Nicholas Takahashi
For Nicholas Takahashi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
The revamped BYD Atto 3 in Tokyo. A perceived resistance in Japan to battery EVs and foreign brands is seen as a major barrier for BYD.
BUSINESS / Companies
Mar 1, 2024
BYD bolsters Japan push with EV lineup and dealership network
The Chinese carmaker has sold less than 1,500 passenger cars in 2023 in the Japanese market, which is dominated by hybrids.
Toyota's domestic sales for January fell for the first time in 13 months as a data-rigging scandal at its small-car unit Daihatsu led to a production halt of some Toyota brand cars the unit made.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 28, 2024
Toyota Group sales lose steam amid fallout from test data scandals
Domestic sales for January fell for the first time in 13 months while worldwide production fell 3.8%, the first global decline in 13 months.
Masahiro Inoue, incoming chief executive officer of Daihatsu Motor, during a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 13, 2024
Toyota replaces Daihatsu chief after safety scandal
Masahiro Inoue, the CEO of Toyota Latin America, will replace Soichiro Okudaira effective March 1.
Soichiro Watanabe, Panasonic's chief technology officer for EV batteries, says production of a revamped version of the firm's 2170 cells will begin at its manufacturing plant in Nevada as early as this year.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 15, 2024
Panasonic to make upgraded electric car battery as early as 2024
Production of a revamped version of the company's 2170 cells will begin at its manufacturing plant in Nevada sometime during 2024 or 2025.
A H2-A rocket carrying an information gathering satellite takes off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on Friday.
Jan 13, 2024
Spy satellite race in Asia heats up with Japan rocket launch
The probe will monitor North Korean missile sites, according to Mitsubishi Heavy, and the launch comes amid a busy period for spy satellite launches in Asia.
Toyota's global production jumped 11% in November to a record level, bouncing back from last year's supply chain disruptions and benefiting from robust demand both in Japan and overseas.
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 27, 2023
Toyota saw record November sales on demand from U.S. and Europe
Global sales — including that of subsidiaries Hino and Daihatsu — rose 12% from a year earlier to 986,262 units.
Officials from the transport ministry enter Daihatsu Motor's headquarters in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, on Thursday for inspection after a scandal regarding safety data manipulation emerged at the firm.
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 21, 2023
Daihatsu offices raided after scandal halts all car shipments
The raid followed revelations that the carmaker and supplier had manipulated the results of various collision safety tests dating as far back as 1989.
A 2023 Toyota Prius vehicle during an auto show in New York in April
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 20, 2023
In the birthplace of Toyota’s Prius, hybrids now reign supreme
Japan’s biggest carmakers have only recently promised to roll out a wider slate of battery-only models in the next two to three years.
Japanese startup Ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada poses next to the firm's moon rover on Thursday in Tokyo.
Nov 17, 2023
Ispace to launch second moon mission following crash
The mission will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as early as the northern hemisphere winter of 2024.
Toshihiro Mibe, president and chief executive officer of Honda at the Japan Mobility Show, in Tokyo in October
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 12, 2023
Booming profits bolster Japan automakers’ cautious EV shift
The Japanese auto sector is on track this year to exceed its peak operating profit of around ¥5.4 trillion in fiscal 2015.
Toyota President Koji Sato speaks  next to an FT-3e electric vehicle at the Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo on Oct. 25.
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 1, 2023
Toyota raises profit forecast 50% on weak yen, record sales
With an unprecedented 5.6 million vehicles sold in April-September, Toyota is on track for its 11.4 million-unit goal.
Toyota’s gigacast rear component. The company plans to employ the gigacasting technology in making electric vehicles.
BUSINESS / Companies
Oct 30, 2023
Tesla’s latest disruption in carmaking draws followers in Japan
Carmakers in Japan are starting to embrace gigacasting as they seek to make up for lost ground in the shift to EVs.
Toyota has suspended operations at six domestic plants following a blast at a factory run by one of its component suppliers.
BUSINESS / Companies
Oct 17, 2023
Toyota halts six auto plants after explosion at parts supplier
The explosion occurred Monday at Chuo Spring’s factory in Aichi Prefecture, where vehicle suspension coils are made.
Toyota's global sales and production for August hit record highs.
BUSINESS / Companies
Sep 29, 2023
Toyota's global sales and output hit record high in August
Global production rose 4% to a record 924,509 vehicles, including subsidiaries Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors, the Japanese carmaker said Thursday.
BYD's Dolphin electric car during a test drive in Yokohama
BUSINESS / Companies
Sep 20, 2023
BYD takes aim at Japan's EV market with new Dolphin hatchback
The base model Dolphin starts from ¥3.63 million and is equipped with a 70 kilowatt hour battery that offers 400 kilometers of range.
Self-propelled electric vehicles move through the factory floor during a demonstration of its new assembly line technology at Toyota's Motomachi plant in the city of Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, on Sept. 13.
BUSINESS / Companies
Sep 20, 2023
Toyota keeps up the push to prove it can embrace new technology
The carmaker was eager to show that it wasn’t about to sit idle as the global auto industry shifts toward electrification and automation.
An illustration of the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, which will be carried by JAXA’s H2-A rocket if it launches on Sunday
JAPAN / Science & Health
Aug 25, 2023
Japan set to shoot for the moon after Russia and India missions
Success could provide the thrust JAXA badly needs to begin rebuilding its battered reputation after a series of costly setbacks over the past year.
Simon Humphries, head of design at Toyota, speaks during the world premier of the new Land Cruiser in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Aug 2, 2023
Toyota’s iconic Land Cruiser returns to North America
The world’s biggest carmaker has unveiled three variations of one of its most enduring models, starting at around $50,000.
Japan Times
Jun 30, 2023
Top auto executives in Japan are paid a lot, but not as much as their U.S. counterparts
Japan boasts some of the world’s biggest carmakers, but pay packages for their executives pale in comparison to industry leaders in the United States.
Japan Times
Jun 16, 2023
Shareholder ire takes shine off stock rally for Toyota chairman
Akio Toyoda’s reappointment to the board this week with 85% of voted shares marked a decline from 96% last year and the lowest on record for him since 2013.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves