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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japanese Customers 2010 In our annual summary of Japanese customers in 2010 we looked at the year from the customers perspective from the angle of what increased and what decreased. The highlight of 2010 would have to be decreasing prices. Prices of goods & services found online and in retail stores have decreased to unprecedented lows from the highs of the Bubble economy. This report is a snapshot of 2010 taken from media articles, blogs and news sites throughout the year. We have included a number of headings to add perspective. The following quote sums up 2010 :

gekiyasu (extremely cheap) from rock-bottom supermarket sales to celebrities devising ways to live on 100 a day retailers are being forced to offer lower and lower prices just to stay in business.
Source: Fast fashion is not what's ailing Japan's economy By PHILIP BRASOR The Japan Times: Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fd20100110pb.html

Summer temperatures made a large impact on how many Japanese customers spent their time and had a major impact on consumption patterns from June all the way through to late September. Tokyo, for example: experienced forty days of over 30 degree Celsius temperatures with high humidity. The record heat impacted a range of non related events including electricity consumption, attendance at events, domestic travel, online shopping and store traffic levels all over the country.

Compared to 2009, 2010 was a harder year for consumers. Many new innovations, lower prices but more anxiety about money (pensions, managing their household expenditures, decreasing wages and bonuses). Uncertainty also impacted their ability to make decisions, for example: retirement options for baby boomers, overseas travel and study abroad trips. Please note that some of the Japanese media links included have very short online life and may have already expired.

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Increased in 2010
International Japan expanded its reach into a number of new Asian markets.

The three countries (China, Japan and South Korea), which represent 18.6 percent of the global economy as measured by gross domestic product, have been holding trilateral meetings at the trade minister level since 2002.
Source: SKorea, China, Japan trade chiefs praise FTA study By KELLY OLSEN (AP) The Associated Press. May 21 2010 http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hyZw2ePLor_XWWJcmxXnUfWnxYkAD9F SDOCG0

International high speed rail projects increased

..Japan, which long jealously protected its prized bullet train technology...has been forced to rethink... prompted by a declining market for passenger and freight traffic at home, as well as a flurry of overseas opportunities.....Japan has also been goaded into a new export boldness by the rise of China
Source: Japan Starts to Shop Its Bullet Train Technology By HIROKO TABUCHI May 11, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/business/global/12train.html?ref=asia&pagewanted=print

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Trade with China surpassed trade with America

Japan's exports to China have topped those to the United States for the first time since World War II, while Japan saw its largest yearon-year drop in both exports and imports, statistics released Wednesday by the Finance Ministry showed...Japan's trade surplus rose 36.1 percent from a year earlier to 2.81 trillion yen--the first increase in two years....Total exports in 2009 on a customs-cleared basis stood at 54.18 trillion yen, posting a 33.1 percent drop from a year earlier, while imports fell by 34.9 percent to 51.37 trillion yen.
Source: China now Japan's top trade partner The Yomiuri Shimbun Jan. 28, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T100127006823.htm

Japans reliance on trade with China increased

Japan's reliance on China for its exports is great. China's share in Japan's total trade reached 20.5 percent in 2009, much larger than the U.S.'s share of 13.5 percent.
Source: Hard times ahead for firms Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010 EDITORIAL http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20101002a1.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japanese retail products expanded into new markets

An increasing number of young women in Singapore have been bleaching their hair to lighten it from its natural black. The most popular hair product for this fad comes from Japan.
Source: CHARTING JAPAN'S COURSE / Finding niches and lowering prices The Yomiuri Shimbun Mar. 16, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T100315006063.htm

Struggling in a shrinking domestic market, Japanese food makers are looking to Asia to market their products--and a Japanese culinary lifestyle with a local twist... House introduced heat-and-eat retort-pouch curry products in China in 2001, before launching precooked curry roux items in 2005. .. Kewpie Corp. (Japanese mayonnaise manufacturer) also had to make changes to sell its mayonnaise products in China, where people rarely eat raw vegetables.

Source: With fewer mouths to feed, Japan food firms eye Asia BY OSAMU UCHIYAMA THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/03/29 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201003280259.html

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In Indonesia, the Gatsby line of men's cosmetic products by Mandom Corp. has found a foothold, with a market share in the country of 70 percent to 80 percent...Gatsby became a hit in part because Mandom marketed its products in a way that made them more affordable for Indonesians. For example, hair products are sold in single-use quantities.
Source: CHARTING JAPAN'S COURSE / Finding niches and lowering prices The Yomiuri Shimbun Mar. 16, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T100315006063.htm

Japanese franchising expanded

FamilyMart has become the first Japanese convenience store chain to open an outlet in Ho Chi Minh City ,Vietnam ... (a) country with a population of 86 million, following the firm's expansion to Taiwan, South Korea and 3 other parts of Asia....FamilyMart plans to open 300 stores in the country over the next 5 years.
Source: 1st Japanese convenience store opens in Vietnam 2010/01/26 http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/26_36.html

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Direct investment in Japan by Chinese companies rose sharply in 2007 and 2008, when the cumulative stock was about 20 billion yen ($224.64 million), according to Bank of Japan statistics. According to Recof Corp., which advises companies on mergers and acquisitions, M&A of Japanese companies by Chinese companies were worth 28.5 billion yen in 2009, a more than fourfold increase from 2008. The numbers would probably be higher if not for the lingering resistance of the Japanese targets.A senior official of an M&A consulting company said many Japanese companies have flatly refused any possible acquisition deals with China
Source: China buying into Japanese firms BY TORU HATANAKA AND IKKI YAMAKAWA, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/03/02 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201003010282.html

Japans external investments increased

The outstanding net external asset balance grew 18.1% on the year to a record 266.22 trillion yen at the end of 2009, marking the first rise in two years, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.... Japan's net external assets were the largest in the world for the 19th straight year, followed by China, with a balance of 167.73 trillion yen, then Germany, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
Source: Net External Assets Total Record Y266.22tln In '09 Tuesday, May 25, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100525D25SS336.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Domestic

Economy

The Japanese yen increased in value against the US dollar

the yens (increased) 28 percent .....against the dollar since Sept. 1, 2008.

Source: Crying Wolf Has Cost in World of Growing Pain: William Pesek By William Pesek - Sep 1, 2010 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-01/crying-wolf-has-cost-in-world-of-growing-paincommentary-by-william-pesek.html

Number of senior citizens in Japan increased

Almost 23 percent of the nation's 126 million people will be older than 65 this year, compared with 13 percent in the United States, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Source: JAL may spark major revamp in pension finance Change critical if other firms to avoid carrier's underfunded fate By JASON CLENFIELD and TOMOKO YAMAZAKI Bloomberg Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100122n3.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of people over the age of eighty increased

The estimated number of elderly aged 80 or older topped the 8 million mark for the first time in Japan as the fast-graying country sees a record-high 23.1% of the population aged 65 or above....came to 29.44 million, also a record high, by increasing 460,000 from a year earlier...., the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

Source: No. of people aged 80 or over tops 8 mil for 1st time in Japan Monday 20th September, 2010, Japan Today, http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/no-of-people-aged-80-or-over-tops-8-mil-for1st-time-in-japan

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Government

Medical bills for the elderly increased

Medical bills for the elderly--estimated at 12 trillion yen for fiscal 2010--are expected to balloon to about 15 trillion yen in fiscal 2015, the ministry said.
Source: New health care plan for elderly outlined The Yomiuri Shimbun Jul. 19, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T100718001758.htm

