by Panasonic…Batteries are…set to be particularly popular for the 1.4 million Australian households that have roof top solar, allowing them to maximize the output from their panels and cut energy consumption during high priced, peak periods”

Source: Retailers eye battery ‘revolution’ by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday 3rd June, 2015, page 15.


● “Japan is looking at installing toilets in lifts and providing an emergency supply of drinking water for people trapped by…earthquakes” infrastructure Ministry official”

Source: Japan mulls elevator toilets, AFP, The WSJ, The Australian, Thursday June 4th, 2015, page 10.


● “Marketers at Japanese food companies are scrambling to take advantage of a new law that allows them to tout the health benefits for “specific parts of the body”

Source: The Small Print, by Steve Trautlein, June 4th, 2015, Metropolisjapan.com


● “The Japanese are famous for their devotion and attention to detail…and now after 90 years of dedication…has emerged as a leading creator of some of the best whiskies in the world…late last year…a Japanese single malt was named the best whisky in the world… (Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013)…the whiskey categories in Australia, worth about $3 billion…Japanese whiskey is booming with sales growth of more than 200 per cent”

Source: Whiskey sale boom lifts Japanese spirits, by Eli Greenblat, The Weekend Australian, September 5th and 6th, 2015, page 27.


● “Mitsui Australia, Chief Executive, Yasushi Takahashi…said a new drone technology developed could ‘drastically improve many stages of mining operations…called “Smart Construction”. It uses a drone to measure a sites configuration in 10 to 15 minutes compared to conventional procedures that take two to three months”

Source: Mitsui sees a new drone tech as key to productivity gains, by Amanda Saunders, Australian Financial Review, Friday 18th September, 2015, page 19.


● “The school uniform has taken on its own meaning of eternal youth in Japan, so even older people who’ve graduated are wearing a uniform because of a feeling of not wanting to give up their youthToco Nikaido - creator of Rebirth

Source: Food and water feed a feast of uniform chaos, by Jeremy Rochow, The Australian, Thursday 1st October, 2015, page 15.


● “It (Japan) can’t compete against China in terms of price…Japan should shift away from building plants and railways, and toward building human capital such as through education”

Kenichi Ohno, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo

Source: Rail deal heads to Middle Kingdom, by Mitsuru Obe, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Thursday October 1st, 2015, page 24.


● “Toyota has started selling a safety device that allows a car to communicate with other vehicles or traffic lights….costs about US$250 and is available only in Japan….allows cars to exchange data with other cars or infrastructure such as traffic lights via radio waves”

Source: Cars ‘will talk to each other’ by Yoko Kubota, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, October 3rd, 2015, page 33.


“Japanese Nobel Prize Winners 2015

Physics - Takaaki Kajita shared with Arthur McDonald for the discovery of neutrino oscillators, which shows that neutrinos have mass.

Medicine: Satoshi Omura shared with William Campbell and Tu Youyou for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites”

Source: Wikipedia, accessed October 10th, 2015, www.wikipedia.com


● “Nintendo said yesterday that its first mobile application would be called Miitomo … (making) the leap to smart phones…Nintendo could generate Y6billion (AUS$70 million) in operating profit a year from one smart phone game” said Osamu Kamada an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities”

Source: Nintendo puts its game face on, by Mayumi Negishi and Takashi Mochizuki, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Friday October 30th, 2015, page 24.


● “The kotatsu is a table with an electric heater underneath and a heavy blanket on top. You’ll never need to leave your bed again with this Japanese innovation. It combines your bed, lounge seating and table into one incredibly cosy piece of furniture.”

Source: The Japanese innovation that lets you stay in bed all day by Madeleine Wedesweiler, The Age Newspaper Online, Nov 4, 2015.
http://www.domain.com.au/news/the-japanese-innovation-that-lets-you-stay-in-bed-all-day-20151104-gkqp9q/


“Toyota, Nissan and Honda, all hope to bring a car to market about 2020 that the driver can switch to autopilot mode and want to use the Tokyo Olympics as a platform to unveil their cars of the future…. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also ease regulations to allow small drones to deliver packages in three years, which could encourage innovation in another field that Japan has lagged behind in recent years”

Source: Japan looks to self-driving cars, drones to spur innovation, by Stanley White and Takaya Yamaguchi, The Age Newspaper Online, November 5, 2015.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/world-business/japan-looks-to-selfdriving-cars-drones-to-spur-innovation-20151105-gks294.html#ixzz3ql4Oduax


● “Hiroko Masuhara and Koyuki Higashi arrived at city hall in the trendy Shibuya district early in the morning to collect the certificate that will allow them to rent an apartment, visit each other in hospital and gain a variety of other benefits as a couple…The certificate is not equivalent to a marriage certificate but does recognise the pair as a couple for benefits and hospital visitation purposes. Shibuya and Setagaya, considered the wealthiest of Tokyo's 23 wards, began issuing the certificates on Thursday...”

Source: Tokyo issues Japan's first same-sex partner certificates, by Shiori Ito, The Age Newspaper Online, November 5, 2015,
http://www.theage.com.au/world/tokyo-issues-japans-first-samesex-partner-certificates-20151105-gkrx6a.html


● “Forbes Japan presented trophies to 13 young individuals who have launched companies that look ahead of the time — in a very global way. The ceremony was titled “Japan’s Startup of the Year 2016”

Source: ‘Global’ a key word in Forbes Japan’s selection of top start-up entrepreneurs for 2016, by Alexandra Homma, Dec. 03, 2015, Japan Today.com
http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/global-a-key-word-in-forbes-japans-selection-of-top-startup-entrepreneurs-for-2015


● “Hayabusa 2 was launched a year ago aboard Japan’s main H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center for its six-year mission to bring back mineral samples from the asteroid… Ryugu… The probe is the successor to JAXA’s first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa which returned to Earth in 2010 with dust samples after a seven-year mission in mid-2018 and spend around 18 months in the area. “


Source: Source: Asteroid probe conducts 'Earth swing-by' in space quest, AFP, Dec. 04, 2015, Japan Today.com http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/asteroid-probe-conducts-earth-swing-by-in-space-quest

Investment


“Japan’s trading houses — including Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Sumitomo — have already snapped up grain handling assets in Australia while food companies such as ketchup maker Kagome, food chain Saizeriya and tea maker Ito En have set up production plants here.”

Source: FTA to spur new wave of Japanese investment in agriculture The Australian Newspaper, By Rick Wallace, Wednesday January 14th, 2015, Online, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fta-to-spur-new-wave-of-japanese-investment-in-agriculture/story-e6frg6n6-122718386



“Japan’s Inpex Corporation..AUS $42 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas project in northern Australia…gas will be transported through a 889-kilometre pipeline to Darwin to be processed … 8.4 million tonnes a year LNG plant at Blaydin Point…also…1.6 million tonnes a year of LPG and 100,000 barrels a day of condensates, making it one of Australia’s biggest liquids producers”

Source: Inpex stands by LNG economics of Ichthys, By Angela MacDonald - Smith, The Australian Financial Review Newspaper, Thursday 29th January, 2015, p19.


“Japan’s Idemitsu has sold….10 per cent stake in its NSW Boggabri coalmine…(to) Japanese giant Nippon Steel and Sumitomo…the deal…would see the new…partner receive product from the mine….pulverized coal injection (PCI) coal, semi -soft coking coal and thermal coal. The (mine) produced about 5.6 million tonnes of coal last year (2014)”

Source: Idemitsu sells coal mine stake to Nippon Steel by Sarah Jane Tasker, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday March 25th, 2015 page 22.


“Japanese life insurers …plan to keep pouring money into US debt this year as the list of countries able to meet their thirst for yield shrinks”

Source: Japan insurers pile into US debt market by Kosaku Narioka and Eleanor Warnock, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday April 28th, 2015, page 24.


“Debt infrastructure boutique Westbourne Capital has sold a 20 per cent stake to Mitsui, Japan’s second-biggest trading company…(Westbourne) has attracted $4 billion from 24 Australian and global clients”

Source: Mitsui takes stake in Westbourne by Sally Pattern, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday May 12th 2015, page 21.


“Mitsui has been one of the largest foreign investors in Australia since the 1960’s, with new investment of $14 billion in the past 10 years, which made Australia its largest offshore operation”

Source: Mitsui takes stake in Westbourne by Sally Pattern, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday May 12th 2015, page 21.


“Japanese ...Daikyo aims to build a larger presence in Australia after forging an alliance with…residential builder Devine… The first project…is the $82 million Mode apartments in Brisbane’s Newstead…under the joint venture…Devine will provide day to day operational management…while its construction arm will build the tower”

Source: Daikyo, Devine forge alliance, by Greg Brown, Prime Space, The Australian Newspaper, Friday May 15th, 2015, page 26.


“Japan….after 15 years of deflation, a combination of aggressive monetary easing, flexible fiscal spending and a restructuring of business rules, may be making an impact”

Source: Central bankers call for help, by Jana Ranolow and Alessandro Speciale, Australian Financial review, Monday May 25th 2015, page 9.


“Suntory Beverage and Food plans to buy the soft drink operations of Japan Tobacco for Y150billion (AUS $1.5 billion)…Suntory Holdings purchase of (Jim) Beam…for about US $16 billion last year…largely set their sights overseas in search of growth….the latest deal gives…canned coffee brands Roots….peach flavoured drink Momono Tennensui …..170,000 (vending) machines”

Source: Suntory to buy Japan Tobacco’s drink arms, by Megumi Fujikawa, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Wednesday May 27th, 2015, page 25.


“Apple is likely to issue the company’s first yen - denominated bonds in Japan in June…Japanese bond yields and issuance costs are among the lowest in the world as the central bank keeps interest rates low with its massive monetary easing program. Apple said in December that it would open a new research site near Yokohama

Source: Apple set to issue Japanese bonds by Takashi Mochizuki and Eleanor Warnock, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Thursday May 28th, 2015, page 24.


“Universal Studio’s Japan theme park in Osaka is planning to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as early as September. USJ has a current valuation of about $US 5 billion. The company’s valuation soared since…the new attraction…dedicated to Harry Potter last year”

Source: Japanese theme park eyes IPO by Yvonne Lee, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Thursday May 28th, 2015, page 25.


