March 2017

Bomb ticking under North American project of JR Tokai subsidiary

Updated : 27.03.2017 / Category Capsule

The stock price of Nippon Sharyo, Ltd., a subsidiary of Central Japan Railway Co., has surged since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has touted a massive investment in the U.S. railway network.

But industry sources say Nippon Sharyo has a ticking bomb sitting under its U.S. project, which could make it difficult to receive new orders.

Hon Hai pushing Sharp to set up LCD factory in North America

Updated : 21.03.2017 / Category Capsule

Dark clouds are looming over a plan by Taiwan's Hon Hai group to construct a large liquid crystal display factory in North America with its Japanese subsidiary, Sharp Corporation, playing a central role.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Chairman Terry Gou announced the \800 billion plant construction plan in late January, but the group has not yet established a supply chain to procure equipment and components necessary to manufacture LCDs, informed sources said.

Employees of Japanese auto parts makers behind bars in U.S.

Updated : 15.03.2017

In the past six years, 64 employees from 39 Japanese auto parts markers were indicted for suspected violations of U.S. antitrust laws, and many of them remain behind bars across the United States, according to a Sentaku investigation.

These cases received scant media attention because many of the companies, including Denso Corporation, Furukawa Electric Co. and Bridgestone Corporation, generally do not publicize legal cases in the United States.

Ruling coalition reshuffle?

Updated : 13.03.2017 / Category Sentaku in The Japan Times

Four years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power, his administration continues to enjoy an unusually high approval ratings of more than 50 percent, and the prime minister's grip on power remains unrivaled. And as if he still isn't satisfied, Abe has begun to take steps to solidify the political foundation of his administration, causing new friction among political circles.

On Dec. 22, Lower House Speaker Tadamori Oshima, who hails from Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, complained about the high-handed manner with which the LDP rammed through the controversial bill to legalize casino resorts. Speaking to his close aides, Abe himself did not hide his displeasure with the way Oshima ran the proceedings during the extraordinary Diet session, notably his decision to delay the vote for ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact. Such an open spat between the prime minister and the Lower House speaker, who is customarily chosen from among senior lawmakers from the party in power, is unheard of.

Not all Nissan employees happy with first Japanese president in 17 years

Updated : 10.03.2017


Nissan Motor recently--and unexpectedly--announced Carlos Ghosn will step down as president and chief executive officer and be replaced by Hiroto Saikawa, the automaker's co-CEO, on April 1. Saikawa will become Nissan's first Japanese president in 17 years, but not all Nissan employees are thrilled about his appointment.

According to a Nissan insider, Saikawa frequently gives excessively detailed instructions, and many employees consider him pedantic.

Is the Kim Jong-un regime rock-solid?

Updated : 07.03.2017

As speculation rages about the brazen killing of Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur airport last month, some South Korean government sources are using this incident to glean insights on the state of the North Korea regime led by his half brother, Kim Jong-un.

They agree that the killing showed how confident Jong-un is about ruling the reclusive state.

"It is true that Jong-un has confidence in his actions," said a high-ranking South Korean official. "Such a [murder] cannot be carried out if his regime is unstable."

A grand plan: Handing the reins of Toyota Motor to Akio Toyoda's son

Updated : 01.03.2017

In an unprecedented move, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) has picked Toyota Motor Corporation Senior Managing Officer Shigeru Hayakawa to replace one of its vice chairs, Takeshi Uchiyamada, who also concurrently serves as Toyota's chairman of the board, when the latter's tenure expires in June 2017.

Hayakawa would be only the third person to become a Keidanren vice chair without having assumed the presidency of a member company, and the first ever that Toyota has sent to the influential business lobby without having helmed the carmaker.

When this news broke on February 6, Toyota announced Hayakawa would become an executive vice president as of April 1.