Number of welfare recipients increased

The number of welfare benefit recipients in Japan reached 1,907,176 as of June, topping 1.9 million for the first time since fiscal 1955... The number of welfare recipient households in June hit a new high of 1,377,930, continuing to rewrite the record high since May 2008, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare..
Source: No. of welfare recipients tops 1.9 mil for 1st time since 1955 Thursday 23rd September, 2010 http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/no-of-welfare-recipients-tops-19-mil-for-1sttime-since-1955

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japans space exploration continued

(Japans).. Hayabusa space probe returned last month from a seven-year, 382-million-mile round trip to an asteroid, giving a much-needed confidence boost to a country worried that its technological prowess might be waning.
Source: In a Space Probes Flawed Journey, a Test for Japan By HIROKO TABUCHI July 1, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/business/global/02space.html?_r=1&ref=asia&pagewanted=p rint

Government debt increased

The national debt will probably swell to 973 trillion by the end of fiscal 2010, according to the Finance Ministry. Japan, with a shrinking population and entrenched deflation, may see its debt burden jump to 246 percent of gross domestic product by 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Source: Public debt to hit 973 trillion Bloomberg Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100126n2.html

The International Monetary Fund says Japan should start fiscal consolidation next year, including gradually raising the country's sales tax, because its debt has reached an unprecedented amount... the IMF says Japan's debt is the highest among industrial nations.
Source: IMF recommends Japan hike consumption tax 2010/05/20 http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20_06.html

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Standard & Poor's cut the outlook on Japan's AA grade in January, citing diminishing "flexibility" to cope with the nation's swelling debt load, which is the largest in the industrialized world. Finance Minister Naoto Kan said for the first time last week the government should cap next year's bond sales below the record 44.3 trillion budgeted for this year.
Source: Strong fiscal plan is vital, Moody's says Bloomberg Thursday, May 20, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100520n1.html

Japan's government debt-to-GDP ratio is about twice that of Greece 218.6 percent at the end of 2009 (IMF figures) against 113 percent for Greece. Japan's government debt is 6.93 million per Japanese, while Greece owes 3 million per Greek, even including local bonds.
Source: Can Kan revive Japan? By KEVIN RAFFERTY Thursday, June 10, 2010 Japan Times http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20100610a1.html

The nation's debts exceeded its assets by 317.4 trillion yen at the end of fiscal 2008, 34.7 trillion yen more than a year earlier, according to data released Friday by the Ministry of Finance...Debts exceeded assets by 314.3 trillion yen, with assets totaling 772 trillion yen and debts reaching 1,086.3 trillion yen.
Source: Japan's Excess Debt Up Y34.7tln In FY08 The Nikkei 25/6/2010 http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100625D25JFN02.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The average temperature in Tokyo increased

Heat-trapping concrete and asphalt have raised Tokyo's temperature by about 3 degrees Celsius over the last century, according to the government.
Source: Tokyo's goal: Be the greenest Its been reducing solid waste, requiring factories and offices to cut carbon emissions, giving cash incentives to install solar panels, toughening building standards and planning more greenery. By Marla Dickerson, Los Angeles Times April 23, 2010 http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-green-tokyo-20100423,0,5981163,print.story

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Business

Japans high net worth individuals increased

Japan's high-net-worth population jumped 21% on the year to 1.65 million last year..(2009) according to an annual survey by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and French market research firm Capgemini
Source: Ranks Of Japan's Rich Grew 21% In '09: Report Thursday, June 24, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100623D23JFA21.htm

Cloud computing market increased in 2010

According to market research firm IDC, the Japanese market for Cloud Computing will jump from around JPY39.7bn in 2009 to around JPY143.2bn in 2014, an increase of around 360%.
Source: TT-567 -- Cloud Computing Heats Up, e-biz news from Japan June 1, 2010 General Edition Sunday, May 30, 2010 Issue No. 567 http://www.japaninc.com/tt567_cloud-computing

Japanese companies increased their cash reserves

Japanese companies are sitting on 200 trillion yen in corporate savings


Source: WSJ: OPINION: Who's Afraid Of A Stronger Yen? The biggest effects may be felt by Japanese companies selling into the domestic market, bureaucrats and politicians. By NAOMI FINK Monday, September 6, 2010 -Ms. Fink is Japan strategist at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ. http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100907D07NY473.htm Keep up to date with Japan at JapaneseCustomer.com www.japanesecustomer.com

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japanese investment in Vietnam increased

Japanese companies are shifting production to Vietnam to avoid the labor strife, rising currency and anti-Japan sentiment that threaten to hamper business operations in China. ..According to JETRO, Japan's direct investment in Vietnam was about $140 million (12.6 billion yen) in 2009. The figure is already $1.1 billion for the first five months of this year.
Source: Manufacturers flee China for Vietnam BY YUZURU TAKANO THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/06/26 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201006250440.html

Online retailers saw sales increase in 2010

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said online retailers rang up sales of 6.1 trillion in 2008, an increase of 13.9 percent over the previous year. the industry is contending with a radical shift in the way people shop, including the rise of online shopping and the proliferation of big shopping malls and commercial complexes at train stations.
Source: Department stores fight clunker image Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010 By KAZUAKI NAGATA http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100106a1.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Car manufacturers sales increased

The Prius was the top-selling model in Japan (20,000 a month in 2009) for every month from May last year - the month when an upgraded version hit showroomsThe Prius, now in its third generation since its 1997 introduction, is the best-selling gaselectric hybrid in the world, racking up a cumulative 1.6 million units sold so far, according to Toyota.
Source: Prius No. 1 in Japan sales as green interest grows By YURI KAGEYAMA AP Business Writer Jan 8th, 2010 http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_JAPAN_TOYOTA_PRIUS_ASOL?SITE=YOMIURI&SECTION=HOSTED_ASIA&TEMPLATE=ap_business.html

Convenience stores in Japan saw increased foot traffic

.. since their introduction to Japan in 1974, convenience stores have become such a fixture that it is hard to imagine life without them. Passing department stores in sales by 2008, outlets now number more than 40,000 throughout Japan. In July their customer count rose by 2.3 percent from a year before to 1.2 billion
Source: Evolving convenience stores The Japan Times: Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/ed20100905a2.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Smartphone sales increased

The iPhone sold 1.7 million units in Japan, or 72% of all smartphones sold, in the fiscal year ended March 31, and its popularity has pushed the smartphone segment to double in size from a year earlier, according to Tokyo-based MM Research Institute Ltd...Apple still accounted for only 5% of Japan's 34 million new handsets sold in the past fiscal year
Source: TECH JOURNAL MAY 18, 2010 iPhone Is Big in Japan Smartphone Changes Landscape, Overcoming Hostility to Foreign Brands By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703315404575250921648983384.html?mod=WS JASIA_hpp_MIDDLEFourthNews

The E-Book market in Japan increased

According to research firm Impress R&D, the Japanese e-book market grew 31 percent in fiscal 2008, raking in 46.4 billion yen -about 80 percent of which was for electronic versions of manga for mobile phones.
Source: iPad sparks hope, anxiety in Japan's publishing world 11/5/2010 http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100511p2a00m0na023000c.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Number of nuclear power plants set to increase

The problem for Japan is that it is home to 54 nuclear reactors, the third largest number in the world, and plans to add more than 10 by 2020.
Source: Trading houses scramble to secure uranium for nuclear plants BY YASUHIRO HONDA, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/02/05 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201002040444.htm