“Toll (Group) could also work with Japanese companies eager to push into Asia and Australia, using Toll’s supply chain and logistics assets…”at the moment our global forwarding business does not do a lot of export or imports to and from Japan”

Brian Kruger, CEO, Toll

Source: Japan delivers Toll global reach by Eli Greenblat, The Australian, Weekend, May 30th - 31st, 2015, page 26.


“Japanese data released yesterday showed…household spending fell 1.3 per cent in April from a year earlier…The annual inflation rate also registered zero in April on falling prices of energy and television sets. The unemployment rate fell to 3.3 per cent…consumers are so slow to reopen their wallets…industrial production rose…1 per cent from the previous month”

Source: Japan consumption disappoints as inflation hits zero, by Takashi Nakamichi and Tatsuo Ito, The Wall Street Journal, The Australia, Weekend, May 30th - 31st, 2015, page 32.


“sources say NAB (National Australia Bank) is moving closer to auctioning off its underperforming life insurance division…with Nippon Life (one of Japan’s leading life insurers)…believed to have tabled a price north of $AS 2.5 billion”

Source: Nippon Life in talks to buy NAB life insurance business, Street Talk by Sarah Thompson, Australian Financial Review, Thursday June 4th, 2015, page 18.


“Giant Japanese investor Diam CO…snapped up a 5.1 per cent stake in the Brisbane ($AUS 525 million property trust) this week, along with other Japanese fund managers understood to have brought in at below the disclosure level”

Source: Japan’s Diam buys into storage trust, by Nick Lenaghan, Australian Financial Review, Thursday June 4th, 2015, page 39.


“In Japan, a slow return to nuclear power combined with weak electricity demand growth meant lower gas usage… “In Japan they’re building more coal capacity to displace gas”

Glencore boss, Peter Freyburg.

Source: IEA predicts gas demand to fall as coal surges in Asia by Matt Chambers, The Australia, Friday June 5th, 2015, page 22.


“The Nikkei the best performing global bourse so far this year, it still has plenty of room to catch up on”

Source: Global investors must look to Asia by Stirling Larkin, Weekend, The Australian, June 6th - 7th, 2015, page 28.


“Japan has revealed it is willing and able to build the navy’s new submarines in Australia…The (Japanese) submarine project is likely to cost a t least $20 billion to build at least eight, and possibly 12 boats…It will be worth an estimated $30 billion extra to sustain the boast in Australia through their lives”

Source: Japan’s local jobs pitch for subs deal, by Brendan Nicholson, The Australian, Friday, September 25th, 2015, page 1.


“Japanese beer giant Asahi has scooped up its second Australian boutique brewer…(it) bought the Cricketers Arms brand in April ,2013….The purchase continues the consolidation that has swept through the craft beer sector….In 2013, Lion - a subsidiary of …Kirin…poured $60 million into a new brewery at Geelong to produce its Little Creatures”

Source: Japanese Asahi buys Australian craft beer brewer Mountain Goat, by Jared Lynch, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday September 29th, 2015, page 17.


● “Sony is likely to strengthen its image sensor business by acquiring a competing arm from Toshiba sources say. Sensors are a core component of digital cameras…Analysts say market for sensors is likely to grow, in part because of smartphone demand”

Source: Sony pursues Toshiba sensor unit as camera focus intensifies, Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Monday 26th October, 2015, page 22.



Japan Knowledge



● “only 12 percent of Australian companies have any experience of Asia at all and only 9 per cent currently operate in the Asian region” 

Luke Sayers, Chief PWC

Source: Confidence collapsing to Gillard -era levels, warns PWC Chief, By Glenda Korporaal, The Australian Newspaper, Friday January 2nd 2015, page 14.


“While Japan is the third-largest consumer market for many products, Australian firms’ investment there — with a handful of exceptions — has been tiny due to timidity, cultural and language factors and complexity and regulation on the Japanese side.”

Source: FTA to spur new wave of Japanese investment in agriculture The Australian Newspaper, By Rick Wallace, Wednesday January 14th, 2015, Online, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fta-to-spur-new-wave-of-japanese-investment-in-agriculture/story-e6frg6n6-122718386



“PWC Australia CEO Luke Sayers says the level of direct Australian investment and business activity in Asia beyond trade is ‘woeful’. He is right.”

Source: Upbeat CEO’s By Michael Smith, Chanticleer, Australian Financial Review Newspaper, Wednesday 21st January, 2015 page 40.


● “….you can spend 20 years in Japan and not understand the culture. But knowing the language offers an intimate environment”

Source: Getting Asians on board, by Verity Edwards, The Weekend Australian, 28th - 29th March, 2015, page 48.


“unfortunately Australia is way behind…Asia is passing us by and we need to act now. This may well be our last chance”

Andrew Parker, PWC’s, Asia Practice Leader…

Source: Hitting growth targets means engaging with Asia and clock is ticking, by Rowan Callick, The Australian, Thursday May 14th, 2015, page 33.


“Asia could be scary for small business, because its capacity to absorb losses or mistakes is more limited to larger firms…The best route for SME’s …was to take a small step into a carefully chosen Asian market”

Source: Hitting growth targets means engaging with Asia and clock is ticking, by Rowan Callick, The Australian, Thursday May 14th, 2015, page 33.


“Mitsubishi UFJ has been the most aggressive of Japan’s banks in seeking to tap Asia’s consumers as sluggish growth and shrinking loan margins hamper prospects at home…Japan’s biggest lender is considering acquiring a bank in Indonesia, the Philippines or India”

Source: Mitsubishi UFJ views expansion in Asia, by Chanyaporn Chanjarden, Australian Financial Review, Thursday July 2nd, 2015, page 24.





“Job Ad - Seek.com.au Australia...Japanese Customer service support analyst - 12 month Contract - view to extend job, Melbourne - Call Centre ...opportunity to join GIANT for Customer focused candidates with knowledge of IT"

Source: Seek.com.au, web, Monday December 14th, 2015.




Lifestyle



“In Japan, the sale of adult diapers began to exceed those for babies a few years ago and more than 25 per cent of the population is at retirement age”


Source: Investing for the long term: picking trends that will move markets for years to come by Gregory Zuckerman, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday January 20th, 2015, p23.


● “credit cards must be returned to customers Japanese-style, with two hands and full eye contact” Uniqlo Training…Japan is the world’s most competitive retail market…To be No 1 in Japan means….customer service”

Shoichi Miyasaki, CEO, Uniqlo Australia.

Source: Heir Apparel by Georgina Safe, Good Weekend Magazine, The Age newspaper, Saturday January 31st, 2015, page 24.


“non-regular jobs have grown to 19.9 million from 18.2 million since Mr. Abe took office two years ago, while permanent full-time positions have fallen to 32.7 million from 33.4 million”

Source: Casual workers miss out on Japan’s bounce by Mitsuru Obe, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekend Australian Newspaper, March 14 - 15, 2015, page 30.


“Household incomes (in Japan) remain roughly where they were 20 years ago….Economists say pay at companies such as Toyota has long served as a benchmark for other businesses”


Source: Japan’s giants OK largest pay rises in years, by Jonathan Soble, Australian Financial Review, Friday 20th March, 2015, page 31.


“Pinched by higher import costs, the result of the Bank of Japan’s yen weakening, as well as a sales tax increase, Japanese consumers have been hesitant to spend”

Source: Japan’s zero inflation a setback for Abenomics, by Tatsuo Ito and Jacob Schlesinger, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekend Australian Newspaper, March 28th - 29th, 2015, page 30.


● “The (Japanese) government last week…submitted a bill making it mandatory for workers to take five days of paid holiday a year… Japanese employees took only half their holiday allowance last year…says online travel agency Expedia”

Source: Cutting hours the Japanese way by Kana Inagaki, The Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, Thursday April 9th, 2015, page 24.


“Japan fell into recession after a sales tax hike in 2014, as part of the objective to generate inflation and end the deflation trap”


Source: Don’t get too excited about Japan’s growth, by Vesna Poljak, Australian Financial Review, Thursday 21st May, 2015, page 27.


“pensions have fallen for the last six (years)… It's been bad for several years, especially fiscal 2014, when pensions fell in real terms by 3.8 percent, after a 2.5 percent fall in 2013, and the introduction of a new sales tax. "It is possible that the increase in pensioners has weighed on consumption, because pension payouts have been falling in real terms," said Hiromasa Matsuura, economist at Mizuho Research Institute (MRI).”

Source: Pinched pensions limit Japanese consumer clout, by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White, Reuters, Wednesday June 17, 2015.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-japan-consumers-idUKKBN0OX07S20150617


“Y18: Increase in the minimum wage recommended by a finance ministry panel. The wage currently stands at Y780 (AUS$8.77)….207.5 per cent: Increase in profits reported by Sony Corp during the April – June quarter, compared to the same period a year ago”

Source: The Small Print by Steve Trautlein, Issue 1116, August 13th, 2016, 2015, metropolisjapan.com


“In June, total cash earnings for the average Japanese worker, including regular wages, overtime and bonuses, was down a sharp 2.5 per cent from a year earlier…July’s reading showed a meagre 0.6 per cent increase. Economists had expected 2 per cent. Total summer bonuses were down 5 per cent this year the biggest fall since 2009.”

Source: More Japanese easing on the cards, by Aaron Blake, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Monday 7th September, 2015, page 22.


● “Japan is…riding a wave of increased tourism from China, largely driven by a relaxation of visa rules and a fall in travel prices”

Source: Chinese tourists lured by shops more than beaches, by Chris Tolhurst, The Australian Financial Review, Thursday 10th September, 2015, page 26.


“Prime Minister Abe’s plan to cut mobile phone rates charged by companies including NTT Docomo could put further downward pressure on prices while making the fees closer to those in overseas cities….”the fact is that the carriers dominance has kept prices high and the reduction is going to help increase households purchasing power”

Azusa Kato, BNP Paribas

Source: Abe’s inflation goal slips away, by Kevin Buckland and Shigeki Nozawa, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 29th September, 2015, page 13.


