Mia Glass
Kazuto Oku, CEO of Norinchukin Bank, speaks during a news conference in Tokyo on May 22.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jun 20, 2024
Norinchukin sounds warning as higher-for-longer rates inflict losses
Signals from central banks that they are in no rush to cut rates have caught out many investors who'd been betting on more aggressive moves.
Visitors can make their own instant noodles at the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama.
BUSINESS / Companies
May 16, 2024
‘Mystery meat’ in cup noodles sells out in Japan as a solo product
For Nissin Food Products, tapping into new trends is a way to respond to consumers in a market that now offers a wide range of choices.
The average daily room rate of hotels in Japan for March marked the highest level since August 1997, as the country saw a record number of foreign visitors in March.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 19, 2024
Japan hotel prices near 30-year high as weak yen lures record tourists
The average daily room rate for March was about ¥20,986 ($136), the highest level since August 1997 and a nearly 20% increase from the same period in 2023.
The departure hall at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Now with inflation at its strongest in decades, Japanese are starting to realize that years of static wages leave many of them budgeting each month before their next pay check.
Apr 13, 2024
Japan’s young workers head abroad as huge wage gap persists
The outflow is also a sign that many Japanese aren’t buying into the nation’s economic optimism as it exits from decades of deflation.
A guest room at the Muji Hotel Ginza. Ryohin Keikaku, the brand’s parent company, now has a new business called Muji Stay, which brings under one umbrella the retailer’s existing hotels, homes and camps.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 12, 2024
Japan’s Muji bets minimalist retail will work for homes and hotels
Muji currently has three hotels — one in Ginza, one in Beijing and one in Shenzhen, with rooms often booked out months in advance
Customers browse Gashapon official shop “Ikebukuro Sohonten” in Tokyo.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 2, 2024
Top capsule-toy maker Bandai bets on huge market outside Japan
Machines for capsule toys have become ubiquitous in Japan, found not only in arcades, but also malls, supermarkets, airports and train stations.
Wegovy maker Novo Nordisk says the Japanese public needs to know more about obesity rates before the weight-loss drug can take off in the country.
LIFE / Lifestyle
Mar 9, 2024
Is Japan as thin as it thinks? Weight-loss drug maker says no.
In Japan, some 33% of men and 22% of women have a BMI of 25 — the crucial threshold — or more.
On display at the new 7-Eleven store in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, are about 2,000 additional products that aren’t usually carried in 7-Elevens, including fresh fruit, diapers and hair-care products.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 29, 2024
Seven & I Holdings explores market for bigger 7-Elevens
Its new store in Chiba Prefecture will have more than twice the number of products and is almost double the size of regular outlets.
Customers shop at the GU store in the SoHo neighborhood of New York. The brand's operator Fast Retailing hopes to expand its share in markets in the United States and Europe.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 26, 2024
Uniqlo’s sister brand GU takes aim at market in U.S. and Europe
International sales made up more than half of Uniqlo’s revenue in the latest fiscal year, GU has mostly only flourished domestically.
Japanese companies are paying higher starting salaries as they struggle to secure young workers.
BUSINESS / Economy
Feb 9, 2024
Japanese firms boosting pay for young workers is good news for Bank of Japan
If wage gain momentum carries over into this year, the BOJ is expected to end the world’s last negative interest rate regime by April.
Japan’s shortage of software engineers in particular has caused the country to lag behind in its digital transformation.
Feb 6, 2024
Tech firms in Japan are scouring for talent amid labor shortage
Three-quarters of technology hiring managers in Japan found recruitment to be "very” or "quite” competitive last year.
Nominal cash earnings among workers in Japan rose 1.0% in December from the previous year, government data shows.
BUSINESS / Economy
Feb 6, 2024
Japan’s wage data likely solid enough to keep BOJ policy shift on track
Nominal cash earnings rose 1.0% in December from the previous year with the help of a 0.5% gain in winter bonuses.
Akihiko Matsuura, head of UA Zensen, has called for a standard 6% increase in total wages.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 2, 2024
Major union UA Zensen calls for 6% pay raise to support BOJ policy shift
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is also pushing for wage gains after hikes last year failed to keep up with inflation, putting a burden on household budgets.
Industrial output in December rose a seasonally-adjusted 1.8% from the previous month, following a 0.9% decline in November, with the industry ministry maintaining its basic assessment that it is fluctuating indecisively.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jan 31, 2024
Japan’s factory output gains to support economy’s patchy rebound
The rebound may potentially remove a hurdle for the Bank of Japan as it mulls the timing of a likely interest rate hike.
Core inflation in Tokyo slowed below the central bank's 2% target to hit the lowest level in nearly two years.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jan 26, 2024
Tokyo’s sharp cooling of inflation complicates BOJ’s policy outlook
Tokyo consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 1.6% in January, compared with 2.1% growth in December.
The value of Japan's exports rose at the fast pace in a year in December, propelled by shipments to China growing for the first time in over a year and record sales to the United States.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jan 24, 2024
Strong December exports boost odds of a return to growth last quarter
A return to growth would make it easier for the Bank of Japan to end its negative rate policy.
Japan's core inflation stayed above the central bank's 2% target in December but slowed for a second straight month, reinforcing expectations it will be in no hurry to phase out its massive monetary stimulus.
Jan 19, 2024
Japan’s slowing inflation supports case for BOJ to wait longer
Growth in consumer prices excluding fresh food slowed to 2.3% in December from a year earlier.
Tokyo's Ginza shopping district on Wednesday. Spending by visitors totaled a record ¥5.3 trillion in 2023, up by roughly 10% compared with the tally in 2019.
Jan 17, 2024
Japan’s economy gets boost from 25 million visitors in 2023
A weak yen has helped boost tourists’ spending power, making Japan a much more affordable and attractive destination.
Japan's input inflation was flat in December, the weakest showing in almost three years.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jan 16, 2024
Japan’s input inflation flatlines for weakest result since 2021
Input prices were unchanged last month from a year earlier, the weakest showing in almost three years as the yen’s recent gains helped cap import costs.
Japanese workers' real wages kept shrinking for a 20th month in November, raising fresh alarm for the sustainability of the country's economic recovery as firms enter the period of annual pay negotiations with labor unions.
Jan 10, 2024
Japan’s slower wage growth adds to reasons for BOJ to hold
Nominal cash earnings for workers rose 0.2% from the previous year, decelerating sharply from a 1.5% increase in October, the labor ministry said.


Father's Day is said to have come to Japan around 1950, shortly after the establishment of Mother's Day.
The evolving nature of fatherhood in Japan