The gap in companies pension funding shortfalls increased

Japan Airlines Corp.'s $25.5 billion bankruptcy may be the impetus for such companies as Hitachi Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's biggest private employers, to shore up their deficit-ridden pension plans.Japan's top 278 companies were a combined 21.5 trillion behind on their pension funding in fiscal 2009, a 50 percent jump from the previous year, according to Daiwa Institute of Research in Tokyo. Hitachi's unfunded liabilities totaled 1.1 trillion triple the deficit that helped push Japan's former national carrier into bankruptcy.
Source: JAL may spark major revamp in pension finance Change critical if other firms to avoid carrier's underfunded fate By JASON CLENFIELD and TOMOKO YAMAZAKI Bloomberg Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100122n3.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Retail sales at train stations increased

The JR East group operates the Lumine and atre shopping malls, which are integrated with its stations. A total 16.8 million passengers pass through JR stations each day. The stations' retail facilities cater to the demands of Tokyo commuters, and each year they ring up sales of 1 trillion yen, putting them among the nation's top retailers. Lumine-brand malls, along with its tenants, generated sales of 265.3 billion yen in fiscal 2008, up 70% from 10 years earlier.
Source: JR East To Use Kinokuniya Supermarkets To Boost Retail Ops Wednesday, January 27, 2010 The Nikkei http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100127D26JF

Foot traffic at Ibaraki airport increased

Ibaraki Airport, about 53 miles north of Tokyo, opens on Thursday and is intended to be a completely new type of Japanese airport: a no-frills facility that could finally open up Japans expensive capital city to low-budget airlines. .The city and its surroundings represent the largest metropolitan sprawl in the world with a population of 40 million. It is currently served by two airports, Narita which handles most of the international traffic and Haneda, which primarily serves domestic flights. Haneda
Source: In Japan, No-Frills Airport Lures Bargain Players By HIROKO TABUCHI March 10, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/11/business/global/11airport.html?ref=asia&pagewanted=print

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The sales of large sized food portions increased

McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan)...is now targeting sales of 35 million supersize burgers through the end of March, a 25% jump from its earlier target. The increase was a result of stronger-thanexpected sales of the Texas Burger, which the restaurant chain began selling on Jan. 15 for 400-420 yen.
Source: McDonald's Japan Lifts Sales Target For Big Burgers Thursday, January 21, 2010 The Nikkei http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100120D20JFA01.htm

The number of non permanent workers increased

One-third of Japans workers have part-time, contract or freelance jobs, said Takuji Aida, senior Japan economist at UBS Securities Japan Ltd. They include mothers working part-time while raising children, young people who cant find better jobs and retirees needing money. Temp hires all of these.
Source: Japanese Mothers Are New Workforce for Temporary Staffing Firm April 15, 2010 Businessweek By Chana Schoenberger http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-15/japanese-mothers-are-new-workforce-fortemporary-staffing-firm.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The roll out of eco friendly technology increased

On Monday, Better Place, a U.S. venture company, launched the world's first switchable-battery electric taxi service in Tokyo in partnership with major taxi operator Nihon Kotsu Co.
Source: Eco-taxis zap CO2 emissions / Battery-switching demo project rolled out in Roppongi Tomoko Echizenya and Makoto Fukumori Yomiuri Shimbun Apr. 28, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T100427004136.htm

New Television segment started 3D Televisions

Panasonic Corp. on Wednesday began selling 3-D TVs in the U.S., firing the first shot in what is likely to become a fierce battle against such rivals as South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp. for the leading share of possibly the world's most important
Source: Panasonic Kicks Off 3-D TV War In U.S. The Nikkei Thursday march 11, 2010 http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/e/fr/freetop.aspx

Sales of 3D televisions expected to increase in 2011

Worldwide shipments of 3-D TVs are expected to be 4.2 million units this year and 12.9 million in 2011, according to Californiabased researcher iSuppli Corp.
Source: Porn stars in 3-D lure buyers to new TVs By MARIKO YASU and MAKI SHIRAKI Bloomberg Thursday, June 3, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100603n1.html Keep up to date with Japan at JapaneseCustomer.com www.japanesecustomer.com

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Number of instant noodles being eaten in the world increased

Last year (2009), more than 92 billion servings of instant noodles were sold
Source: Instant noodle evolution Nissin chief eyes healthier, less salty fare Sean Yoong By SEAN YOONG The Associated Press Friday, April 23, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100423a1.html

Number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan increased

The relaxation of visa requirements (in July) is expected to result in a 10-fold increase in the number of Chinese eligible to make unescorted trips in Japan. This would mean more than 40 million Chinese would be permitted to visit Japan under the relaxed visa requirements. In other words, many more Chinese may opt to visit Japan.
Source: Easing visa requirements needs extreme care The Yomiuri Shimbun May. 15, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/20100515dy01.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The uptake of digital tuners and televisions beat expectations

.. The government said Tuesday 83.8% of Japanese families had televisions or tuners to receive terrestrial digital broadcasting signals as of the end of March, beating its target of 81.6%... Japan is set to terminate analog broadcasting and shift completely to the digital format in July 2011
Source: Over 80% of Japanese families have digital broadcasting receivers Wednesday 26th May, http://www.japantoday.com/category/technology/view/over-80-of-japanese-families-have-digitalbroadcasting-receivers

Banks increased their holdings of government debt by 30%

Banks held a record 136.73 trillion yen in national debt in April, up nearly 30 percent from the same month in 2009.
According to the Bank of Japan's report on Principal Figures of Financial Institutions for May Source: Banks using huge deposits for bonds, not loans to companies BY RYO SHIMURA THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/06/10 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201006090383.html

Japanese beef exports to Asian countries increased

Though Japan is a net importer of beef, its exports have jumped more than tenfold in the last decade, to 4.5 billion yen in 2009 from 338 million yen in 2001, fanned by the popularity of Japanese fare like sukiyaki. High-grade beef can sell for about 3,500 yen, or $38, for 3.5 ounces in markets like the United States and Hong Kong
Source: Disease Threatens Japans Beef Trade By HIROKO TABUCHI June 11, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/12/business/global/12beef.html?ref=asia&pagewanted=print Keep up to date with Japan at JapaneseCustomer.com www.japanesecustomer.com

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japanese total food exports increased

The agriculture ministry says Japan exported about 2.8 billion dollars worth of fruit, fish, and processed food for the period, up 18.2 percent from the same period of last year...70 percent of the exports were to Asian countries...Hong Kong posted 697 million dollars, an increase of over 28 percent from the figure a year earlier, followed by mainland China and Vietnam.
Source: Farm produce exports show 1st increase in 2 years 2010/08/29 http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/29_13.html

Wages paid to senior executives increased

Nissan Motor Co paid out average pay of 141 million yen to its directors in fiscal 2009 ended in March,..... Toyotas pay the largest among Japans top three automakers, according to recently released documents to its shareholders...per-head average of 37.52 million, while Hondas pay for its 21 directors was 1,015 million yen, or an average of 48.33 million yen.
Source: Executive pay averaged Y141 mil in FY 2009 Tuesday 08th June, 2010 http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/nissans-executive-pay-averaged-y141-mil-infy-2009

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Increased choice for motor vehicle consumers

Nissan Motor Co.on Wednesday began exporting the Thai-made March subcompact to Japan, becoming the first Japanese automaker to switch completely to importing a key vehicle for the domestic market...The Thai-produced model will be supplied to Japan and five nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia. Of the 90,000 units to be churned out in Thailand this fiscal year, 70,000 will be earmarked for export. Japanese sales of the vehicle are expected to start in mid-July.
Source: Nissan Kicks Off Exports Of Thai-Made Subcompact To Japan Wednesday, June 30, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100630D30JFN03.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japanese companies moved more of their manufacturing production offshore