“The national average of Japan’s minimum wage was 780 yen (AUS $8.80) per hour last fiscal year, so a 3 per cent increase (18 yen) would still not buy more than a bowl of ramen noodles….Mr.Abe told cabinet ministers he eventually wants to raise the weighted national minimum wage to 1000 yen per hour”

Source: Japan to raise minimum wage, by Stanley White, Reuters, AFR, Friday 27th November, 2015, page 31.


“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered ….supplementary budget ….local media said the package will likely exceed 3 trillion yen and will be prepared in December, for approval early in the new year….It will likely include one-time subsidies of 30,000 yen for cash-strapped pensioners…Japan slipped into a mild recession in the spring. Although the jobless rate fell to a 20-year low of 3.1% in October, according to data released Friday, consumer spending and incomes also edged down as the tight labor market failed to spur significant increases in wages.”


Source: Japan plans extra budget, handouts to pensioners to pump up recovery, by Elaine Kurtenbach, Nov. 28, 2015, Japan Today.com
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japan-plans-extra-budget-handouts-to-pensioners-to-pump-up-recovery


● “The number of households in Japan that were receiving welfare as of Sept 30 was a record high 1,629,598…. approximately 800,000 households comprised of people over the age of 60. Of that number, 90% live alone … In about 20% of cases, the welfare recipients were elderly people who were ill or disabled, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said in a report.”

Source: No. of households on welfare reaches record high, Dec. 03, 2015, Japan Today.com
http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/no-of-households-on-welfare-reaches-record-high


●Japanese consumer confidence 2015

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/japan/consumer-confidence

http://www.statista.com/statistics/276265/consumer-confidence-in-japan/


“The Japanese government may offer 30,000 yen lump sum payments to a total of around 12.5 million low-income pensioners …. (11 million people aged 65 or older—and thus eligible for old-age pensions—with per-household income of up to around 1.55 million yen, along with about 1.5 million people who are younger but receiving disability benefits or survivor annuities)…next year under a plan that would cost some 390 billion yen, sources familiar with the plan say. ..the government stressed that support would be given to low-income pensioners who will not benefit from the corporate wage hikes it is encouraging.”

Source: Y30, 000 lump sums eyed for 12.5 million needy pensioners in Japan, Dec. 03, 2015, Japan Today.com http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/y30000-lump-sums-eyed-for-12-5-million-needy-pensioners-in-japan



“Members who spend at least ¥2,500 on goods at one time may avail themselves of the service, which covers about 18,000 items, including food, pet goods, books and peripheral devices for personal computers….members can order products with a dedicated application on their smartphones between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. and receive the ordered goods until 1 a.m”


Source: Amazon unit offers one-hour delivery within eight Tokyo wards, JIJI, November 20, 2015, Japan Times Online http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/20/business/amazon-unit-offers-one-hour-delivery-within-eight-tokyo-wards/#.VmOL3X0Rp28


● “8: Wards in central Tokyo whose residents will be eligible for Amazon Japan’s new one-hour delivery service”


Source: Small Print: December 3, 2015, Crazy cranes, golden goodies, space sites, By Steve Trautlein, Posted on December 3, 2015, Metropolis Japan.com http://metropolisjapan.com/small-print-december-3-2015


● According to Numbeo website Crime Index for Country 2015 Mid Year, Japan ranked 117 out of 120 for crime, meaning it is one of the lowest crime countries in the world, after Quatar, Singapore and South Korea the safest country in 2015.

Source: Numbeo website accessed Friday December 4th 2015, http://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp


● In terms of longevity, Japanese customers ranked at number two in the world in 2015 after Monaco with a life expectancy of 84.74 years

Source: Geoba.se website accessed Friday December 4th, 2015.http://www.geoba.se/population.php?pc=world&type=015&year=2015&st=rank&asde=&page=1


Mergers and Acquisitions




● “Japanese…Recruit Holdings is set to buy (Australian) local listed rival Chandler Macleod, in a deal worth $382 million…Recruit is one of the world’s biggest human resources firms with a market capitalisation of Yen 2.4 trillion (AUS$21.5 billion)..Recruit...is also set to buy out Australia’s largest technology firm Peoplebank”

Source: Japanese HR giant to pay $290m for Chandler Macleod, By David Ramli and Jake Mitchell, Australian Financial Review Thursday January 15th, 2015, page 11.


● “One of Japan’s largest builders, Kajima Corporation, has taken a majority stake in mid-tier player Icon.Co. The major deal…gives the Japanese giant inside running on Australia’s recovering property market. Founded in 1840…Kajima is one of Japan’s big - five builders with annual revenue of AUS $17 billion and operating in 50 countries”


Source: Kajima buys majority stake in Icon by Nick Lenaghan, Australian Financial Review, Thursday March 5th, 2015, page 39.


● “Japan Post’s surprise $6.6 billion takeover bid for Toll Holdings is…the largest bid by a foreign company in Australia in almost five years”

Source: Japan Post bid for Toll throws open floodgates, By Bridget Carter, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday the 12th of March, 2015 page 22.


● “So far this year, Japanese companies have struck $US 41.8 billion of overseas deals, nearly double the $US 21.2 billion in the same period last year according to Dealogic. The total for all of 2014 was $US 53.4 billion”

Source: Deals on rise as Japanese companies snap up overseas assets, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday April 30th, 2015, page 24.


● “Australian) Logistics group Toll Holdings) is expected to stop trading on the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange) on Thursday after an investor meeting to vote on its 6.5 billion sales to Japan Post…Japan Post…plan to use the Toll acquisition to expand the Japanese postal groups business in Asia”

Source: Toll to fall off ASX this week after Japan Post vote, by Jenny Wiggins, The AGE Newspaper, May 10th, 2015.


● “Japan Post executives…plan to use the Toll acquisition to expand the Japanese postal groups business in Asia…the group will formally start operating as Japan Post on May 29th (2015)”

Source: Toll to drop of ASX after Japan Post vote, The Australian Financial Review, Monday 11th May, 2015, page 15.


● “Trucking and logistics group Toll Holdings…will soon be swallowed by Japan Post after shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the $6.5 billion takeover….(Toll Chairman Ray) Horsburgh told the (shareholders) meeting…Japan Post is not buying commodities; it is acquiring the skills and knowledge of Toll employees”

Source: Shareholders back Toll takeover by Eli Greenblat, The Australian, Thursday, 14th May, 2015, p20.


● “Japan Post, which has $29.7 billion in annual revenue…plans to use the acquisition (of Toll)…to take advantage of Toll’s expertise in mergers and acquisitions to expand its parcel delivery business in Asia, as well as in US and Europe as shoppers purchase more goods online”

Source: Toll rolls into Japan Post $6.5 bn takeover deal, by Jenny Wiggins, John Stensholt and James Thomson, Australian Financial Review, Thursday May 14th, 2015, page 23.


● “todays formal handover of Toll to its new Japanese owners Toll chief executive Brian Kruger…said he expected moves to bring Japan Post’s technology and transport management systems to Australia would help build Toll’s share of parcel deliveries locally to 30 per cent within two years”

Source: Toll plans to deliver the goods by Damon Kitney, The Australian, Thursday May 28th, 2015, p19.


● “Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported that Nippon Life was set to acquire 80 per cent of National Australia Bank’s (NAB) life insurance unit for Y220 billion (AUS$1.2 billion)”

Source: NAB set for $2bn sale of life unit, by Michael Bennet, The Australian, Wednesday October 28th, 2015, page 19.


● “The listing of Japan Post Holdings and its banking and insurance units is the world's biggest IPO this year and Japan's biggest since 1998. More than 80 per cent of the shares are being sold to individuals as the government hopes the $US12 billion privatisation will spur households to put more of the country's enormous pool of household savings in to the stock market….The offering put 11 per cent of each company in private hands. The government plans to eventually sell all of the bank and the insurer through additional offerings and retain a third of the parent. Some of the proceeds will be used to rebuild areas in the northeast that were damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami”

Source: Japan Post surprises with strong debut, The Age Newspaper Online, Bloomberg, November 4, 2015 http://www.theage.com.au/business/markets/japan-post-opens-sharply-higher-after-us12b-float-20151104-gkqbxe#ixzz3ql4cTyWq




Retail




● “Japanese retailer Uniqlo has posted a $6 million loss on its Australian operations for its first year of trade, as it aggressively expanded into Melbourne and Sydney”

Source: Japan’s Uniqlo reports $6m loss, By Kylar Loussikan, Fashion, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday January 7th, 2015, page 17.


● “Uniqlo’s sales per square meter are higher in Australia than Uniqlo’s global average but rent and labour costs are also higher”

Source: Uniqlo to target interstate growth, by Sue Mitchell, Australian Financial Review, April 21st, 2015, page 17.


● “executives in Japan were first alerted to the prospects in the region after witnessing strong sales to Australians travelling in Asia…Satoru Matsuzaki president Kyohin Kaikaku, the company that owns Muji. ..At our Singapore store we saw so many Australians visiting the store and buying products”

Source: ‘Ikea of Japan’ plans expansion by Eli Greenblat, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday May 26th, 2015, page 21.



● “Eighteen months after opening its first store in Australia, Uniqlo has unveiled plans to open stores in Indooroopilly next month and in Brisbane and Chatswood early next year, taking the number of stores to 10… Uniqlo generated sales of $33 million in the first five months after opening its first store in Melbourne's Emporium in April last year, according to ASIC filings, but sales for 2015 have not been released”

Source: Turning Japanese: Uniqlo unveils 10th Australian store, by Sue Mitchell, The Age Newspaper, November 5, 2015
http://www.theage.com.au/business/turning-japanese-uniqlo-unveils-10th-australian-store-20151103-gkq9gv



Statistics




● “Japan, where more than 70 people take their lives each day, has a tighter link between economic developments and suicide”

Source: Recession hurts Japan’s fight to change suicide culture, By Chikako Mogi, The Age Newspaper, Online, Friday January 9th, 2015
http://www.smh.com.au/business/recession-hurts-japan8217s-fight-to-change-suicide-culture-20150109-12kzsb.html#ixzz3OMxXKAE9



● “Japan: Population 127 million, Land area: 364,485 square kilometres. GDP per head 2014 $48.427, Growth 2014: 0.1%”

Source: Banking on big ambitions by Rowan Callick, The Australian Newspaper, Friday March 20th, 2015, page 11.


