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Nissan boss foolhardy in bailing out struggling Mitsubishi Motors

Updated : 28.06.2016 / Category Corporate Investigations

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In May, Nissan Motor Corp. moved with lightning speed to bail out the embattled Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which was plunged into yet another battle for survival—its third to date—after admitting three weeks earlier it had falsified fuel efficiency test data.

Nissan will take de facto control of Mitsubishi with a 34 percent stake in the company after it completes its acquisition of 506.6 million shares at a cost of ¥237 billion by the year's end. Nissan will become Mitsubishi's largest shareholder—boasting a larger stake than any other top Mitsubishi Group company—thus effectively obtaining management rights. Four of Mitsubishi's 11 board members are expected to hail from Nissan.

Abe's failed submarine bid

Updated : 23.06.2016 / Category Sentaku in The Japan Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trumpeted plan to export conventionally powered submarines to Australia suddenly came to an unsuccessful end when Canberra decided to place the order with a French maker.

This was not merely a transitory case of Japan failing to sell a piece of defense-related equipment abroad. Abe had treated the submarine export deal as a top priority in his attempts both to counter China's maritime ambitions and to push his economic growth strategy.

Obama's nuclear deception

Updated : 19.06.2016 / Category Sentaku in The Japan Times

U.S. President Barack Obama deeply impressed the Japanese public with the speech he delivered in the world's first atom-bombed city of Hiroshima on May 27. But on his home turf, he is clandestinely pushing a plan to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The plan, with its development cost estimated at $1 trillion over the next 30 years, is aimed at downsizing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and improving their mobility with new delivery systems and platforms.

Yet another Mizuho executive ends up in hot water

Updated : 07.06.2016 / Category Economy

Another month, another Mizuho Bank executive behaves disgracefully—and adds a fresh twist to the ongoing reshaping of the bank's awkward internal balance of power.

This time, the executive's despicable conduct occurred at a party in April, a time of year when many Japanese companies welcome in a new batch of recruits and move employees to other departments. The party was held for Mr. M to celebrate his transfer to the head of Mizuho's Kashiwa branch. However, the party descended into pandemonium as M himself set new standards for how not to behave at an event being held in your name.

GPIF: an abode of demons

Updated : 30.05.2016 / Category Sentaku in The Japan Times

If a house is to be made sturdy enough to withstand a major earthquake, it must be built on a solid foundation. This metaphor is analogous to the Japanese public pension system. The system, even though it invests a large amount of money, now stands on a very shaky foundation known as the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF).

Labor watchdog inspecting Teikoku Databank's head office

Updated : 26.05.2016 / Category Capsule

Sentaku has previously reported on working conditions at branches of Teikoku Databank Ltd. that has the leading market research firm bordering on being a "black company"—a name applied to a company that violates labor laws and exploits its workers. The Labor Standards Inspection Office has launched investigations into conditions at these branches, and now we can reveal that the labor watchdog also recently started inspecting Teikoku Databank's head office in Aoyama, Tokyo.

Scrap for Okinawa gas stations sparks trouble in JX-TonenGeneral merger plan

Updated : 23.05.2016 / Category Capsule

A scrap over gas stations in Okinawa Prefecture is stirring up trouble in the planned business integration between JX Holdings Inc. and TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K.

Mitsui O.S.K. subsidiary sailing in rough waters as LNG ships face uncertain future

Updated : 22.05.2016 / Category Capsule

MOL LNG Transport Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., is having trouble making payments, dealing another blow to the Japanese shipping firm.

America: the top tax haven

Updated : 22.05.2016 / Category Sentaku in The Japan Times

Even though issues related to tax havens have made big headlines following the disclosure of the Panama Papers, little attention, if any, has been paid to the fact that the United States is now the world's biggest tax haven.

Indeed, Washington has pursued a strategy of destroying tax havens in such countries as Switzerland, establishing a system to absorb global money into the U.S. and helping U.S.-headquartered multinationals avoid taxes.

Toyota puts TV personality over subsidiary Daihatsu in new vehicle launch

Updated : 21.05.2016 / Category Capsule

Toyota Motor Corp. will make Daihatsu Motor Co. a wholly owned subsidiary in August, but already Toyota's handling of its smaller counterpart has revealed a hefty dose of arrogance.

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