(Manufacturing) Toshiba, whose overseas sales account for more than 80 percent of its overall sales, has moved all production, including production of its high-performance models, overseas....It is believed Sony's ratio of overseas sales exceeds 50 percent, while Fujitsu's stands at about the halfway mark.
Source: Fujitsu, Sony stick to 'made in Japan' business model Mainichi Japan August 26, 2010 http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100826p2a00m0na018000c.html

The number of businessmen not wanting to work abroad increased

Some 67% of businesspeople do not want to work overseas, (according to ) an online survey released Thursday by the Sanno Institute of Management.... People appear to be growing averse to working overseas due to worries that they will not be able to communicate in English, or due to security concerns, the official said...The survey suggests that Japanese businesspeople are becoming increasingly inward-looking.
Sources: 67% Of Businesspeople Averse To Working Abroad Thursday, September 16, 2010 Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100916D16SS500.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Automakers introduced more fuel efficient cars

Japanese automakers are introducing idling stop systems to reduce fuel consumption and to promote gasoline vehicles amid the growing popularity of hybrid models... Mazda Motor's Premacy minivan hit the market this month. The automaker's i-stop system improves fuel consumption by 7 percent and the vehicle can travel up to 16 kilometers on a liter of fuel.
Source: Automakers rush to introduce idling stop systems 2010/07/19 http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/18_13.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Individuals

The number of Japanese seeing the new years first sun rise by plane increased

Japanese customers want to be first to see the rise of the sun at the start of the new year. Three Japanese airlines provided flights for 1000 people.
Source: First sunrise flights January 2010/01/02 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100102a5.html

Tokyo residents paid a larger share of tax

Tokyoites pay an average of 97 million yen in taxes and other contributions while receiving about 53 million yen in benefits. Tokyo had the heaviest net burden of 44.15 million yen per person, followed by Aichi and Osaka prefectures at 35.48 million yen and 34.02 million yen, respectively.
Source: The new frugality The Japan Times Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/ed20100912a1.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The time taken to reach a hospital by ambulance increased

The average time from the moment an ambulance crew was alerted to the arrival of a patient at hospital stood at 36.1 minutes, also the longest since 1984 when statistics were first collected, up 1.1 minutes.
Source: Average ambulance arrival time in 2009 longest on record Thursday 09th September, 2010 Japan Today http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/average-ambulance-arrival-time-in-2009longest-on-record

Education costs increased

The average cost per child to enroll at and finish both high school and college rose 521,000 yen to 10,598,000 yen, and many families are cutting travel, leisure and other expenses to have enough money for education, it said.
Source: Education burdens on rise among Japanese families Sunday 21st November, 2010 Japan Today http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/education-burdens-on-rise-among-japanesefamilies

The number of people graduating from university increased

Almost 3 million people graduated from university in 2010, whereas only 1.85 million did so in 1985. In that year, 26.5 percent of all highschool grads went on to university. Now, the percentage is 54.5.
Source: University grads need to expand their horizons Phillip Brasor The Japan Times Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fd20101219pb.html Keep up to date with Japan at JapaneseCustomer.com www.japanesecustomer.com

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Increased foreign food choice

Akinari Makishima, 33, a Nagoya pizzaiolo, recently won the ninth international pizzaiolo championship in the birthplace of Neapolitan pizza. ...Makishima bakes 900 pizzas every day...at Cesari, a pizzeria in Nagoya's Osu district...a whole pizza costs only 350 yen, affordable even for a high school student.
Source: Japanese No. 1 when it comes to pizza BY RYUJI KUDO THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/06/26 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201006250439.html

Smart shopping increased

"Smart shopping is becoming deep-rooted in Japan,"..The rate of people using e-money rose from 12.1 percent in 2006 to 22.0 percent in 2008 and to 30 percent in 2010...the share of respondents who shopped via the Internet in the past year came to 38.3 percent, up 8.1 points from 2008.
Source: 30% in metropolitan regions use e-money Kyodo News Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010 Japan Times http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100908a5.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Home appliance innovations increased

"We have developed the world's first (appliance) that can bake bread out of rice at home," Sanyo President Seichiro Sano told a news conference in Tokyo....Sanyo will start selling the Gopan, whose name combines "gohan" (cooked rice) and "pan" (bread), on the domestic market Oct. 8.
Source: Cooker makes bread out of rice By HIROKO NAKATA Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Japan Times http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100714a1.html

Travel between Japan & Korea increased

With more than 5 million people traveling between Japan and Korea every year, consumers from both countries are showing a growing appetite for each other's brands.
Source: Korean stores rivaling Japan's best BY KIYOHIDE INADA THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/05/28 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201005270435.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Choice of mobile phone brands increased

...the 16-gigabyte model of the iPhone 4 will be priced at 46,080 yen and the 32GB model will sell for 57,600 yen when Apple Inc. releases its latest generation of the smartphone in the domestic market on June 24...users will effectively pay nothing to buy the 16GB model if they sign up for a plan that charges 4,410 yen a month for unlimited data transmissions. They would effectively pay 11,520 yen for the 32GB model under this setup
Source: Japanese iPhone 4 To Start At Y46,080 Monday, June 14, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100614D14JFA09.htm

Increased convenience for ordering by mobile phone

Customers (in Japan) can use their handsets to input and save their orders at any time and location by visiting a McDonald's Web site. And when they visit the restaurant, they can transmit their orders to the kitchen by placing their handset close to a reading device at the counter...(system hopes to)..... reduce waiting time and boost customer turnover..
Source: Press H For Hamburger At McDonald's Japan The Nikkei June 12 ,2010 morning edition http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100611D11JFA05.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Increased number of senior citizens

By 2050, at current rates, 10 million children under 16 will be fairly swamped by 35 million senior citizens.(in Japan)
Source: Youth is wasted on the dwindling young The Japan Times Sunday, July 18, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fd20100718bj.html

The number of people sleeping in their cars when travelling in Japan is increasing

...recently, an increasing number of people are traveling and sleeping in their cars parked in rest areas at popular destinations. ... Sleeping in one's car saves time and money during a trip. .. In tandem with this trend is an increase in the number of roadside rest areas with free parking lots and toilets available around the clock to more than 900 nationwide.
Source: For older travelers, cars replace hotels at bedtime Yutaka Ogaki Yomiuri Shimbun Mar. 30, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20100330TDY03101.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of medical institutions outsourcing image data increased

.. an increasing number of medical institutions commissioning analysis of patients' image data to outside entities via the Internet ....entrusting the work to doctors in China who offer lowpriced services. While it costs about 3,000 yen per image to entrust analysis of CT and similar images to an outside entity, it costs only 700 yen to 900 yen per image if the work is done in China.
Source: Responsibility must be clear By Keishi Takahashi Yomiuri Shimbun Apr. 7, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20100407TDY02T07.htm

The number of socially withdrawn increased

Socially withdrawn populations seem to be aging. In my recent investigations, the average age of hikikomori is 32. .......when social withdrawal has continued so long that the person can no longer be treated as a "youth," there is a tendency for emotional problems and violence to grow even more complicated.
Source: Internet can serve as a tool to track people's tendency toward violence, addiction Tamaki Saito Mainichi Shimbun June 12, 2010 http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/news/20100612p2a00m0na009000c.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Number of men taking paid vacation days for child care purposes increased

Many men use paid holidays for child care purposes. According to an online-survey conducted in August by the Benesse Institute for Child Sciences and Parenting, only 4 percent of about 5,100 fathers of newborns to 6-year-old children said they had taken child-rearing leave. ......57 percent said they used other forms of holidays for childbirth and child care, 70 percent of which was paid holidays.
Source: Paternal leave system falls short / Fear of income loss compels dads to use paid time off to rear kids Mihoko Tsukino Yomiuri Shimbun Jun. 13, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T100612002131.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Claims for work related illnesses increased

