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Hans Greimel

For Hans Greimel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Nation's automakers find small size matters big

Business Aug 2, 2007

Nation's automakers find small size matters big

Japanese carmakers are once more proving that small sells big. After first pioneering the gas-sipping compact, then subcompact, the country's auto companies are scoring again with another downsizing — the so-called minicar. Tiny, cheap and super fuel-efficient, minicars are essentially motorcycle-size engines on four wheels. But ...

Grisly crimes spark rethink of 'safe' Japan

National May 20, 2007

Grisly crimes spark rethink of 'safe' Japan

A mother beheaded by her son. A baby who suffocated after being stuffed by his parents in the baggage compartment of a motorbike while they played pachinko. A murderous shooting spree during a hostage standoff. An outbreak of violent crime in the past week has ...

New postal giant raises competition fears as birth approaches

Business Mar 29, 2007

New postal giant raises competition fears as birth approaches

The planned privatization of the postal system, which doubles as the world's biggest savings bank, was hailed around the globe as a watershed free-market reform that would streamline the world's No. 2 economy. But just months before the October kickoff date, a darker prospect looms ...

Populist, unambiguous Koizumi tough act to follow

National Sep 28, 2006

Populist, unambiguous Koizumi tough act to follow

Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister, is one of the country's most popular politicians. His problem is that the one before him, Junichiro Koizumi, is even more popular. With vague policy goals and a sober demeanor, Abe heralds a dramatic break from the flamboyant Koizumi, ...

Business Oct 4, 2005

That new car smell -- a standard, harmful feature

Anyone who's pulled away from the dealer's lot in a shiny, new sedan knows the seductive scent of fresh plastic, paint and upholstery that evokes a rush of pride and consumer satisfaction. But that unmistakable new-car smell may soon be heading the way of the ...

Everything under the sun at Tokyo lost-and-found

National Jul 9, 2003

Everything under the sun at Tokyo lost-and-found

If it can be lost on the teeming streets of Tokyo, it can be found in the city's cavernous lost-and-found center, where everything from diamond rings to dentures and billions of yen in stray cash await their rightful, if forgetful, owners. On any given day, ...

National Jul 8, 2003

Bounty of frozen fuel under seabed allures, eludes

Like an ice that burns, methane hydrate is cold, white and would light up like a gas stove if held to a flame. And so much of the frozen fuel naturally blankets the seabeds off Japan and elsewhere that scientists say it could power ...

National Jan 10, 2003

Tone-deaf creator didn't cash in but ain't singin' the blues

NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. -- Back when Daisuke Inoue was a youngster banging drums with a local lounge band, he didn't think his invention for singalong soundtracks and a portable microphone would amount to much. He certainly had no idea of applying for a patent. Three decades ...

National Jan 10, 2003

Recession proving to be karaoke industry's ultimate sour note

After a decade in the karaoke business, lounge owner Kagura Muto has heard her share of sour notes. But business of late has been a different sort of flat. Under the white-hot spotlights at her bar, a retiree cuts loose a raucous, rough-on-the-ears rendition of ...