● “70 per cent of Japan’s workers are employed in small and midsize enterprises according to government figures”

Source: Japan hopes for pay-led recovery, by Takashi Nakamichi and Yoko Kubota, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Friday March 20th, 2015, page 25.


● “ More than half of the thermal coal shipped out of Australia is sold to Japanese power companies under an annual contract price…”The Japanese traditionally are willing to pay a premium for security of supply and better quality”

Source: Coal miners feel pinch in Japan deal, By Peter Ker, The Australian Financial Review, Friday 20th March, 2015, page 15.


● “(Japan) the first developed economy to pass the tipping point - in 2011 - at which it’s population began to decline (the) nation remains the third-largest economy and the fourth-leading exporter in the world”

Source: How Japan could still throw off the shackles of debt, by Maximilian Walsh, The Australian Financial Review, Thursday 26th March, 2015, page 55.


● “As recently as 2008…Japanese companies sold two-fifths of the world’s TV’s….by last year (2014) that proportion halved as Korean and Chinese offerings became more popular”

Source: Sun rises again from Japan tech, The Financial Times, Australian Financial Review Newspaper, Wednesday April 8th, 2015, page 25.


● “Japan….the world’s third largest economy…the largest foreign owner of US government bonds…Japan held $US 1.2244 trillion at the end of February (2015)”

Source: Japan surpasses China as biggest foreign holder of US government bonds by Philip Baber, Australian Financial Review, Friday April 17th, 2015, page 22.


● “since December 2013, when Shinzo Abe was elected…on a platform of spurring inflation by weakening the yen, its US government debt holdings have risen $US113.2 billion…The yen declines 30 per cent in value to 119 per US dollar”

Source: Japan talks US debt holder crown by Kasia Klimasinka and Daniel Kruger, Australian Financial Review, Friday April 17th, 2015, page 29.


● “in the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA). the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) threshold for Japanese investors in Australian businesses was raised to $1.078 billion”

Source: Australia’s Jobs Future - The rise of Asia and the services opportunity, ANZ: PWC, Asialink Business Services Report, April 2015, Friday 17th April, 2015, page 31.


● “2015 Australian Corporate Reputation Index Source: AMR


1. Toyota

10. Mazda

18. Lion

36. 7-Eleven”


Source: Toyota in consumer trust sweet spot, by Timna Jacks, Australian Financial Review, April 22nd, 2015, page 15.


● “Mitsui’s investments in Australia have totalled $14 billion in the past decade, with joint ventures in the resources field alone with companies including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Santos, Wesfarmers and Woodside”

Source: China yet to sate its appetite for steel says Mitsui local boss, by Rowan Callick, The Australian Newspaper, Friday April 24th, 2015, page 19.


● “Japan’s central bank is set to move its inflation forecast for the 2015 fiscal year down several tenths of a percentage point from the current 1 per cent and shave its growth forecast from the current 2.1 per cent, even as its quantitative easing program buys Y80 trillion yen worth of bonds each month”

Source: Japan set to cut inflation forecast, by Robin Harding, Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, April 28th, 2015, page 22.


● “while Japan’s shrinking population is still enduring seemingly interminable recession, it’s global net asset position of more than $US 3 trillion is easily the highest in the region (and indeed the world)”

Source: Asia still the answer as boom fizzles out, by Adam Creighton, In the Zone, The Australian Newspaper, May 1st, 2015, page 3.


● “The yen which has tumbled about 28 per cent since the end of 2012, has propelled the earnings for companies from Toyota Motor to Mitsubishi Electric”

Source: BOJ refrains from added stimulus, by Toru Fujioka and Masahiro Hidaka, Bloomberg, Australian Financial Review, Friday May 1st, 2015, page 31.


● “A study last year by HSBC found that…each FTA signed by Australia is used only by 19 per cent of Australian exporters, with the complexity of the agreements cited as a problem”

Source: FTA ‘dashboard’ drives trade, by Rick Wallace, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday 12th, May 2015, page 21.


● “Sharp plans to cut at least 3500 employees through a voluntary retirement program…Sharp will turn its…panel operation, which makes liquid crystal displays for smartphones…a stand-alone in-house company. Analysts say this could be the first step toward a spin-off”

Source: 3500 to lose jobs as Sharp announces $2.1 billion bailout strategy by Takashi Mochizuki and Megumi Fujikawa, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Friday May 15th, 2015 page 24.


● “In Japan, Daikyo is one of the largest builders of apartments and has supplied 450,000 units across 8200 complexes”

Source: Japanese apartment giant Daikyo on comeback trail with Devine, Australian Financial Review, Friday 15th May, 2015, page 37.


● “Lion, a subsidiary of Japanese food and beverage giant Kirin, generates about $5 billion in revenue and employs more than 7000 people in Australia and New Zealand”

Source: Cheese revamp aimed at Asia, by Tim Binsted, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday May 20th, 2015, page 22.


● “Mount Shindake…in southern Japan…a violent volcanic eruption…9.59am (on Friday)…on the far southern island of Kuchinoerabu”

Source: Japan evacuates southern island after volcano blows its top, AFP, The Australian, Weekend, May 30th - 31st, 2015, page12.


● “Japan is one of the TPP countries which prefer to wait for the US to pass the fast-track legislation before concluding negotiations…The 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)…will cover about 40 per cent of the world’s economies”

Source: Trans - Pacific trade talks never end, by Rosemarie Francisco, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 26th May, 2015. page 13.


● “(Japanese) Households spent less on leisure, travel and dining-out even as real income rose for the first time in 19 months and the jobless rate fell to an 18 year low…A weak yen and rising hotel charges discouraged households from travelling”

Source: Japanese consumer gloom clouds BOJ’s optimism, by Leila Kihara, Reviews, Australian Financial Review, Weekend, May 30th- 31st, 2015, page 13.


● “2014 global personal luxury goods market by customer of origin

China 29%, US 22%, Europe 21%, Japan 13%, Rest of World 15%”

Source: Bain and Company

Source: Price gap hurts China’s appetite for luxury, by Thao Hua, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Monday 1st June, 2015, page 22.


● “The Panasonic battery….could increase a households self - consumption rate from rooftop solar panels from 30 per cent to 60 per cent”

Source: Retailers eye battery ‘revolution’ by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday 3rd June, 2015, page 15.


● “Japan has about 620,000 lifts in public or commercial buildings nationwide, about 20 per cent of which are in Tokyo”

Source: Japan mulls elevator toilets, AFP, The WSJ, The Australian, Thursday June 4th, 2015, page 10.


● “..people in Japan consume on average 7.2 liters of alcohol per year…according to a new report by the OECD”

Source: The Small Print, by Steve Trautlein, June 4th, 2015, Metropolisjapan.com


● “Japan is not yet profitable but Jetstar has become the leading low-cost airline with 60 per cent of the market and has boosted demand for travel, “were making it possible for Japanese consumers to do things they haven’t been able to do before”

Jayne Hrdlicka, Jetstar Group CEO

Source: Panda-mania pays off for Jetstar by Steve Creedy, The Australian, Wednesday 17th June, 2015, page 20.


● “Number of millionaire households (thousands)

Country 2014 2013

1. USA 6906 6595

2. China 3613 2425

3. Japan 1125 1074

8. Taiwan 325 310

13. Australia 215 182”

Source: Boston Consulting Group

Source: After US, China’s rich list longest, The Australian, Wednesday 17th June, 2015, page 21.



● “the government estimates that Australia’s surplus with Japan this year will reach $24.5 billion”…Japan is...a big buyer of Australian commodities…coal, iron ore…beef…LNG...”

Source: Australia’s trade surplus with Japan tops China, by James Glynn, The Australian, Wednesday 17th June, 2015, page 28.


● “This year (2015)... the proportion of people over 65… is expected to hit 26.8 percent, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, rising to 33.4 percent in 2035. It was just 17.4 percent as recently as 2000.”

Source: Pinched pensions limit Japanese consumer clout, by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White, Reuters, Wednesday June 17, 2015.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-japan-consumers-idUKKBN0OX07S20150617



● “Japanese embassies and consulates issued 2.8 million visas last year, a jump of 54.1 per cent from 2013 - and the most ever”

Source: The Small Print, by Steve Trautlein, Issue 1108, June 18th 2015, MetropolisJapan.com


● “Japan’s government debt,…is more than twice the size of the national economy at Y 1 quadrillion”

Source: Abe’s five year plan to tackle Japan’s huge debt and deficit, by Tatsuo Ito, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Friday June 19th, 2015, page 24.


● (Mr. Abe’s third arrow) “goal of doubling the number of foreign information technology workers in Japan by 60,000 by 2020”

Source: Japan’s productivity revolution targets IT, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, by Mitsuru Obe, Wednesday June 24th, 2015, page 24.


● “Norichukin Bank…had 64.2 trillion yen (AUS$66.8 billion) of securities at the end of March…A 14 per cent drop in the yen versus the greenback boosted interest income from overseas holdings…Norinchukin lends money to farmers, fisherman and forresters and makes investments on their behalf to provide them with returns that supplement their incomes”

Source: Japan’s farmers bank to move more of its $66.8 billion offshore, by Finbarr Flynn and Shingo Kawamoto, Bloomberg, The Australian Financial review, Tuesday 23rd June, 2015, page 36.



● “Sharp…is pushing suppliers for deep price cuts and considering Chinese alternatives to Japanese parts for its liquid crystal display screens…Sharp..has been rocked by a plunge in the price of LCD panels for smart phones (and is) seeking cuts of 25 per cent or more from suppliers”


Source: Undercut Sharp looks for ways to survive screen dive, by Takashi Mochizuki, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Friday 26th June, 2015, page 27.



● “Exports to China for China’s domestic use in 2014


(% of source countries GDP Source: UBS)

Taiwan 8%

South Africa 8%

Malaysia 7%

Chile 6%

Korea 6%

Australia 6%

Japan 2%

USA <1 br="">
Source: Chinese exposure incurs risks by Lisa Murray, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday June 24th, 2015, page 12.