The number of people who claimed workers compensation for mental illnesses they suffered because of overwork or other workrelated situations surged by 209, or 22%, from a year earlier... reasons behind the mental disorders, 55 of the 234 whose claims were approved cited significant changes in their work responsibilities, 37 mentioned tragic experiences such as accidents and disasters, and 25 blamed longer working hours.
Source: No. of claims for workers' compensation for mental illness surges Tuesday 15th June, 2010 http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/no-of-claims-for-workers-compensation-formental-illness-surges

Chances to take off time while at work increased

Since a change in the labor standards law which took effect in April, companies nationwide have become a lot more flexible in how much leave they will allow employees to take. The new law permits leave periods as short as one hour -- letting employees go do banking, medical checks, shopping, and other personal errands which used to result in their being docked at least half a day's pay.
Source: TT-568 -- World's Best Beer, e-biz news from Japan June 8, 2010 Terrie's Take http://www.japaninc.com/tt568_worlds-best-beer

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Summer heatwave increased online sales

"Tokyu Store Corp. saw the number of online orders received daily jump 15-20% on the month in July."
Source: Heat Wave Turning More People Into Stay-At-Home Online Shoppers Tuesday, August 3, 2010 Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100803D03HH609.htm

Online shopping sales increased

Working women strapped for time and elderly shoppers reluctant to carry heavy items are increasingly frequenting online supermarkets. The market was estimated to be worth at least 50 billion yen last year.
Source: Supermarkets Stepping Up Online Shopping, Delivery Services Thursday, August 26, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100825D25JFA10.htm

The number of social media users increased

The number of unique (Twitter) users in Japan surged from 521,000 in April 2009 to 7.52 million in March, a 15-fold increase, according to the technology ratings service Nielsen Online Japan.
Source: Softbank to Help Twitter Get Even Bigger in Japan By HIROKO TABUCHI May 18, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/technology/19twitter.html?src=busln&pagewanted=print

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Number of free toll roads increased

Tolls will be done away with at 50 sections on 37 expressways, mostly in rural areas, on a trial basis, according to the ministry's plan.
Source: New road tolls for June dropped Kyodo News Thursday, May 20, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100520b2.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Sales of mens skincare products increased

Sales of mens skincare products jumped 17 percent to 17.6 billion yen ($196 million) in 2008, compared with a 0.2 percent industrywide to 1.51 trillion yen, according to the most recent trade ministry data...... There is a desire among men to look more beautiful, she said.
Source: Feminized Japanese Men Boost Kao Sales as Women Pamper Less January 26, 2010 By Naoko Fujimura Bloomberg http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-01-26/-feminized-japanese-men-boost-kao-sales-aswomen-pamper-less.html

Number of pets increased

...for the first time, according to JPFA data, the nation's 19.2 million population of cats and dogs exceeded the population of 17.9 million children aged under 16. By 2009, that gulf had become even wider as the total of 23.2 million cats and dogs came to outnumber children by 6 million.
Source: Japan's love affair with dogs and cats By ERIKO ARITA The Japan Times: Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20100228x1.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Number of people living in condominiums increased

Families and single occupants living in condos accounted for 11.42% of all households in the nation at the end of 2009, up 0.27 percentage point from a year earlier, data from Tokyo Kantei Co. shows.
Source: More Than 10% Of Japanese Households Live In Condos Thursday, February 4, 2010 The Nikkei Business Daily http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100203D03JSN02.ht

Consumers flocked to share providers.

More than 30,000 members have been registered with ShareMo, a Web site on which members can lend and borrow clothes, video game software, English textbooks and baby goods among other items. Members can lend and borrow goods on the site and use the services if they pay shipping fees on delivery. The operator of ShareMo gains income mainly from advertising fees.
Source: Consumers batten down the hatches in stormy economic seas Mainichi Japan January 5, 2010 http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/news/20100105p2a00m0na007000c.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Hollywood 3D movies made a big impression at the box office

"Alice in Wonderland" raked in roughly 10.1 billion yen, ranking second behind "Avatar," which grossed some 15.3 billion yen. "Up," an animated comedy adventure about an elderly man, came in third with 4.7 billion yen.... The top three box-office earners among this year's releases as of May 23 were all 3-D Hollywood movies, according to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan .
Source: 'Alice In Wonderland' Tops Y10bn At Box Office In 37 Days The Nikkei Sunday, May 30, 2010 http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100529D29JFF03.htm

The number of young wives wanting to become homemakers increased

The proportion of wives who favor a traditional domestic role is increasing, mainly among people in their 20s, a government survey showed Monday. .. 45% of the total supported the view that husbands should work outside of the home while wives should attend to housework, reversing a downward trend from the first survey in 1993, when the figure stood at 53.6%..
Source: Growing number of wives favor staying at home: survey Tuesday 01st June, Kyodo News. http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/growing-number-of-wives-favor-staying-athome-survey

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Number of films dubbed in local voices increased

Hollywood studios are increasingly eyeing the potential of locallanguage production, particularly in the $2 billion Japanese market where once-dominant American movies have been outgunned by local films the past three out of four years.
Source: Paramount revives hit film Ghost in Japan Chris's Feed Jun 9, 2010 http://blogs.reuters.com/chris-gallagher/

Train enthusiasts increased

"Tori-tetsu"--rail fans with a passion for taking photos of trains Hundreds of rail enthusiasts are expected to flock to JR Ueno Station in Tokyo on Friday to catch a glimpse of two iconic trains that will be making their final runs, giving East Japan Railway Co. a headache over how to ensure their safety...Catching a glimpse of the Hokuriku, which started operating in 1950, and the Noto, which started in 1959 and returned after a brief suspension, is enough to send a wave of nostalgia over many train fans. As such, a big turnout is expected Friday, although just how big is anyone's guess. "We can't predict how many people will turn up," a JR East official said.
Source: Train buffs causing headache / JR braces for scrum keen to catch glimpse of loved trains' last runs The Yomiuri Shimbun Mar. 9, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20100309TDY02304.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Interest in historical figures increased

Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867), a political reformer and activist in the period preceding the Meiji Restoration of 1868, is one of Japan's best-loved historical figures. This year, a big "Ryoma boom" is expected -- largely buoyed by a new TV series(NHK) features popular singer and actor Masaharu Fukuyama as the hero.
Source: Firms See 'Ryoma Boom' As Potential Boon For Business Kosuke Iwano and Rintaro Tobita Tuesday, January 5, 2010 The Nikkei Marketing Journal Jan. 4 edition

Japanese consumers saw fuel efficiency increase

The new Prius gets a combined 50 miles per gallon, compared with 46 mpg for the 2009 model, according to Toyota. It does even better under Japanese government testing standards, at 38 kilometers per liter, which converts to 90 miles per gallon.
Source: Prius No. 1 in Japan sales as green interest grows By YURI KAGEYAMA AP Business Writer Jan 8th, 2010 http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_JAPAN_TOYOTA_PRIUS_ASOL?SITE=YOMIURI&SECTION=HOSTED_ASIA&TEMPLATE=ap_business.html Visits to power spots increased

More and more people in recent years are hoping to get a taste of spiritual power at the famed Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture... this year, the shrine has already recorded 4.24 million, putting it on track to surpass its 1973 record of 8.59 million visitors. It began keeping statistics in 1896.
Source: Power-hungry hordes flock to Ise Grand Shrine The Yomiuri Shimbun May. 15, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T100514004102.htm?from=rss&ref=dyolwsj Keep up to date with Japan at JapaneseCustomer.com www.japanesecustomer.com

