Kazuaki Nagata




Kazuaki Nagata
For Kazuaki Nagata's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a government meeting on his concept of "new capitalism" in Tokyo on Aug. 31.
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 11, 2023
Economists question the wisdom of Kishida's new minimum wage target
Japan aims to lift the minimum wage to ¥1,500 by the mid-2030s, but macroeconomic factors could undermine that target.
The price for regular gasoline is ¥192 per liter at a gas station in the city of Nagano on Monday.
Sep 1, 2023
Extended gasoline subsidy risks harming Japan's net-zero efforts
The politically tricky decision on ending the program could hamper the shift to EVs and efforts to reach climate change goals.
Union workers of Sogo & Seibu hold banners which read 'on strike' in front of the company's flagship Seibu Ikebukuro store in Tokyo on Thursday.
BUSINESS / Companies
Aug 31, 2023
Sogo & Seibu labor union begins strike at flagship Ikebukuro store
While the labor union made a strong effort to prevent Seven & I from proceeding with the deal, a decision was made to sell the department store unit.
A gasoline station in Tokyo on Wednesday advertises its regular gasoline price as ¥186 per liter.
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 30, 2023
Kishida announces extension of measures to bring gas prices down
The subsidy program will be extended until the end of the year and will be beefed up starting next week.
Sogo & Seibu's labor union holds a news conference on Monday in Tokyo.
BUSINESS / Companies
Aug 30, 2023
Sogo & Seibu labor union to launch rare strike after talks break down
Around 900 workers at Ikebukuro's flagship will participate in what will be the first strike at a Japanese department store in about 60 years.
The Seibu department store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district
BUSINESS / Companies
Aug 28, 2023
Sogo & Seibu labor union plans strike over possible sale
If the strike goes ahead on Thursday, it would be the first in Japan’s department store industry in about 60 years.
Materials derived from cabbage (left), iyokan (center) and onion by Tokyo-based startup Fabula, which is working to develop new materials that can replace concrete.
Aug 27, 2023
Japan’s scrap-and-rebuild culture faces an environmental reckoning
The nation's tendency toward new construction — rather than renovation — is coming under renewed scrutiny amid concerns over sustainability.
The Japan National Tourism Organization's booth at the Beijing International Tourism Expo in Beijing in June
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 15, 2023
Return of Chinese group tours to Japan to bring economic boost
The average amount of spending by individual Chinese tourists is the second largest at ¥338,238, just behind ¥358,888 by travelers from the U.K.
The Azabudai Hills development in Tokyo on Tuesday
BUSINESS / Companies
Aug 8, 2023
Mori Building to open Azabudai Hills complex in Tokyo in November
The company hopes the project will boost the capital’s competitive edge over metropolises overseas.
Pedestrians outside a Seibu department store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district in April
BUSINESS / Companies
Jul 31, 2023
Seven & I struggles to sell slumping Sogo & Seibu department stores
The holdup is centered around the flagship Seibu department store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district, with the local government expressing rare opposition.
Kazuo Ueda, governor of the Bank of Japan, speaks during a news conference at the central bank's headquarters in Tokyo on Friday.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jul 28, 2023
BOJ to allow ‘greater flexibility’ with yield curve control policy
The bank also raised its inflation forecast in the quarterly outlook, projecting that consumer prices for fiscal 2023 will be 2.5%.
Members of a labor ministry panel on wages meet in Tokyo on Friday.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jul 28, 2023
Japan’s average minimum wage set to top ¥1,000
With the government eager to create a healthy cycle of pay and price increases, the minimum wage panel suggested a record 4.3% hike from the current average of ¥961.
Bigmotor President Hiroyuki Kaneshige (center) apologizes for improper conduct by the company's employees at a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jul 25, 2023
Bigmotor chief to resign in wake of repair fraud scandal
Employees were found to have intentionally damaged the vehicles of some customers in order to charge excessive repair fees and make fraudulent insurance claims.
Some economists hope the labor ministry panel will make an annual average minimum wage proposal of above ¥1,000 this week.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jul 23, 2023
The average minimum wage may top ¥1,000 this year. But is that enough?
Aside from the symbolic hurdle, a more substantial issue remains: Will momentum for wage hikes from this spring continue or will it be short-lived?
Japan Times
Jul 17, 2023
Japan ramps up support for startups venturing overseas
Private-sector and government initiatives are seeking to equip young companies with the knowledge and contacts to be successful outside Japan.
Japan Times
Jul 16, 2023
How the deteriorating Twitter experience affects its prized Japan market
Concerns are growing over the fate of the site following a series of revisions since Elon Musk acquired it that have prompted a chorus of complaints by users and companies.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies / FOCUS
Jul 5, 2023
Japan's firms turn to celebrities to boost ranks of female executives
In addition to boosting diversity, some firms say female celebrities may bring fresh perspectives and ideas.
Japan Times
Jun 29, 2023
Japan and South Korea revive expired currency swap deal
The decision came after Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and his counterpart Choo Kyung-ho met in Tokyo during an event that was held for the first time since 2016.
Japan Times
Jun 26, 2023
When it comes to crypto, turmoil in the U.S. could be a boon for Japan
With a solid legal framework already in place, some players see the U.S. crypto downturn as an opportunity for Japan to advance its standing in the field.
Japan Times
Jun 16, 2023
BOJ maintains ultraeasy policy, but governor hints at surprises to come
After his second meeting as chief, Kazuo Ueda said that in order to deal with the changing economic environment, “a certain degree of surprise may be unavoidable.”


Yoshiko Koide sits in a classroom at Nagoya College where she teaches a Japanese-language observation seminar.
How a dictionary came to spark outrage among the web’s otaku