Latest articles

Insurer's rejection lands another blow to Takata's credibility

Updated : 17.05.2016 / Category Capsule

Distrust of Takata Corp. is snowballing, fueling concerns that the embattled automotive parts maker might not be able to recover from an ongoing scandal regarding faulty airbags it supplied for tens of millions of vehicles.

Yanai the main culprit in decline of Uniqlo empire

Updated : 08.05.2016 / Category Business Tribunals

Who is most to blame for the recent plunge in the stock price of Fast Retailing Co. (operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing store chain)? Investors have likely looked on aghast as Fast Retailing's stock price has fallen by more than half its peak value—previously pegged at more than ¥60,000—in just nine months.

From the time the firm's stock was priced at a record ¥61,970 on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on July 30 last year, it has been in decline, finally dipping below the ¥40,000 level on Jan. 7, when a drop in revenue for the first quarter from September to November 2015 was reported.

Mitsubishi "playing dead" in battle for trading house crown

Updated : 05.05.2016 / Category Economy


The wails of misery coming from many section chiefs and personnel in higher positions at major trading house Mitsubishi Corp. have been growing. "Every time a newspaper or magazine runs a story mentioning our company's losses, my wife starts nagging me about what will happen to my income," one grumbled.

Stung by the plunge in commodity prices, Mitsubishi was forced to book a consolidated impairment loss of ¥430 billion for the year to March 31, 2016. This was Mitsubishi's first ever annual loss since its establishment in 1954, and the company suffered a group net loss of ¥150 billion for fiscal 2015, against an earlier estimate of a ¥300 billion profit. This turnaround stunned Japanese industry circles. While rival Mitsui & Co. also expects to post its first loss of ¥70 billion for the same period, Mitsubishi's slump has even larger ramifications.

Ono Pharmaceutical's sky-high pricing of cancer drugs fuels criticism

Updated : 05.05.2016 / Category Capsule

Ono Pharmaceutical Co.'s stock price continues to rise on the back of ongoing expectation of increased profits following the firm's co-development of the epoch-making immunotherapeutic cancer drug Opdivo, in conjunction with U.S. pharmaceutical firm Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Mitsubishi Motors fuel-consumption scandal plunging subcontractors into crisis

Updated : 03.05.2016 / Category Capsule

Problems engendered by Mitsubishi Motors Co.'s manipulation of fuel-consumption data are impacting seriously on the motor giant's subcontracting firms. One association of Mitsubishi Motors subcontractors comprises about 180 parts suppliers, following in the wake of the Kashiwa-kai, a similar organization of subcontractors that disbanded in 2002.

Glass ceilings prevail at Japan's top banks; BTMU trails the field

Updated : 03.05.2016 / Category Economy

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (SMBC), 4.3 percent; The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), 0 percent; Mizuho Bank, 0 percent; and Resona Bank, 0 percent. No, this is not a list of interest rates—rather, these figures represent the dearth of female board members (not including executive officers) at each institution.

The Financial Services Agency issued a Cabinet Office ordinance in October 2014 requiring companies to disclose the number of executives by gender and the ratio of female board members in their respective securities reports issued after March 2015. The new rule, aimed at making it easier to identify the presence of female executives at the corporate level, is part of the Abe administration's efforts to give more women increased societal opportunities.

Yokohama Rubber's purchase of Dutch tire maker raising eyebrows

Updated : 02.05.2016 / Category Capsule

Yokohama Rubber Co.'s mergers and acquisitions have unleashed a flurry of questions from those involved in the markets. At the end of March, the company decided to purchase Dutch tire maker Alliance Tire Group (ATG). By the end of July, the firm is expected to acquire all of ATG's stocks—held by American investment funds, and others—for $1.18 billion (around ¥129 billion).

Kumamoto earthquakes expose extent of danger on JR Central's Tokaido Shinkansen line

Updated : 02.05.2016 / Category Capsule

The cessation of all services on the Kyushu Shinkansen line following the Kumamoto earthquakes has had a massive impact on the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central). During one of the quakes, a deadhead train came off the rails in Kumamoto city, though staff aboard the train were uninjured as the train was only traveling at 80 kilometers per hour. Anti-derailment guards were not installed in the area where the accident occurred.

BOJ, FSA upping vigilance on real-estate loans

Updated : 01.05.2016 / Category Capsule

The Bank of Japan and the Financial Services Agency could pull the trigger on worsening market conditions—a fear that has recently come to the fore in the world of real estate. Worries started at the end of March when the BOJ released a report titled "Issues Involved in Regional Banking Institutions' Loans for House-rental Operators and their Credit Management."

Beijing puts the squeeze on foreign companies in China

Updated : 26.04.2016 / Category Sentaku in The Japan Times

China's economic crisis has lately been exacerbated further by sluggish exports, excessive production capacity, mounting bad debts accumulated in both private and public financial institutions, and massive outflows of capital.

As Beijing tightens its grip on capital transactions, Japanese firms are being adversely impacted. Their Chinese subsidiaries are facing difficulties in their export and import operations. It also has become increasingly hard for them to pay loans, dividends and compensation for services to their parent companies.

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