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The average expenditure on weddings increased

People spent an average of 3.31 million on wedding ceremonies and receptions in fiscal 2008, up 133,000 from the previous year, according to Zexy, a wedding magazine published by Recruit CoThe figure is around 370,000 higher than in 2005.The rise suggests that consumers are willing to spend on celebrations of major life events while curbing living expenses amid the recession.
Source: Spending on weddings sees uptick despite recession Kyodo News Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100106a6.html

The number of themed wedding increased

the latest trend in nuptial fashion (in Japan) : Helmeted grooms stepping out in full samurai armor, ready to take a sword to the wedding cake. ..Fittingly, the phenomenon springs from Kagoshima Prefecture in the Kyushu island region. Long known for its warring clans, strong sake and Japan's macho men, Kagoshima Prefecture is also home to Marutake Industry Co., a company which replicates historical armor. For more on Marutake's armor, visit (www.yoroi.co.jp).
Source: Japan's wedding-day warriors BY LOUIS TEMPLADO, STAFF WRITER 2010/03/05 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201003040336.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of themed wedding increased

Sunday's wedding was the first time a marriage had been led by a robot, according to its Tokyo-based manufacturer, Kokoro Co. The nuptials at this ceremony were led by I-Fairy, a 1.5-meter-tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. Japan has one of the most advanced robotics industries in the world, with the government actively supporting the field for future growth. Industrial models in factories are now standard, but recently companies are making a push to inject robots into everyday life."
Source: I-Fairy robot leads events at Tokyo wedding The Japan Times Tuesday, May 18, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/nn20100518a4.htm

The number of Japanese women under 34 years of age who remained unmarried increased

With women wielding increased economic clout and changing social attitudes toward marriage, more Japanese in their 20s and 30s are single than ever before. Government statistics show nearly two-thirds of women under the age of 34 are unmarried,
Source: Japan's spouse hunters hone skills at marriage school Toshi Maeda Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:17pm EST http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62A0WO20100311

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of Japanese version foreign films increased

Actor Kenji Sakaguchi, 34, will play the main role in a loose Japanese version of the hit 1988 American film Die Hard, which will be aired on Fuji TV in May. The story deals with a stoic and daring detective who has to cope with a terrorist plot....In the film, the entire city of Tokyo is threatened by a terrorist who threatens to detonate a massive bomb. Police have 24 hours to pay up or else. Sakaguchis character is modeled on John McClane, which propelled Bruce Willis to stardom in the Die Hard series.
Source: Sakaguchi, Yada to star in Japanese version of 'Die Hard' Monday 22nd March, 06:24 AM JST TOKYO http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/sakaguchi-yada-to-star-in-japaneseversion-of-die-hard

Domestic train speeds increased

East Japan Railway Co. on Friday unveiled its new E6-series train car.....the train -- which is red and white and has a distinctive, 13meter-long nose -- will go into service at the end of fiscal 2012, with a maximum speed of 300kph. The top speed will be raised to 320kph at the end of fiscal 2013
Source: JR East Unveils E6 Bullet Train; Eyes Foreign Markets Friday, July 9, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100709D09SS398.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of consumers using Internet protocol phones increased

The number of contracted fixed-line telephones peaked at more than 60 million, but had fallen to 43.34 million at the end of the last fiscal year...Meanwhile, the number of subscribers to IP phones that use fiber optic networks quadrupled in the six years to fiscal 2009 to 22.83 million. IP phones seem destined to supplant normal telephones in the near future.
Source: Bell tolls for fixed phones By Yoshihisa Mizukami Yomiuri Shimbun Jul. 21, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T100720005494.htm

Increased number of reported cases of social isolation

A government survey finds that nearly 700,000 young Japanese are believed to engage in "hikikomori", where people isolate themselves to avoid interaction with others...Asked why they began to avoid human interaction, 23.7 percent of the hikikomori sufferers said they failed to fit in at their workplaces, 20.3 percent said they couldn't find employment, and 11.9 percent said they had a problem with school truancy....Asked about memories of their time at elementary and junior high schools, 55.9 percent said they often had to exercise patience, and 42.4 percent said they were bullied by schoolmates.
Source: 700,000 Japanese suffering from "hikikomori" 2010/07/24 http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/24_11.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Life expectancy for men and women increased

Japanese life expectancy hit a record for both men and women for the fourth straight year in 2009, the Health Ministry reported Monday....the average life-span for women stood at 86.44 years in 2009, up 0.39 year on the year, while men could expect to live to 79.59 years of age, 0.3 year longer..The improvement was attributed to fewer deaths from heart disease and pneumonia.
Source: Life Expectancy Hits Record For 4th Year In Row Nikkei Monday, July 26, 2010 http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100726D26SS843.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain

Decreased in 2010
The number of foreign visitors to Japan decreased

In 2009, the number of foreign visitors to Japan dropped an additional 18.7 percent, to 6.79 million, amid the global recession, according to Japans government.
Source: As Kyoto Attractions, Wave Pools vs. Temples By HIROKO TABUCHI Published: May 7, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/business/08kyoto.html?ref=asia

Japans national wealth decreased

Japan's national wealth fell for the first time in three years in 2008, according to figures released by the Cabinet Office. The national wealth, which is calculated by subtracting public and private sector debts from the country's total assets, declined 1 percent in the year to 2,783 trillion yen ($30.8 trillion). Japan's total assets dropped sharply to 8,016.3 trillion yen, down 5.1 percent from a year earlier. It was the second consecutive annual fall. Debts stood at 5,233.2 trillion yen.
Source: Japan's National wealth falls THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/02/01 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201001310310.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of workers per household fell

The number of workers per household fell to 1.31 people, meaning that moms have been having trouble finding work and that the primary breadwinner is earning an average of JPY4.17m. 58.1% of households said that life was getting "tough" and 24.9% said it was "extremely tough".
Source: TT-566 -- High-priced M&A for Doctor Net, e-biz news from Japan May 25, 2010 FY2008 household income lowest in 20 years http://www.japaninc.com/tt566_high-priced-M%2526A-for-doctor-net#

The number of young workers decreased

Japan Lost 2mn Young Workers In Past Decade


Source: The Nikkei June 4th,2010 http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/freetop.aspx

Average monthly household spending decreased

Average monthly household spending fell a price-adjusted 0.7 percent in May from a year earlier to 280,714 for the second straight month of decline, the government said Tuesday...The average monthly income of salaried households came to 421,413, down 2.4 percent in real terms, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said in a preliminary report.
Source: Monthly household spending falls Wednesday, June 30, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100630a7.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of registered foreigners living in Japan decreased

The number of registered foreigners in Japan shrank for the first time since 1961 last year, dropping roughly 31,000 to 2.18 million, according to government figures released Tuesday. Foreigners registered as long-term residents -- the classification including laborers of Japanese ancestry -- slid 14.2% to 221,771, and those in the country for training plunged 24.9% to 65,209.
Source: Foreigners In Japan Decline 1st Time In 48 Years Wednesday, July 7, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100706D06JFN01.htm

Business The number of home delivered parcels decreased

The number of home-delivery parcels handled by trucking companies declined 2.3% from a year earlier to 3.14 billion in fiscal 2009 through March this year for the second consecutive yearly fall, the transport ministry said Monday. The decline was attributed to weak corporate demand, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The survey covered parcels weighing up to 30 kilograms.
Source: No. of home-delivery parcels down 2.3% in FY 2009 Tuesday 06th July, 2010 Japan Today http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/no-of-home-delivery-parcels-down-23-in-fy2009