● “price to earnings multiples suggest some of the best value in developed markets, is to be found in Japan. Perhaps surprising given the very strong run Japanese stocks have enjoyed this year. Even so, current multiples show Japanese equities still trading at double – digit discounts (16 – 18 per cent), to average ratios….compare this to Europe and the US, which both trade at discounts around 5.5 per cent”

Source: Japan looks like land of rising value, by Adam Carr, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday July 2nd, 2015, page 2.


● “Australia’s exports…. to Japan…were down about 17.5 per cent…below their level of a year ago”

Source: Secondary markets keep exports bubbling along, by David Uren, The Australian Newspaper, Friday July 3rd, 2015.


● “Growth in manufacturing output per hour (2014)

Czech Republic 5%

Taiwan 4.5%

Canada 4%

Britain 2.5%

Japan 2%

Australia below 0%

Source: The Conference Board”

Source: Artisans baking up an economic drag, by Vera Sprothen, The Australian Newspaper, Friday July 3rd, 2015, page 19 and 23.



● “Japan, Korea, Hungary and Poland, where less than 5 per cent of the population had a migrant background”

Source: Aussies lead on migrant success by Shane Rodgers, Weekend Australian Newspaper, July 4th and 5th, 2015, page 9.



● “Japanese exports to China fell 4.5 per cent in volume terms in May, the fourth straight month of decline. China is Japan’s second largest export market after the US and accounts for nearly one-fifth of the total”

Source: China chill stings Japanese firms, by Takashi Nakamichi and Megumi Fujikawa, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday July 21nd, 2015, page 24.


● “Although Japan had good growth in the March quarter, it had not yet overcome concerns about deflation. It’s growth will be held back by the ageing of its population, which is resulting in a falling population”

Source: Slowing Asia’s ‘threat to prosperity”, by David Uren, The Australian, Tuesday, August 11th, 2015, page 1.


● “under the Japanese FTA which came into force, in January, the (Australian) Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) estimates it will result in $2.2 billion in foregone revenue”

Source: China FTA may cost us $4.2 billion, by Joe Kelly, Annabel Hepworth, The Australian, Tuesday 11th August, 2015, page 2.


● “Goldman Sachs Japan boosted net income 39 per cent to 13.6 billion yen ($148 million) last fiscal year, while revenue rose 31 per cent…Daiichi Life Insurances $US 5.5 billion ($7.4 billion) acquisition of Protective Life Corporation)”


Source: Goldman stands out in Japan, by Takahiko Hyuga and Gareth Allan, Bloomberg, The Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 11th August 2015, page 10.


● “Revenues for the…Domino’s brand in Japan, France, Belgium and the Netherlands rose by 19 per cent to $702 over the 12 month period…(Domino’s) has raised its forecast for Japan to 850 stores from 700”

Source: Domino’s fast plan to reign supreme, by Eli Greenblat, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday August 12th, 2015, page 27.


● “More than 3 million Taiwanese visited Japan last year, more than tourists from any other nation”

Source: Japanese porn star…features on Taiwan’s metro swipecards, By Sudarsan Ragbavan, The Age Newspaper Online, September 2nd 2015.www.theage.com



● “Last month (August) Toyota sold its eighth million hybrid since the first Prius went into showrooms in 1997…Prius is one of the 30 Toyotas now available with the technology…In Australia, just 1.15 per cent of new vehicles sold this year has some form of electric drive”

Source: Plugging into the future, by Philip King, The Australian, Thursday September 9th, 2015, page 16.


● “(Japan represents) 6.5% of (an) Asian population of 4 billion but 14% of Asian Economy of $US35.8 trillion” Source: IBIS World

Source: We do not have the economies of scale to manufacture cars or defence equipment, by Phil Ruthven, The Australian, Monday 24th August, 2015, page 26.



● “Officials at the health Ministry say the life expectancy for Japanese girls born in 2014 was 86.83 years - a record high….It was the third consecutive year that Japanese females topped the global longevity list….The expectancy for Japanese men - 80.50 years”

Source: The Small Print, August 27th, 2015, Issue 1118, by Steve Trautlein, www.metropolisjapan.com


● “Calculations by Japan’s main business publication, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, show the profit of Japan’s top 25 automobile and electronic groups is boosted by Y 653 Billion (AUS$7.63 billion) when the currency is trading at Y125 to the US dollar…”

Source: China’s devaluation may hurt Japan as stronger yen slashes firms profits by Karen Maley, Australian Financial Review, Friday 28th August, 2015, page 23.



● “yellow fin tuna can weigh 70kg and when the finest yellow fin can command 3000 yen a kilo (AUS $32/kilo) at the Japanese fish markets, a good day can be lucrative” Pavo Walker

Source: Deep Green by Sarah Elks, Life, Weekend Australian, August 29th - 30th, 2015, page 2.


● “24,567: People taken to hospitals with heat stroke in July, a record for the month”

Source: The Small Print, Issue 1119, by Steve Trautlein, September 3rd, 2015, www.metropolisjapan.com


● “For the first time since 1994, more than 70% of university graduates hooked up with jobs right out of school”

Source: The Small Print, Issue 1119, by Steve Trautlein, September 3rd, 2015, www.metropolisjapan.com


● “the Bank of Japan is conducting a massive program of monetary stimulus, which involves it buying Y 80 trillion (AUS$970 billion) of assets each year. This aggressive monetary stimulus has helped drive the value of the Japanese yen lower, boosting the profits
of Japan’s big corporations, which are heavily dependent on export sales”

Source: Currency wars simmer- despite G20 discussions, by Karen Maley, Australian Financial Review, September 7th, 2015, page 22.


● “China’s share of exports, 2013(%)


Australia 36.1%

South Korea 26.1%

Chile 24.9%

NZ 20.8%

Japan 18.1%

US 7.7%

Germany 5.4%


Source: Peterson Institute for International Economy”

Source: The real anxiety behind soft national accounts, by Alan Mitchell, Australian Financial Review, Monday, September 7th, 2015, page 28.


● “Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock market index jumped 7.7 per cent after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to lower the corporate tax rate by a cumulative 3.3 percentage points over two years”

Source: Tokyo shares surge, Bloomberg, by Yuji Nakamura and Jonathan Burgos, Australian Financial Review, Thursday September 10th, 2015 page 1.


● “Japan will join the so-called Asia Region Funds Passport which frees up trade relations for investment firms between (Australia and Japan)..It offers local (Australian) companies the ability to target the AUS$19.83 trillion in savings held by Japanese households”

Source: Japan deal lights path for Australian banks towards $14 trillion, By James Eyers, Friday September 11th, 2015. The Age Newspaper Online, www.theage.com


● “Japan Post is one of the country’s biggest employers with more than 200,000 staff in 24,000 offices and branches nationwide. It’s banking unit has about Y 178 trillion in deposits”

Source: Japan Post draws $160 billion value, by Takahiko Hyuga, Bloomberg, Australian Financial Review, Weekend Edition, 12th- 13th September 2015, page 12.


● “Japan’s Inpex has announced a 10 per cent cost blow out to US $37 billion and a six to nine month delay at Ichthys LNG and oil project being built in Darwin”

Source: Ichthys faces delays, blowout, by Matt Chambers, The Australian, Monday September 14th, 2015, page 18.



● “As more Japanese spooked by a multi-year weakening in the yen turn to insurance denominated in dollars (US and Australian dollars)…A 10 year Australian government bond was yielding 2.74 per cent on Friday (11th September) compared with its Japanese counterpart’s 0.343 per cent”

Source: Yen dip spurs flight to insurance, by Eleanor Warnock, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Wednesday September 16th, 2015, page 28.


● “A raft of weak data had ramped up pressure on the central bank to expand its Y80 trillion annual asset-buying scheme to stimulate the sagging economy…Inflation has remained close to zero, keeping Japan teetering on the brink of a dangerous cycle of deflation where consumers put off spending in the hope of cheaper prices, hurting businesses and sapping government coffers”

Source: BOJ holds fire but further stimulus on the agenda, AFP, The Australian, Wednesday 16th September, 2015, page 32.


● “US Export - Import Bank Loan Activity, 2014 loan authorisations for selected countries

China US$ 402.8 Billion

Korea US$ 180 Billion

Japan US$ 69.3 Billion Source: Export- Import Bank”

Source: Bank row forces GE jobs offshore, by Nick Tiniraas and Ted Mann, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Thursday September 17th, 2015, page 24.


● “Consumer demand for diamonds, by region 2018

US 41%

China 19%

India 9%

Gulf 7%

Japan 4%

Source: Barclays”

Source: Tough times for the rocks market, by Helen Thomas, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Thursday 17th September 2015, page 25.


● “(S+P down .graded) Japan’s Sovereign credit rating from AA-/A-1 to A+/A-1 from 2011-2014 S+P said average per capita income slipped to $US 36,000 (AUS$50,000) from close to $US 47,000”

Source: S+P downgrades weakening Japan, by Rowan Callick, The Australian, Friday September 18th, 2015, page 20.


● “In terms of spending, Japan’s 247,000 troops make up the seventh-richest armed forces in the world…the Self -Defence Forces (SDF) is struggling to find the 14,000 new recruits it needs every year”

Source: Idea of war has Japan up in arms, by Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times, The Australian, Wednesday 18th September, 2015, page 14.


● “Forecast change in (coffee) cups per capita consumption 2014 - 2019

China 18%

Britain 13%

Japan 3.5%

US 0.9%

Australia -2.8%

Source: Euromonitor International”


Source: Chinese realising coffee’s their cup of tea, by Lucy Craymer, The Australian, Friday September 18th, 2015, page 25.


● “Body Parts donors per million population 2012


Spain 34

Australia 10

USA 21

Japan 2 


Source: International registrations”

Source: Donor list offers twice -in-a-lifetime-chance, by Simon King, The Australian, Thursday September 19th, 2015, page 5.



● “China is the second - largest destination for Japanese students- studying abroad, after the United States. Japanese students are the third largest cohort of foreign students in China”

Source: China - Japan economic embrace thaws politics by Shiro Armstrong, Australian Financial Review, Monday 28th September 2015, page 12.



● “2.4 million Chinese tourists visited Japan in 2014, with another % million waiting for visas”


Source: China - Japan economic embrace thaws politics by Shiro Armstrong, Australian Financial Review, Monday 28th September 2015, page 12.



