Japan’s new State Secrets Protection law Opportunities in the Coming Travel Boom What sectors will be hot in the upcoming travel boom? There are many, and all have to do with servicing the tourists or servicing the folks who service them. Terrie's Take Over-staffing as a Cultural Habit Most Japanese senior managers, no matter how entrepreneurial, are educated and conditioned to work in groups, and the idea of working alone in their Country Manager role doesn't feel to them like a "real" company. 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. Mastering the Art of Deadly Change Mastering the Deadly Art of Change Many businesses try to change...but few succeed. At best, a few buzzwords and new reports become part of the company’s structure. At worst, programs crash and burn...

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Japan holds its breath on casino bill

With the Japanese lower house of parliament currently debating a bill to legalise casino gambling, the subject of gambling is a trending topic in Japan right now. The bill is the culmination of ten years of lobbying - not least by former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara - and is seen by many as paving the way for the construction of some of the largest casino sites anywhere on earth.

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.

The Right To Be Forgotten, in Japan. E-biz news from Japan.

The Tokyo District Court ordered Google to remove search results that implied a man was connected to a criminal organization ten years ago. This case appears to be echoing the finding in a European court earlier this year.

Tatemae and Dengue Fever, e-biz news from Japan

A teenager was reportedly bitten by a mosquito at Yoyogi Park, and shocked local officials took immediate action and closed the park the next day, subsequently undertaking an intensive mosquito eradication campaign.

The Economy and the University Drop-out Rate, e-biz news from Japan

The numbers come from a recent education ministry survey, and show that 20.4% of the kids dropping out, an increase of about a quarter over the last 7 years, are doing so because of financial reasons.

Social Capital and Poverty in Japan. E-biz news from Japan.

Given that 16% of all Japanese children (about 2.6m kids) were apparently living in poverty in 2012, we are probably looking at almost a million households of 2-4 people who have to live on JPY2,680,000 a year.

What Will Recruit Spend Its IPO Billions On? E-biz news from Japan.

So why is Recruit going public? The Nikkei reckons that there are rumors that Recruit wants to do some major M&As. We think we can safely rule out much of that happening in Japan.