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Takashi Mochizuki
For Takashi Mochizuki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Rapidus' semiconductor foundry construction site in Hokkaido
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 15, 2024
Chip plant wizard weathers Hokkaido’s bitter cold in latest test
Construction firm Kajima is plowing through a series of challenges to get a chipmaking factory built on time in snowy Hokkaido.
Towa’s compression molding equipment. The firm commands two-thirds of the world’s chip molding equipment market.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 9, 2024
AI demand spurs 390% surge in Kyoto chip company’s stock price
A growing demand for AI technology has been a boon for Towa, a little-known company that makes an essential component.
Signage for the Nintendo Switch is seen in Manhattan, New York. The successor to the popular Switch was scheduled for release in late 2024, but several game publishers have been advised of a delay by the company.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 17, 2024
Nintendo is telling game publishers Switch 2 will be delayed
The firm is advising game publishers that its next-generation console will be delayed until the first quarter of 2025.
Sony trimmed its revenue forecast after sales of its flagship PlayStation 5 in the December quarter came in roughly a million units lower than analysts’ estimates.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 15, 2024
Sony dives most in two years after cutting PS5 sales outlook
Shares fell as much as 8.4% in early Tokyo trading, the biggest intraday fall since February 2022.
Tetsuro Higashi, the chairman of Rapidus, speaks during an interview in Tokyo in February last year.
BUSINESS / Tech
Feb 10, 2024
Japan earmarks ¥45 billion to fire up chip research at home
The funds are part of a major national push to catch up in semiconductor manufacturing.
Nintendo has raised its forecast for Switch console sales and its overall operating profit for the year ending in March.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 6, 2024
Nintendo raises sales and profit forecasts after strong holiday earnings
The Kyoto-based firm's shares are at an all-time high this year, with expectations for a next-generation Switch also playing into the lofty valuation.
Resonac CEO Hidehito Takahashi says the company may buy a stake in chip materials maker JSR.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 15, 2024
CEO who drove $7 billion deal is eyeing Japan chip linchpin JSR
Resonac's Hidehito Takahashi believes Japan's chip materials sector needs to consolidate to stay competitive against overseas rivals.
Kokusai Electric CEO Fumiyuki Kanai foresees sustained investment in China and plans to increase staff there.
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 18, 2023
Japan’s Kokusai aims to build on 66% rally as China demand booms
The producer of chip fabrication equipment will enlarge its Chinese footprint to tap the growing market, according to CEO Fumiyuki Kanai.
Mena Kato, Microsoft's new director of Japan partnerships for Xbox, during an interview in Tokyo on Nov. 29
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 13, 2023
Microsoft taps PlayStation veteran to champion Xbox in Japan
Mena Kato is counting on her dealmaking skills, Microsoft’s global reach and local connections to make the Xbox a relevant player.
A Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. semiconductor wafer. Osaka-based Fuso Chemical, which has gone into debt rather than raise prices, counts TSMC as one of its clients.
BUSINESS / Tech
Dec 4, 2023
Key maker of chip materials goes into debt rather than raise prices
Osaka-based Fuso Chemical is bearing the cost to help churn out bigger volumes of sophisticated chips without asking customers for more.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s factory currently under construction in Kikuyo, Kumamoto Prefecture
BUSINESS / Tech
Nov 21, 2023
TSMC eyes third Japan chip plant with cutting-edge 3 nanometer tech
Another plant in Japan, this one making advanced 3-nanometer (3nm) chips, would potentially turn Japan into a major global chipmaking hub.
An Omron X-ray scanner VT-X750 at the company’s Ayabe Factory in Kyoto
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 21, 2023
X-rays are becoming an essential health check-up in chipmaking
Omron, a Japanese provider of health care equipment and factory automation, is setting its sights on the lucrative chipmaking gear market to fuel future growth.
Nintendo reported operating profit of ¥94.5 billion and revenue of ¥334.9 billion in the September quarter, both beating analyst expectations.
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 8, 2023
Nintendo lifts annual profit forecasts
The Kyoto-based entertainment company said it now expects operating income of ¥500 billion ($3.3 billion), up from ¥450 billion previously.
Fujio Mitarai, chief executive officer of Canon, during an interview in Tokyo on Oct. 30
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 6, 2023
Canon’s chipmaking technology promises advanced chips for less
The Tokyo-based firm’s new nano-imprint technology could open doors for smaller semiconductor manufacturers.
The Capcom booth at the Tokyo Game Show in Chiba last week
BUSINESS / Companies
Sep 25, 2023
Capcom sets sights on India's growing game market
Capcom targets selling more than 100 million copies of games a year.
A Final Fantasy XVI video game displayed at a PlayStation pop-up shop in Seoul. The game's maker Square Enix is on a streak of misfires in attempts to build another hit series to buttress sales.
BUSINESS / Companies
Sep 13, 2023
Final Fantasy maker’s 30% plunge may be just the beginning
Investors wonder whether one of the games industry’s most remarkable runs is coming to an end.
Rapidus CEO Atsuyoshi Koike says his ambition is to realize a "Hokkaido Valley" that can compete against Silicon Valley in size.
BUSINESS / Companies
Sep 12, 2023
Japan's Rapidus aims to create a chipmaking 'Hokkaido Valley'
The startup, backed with billions of dollars in taxpayer funds, is plotting a course to mass-produce 2-nanometer logic chips by 2027.
Eiko Higuchi at her microphone production station at Sony Taiyo
BUSINESS / Companies
Aug 25, 2023
A tiny factory is handcrafting mics for Justin Bieber and Dr. Dre
Sony Taiyo, a Sony Group subsidiary, is designed to give people with disabilities a fair chance in the workplace.
Sony, a key supplier of image sensors to Apple and other device-makers, has said it doesn’t expect demand in the mobile phone market to bounce back until next year at the earliest.
BUSINESS / Companies
Aug 10, 2023
Sony falls most in a year as smartphone demand fails to recover
The Tokyo-based company’s operating income fell 31% in the first fiscal quarter because of sharp declines in the movie and sensor groups.
A man plays video games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday. As AI platforms advance at breakneck speeds, hundreds of thousands of jobs in the gaming sector become at risk of being replaced by the technology.
BUSINESS
Jul 26, 2023
AI is rewriting the rules of $200 billion games industry
One major Japanese studio believes that half of the company’s programmers and designers could become redundant within the next five years.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on