Do Your Employees Feel Valued? Will the Inbound Tourism Boom Continue? For the first time in 44 years, in the first half of 2015 there were more inbound tourists than Japanese going overseas. The forecast for inbound tourists for 2015 is now around 18m. Terrie's Take Building Dreams Out of a Baklava Bakery Hasel Foods is the only company in Japan making freshly-cooked Baklava. It is all hand-made and requires years of study and practice to make well. 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. Gold and the Punchbowl Gold and the Punchbowl I have used the metaphor of Japan as a bumblebee before and while I believe that the story on Japanese savings may just be a little more complicated than many believe...

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Japan Buys Up US Treasuries

A victim of its own actions, yields on Japanese debt have been pinned near zero ever since the Bank of Japan embarked on its aggressive bond buying program. Europe isn’t much of an option too, as yields turned negative this year on the region’s own quantitative easing.

China Announces 2nd Rate Cut In 4 Months

On Saturday, the People's Bank of China announced that it will cut the benchmark deposit and loan interest rates by 25 basis points starting 1st March. That would put the one-year deposit rate at 2.5 percent and the one-year lending rate at 5.35 percent.

Greece Extends Lifeline

Eurozone finance ministers agreed to extend Greece’s bailout deal for another four months, provided it came up with a list of reforms by this week. Under the deal, Greece will still live under the EU/IMF bailout which Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras had pledged to scrap.

Crunch Time For Greece

This week, euro-area finance ministers prepare to reconvene in Brussels to try and break an impasse over financing Europe’s most indebted state, Greece.

Strong Signal of US Rate Hike?

U.S. non-farm payrolls increased by 257,000 in January, capping a total gain of 1 million workers since November, the strongest three-month increase in 17 years.

Japan About to Overtake Korea as an Inbound Tourist Destination?

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea has knocked the stuffing out of the tourism industry there. Apparently the number of Chinese tourists fell by 54% in June.

Are the Chinese Buying Up Japan? E-biz news from Japan.

Sales of residential property to Chinese and Taiwanese are up 70% in the first quarter of 2015, according to leading Taiwan listed realtor, Sinyi Realty.

Airbnb To Become Legal in Japan After All?

The gist of a meanwhile deleted article on Yahoo Japan News was that it was highly likely that short-term hosting of private rooms to travelers would become legal, under the framework of the Special Zones law.

Big Shakeup in the Loyalty Points Sector. E-biz news from Japan

This last week, Itochu entered into an exclusive license with California-based Ifeelgoods, the USA's leading online digital rewards company, to start offering digital content to recipients here in Japan.

Narita Terminal 3 - Possibly the Worst New Airport in Asia

It almost seems like there is a group controlling the Narita Airport governing body that has gone to significant lengths to build an abomination called Terminal 3, as a means of undermining the LCCs.