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Jason Clenfield

For Jason Clenfield's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Secretive robot maker Fanuc targeted by activist investor Loeb

Feb 19, 2015

Secretive robot maker Fanuc targeted by activist investor Loeb

Fanuc Corp., one of Japan’s most reclusive companies, has spent decades building a wall of secrecy around its ultra-profitable industrial-robotics business. Outsiders are rarely allowed at its complex in Yamanashi Prefecture on the slopes of Mount Fuji, where an army of yellow robots work ...

Bitcoin policymaker tries to gain converts before election

Dec 4, 2014

Bitcoin policymaker tries to gain converts before election

The man who single-handedly made Japan an oasis for bitcoin entrepreneurs was holding court with political supporters. The price of admission: ¥10,000. Squeezed into a tiny private room at a Chinese restaurant in central Tokyo, Mineyuki Fukuda was at the head of the table ...

Workers stumble while 'Abenomics' soars

Feb 3, 2014

Workers stumble while 'Abenomics' soars

Japanese stocks and profits are soaring under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to revive the economy. Even shop prices are up, a key step after years of deflation kept pocketbooks shut tight. None of that matters to Shuzo Matsui.

Sony ex-boss seeks to boost start-ups

Oct 4, 2013

Sony ex-boss seeks to boost start-ups

Nobuyuki Idei once embodied Japan’s corporate establishment, the leader of technology giant Sony Corp. Now 75, he’s aiming to reinvent himself as a cross between a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Hollywood mogul. The former Sony CEO describes himself as the “executive producer” behind ...

Loeb Sony drive based on faith in Abe

Jun 20, 2013

Loeb Sony drive based on faith in Abe

Corporate activist Daniel Loeb took his team to Japan in April 2012 to determine if the world’s third-largest economy was ready for investment. The Bank of Japan had set a new 1 percent inflation goal, an encouraging step in a country where growth had ...

JAL may spark major revamp in pension finance

Jan 22, 2010

JAL may spark major revamp in pension finance

Japan Airlines Corp.’s $25.5 billion bankruptcy may be the impetus for such companies as Hitachi Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s biggest private employers, to shore up their deficit-ridden pension plans. Japan’s top 278 companies were a combined ¥21.5 trillion behind on their pension ...

Tochigi feels yen's squeeze

Jan 11, 2010

Tochigi feels yen's squeeze

Hoya Corp. kept its Pentax camera factory in Tochigi Prefecture open as rivals steadily moved manufacturing overseas to cut costs, yet it couldn’t compete as the yen surged against the dollar and euro during the global economic slump. The company paid suppliers and workers ...