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Ritsuko Shimizu
For Ritsuko Shimizu's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group CEO Hironori Kamezawa
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 22, 2023
Japan banks scramble to beef up asset management businesses
Asset management has emerged as an area of focus for the banks this year amid signs decades of deflation is ending.
Big Japanese banks are now training a generation of professional front-line staff who have little experience with rising interest rates.
BUSINESS
Dec 5, 2023
Staff at Japan's banks scramble to adjust to rising interest rates
Many younger employees have no expertise in dealing with the vagaries of a traditional inflationary environment.
Kei Umeda, CEO of Mizuho Trust & Banking, speaks during an interview in Tokyo on Nov. 27.
BUSINESS
Dec 5, 2023
Mizuho sees firms scrambling to meet TSE's capital efficiency call
In January the Tokyo bourse will start publishing a list of companies that have disclosed action plans in line with its call to improve use of capital.
More companies are using employee share incentives as a tool to retain talent and comply with a request by the regulator to pay more attention to share price performance.
BUSINESS
Sep 20, 2023
Japanese companies warm up to employee stock incentives
More companies are using employee share incentives as a tool to retain talent.
Kenya Koshimizu, senior executive at Mizuho Financial Group, speaks during an interview in Tokyo on Monday.
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 22, 2023
Mizuho deferring JGB purchases as BOJ mulls policy exit: official
Banks face a looming inflection point as Japan's economy approaches policy normalization after years of little growth, weak spending and massive easing.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
May 5, 2023
7-Eleven spinoff would jeopardize growth, CEO says, pushing back at ValueAct
Ryuichi Isaka said 7-Eleven is reliant on staff and know-how from Seven & I"s supermarket businesses in developing products for its Seven Premium private brand.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
May 1, 2023
Japan activist group hails stock exchange reform as remedy for undervalued stocks
Investors say the move is a testament to the fact that firms can no longer brush aside stock underperformance and must end the practice of asset-hoarding.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 4, 2023
Family office of Nintendo heirs says patience is a superpower
The investment firm is willing to play a long game when it comes to portfolio companies and can wait more than a decade to see a turnaround, a top executive said.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 9, 2023
JIP-led group has secured loans worth ¥1.4 trillion for Toshiba buyout, sources say
Toshiba named the consortium as its preferred bidder last October, but the group was unable to meet a requirement to provide commitment letters from banks by Nov. 7.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jan 5, 2023
BOJ's policy tweak hasn't led to lending windfall, Mizuho head says
Comments from the president and CEO of Mizuho Financial Group highlight the challenges Japanese banks still face.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 5, 2023
Japan's SMFG to extend Jefferies alliance beyond U.S., CEO says
"We will cooperate anywhere we can," leveraging Jefferies' investment banking expertise and SMFG's huge balance sheet, Jun Ohta said.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Apr 11, 2022
Japan looks to top up LNG reserves as possible Russian gas cutoff looms
Utilities are scrambling for already stretched energy sources as resource-poor Japan joins the West in punishing Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 11, 2022
As Fukushima memory fades, Japan's nuclear power proponents hope for reset
The growing calls from business leaders and lawmakers come amid persistent public opposition to nuclear power, muddying the outlook for energy policy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Sep 4, 2021
Tokyo ready to back Western Digital-Kioxia deal if key tech stays in Japan, sources say
The tie-up could give Japan greater leverage in geopolitical rivalries increasingly dominated by technology, including over shortages of chips.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 14, 2020
Paris accord under threat if virus trumps climate change, Koizumi says
Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi warned Monday that the Paris climate accord could face "death" if steps to fight global warming are put on the back burner to facilitate the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 27, 2017
Convenience stores are part of Japan's 'social infrastructure,' but labor crunch threatening that role
Japan's growing labor shortage threatens the nation's ubiquitous convenience stores, whose business model relies on an army of part-timers packing bento boxed lunches, manning cash registers and delivering goods 24/7.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Oct 16, 2015
SABMiller, AB InBev merger may reignite Japanese brewers' foreign ambitions
The planned $100 billion merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller will be a wake-up call to the overseas ambitions of Japanese brewers, which are struggling to grow at home in a saturated market with a shrinking population.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies / FOCUS
Jul 14, 2014
Unhappy hour for Kirin as its beer sales tumble in Japan
Kirin Holdings Co. is falling behind in the beer market with no clear fix in sight as it extends a multiyear sales slide and gives up market share to rivals more in touch with changing consumer tastes.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 21, 2014
Retailers scrambling to empty fat foreign wallets
In graying Japan, retailers are waking up to a hot new demographic: foreign visitors.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation