Japan’s new State Secrets Protection law Bad Loans Propaganda The Nikkei carried a feel-good article about Japan's top three banks had cut their Non-performing Loans (NPLs) to small and mid-size companies -- however, government propaganda has its own language and smell. Terrie's Take Invest Tokyo Looking Under the Wrong Rock? About the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's attempt to restore the population of foreign firms lost to the Lehman Shock and subsequently the 3/11 earthquake. Terrie's Take
The view from the Osaka Sky Observatory at night How to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka The best way to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka is to stay in a Wi-Fi enabled hostel or hotel. Surprisingly, you are more likely to get free Wi-Fi at the cheaper accommodation providers, like Hana Hostel or J Hoppers. Kombu-wrapped kamaboko from Iki Iki Toyamakan A Taste of Japan By Joan Bailey Melon-flavored ice cream from Hokkaido. Natamame (sword bean) tea from Hyogo. Mikan juice from Wakayama. Usually such unique regional items can only be savored by visiting the prefecture or city they are from. Negotiating a Promotion Negotiating A Promotion Asking for more money from an employer takes technique and those successful can come out ahead both in the eyes of their boss and in the additional pay they enjoy.

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A Matter of Trust

By Todd Wojnowski

“Trust me.” -- It’s perhaps the least-trustworthy sentence in existence—even children know to put their guards up when they hear it. There’s something diabolical in it that we connect with Hollywood villains and used car salesmen. Directly asking people to trust you is a sure way to tip off that they probably have no reason to, probably shouldn’t.

Kishiwada Castle

By Bonson Lam

The Stone Garden in Kishiwada Castle brings together the present and the past in a symbolic way. It was designed by Mirei Shigemori; a famous architect and designer who also built the Kokuan tea house in Kyoto.

The Customer Is God Delusion

By Philip Patrick

As an agnostic, I have never really felt comfortable with the whole “customer is God” philosophy. I know I’m supposed to feel charmed, but I can’t help experiencing mild embarrassment as I am showered with “welcomes” and “thank yous” and “I’ll be waiting for your next visits” by shop staff in Japan, often when I have only dropped into their store to get out of the rain. Basically, I don’t think I’ve really earned it.

Kyoto Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple

By Tomoko Kamishima

More than 800 stone statues sit close together at Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple. Splendid autumn leaves put their arms around the statues and give them a comforting hug. The location of today’s Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (northwest outskirts of Kyoto) was once a location used for open-air burial.

Anti-corruption Challenges in Asia, e-biz news from Japan

Interesting case going on in Vietnam at present. It involves the bribery of at least 4 and possibly as many as 14 Vietnam Railways Corporation (VRC) officials by a Japanese contracting firm called JTC.

Japan's Internet Wild West, e-biz news from Japan

Crowdsourcing is fine as a concept when you are dealing with digital files, but another thing all together when it comes to looking after helpless human beings.

Green Tea the Next Big Thing? E-biz news from Japan

Although almost all commercial tea apparently comes from the same bush, "Camellia Sinensis", it's the Japanese method of processing the leaves right after harvesting that give it the distinctive color and taste.

What if Japan Couldn't Import Food? E-biz news from Japan

What if Japan, because of global war, contamination, contagion, or extreme yen devaluation, suddenly couldn't get its normal food supply from abroad? Would this mean that Japan wouldn't be able to feed itself?

T'attitude Needs Change, E-biz news from Japan

In 2012 the mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, came out "full blast" with a policy that outlawed tattoos -- in the Osaka government at least. Specifically, he ordered a stop to city employees getting inked.