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Domestic car sales decreased

About 6 million cars were sold in (Japan) 2000; the figure had dropped to 4.6 million in 2009. Of these, fewer than 3 million were not minicars, the first time in 38 years this threshold has been breached...Toyota sold 1.37 million vehicles domestically in 2009, a drop of more than 20 percent from 2000.
Source: ANALYSIS / Toyota has big hopes for small cars in Japan Nobuyuki Kojima Yomiuri Shimbun Sep. 30, 2010 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T100929005576.htm

The number of Japanese firms on the Forbes most powerful companies list declined

The number of Japanese firms ranked among the world's 100 most powerful companies by Forbes magazine this year has fallen to 3 from 11 from last year...The US business magazine on Wednesday released its Forbes Global 2000 list, based on sales, profits, assets and market value...Japan's Toyota Motor, which ranked 3rd last year, dropped to 360th place, due partly to its massive recalls. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which ranked 21st last year, fell to 369th.
Source: Japanese firms reduce presence on Forbes list 2010/04/22 http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/22_23.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Supermarket sales decreased

Nationwide supermarket sales fell below 13 trillion yen last year for the first time in 21 years, according to the Japan Chain Stores Association. Adjusted for changes in the number of stores, supermarket sales fell 4.3% to 12.835 trillion yen last year, the 13th straight year of decline. Nationwide supermarket floor space has almost doubled over the past 20 years, however.
Source: Aeon's Interest in Carrefour Stores Reflects Struggles in Japan By HIROYUKI KACHI SEPTEMBER 2, 2010, 2:53 P.M. ET http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704206804575467161661763770.html

The number of farmers decreased

The agriculture ministry's survey (Japan) ... shows that as of February 1st, there were 2.6 million farmers across the country... a decline of 750,000 farmers, marking a 22.4 percent drop from the previous survey.. the average age of farmers was 65.8 years, 2.6 years higher than the last survey... The number of farmers cultivating land smaller than 5 hectares decreased by 17.8 percent, while farmers with land measuring 5 hectares or larger increased by 8.7 percent.
Source: Farmers' population drops by record rate 2010/09/07 http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/07_25.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of broadband connection contracts slowed

in Japan, the number of broadband connection contracts has recently stalled at around 30 million households.
Source: Internet firms get connected in growing Asian countries BY MASAKI HASHIDA THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/05/12 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201005110367.html

The domestic apparel market decreased

Japans

domestic apparel industry is on the decline. It shrank 1.3 percent, to 4.37 trillion yen ($48 billion), in 2008, and is expected to post a steeper decline for 2009In 2008, Japans clothing and apparel-related exports came to a mere $416 million, dwarfed by the $3.68 billion exported by American apparel companies, and a tiny fraction of Chinas $113 billion.

In that business model, there is little financial gain for Japan. Paris, Milan, Tokyo. Tokyo? By HIROKO TABUCHI January 2, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/business/global/02cool.html?ref=asia&pagewanted=print

Department store sales in Japan decreased

Annual sales at department stores across the country hit a 26-year low of 6.58 trillion last year
Source: Seibu in Yurakucho faces doom Kyodo News Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100127a6.htmlWednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 Keep up to date with Japan at JapaneseCustomer.com www.japanesecustomer.com

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain CD production in Japan decreased

According to Recording Industry Association of Japan, CD production has plummeted nearly 40% over the past 10 years, from 276 million in 1999 to 165 million in 2009.
Source: HMV Japan to Close in Japan Teens Yawn Top of Form By Kosaku Narioka June 15, 2010 WSJ http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2010/06/15/hmv-japan-to-close-in-japan/

Japanese companies reduced dividends to shareholders

Despite posting increased profits, 140 companies reduced dividends to stockholders in fiscal 2009, according to a study of 1,342 listed companies by The Asahi Shimbun.
Source: Jittery companies stingy with dividends THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/06/18 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201006170527.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Number of average hours worked decreased

The monthly average of actual labor hours, including overtime hours, was 144.4 in 2009, down 2.9 percent from 2008. The monthly average wage, including bonuses, received by workers in 2009 was 315,164 yen, down 3.9 percent from the previous year.... Workers' salaries and labor hours recorded their worst percentage drop in 2009 since the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry began compiling such data under the current formula in 1990, the ministry said Tuesday.
Source: Salaries, labor hours mark record-high percentage fall The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 3, 2010) http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/T100202006488.htm

The number of foreign stocks listed in Tokyo decreased

Currently, 14 foreign stocks are traded on the Tokyo bourse, down from a peak of 127 in 1991
Source: UBS to be delisted from TSE on April 16 Sunday 14th March, http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/ubs-to-be-delisted-from-tse-on-april-16

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Sales of foreign luxury branded goods decreased

Japanese sales of foreign luxury brand fashion goods plunged a record 84.1% on the year to 894.6 billion yen in 2009, Yano Research Institute Ltd. reported Wednesday..Sales shrank to nearly half the peak level logged in 1996. The contraction was driven by greater consumer thriftiness amid the prolonged economic slump. Sales of mainstay products like bags and leather goods fell especially hard.
Source: Sales Of Foreign Luxury Clothing Plunge 84.1% In '09 Wednesday, May 19, 2010 http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100519D19SS852.htm

Western movie box office share decreased

The box office share of Western movies trailed that of Japanese films for the second straight year in 2009, at 43%, plunging from the dominant 73% share they held in 2002.
Source: 3-D Helps Western Movies Stand Out In Japan The Nikkei Friday, May 7, 2010 http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100507D06HH667.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Advertising spending in newspapers and magazines decreased

Advertising spending in Japan slumped 26 percent for magazines and 19 percent for newspapers in 2009, according to Dentsu Inc., the countrys largest advertising company.
Source: iPad May Be Black Ship That Shakes Up Japans Book Industry April 08, 2010 By Pavel Alpeyev and Yoshinori Eki http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-08/ipad-may-be-black-ship-that-shakes-up-japan-sbook-industry.html

Golf as a hobby for CEOs decreased

Japanese corporate leaders hobbies outside work according to an April 2010 survey 1. Golf 2. Reading 3. Fishing 28.4% (-6.3%) 8.2% (-2.2%)) 4.7% (+1.1%)

Source: Fewer Japanese Company Presidents Playing Golf: Poll The Nikkei Monday, May 24, 2010 http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100524D24HH272.htm

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Attendance at sporting events declined

The market for sporting events saw the sharpest decline at 7.6% on the year. Baseball, which accounts for more than 60% of the sporting event market, declined 4%. Cost cutting and other factors prompted a slowdown in season-ticket sales to corporate customers.
Source: Sluggish Theme Parks Drove Entertainment Market Down 1% In '09 Thursday, May 27, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100526D26JFA04.htm

Motorcycle production in Japan declined

In 2009, about 640,000 motorcycles were produced nationwide, below a tenth of the peak amount of 7.41 million in 1981.
Source: Motorcycle city's slump, automobile town's rebound highlight unevenness of recovery Mainichi Japan May 30, 2010 http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100529p2a00m0na009000c.html

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The number of Japanese travelling overseas decreased

the number of Japanese tourists to foreign countries shrunk for the third straight year to 15.446 million, down 3.4 percent from the year earlier.
Source: Foreign visitors to Japan decline in 2009 for first time in 6 years January 26, 2010 Mainichi Japan http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100126p2a00m0na005000c.html

