Elaine Kurtenbach

For Elaine Kurtenbach's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Tourism boom lifts economy, but brings headaches

Jun 23, 2015

Tourism boom lifts economy, but brings headaches

From the slopes of Mount Fuji to the temple streets of Kyoto, tourists are cramming Japan’s prime sightseeing spots, puzzling their way through Tokyo subways, and splashing out cash on cosmetics, sushi and high-tech toilet seats. The cheap yen, easier visas and other initiatives ...

U.S. fast-track vote in House leaves TPP talks in limbo

Jun 15, 2015

U.S. fast-track vote in House leaves TPP talks in limbo

How slow can you go? The effort to get U.S. trade legislation through Congress, clearing the way for progress on an Asia-Pacific trade accord, is in limbo once again. The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday shot down a proposal to give President Barack ...

Palau burns Vietnamese boats caught fishing illegally

Jun 13, 2015

Palau burns Vietnamese boats caught fishing illegally

The tiny Pacific nation of Palau, fighting a rising tide of illegal fishing in its waters, has set fire to four boats belonging to Vietnamese caught poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life in its waters. Palau’s president, Tommy Remengesau Jr., said the boats ...

Japan productivity gains key to staving off decline, report says

Mar 24, 2015

Japan productivity gains key to staving off decline, report says

Japan’s future prosperity will depend on improving its lagging productivity, says a report by McKinsey Global Institute that urges companies to boost competitiveness by better use of their workers. Japan’s population of about 127 million began declining in 2011 and proportion of elderly people ...