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Stephen Stapczynski
For Stephen Stapczynski's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Aug 31, 2020
Berkshire Hathaway takes stakes topping $6 billion in Japan's top five trading companies
Shares in the trading houses leaped on news of the foray, one of billionaire Warren Buffett's biggest in Asia's second-largest economy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Feb 10, 2020
Energy markets need winter, and climate change is taking it away
Even before the deadly coronavirus struck, another menace confronted the global energy industry: the warmest winter anyone can remember.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Oct 15, 2019
Hidden gold and 'murky' payoffs threaten Japan's nuclear revival
A payoff scandal has struck Japan's nuclear world, threatening to delay the restart of idled reactors in what's becoming the industry's biggest crisis since the Fukushima meltdowns of 2011.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
May 16, 2019
Forecast of a cooler summer in Asia may add to expected LNG glut
Don't count on a summer heat wave to rescue Asia's liquefied natural gas prices. Weather forecasts signal lackluster demand in the largest importing region, raising prospects a global glut will deepen.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies / FOCUS
Nov 9, 2018
How investing in American LNG boom backfired on Toshiba
Buy high, sell low and guarantee a loss. It's not exactly what Toshiba Corp. planned when it dipped its toes in liquefied natural gas trading.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 19, 2018
Will resignation of key governor weaken Japan's anti-nuclear movement?
As an important figure in a position to influence the fate of reactors Yoneyama is likely to be missed, but his successor may continue the anti-restart policy in the prefecture.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 17, 2018
Efforts afoot to tap electric car batteries to power homes
When Damien Maguire moved to the countryside outside Dublin, he struggled to keep the lights on at home because of the town's constant power outages. He found a solution inside his electric cars: their batteries.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Entertainment news
Feb 27, 2018
SMAP star's Instagram foray reflects weakening grip of Japan TV ads
Shingo Katori commanded the adoration of millions of fans across Asia as a member of SMAP, one of Japan's most successful boy bands. After decades as a ubiquitous TV presence, he finally decided in November it was time to get an Instagram account.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 17, 2018
Blockchain and drones could play a role in Tepco's fight for survival
Shattered by the enormity of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and bleeding customers to nimbler rivals, Tokyo's lumbering, 66-year-old electric-power behemoth has a new strategy for long-term survival: reinventing itself as a cutting-edge innovator.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Sep 17, 2017
Could North Korea copy Nazi Germany in event of a total oil ban?
As the U.S. and its allies look to impose even stricter measures against North Korea, leader Kim Jong Un could find inspiration from oppressive regimes of yesteryear in Nazi Germany and Apartheid-era South Africa.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Sep 15, 2017
Utilities put on notice: Municipalities looking to sell energy to residents
The latest threat to the nation's biggest utilities is growing in rural communities like Miyama, a town in Kyushu with a population of about 38,000. It may spread to the big cities next.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Tech
Aug 10, 2017
Sega embraces rogue fan programmers with retro Sonic sequel
Sega is doing what Nintendon't.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Jul 7, 2017
What to expect at Idemitsu as acrimonious court battle looms
Idemitsu Kosan Co.'s plan to raise as much as ¥138.5 billion ($1.2 billion) by selling 48 million shares sent its stock on its biggest fall since 2008 on Tuesday. The refiner's move is the latest in the fight with its founding family over a merger with longtime rival Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 9, 2017
Mongolia and China envision giant power grids to light up Asia
The lights of the high-end boutiques and bars of Tokyo's Ginza district may someday be powered by coal burned more than 1,700 miles away (2,700 km) in Mongolia, electricity zipping over ultra-high voltage lines across deserts and under seas.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 27, 2017
Future of Westinghouse may hinge on fate of its new Shanghai reactor
The start-up of a nuclear power plant south of Shanghai later this year has a lot riding on it.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 10, 2017
Russia turns iffy on Japan gas future as Abe heads to Moscow
Russia's Gazprom PJSC isn't confident in Japan's future as a growing natural gas user, which may damp prospects of a proposed pipeline between the countries as Premier Shinzo Abe travels to Moscow later this month.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Mar 14, 2017
Toshiba's troubled Westinghouse may be strategic fit for China or South Korea
If Toshiba Corp. parts ways with its embattled U.S. nuclear unit, Westinghouse Electric Co., the likely buyer may be a regional neighbor with global ambitions.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Tech
Mar 9, 2017
Nintendo counting on high praise for Zelda to fuel Switch sales
Nintendo Co. is earning early accolades for making sure that its new Switch console debuted with a strong gaming title, "Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild." The big question now is whether that will translate into sales.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 1, 2017
Hollywood is losing Japan box office to gender-bender tale 'Your Name.'
Move over, Hollywood — Japanese moviegoers are shopping local these days.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 17, 2017
Fukushima fuel-removal quest leaves trail of dead robots
The latest robot attempting to find the 600 tons of nuclear fuel and debris that melted down six years ago in the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant met its end in less than a day.

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