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Maki Shiraki

For Maki Shiraki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Regulators' sweep threatens auto parts business model

Aug 25, 2014

Regulators' sweep threatens auto parts business model

When a Japanese carmaker issued a tender for shock absorbers a few years ago for a model it planned to sell in Indonesia, two suppliers came back with bids that were "so obviously coordinated," said an executive at the automaker. One supplier put in a ...

K-pop stars luring Japan to buy Korean products

Jul 27, 2011

K-pop stars luring Japan to buy Korean products

Yuko Ishii, a 53-year-old factory worker in central Japan, used to feel reluctant about buying products made in South Korea. That changed after she became a fan of pop stars such as boy band TVXQ. "I used to rule out Korean products, but now I ...

Solar-panel producers stand to benefit from nuke fears

Apr 26, 2011

Solar-panel producers stand to benefit from nuke fears

Akiko Hirai says the Hamaoka power station 3 km from her home evokes such dread of the crippled Fukushima plant that she would spend ¥500,000 installing solar panels if it helped make Japan nuclear-free. "Who can really guarantee that they're 100 percent safe? I want ...

Silver lining in sight for makers of solar panels

Apr 22, 2011

Silver lining in sight for makers of solar panels

Akiko Hirai says the Hamaoka power station 3 km from her home evokes such dread of the crippled Fukushima plant that she would spend ¥500,000 installing solar panels if it helped make Japan nuclear-free. "Who can really guarantee that they're 100 percent safe? I want ...

Porn stars in 3-D lure buyers to new TVs

Jun 3, 2010

Porn stars in 3-D lure buyers to new TVs

Porn star Mika Kayama is at the frontier of a push to develop videos and content in Japan that Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. need to lure customers for their new 3-D televisions. Kayama and Yuma Asami, the top actresses of adult-movie maker S1 No.1Style, ...

Sony head sees big things for 3-D

Nov 21, 2009

Sony head sees big things for 3-D

Sony Corp. Chairman Howard Stringer forecast 3-D movies, pictures and games will be the electronics maker's next $10 billion business, challenging investors and analysts who say the technology isn't ready to become mainstream. The maker of Bravia televisions and PlayStation 3 game consoles said Thursday ...

Rich turn to solar power for latest status symbols

Oct 16, 2009

Rich turn to solar power for latest status symbols

Forget the 58-inch flat-panel TV, the new domestic status symbol for Japan's rich is a cooker. Housewife Yasuyo Takizawa, whose husband runs a public relations company, spent as much as ¥4 million on systems that combine solar power with energy-efficient water and room heaters and ...