● “China’s renminbi has surpassed the Japanese yen to become the world’s fourth- most-used payments currency, despite an unexpected devaluation and concerns about slowing Chinese growth”

Source: Renminbi over takes yen for payments, trails big three, by Gabriel Wildow, Financial Times, Australian Financial review, Thursday October 8th, 2015, page 37.


● “Japan’s manufacturing and exports sectors, for example, have borne the brunt of emerging markets slow down…BOJ…”The slowdown in emerging economies” was weighing on the nations exports and production”


Shares of exports to emerging markets (2014)

US 46.6%

Japan 45%

Eurozone 24.6%

UK 20.2%

Canada 10.4%

Source: Wall Street Journal

Source: China slump hits rich countries by Anjani Trivedi, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Friday 16th October, 2015, page 25.


● “Toyota…has focused on hybrids…Toyota’s Mirai fuel-cell car can run 500km with a full tank of hydrogen, based on US testing standards. Rival Nissan’s Leaf electric car has an average range of 135 km with a fully charged battery”

Source: End of the road for petrol, diesel: Toyota, The Wall Street Journal, The Australia, Friday October 16th, 2015, page 25.


● “(Japan Post IPO)…Pricing at the top end of the range would raise roughly 1.4 trillion yen (AUS $16.2 billion) making the floatation the biggest in the world this year”

Source: Retail orders fuel surprising demand for Japan Post IPO’s by Leo Lewis, Financial Times, Australian Financial review, Friday October 16th, 2015, page 25.


● “Japan contributed (AUS$42 million) to UNESCO in 2014. UNESCO’s budget for the two year 2014 - 2015 period is (AUS$892 million)”

Source: Japan threat to cut funds to UNESCO, The Australian, Wednesday October 14th, 2015, page 8.


● “(Australian) Lion group which is owned by Japanese food and beverages giant Kirin…has a significant presence (in) the Asian dairy sector with more than 20 per cent of the Hong Kong premium dairy segment and 19 per cent of the premium segment in Malaysia”

Source: Lion in China web, distributor alliance, by Damon Kitney, The Australian, Wednesday 14th October, 2015, page 21.


● “Nikkei’s flagship financial newspaper has more than 3 million print and digital subscribers”

Source: Nikkei’s survival tied to US$1.3b, Financial Times deal by Tony Boyd, Australian Financial review, Friday October 16th, 2015, page 29.


● “Investment from Japan into Australia is growing at 11 per cent a year”

Source: Japan tops Asia travel queue, by Rick Wallace, The Australian, Tuesday 20th October, 2015, page 2.


● “Top export destinations (for Australian dairy products)


Thailand $200 million

Japan $400 million

China $600 million

Source: Dairy Australia “

Source: Milk it for all its worth: farmers urged to expand and meet Asian demand, by Sue Neales, The Australian, Wednesday October 28th, 2015, page 19.


● “Asia investment into Australia 24 months (Q3/2013 - Q2/2015)

Origin (US$M)

Singapore 6849

China 6263

Malaysia 1371

Hong Kong 1183

South Korea 306

Japan 241

Taiwan 60

Brunei 10


Source: Knight Frank”

Source: Wave of Asia cash floods market, by Samantha Hutchinson, The Australian, Thursday October 31st, 2015, page 31.


● “According to Euromonitor data, Japanese people eat about 96 kilograms of vegetables and 34 kilograms of fruits per person per year. The cut vegetables and fruits market has been one of the significant booms in Japan, worth around US$750 million, due to the growing number of single-person households and ageing population, as well as strong demand for convenience foods”

Source: JAEPA opens opportunities for Australian vegetable exporters, Australian Trade Commission, Wednesday 4th November, 2015, Export Update, November 2015 edition.


● “Self-sufficiency of food production in Japan also remains relatively low. The rate on a calorific basis in 2014 was 39 per cent – the same rate since 2010.”

Source: JAEPA opens opportunities for Australian vegetable exporters, Australian Trade Commission, Wednesday 4th November, 2015, Export Update, November 2015 edition.


● “Japan retains impressive power resources. It is a democracy that has been at peace for 70 years, with a stable government and a high standard of living. Its per capita income is five times that of China”

Source: Japan sold short but Abe must push beyond comfort zone, By Joseph. S. Nye, Jr., The Australian, Wednesday 4th November, 2015, page 10.


● “Japan Post Bank controls more than Y200 trillion (AUS$2.3 trillion) in assets. Making it one of the world’s largest asset managers. Its main profit comes from what it earns on those assets. About half the money is in Japanese government bonds”

Source: Japan Post prepares to deliver $12 billion IPO, by Atsuko Fukase, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Wednesday 4th November, 2015, page 24.


● “Compared with seven years ago, people in Japan sent three billion fewer letters, packages and postcards in the year ending in March, according to Bloomberg. Japan Post is focusing on freight transport and expanding abroad. It bought Australian logistics company Toll Holdings this year for $6.5 billion (US$4.6 billion), its biggest acquisition.”


Source: Japan Post surprises with strong debut, The Age Newspaper Online, Bloomberg, November 4, 2015 http://www.theage.com.au/business/markets/japan-post-opens-sharply-higher-after-us12b-float-20151104-gkqbxe#ixzz3ql4cTyWq


● “The number of Australians heading to Japan….30, 600…visited Japan in September, up 19.5 per cent from a year earlier”

Source: Tourists from Japan take advantage of extra flights, by Jamie Freed, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 10th November, 2015, page 6.


● “The number of multipurpose industrial robots (all types) per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry – 2014

Republic of Korea 450

Japan 350

Germany 300

US 150

Australia 66

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch”

Source: Robots threaten jobs of bankers, lawyers, by John Kehoe, Australian Financial Review, Thursday, 12th November, 2015, page 14.


● “Japan grows more slowly than other countries at the best of times, largely because its work force is shrinking, so even small setbacks can easily send it into reverse. The latest recession was its fifth since the global financial crisis of 2008, though by some measures, including unemployment, the picture looks less dire”

Source: Japan Economy Contracts 0.8%, Returning to Recession, By Jonathon Soble, New York Times, November 15th, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/16/business/international/japan-economy-contracts-0-8-returning-to-recession.html?ref=asia



● “The sales goal set by Toshiba for its Internet of things – related business by 2010 estimated Y300 billion”

Source: The Small Print, November 19th 2015, by Steve Trautlein, Metropolis Japan, www.metropolisjapan.com



● “The number of Chinese travellers to Japan in October helped push the total number of foreign visitors during the month to 1.83 million, the second – highest on record for a single month. That brought the total for the first 10 months of the year to 16.3 million…Chinese tourists accounted for nearly half of the Y1 trillion ($AUS 11.3 billion) that foreign visitors spent in the country from July through to September ( The Japan Tourism Agency)”

Source: Middle-class Chinese beef up Japan’s tourism push, by Jun Hongo, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Friday November 20th, 2015, page 25.


● “The population of Japanese in their 20’s - who use love hotels to escape from small and crowded family homes - fell from 18 million in 2000 to 13 million in 2013”

Source: Japan dumps ‘love hotels’ for backpacker hostels by Robin Harding, Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, Monday 23rd November, 2015, page 19.


● “Japan’s industrial output rose in October for a second straight month, and retail sales grew much faster than expected… The Trade Ministry said on Monday that factory output rose 1.4 percent in October from the previous month; economists had estimated 1.9 percent. Separate data showed retail sales rose 1.8 percent in the year ended October, more than the expected gain of 0.8 percent.”

Source: In Japan, Factory Output and Retail Sales Are Rising, Reuters, New York Times, November 30th, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/01/business/international/in-japan-factory-output-and-retail-sales-are-rising.html?ref=topics&_r=0


● A great reference for recent internal events in Japan in English cannot be missed is the book: Bending Adversity – Japan and the Art of Survival by David Pilling




“Worlds top five by revenue


For Games                                               Mobile Games

China         $US 22.2 billion           China         $US 6.5 billion
US              $US 22    billion          Japan        $US 6.2 billion
Japan        $US 12.3 billion           US              $US 6    billion
S Korea     $US   4    billion           S Korea     $US 1.9 billion”




Source: Tencent looks abroad for games domination, by Juro Osawa, WSJ, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday 8th December, 2015, page 25.





Technology





● “This year Toyota is making a small number of (AU$70,750), US$ 57,500 hydrogen fuelled Mirai FCV’s (fuel cell vehicles) available globally, and plans to slowly ramp up sales as refuelling stations come on line…“Toyota says it will share its 5700 patents related to hydrogen fuel cells with other car companies without charging a royalty fee hoping to speed the introduction of the technologies that the Japanese, carmaker has put its weight behind”

Source: Toyota to share green car patents with rivals, By Mike Ramsey, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday January 7th, 2015 page 20.




● “Sony (is) …shutting down…Music Unlimited at the end of March (2015)…the streaming service, one of the biggest in Japan, is integrated into Sony’s PlayStation consoles…Spotify will now power the music for PlayStation users in 41 markets…Spotify hasn’t launched in Japan….despite negotiating for years with Japanese record labels, which still rely heavily on CD s ales for profit”

Source: Sony’s music streaming exit fuels shake-out, By Hannah Karp, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Friday January 30th, 2015, page 23.




● “Japan’s Line….a popular smartphone messaging application, is preparing for an IPO in Tokyo…205 million monthly active users..123 million come from: Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia….Line provides free messaging and voice calls and generates revenue from the sale of ‘stickers’, games and other services”

Source: Line mulls Tokyo - NY listing by Alexander Martin and Takashi Mochizuki, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Wednesday 27th May, 2015, page 25.



● “Kinokuniya, which owns 66 shops in Japan, has acquired 90,000 books from the first print run of “Novelist as a Vocation”, a collection of essays…to encourage readers to buy it over the counter rather than online”

Source: Chain Buys 90 per cent of Murakami books to write off Amazon, The Times, The Australian, Friday 28th August, 2015, page 10.




● “Canon…aims to fully automate the production of digital cameras by 2018 to lift its domestic production ratio to 60 per cent, from 43 per cent last year…a switch to domestic production for imported goods targeting Japanese consumers could lift Japan’s industrial production by up to 3 per cent (according to Mizuho Securities estimates)”

Source: Robots and reshoring bring ‘made in Japan’ back in vogue, by Kana Inagaki, Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, Monday 21st September, 2015, page 21.