Salaried workers in Japan saw their lunch expenses decrease

Japanese salaried workers daily lunch expenses average 500 yen, the lowest in the past decade, amid the anemic economy...down 90 yen from last year, marking the third straight year of decline, Shinsei Financial Co. said.
Source: Salaried workers' daily lunch expenses average Y500 Wednesday 09th June, 2010 Japan Today http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/salaried-workers-daily-lunch-expensesaverage-y500

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The interest rate on 35 year mortgages decreased

The (interest) rate on Flat 35 mortgages of less than 20 years will slip 0.15 point to 1.87%, falling below 2% for the first time.
Source: Flat 35 Mortgage Rates To Hit All-Time Lows In Sept Thursday, September 2, 2010 The Nikkei http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100902D02JFN01.htm

The number of Japanese studying abroad decreased

Signs of retreat from the world dont stop at the economic. Take the fall in the number of Japanese students going abroad, which has been declining since 2004. Roughly 80,000 Japanese students now study outside the country, far fewer than, say, Korea with less than half Japans population. The fall has been particularly sharp in the US: 34,000 Japanese students went to American universities in 2007, down from 47,000 in 1997.
Source: When Japan offered to pay thousands of Latin American immigrants to go back home and never seek work there again, questions were once again raised about the countrys attitude to foreigners DAVID MCNEILL The Irish Times Friday, February 5, 2010 http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/innovation/2010/0205/1224263701250.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of new mortgages taken out decreased

According to the Bank of Japan, new mortgages were down 4.6%, falling to JPY14.15trn, which is the lowest loan level in 9 yearsAs a result, banks are offering very competitive home mortgage rates -with SBI Sumishin Net Bank offering a variable rate loan of just 1.075% annual interest at present.
Source: Terries Take TT-569 -- World's Fastest Donki, e-biz news from Japan June 15, 2010 http://www.japaninc.com/tt569_Don-Quijote

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The number of foreign movies subtitled in Japanese decreased

The number of Western movies subtitled in Japanese is rapidly declining as 3-D movies become more common and viewers grow more averse to reading text on screen....Instead, many theaters are opting to show films dubbed in Japanese...Nowadays, many Japanese viewers are complaining how difficult it is to read subtitles on screen, movie distributors said..."Many theaters have started saying they don't need the subtitled versions anymore because dubbed versions can draw more audiences," said a sales representative at a major movie distributor.
Source: Viewers of Western movies tiring of subtitles, prefer dubbed-voice versions By SHINICHI SATAKE Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100831f2.html

Land prices decreased

Land prices as of April 1 have fallen in 82% of 150 locations in major Japanese cities from three months earlier...In Japans three major urban areas, prices either rose or stayed flat in 18 locations out of 65 in the Tokyo area, while prices remained unchanged in five of 39 locations in the Osaka area. Prices fell in all 14 locations in the Nagoya region.
Source: Land prices fall in 82% of observation points Friday 28th May, 2010 http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/land-prices-fall-in-82-of-observation-points

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Number of holidays taken by workers decreased

..workers in Japan on average use only 8 1/2 days of their paid holidays or 47.4 percent of their total average annual entitlement according to the latest data from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Source: Moves afoot to make Japanese holidays a pleasure not a pain By TOMOKO OTAKE The Japan Times: Sunday, March 21, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20100321x3.html

The amount spent on domestic trips decreased

In 2009, people in Japan spent an average of 32,000 yen each on domestic trips, down 5,000 yen from 2000.
Source: Travel Web sites' free tours highlight deflation in Japan's travel industry Mainichi Japan April 16, 2010 http://mdn.mainichi.jp/travel/news/20100416p2a00m0na012000c.html

Full time workers wages decreased

In 2009, full-time workers grossed an average monthly wage of 294,500 yen ($3,130), including allowances, but excluding overtime pay and bonuses, according to the labor ministry. The figure represents the fourth consecutive year of decrease. Also, the margin of decrease, 1.5 percent from 2008, was the largest since 1976 when comparable data became available.
Source: EDITORIAL: The role of labor unions 2010/05/01 The Asahi Shimbun, April 30 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201004300385

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain The consumer price index decreased

For all of fiscal 2009 that ended in March, the index declined 1.6 percent from the previous year to 100.0, the steepest fall since fiscal 1971, when comparable figures were available. It was the first annual drop in five years, the ministry said.
Source: CPI drops 1.2% in March THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/05/01 http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201004300402.html

The price of mens business suits decreased

Discount store operator Don Quijote Co. said Monday that it has launched a private-label men's suit priced at 4,900 yen...The Plus Passion suit, available in black and navy blue, consists of 65% polyester and 35% rayon. Its fabric is cut using an automated process at a Chinese factory, helping to keep the price down. To date, the cheapest suit marketed by a mass retailer has reportedly been a 5,000 yen Seiyu GK offering.
Source: Don Quijote Unveils Private-Label Y4,900 Men's Suit The Nikkei Tuesday, May 11, 2010 http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100511D10JFA04.htm

Wages for temporary workers continued to decline

Employment agency Recruit found through its survey that the nation's average income for temp workers in June was JPY1,450, the 24th straight monthly drop.
Source: TT-580 Poverty Amongst Young Adults, e-biz news from Japan September 7, 2010 http://www.japaninc.com/tt580_poverty_amongst_young_adults Keep up to date with Japan at JapaneseCustomer.com www.japanesecustomer.com

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japans fertility rate

Japans , (fertility rate in 2008)... among the second-lowest group of countries at 1.3
Source: Japan, San Marino top life expectancy list: WHO Tuesday 11th May, 2010 http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japan-san-marino-top-life-expectancy-list-who

Prices for game consoles decreased

Nintendo Co., the world's biggest maker of portable video-game players, said Wednesday it plans to cut the price of its DS hand-held device for the first time in Japan on June 19 to bolster stagnating domestic sales....... "This price reduction is aimed at spurring demand and bringing us closer to our goal of a DS in every home," said Yasuhiro Minagawa, a spokesman at the Kyoto-based firm.
Source: Nintendo to cut DS price in Japan as much as 21% Bloomberg Thursday, June 3, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100603n2.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japanese college students decreased their consumption in 2010

Japanese college students are more interested in moisturizer, cleansing scrubs and beauty salons than they are in cars, according to a survey of 1,600 men and women by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association last year. The group wanted to find out why vehicle demand was sliding. Sales last year plunged 9.3 percent to 4.6 million vehicles, the lowest level since 1977.
Source: Feminized Japanese Men Boost Kao Sales as Women Pamper Less January 26, 2010 By Naoko Fujimura Bloomberg http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-01-26/-feminized-japanese-men-boost-kao-sales-aswomen-pamper-less.html

The average body mass index of Japanese women continued to decrease

Japanese government data show that since 1984, all age categories of women from 20 to 59 have become more thin (BMI of less than 18.5). The percentage of those women who are overweight (BMI of more than 25) has declined, as well.
Source: Body image, diet pushing Japanese women to lose weight By Blaine Harden Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, March 4, 2010; 8:30 AM Special correspondent Akiko Yamamoto contributed to this report. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/04/AR2010030401436_pf.html

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Helping you to attract, manage & retain Japanese men under 25 years of age are shrinking

Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) statistics show that young men in Japan are shrinking men aged 25 or younger weigh less and have shorter legs than they did 15 years ago while women of the same age are taller, heftier and bigger limbed.
Source: Wait long enough and daikon legs get fashionable By KAORI SHOJI Wednesday, March 10, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ek20100310ks.html

Rice consumption decreased

The average rice consumption per person in Japan was just 58.5 kg in 2009, compared with 118.3 kg at the peak in 1962.
Source: Sanyo gloats as Gopan turns top breadwinner By MAI IIDA Kyodo News The Japan Times: Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/nb20101229a2.html

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