● “Japan’s new super-fast trains – capable of travelling in excess of 600 km/h and which are directed underground as much as possible – have arrived at the centre of high-speed rail debate in Australia”

Source: Superfast trains “can turbocharge regions’ by Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, Thursday November 26th 2015, page 5.



● “NTT Docomo says a 5G trial it conducted with Nokia Networks…on Oct 13 achieved ultra-high-speed data transmission in excess of 2Gbps. ..the trial was successful thanks to the use of two new technologies: beam forming, which focuses radio waves in a specific direction, and beam tracking to control beam direction according to the mobile device’s location.. Other trials ….Docomo and Ericsson verified the feasibility of massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology by achieving a real-time data-receiving speed of more than 10Gbps “

Source: Docomo successfully conducts 5G trials in actual-use environments, Nov. 29, 2015, Japan Today http://www.japantoday.com/category/technology/view/docomo-successfully-conducts-5g-trials-in-actual-use-environments



● “Toyota last month announced a $1 billion investment in a research company headed by robotics expert Gill Pratt in Silicon Valley to develop artificial intelligence and robotics. It is already working with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on robotics.”

Source: Toyota has big ambitions for 'partner robot' business, by Yuri Kageyama, Dec. 04, 2015, Japan Today.com

http://www.japantoday.com/category/technology/view/toyota-has-big-ambitions-for-partner-robot-business




● “the most inspiring virtual reality VR came from Sony. Its VR headset for PlayStation 4 lets you explore a 3D, virtual environment, you can walk around it and, using move controllers, you can even pick up objects”

Source: Years top personal tech innovations on the money, by Chris Griffith, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday December 8th, 2015, page 28.


Trade




“(Trans Pacific Partnership) (Japanese) Automakers are expected to benefit from the pact, with vehicles accounting for some 45 percent of Japan’s overall exports to Australian on a value basis. Australia will immediately abolish tariffs on Japanese cars with engine displacements of 1,500 cc to 3,000 cc. Tariffs on larger vehicles will be removed within three years.”

Source: Japan-Australia EPA takes effect Thursday, JIJI Press, Tuesday January 13th 2015, Japan Times Newspaper, Online http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/13/business/japan-australia-epa-takes-effect-thursday/#.VLb4kVXqGuY



“Japan’s trading houses — including Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Sumitomo — have already snapped up grain handling assets in Australia while food companies such as ketchup maker Kagome, food chain Saizeriya and tea maker Ito En have set up production plants here”

Source: FTA to spur new wave of Japanese investment in agriculture by Rick Wallace, The Australian Newspaper Online, Wednesday January 14th, 2015. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fta-to-spur-new-wave-of-japanese-investment-in-agriculture/story-e6frg6n6-122718386



“(Trans Pacific Partnership) Japan’s tariffs will be cut from the current 38.5 percent to 32.5 percent for chilled Australian beef and to 30.5 percent for frozen. The rate will eventually fall to 23.5 percent for chilled beef in 15 years and to 19.5 percent for frozen in 18 years. Japan will introduce a safeguard measure that calls for bringing its tariffs on Australian beef back to the current levels if imports exceed a certain level… Australian beef accounts for more than 50 percent of Japan’s beef imports”

Source: Japan-Australia EPA takes effect Thursday, JIJI Press, Tuesday January 13th 2015, Japan Times Newspaper, Online http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/13/business/japan-australia-epa-takes-effect-thursday/#.VLb4kVXqGuY



“(Trans Pacific Partnership) Tariffs on Australian wine will be scrapped over seven years. For cheese, Japan will expand existing tariff-free import quotas for certain products and introduce quotas for other types.”

Source: Japan-Australia EPA takes effect Thursday, JIJI Press, Tuesday January 13th 2015, Japan Times Newspaper, Online

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/13/business/japan-australia-epa-takes-effect-thursday/#.VLb4kVXqGuY



“(Trans Pacific Partnership) Howard Smith, president of the Cattle Council of Australia, said in a statement Tuesday that the Australia beef industry is now ahead of competitors in securing better access to the Japanese market.”

Source: Japan-Australia EPA takes effect Thursday, JIJI Press, Tuesday January 13th 2015, Japan Times Newspaper, Online http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/13/business/japan-australia-epa-takes-effect-thursday/#.VLb4kVXqGuY



“Japanese consumers will be the big winners from the free-trade agreement with Australia, which enters force today, gaining much cheaper access to a wider range of agricultural products….Japanese whitegoods and electronics will enter Australia tariff free… the deal will also improve access for service suppliers, such as education, financial legal and telecommunication services”

Source: Japanese in clover as trade pact kicks in, By David Uren, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday January 15th, 2015, page 2.



“LNG prices in Japan, Australia’s biggest market for gas exports closely track the Japanese crude import price with a lag of four to seven months…. The worst of the hit to LNG prices has yet to flow through…Westpac calculates…that LNG prices in Japan should be less than $US 9 per million British thermal units in May of this year, close to levels last seen in mid-2010 and down about 50 per cent from the highs of mid- 2012”

Source: Oil drop may cause $30 billion hit to LNG by Angela MacDonald Smith, The Australian Financial Review, Tuesday January 27th, 2015 pages 11 and 23.



“Japan, the world’s biggest LNG buyer, is also willing to switch from gas-fired power to oil-fired based on price, which is why LNG contracts have traditionally been linked to oil prices”

Source: Oil slump puts heat on LNG, by Matt Chambers, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday April 2nd, 2015, page 20.



“Japan’s shrinking population is adding pressure for increased productivity in its services sector….Demography is also forcing companies to seek growth markets outside Japan”

Source: Japanese warm to public private partnerships, Australian style, by Rowan Callick, The Australian, Thursday April 2nd, 2015, page 32.


“Mr. Obama said US and Japanese negotiators have come close to completing a bilateral agreement on trade issues - an agreement that would help pave the way for completion of the broader 12 nation TPP…”Japanese farmers are tough”

Source: Obama warns of China push on trade deal, by Gerald.F.Seib, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday April 29th, 2015, page 25.



“China, Japan and South Korea, home to more than $1.5 billion people, account for over 62 per cent of Australia’s exports”

Source: FTA ‘dashboard’ drives trade, by Rick Wallace, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday 12th, May 2015, page 21.



“Australian farmers experimenting with a Japanese rice strain called Koshikari had been rewarded with much higher prices “Koshikari is a difficult crop to grow but gets a premium price. It is used in top-notch Japanese sushi chains and so we compensate growers for the difficulty for growing it…you don’t get as good a yield as other rice crops”

Rob Gordon, Sun Rice, CEO

Source: Sunrices 40 pc lift to benefit farmers, by Eli Greenblat, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday June 9th, 2015, p18.



“Figures released on Monday (August 17th, 2015) showed that the Japanese economy shrank at an annualised rate of 1.6% in the second quarter of 2015, weighed down by shrinking household spending and the biggest drop in exports since 2011”

Source: Beijing’s currency move likely to spur Europe, Japan central banks into action, by Karen Maley, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday 19th August, 2015, page 29.



“In Japan, a total of 32 restarts (of nuclear reactors) are expected by 2020”

Source: New mettle for battered uranium explorers, by Barry Fitzgerald, The Australian, Friday August 21st, 2015, page 31.



“China and Japan are locked into each other economically. The bilateral relationship is the third largest in the world with $US 340 billion in trade in 2014…Japan is China’s second largest (trading partner)…Japan is the largest investor in China, with a stock of direct investment at more than $US100 billion in 2014”

Source: China - Japan economic embrace thaws politics by Shiro Armstrong, Australian Financial Review, Monday 28th September 2015, page 12.




“The Japanese car industry has hailed the (TPP) trade agreement which would phase out the 2.5 per cent US duty on imported cars over 25 years, benefitting companies such as Toyota and Subaru…Japanese carmakers have already shifted production (Vietnam) aggressively, seeking to avoid tariffs, protect themselves from currency fluctuations and shorten supply chains”

Source: Not all Asian firms win with deal, by Yoko Kubota and Eric Pfanner, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Thursday 5th October, 2015, page 25.




“The Trans- Pacific Partnership deal signed between 12 Pacific Rim nations in Atlanta this week is a historic pact…Australian farmers will benefit from Japan’s agreement to cut tariffs on a wide range of agricultural products including wheat, pork, beef and chicken”

Source: Future is in our hands: historic pact will step up Australia’s trade links by Glenda Korporaal, The Australian, Wednesday October 7th, 2015, page 29.



“(TPP) Japan budged little on rice…(but) agreed to create a new 6000 tonne quota for Australian rice and cut tariffs on a number of rice preparation products. This is significantly less than the 50,000 tonne quota for US rice exports to Japan…Japan is a particularly attractive export market for Australian rice farmers because mills buy premium varieties…”We have been banging on Japan’s door for 20 years (Ian Blight, Griffith rice farmer) each time we try and get in they put up quarantine rules and when we pass the tests they add in more tests”

Source: Rice farmers reckon trade proof will be in the pudding, by Jared Lynch and Julie-Anne Sprague, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday October 7th, 2015, page 1 and 9.



“For example: Australian cheese is blended with local product when it is sent to Japan at a ratio of 2 - 1.That was expected to be increased to 3.5 - 1 and be tariff free within 11 years, but it will happen immediately once the TPP starts operating”

Source: Rice farmers reckon trade proof will be in the pudding, by Jared Lynch and Julie-Anne Sprague, Australian Financial Review, Wednesday October 7th, 2015, p9.



“Japan view of the TPP trade pact - Japanese car and auto=parts makers may be the biggest winners, as they get cheaper access to the US, the industry’s biggest export market. Japan was forced to reduce some of the protections granted to its rice farmers, creating a non-tariff import quota of 1 per cent of its total consumption. Livestock farmers may be harder hit as tariffs on beef will be cut to 9 per cent over 16 years from 38.5 per cent, while pork tariffs will also be slashed”

Source: Winners & Losers from TPP, Australian Financial Review, Bloomberg, Wednesday October 7th, 2015, page 44.



“Japan is threatened with both labour shortages and an explosion in welfare costs as one of the world’s lowest birth rates and grayest populations is set to slash the workforce by almost half by 2060. Mr. Abe’s new plan seeks to prevent the 127 million population from sliding below 100 million, within half a century by encouraging people to have more children, and implementing measures to ease the burden on workers having to care for elderly relatives…policies to boost the birthrate and expand spending on elderly and child care”

Source: Abe targets Japan population slide, by Isabel Reynolds, Australian Financial Review, Thursday October 8th, 2015, page 18.



● “Trade Boost, Forecast increase in real income by 2025


Vietnam 10.25%

Malaysia 5.6%

Japan 2%

New Zealand 2%

Singapore 1.9%

Australia 0.5% 



Source: Wall Street Journal”

Source: Pact lures firms to Asia TPP nations, by Jake Maxwell Watts, and Kathy Chu, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Friday 9th October, 2015, page 24.




“Australia has entered a wide range of bilateral agreements ….in a web of special deals which underline the complexity of the TPP agreement text released on Friday…The letter about how Japan is supposed to have an open tendering process to buy Australian rice, runs to five pages outlining six tenders a year, how Japan can set a maximum price and how the minimum quantity in any tender is 17 tonnes”

Source: Letters form subtext of TPP deals by Greg Earl, Australian Financial Review, Monday 9th November, 2015, page 7.



“Tiwi Islanders have finally succeeded in a 30 year battle to bring the first shipment of woodchip grown in plantation on their homeland north of Darwin to market, with about 38,000 tonnes due to depart for Japanese owned paper mills this weekend…Under a five year deal with Japanese conglomerate Mitsui to supply up to 400,000 tonnes of chips or eight to ten shiploads annually, the plantation project could generate $150 million”

Source: Tiwi woodchips will fetch millions in Japan, by Amos Aikan, The Australian, Thursday November 26th, 2015, page 6.






“Mega growth in Asian cities, Population, Corporate Headquarters and direct flights with Australia

City  Country   Pop (m)   Fortune  Global  500 HQ’s  Direct flights   

1. Tokyo Japan        38     38                                            Yes

Source: KPMG Demographics”



Source: China’s city dwellers form a rising middle class in the tens of billions, by Bernard Salt, The Australian Newspaper, Friday 11th December, 2015, page 38.









Travel










“Japan in 2012 spent US$47.3 billion on 19.4 million overseas trips according to IPK International

Asian Tourism by source, 2012

Country Overseas trips Amount spent Average

Millions US$ Billion Amount of Trips

China 45 84.4 1.87

Japan 19.4 47.3 2.43

Korea 13.2 19.1 1.44

Hong Kong 10 13 1.3

Australia 8.6 23.6 2.74”


Source: Asian surge set to benefit travel sector, By Fiona Carruthers, Australian Financial Review Newspaper, Monday January 5th, 2015, page 5.





“Japan (is) …set to become even more popular…for Chinese tourists in 2015 according to a survey (Travelzoo Asia Pacific 4300 respondents)…Japan came out on top, with 39.6 per cent…”As the yen keeps weakening, Chinese are not only going to Japan to shop but also buy properties” Vivian Hong, President Travelzoo China”

“China Travel

Chinese travellers preferred destinations in 2015

1. Japan 39.6%

2. US 31.4%

3. New Zealand 26.8%

4. Australia 25.6%

5. Taiwan 24.9%””


Source: Japan, US rise in popularity among Chinese tourists, By Wei Gu, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday January 7th, 2015, page 22




“moves from Japan Airlines, Qantas and All Nippon Airways to add more Australia-Japan flights to coincide with the introduction of the FTA showed movement of businesspeople, and hence two-way trade and investment, was about to lift. "

Source: FTA to spur new wave of Japanese investment in agriculture The Australian Newspaper, By Rick Wallace, Wednesday January 14th, 2015, Online, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fta-to-spur-new-wave-of-japanese-investment-in-agriculture/story-e6frg6n6-122718386



● “A record 13.4 million tourists travelled to Japan last year…JNTO said international tourist arrivals rose 29 per cent last year…and their spending jumped 40 per cent to more than Y 2 trillion (AUS $ 20.6 billion)”

Source: Chinese shoppers flock to Japan by Eric Pfanner, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday January 22nd, 2015 page 25.




“Japan’s biggest banks have never seen a need to connect their automatic teller machines to global networks, leaving many foreign visitors frustrated and short of cash …Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are relenting..(due to) pressure from…a government looking to build on a tourism boom ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo”

Source: Japan’s banks to ease tourists ATM woes, by Atsuko Fukase, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Monday March 16th 2015, page 27.



● “Central Japan Railway’s seven-car “maglev” - aka magnetic levitation - train …..set a new train world speed record in a test run today near Mount Fuji. It reached more than 600km/h

Source: When you said the in-carriage movie was speed, MX Newspaper, Wednesday April 22nd, 2015, page 8.



● “69% of Japanese travellers are least likely to ditch their mobile device when travelling

Source: Presentation “Converting social leads into revenue” based on “Majority of Americans say they would vacation without staying connected” report August 12, 2014 by Katherine Cole, Regional Director, Hotels.com, Wednesday April 22nd 2015, Connect Expo, Melbourne.



“Japan has proven a popular cruising spot for Princess; this northern summer…Diamond Princess, with a Japanese style bathhouse and sushi restaurant on board, will again sail from Kobe and Yokohama, up along the east coast of Honshu and around Hokkaido”

Source: Destination Next by Susan Kurosawa, The Australian Newspaper, Tuesday May 19th, 2015, page 16.



“The Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo’s Ginza district owned by Isetan Mitsukoshi, posted a 33 per cent gain in total sales for May. Chinese visitors generally account for about half of the Ginza stores sales to foreigners”

Source: China chill stings Japanese firms, by Takashi Nakamichi and Megumi Fujikawa, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Newspaper, Thursday July 21nd, 2015, page 24.




“Japanese pop act Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker which requires audience members to wear a rain coat…Oz Asia Festival at the Adelaide Festival Centre from September 24th to October 4th …which features 41 events…designed to give audiences a glimpse of Asia’s contemporary arts scene”

Source: From Asia, with joy by Andrew Taylor, The Australian Financial Review Weekend, Friday 25th - Sunday 27th, September, 2015, page L3




“Question: The worst place you have been lost?
Answer: Tokyo, where I was on a bus with my whole team. It took us 3 hours to get to our destination” 


Steve Redman, VP, Asia Pacific, Palo Alto Networks

Source: Traveller, Australian Financial Review, October 3rd, 2015, page L9.




“Japanese companies selling in China have benefited from bargains created by the cheaper yen. Shares of Okamoto Industries, Japan’s dominant condom maker hit a record high this month and have jumped 183 per cent this year. At Japanese duty-free, store Laox, $US 800 (AUS$1100) rice cookers and $US500 toilet seats are selling briskly”

Source: ‘New China’ firms going strong in a weak economy, by Wei Gu, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Wednesday October 28th, 2015, page 24.



“One of the most daunting cities for foreign visitors, Tokyo is a manic, hyperactive assault on the senses…Japanese addresses are often confusing”

Source: Everything is better in the East, by Ingrid Williams, Australian Financial Review, 30th October – 1st November, 2015, L17, Life & Leisure.



“The number of Japanese tourists visiting Australia is growing…”we will see growth of approximately 30 per cent in aviation capacity by the end of this year” John O’Sullivan, Tourism Australia, Managing Director. The latest ABS data shows the number of Japanese visitors rose 18 per cent to 29,000 in September.”

Source: Tourists from Japan take advantage of extra flights, by Jamie Freed, Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 10th November, 2015, page 6.



“According to the National Police Association, the number of love hotels is declining by 2 per cent a year , from 6,259 in 2010 to 5,940 in 2013”

Source: Japan dumps ‘love hotels’ for backpacker hostels by Robin Harding, Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, Monday 23rd November, 2015, page 19.



“The government has started discussions on setting rules for the growing practice of unauthorized individuals providing paid accommodation in private residences, amid a rise in foreign visitors to Japan.”

Source: Gov't discusses rules for paid accommodation in private residences, Nov. 29, 2015, Japan Today. http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/govt-discusses-rules-for-paid-accommodation-in-private-residences



● Video: Japanese Television commercials for December 2015

Source: JPCMHD You Tube Channel


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFc98lh69UA






Video 










Video: How will Japanese customers benefit from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal 2015

Source: JapaneseCustomer.com





Video: Irradiate book germs at the library in Japan

Source: JapaneseCustomer.com









Video: How to cook a Japanese Meat Monjyayaki?

Source: JapaneseCustomer.com





Video: Making a right turn at a railway crossing in Tokyo, Japan

Source: JapaneseCustomer.com






Video: Nissan Zero emission recharge station in Tokyo, Japan

Source: JapaneseCustomer.com





Video: How to recharge your Suica card in Japan

Source: JapaneseCustomer.com





Video: Japanese traditional street performer

Source: JapaneseCustomer.com








Video: No touch soap dispenser in Japan

Source: JapaneseCustomer.com




 

Video: How Japan’s Economy Is Destroying Their Youth



Source: Test Tube News You Tube Channel



Source: “Why Japan's Youth Are Becoming Hermits - Japan’s cultural pressures have forced almost a million young men into their bedrooms. So, how is Japan’s economy destroying their youth? " July 14, 2015, Source: Test Tube News You Tube Channel





● Video: Japanese Television commercials for November 2015

Source: JPCMHD You Tube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6vV0uc2if8&index=2&list=PLBCA0F10FE6785BE6







3. Acknowledgements



A project of this caliber could not be possible without the help of many people. I would like to personally thank the journalists, foreign correspondents, researchers, photographers, film makers and especially the consumers for their work researching, writing and editing the stories which you have read a small portion of here of which we have quoted, without you this white paper could not be collated!



Special thanks to:

ANZ Bank

Asialink, University of Melbourne

NAB Village

The Hub, Melbourne

Inspire 9, Melbourne

Glen Eira Council

City of Melbourne



This white paper:

1. Overview, Analysis, Video and Pictures - Copyright JapaneseCustomer.com 2015. All Rights Reserved

2. News by topic - Copyright rests with the owner of the quoted work

 




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