As we head into winter, things are continuing to look bleak on the economic front. At the time of print, the Big Three automakers in the US were doing their best to keep the auto industry, one of the greatest symbols of American industrialization, from collapse.
Back home, Toyota was also feeling a fair amount of discomfort. While it may not have been in the same proportions as its American counterparts, the drop in sales, particularly in the North American market, caused the biggest decline in profit in 18 years.
We examine the latest developments in the world economic crisis and look to see what the future might bring. Also on the financial front, Hugh Ashton investigates the Chinese investment fund SAFE, as it spreads across to our shores.
On the cover, we are running with an issue that is flooding the forums and chatrooms on the Japanese Web. We put illegal downloads and the wider issue of copyright infringement under the microscope as new laws are debated in Japan. Will your average 14-year-old, caught downloading ringtones, be hit with a civil lawsuit? J@pan Inc talks to some new media experts as well as the music industry to get their opinion.
This month is also our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) special. We look at the good and bad, with an examination of corporate charity trends and CSR window dressing as is practiced by some of the big names in Japan. We also examine the latest carbon trading schemes and the Japanese companies’ reaction to this.
In our lifestyle section, Sarah Noorbakhsh delves into the delights of Kyoto from a gastronomic perspective, while fashion expert Kevin Mcgue gets festive as he finds out what’s special for this season’s luxury gifts.
And in J@pan Inc news, we will be redeveloping our Website to bring readers more up-to-date analysis and comment on everything business-related in Japan. Make sure you check out www.japaninc.com over the next couple of months as it takes on a new look with more content than ever. The printed version of the magazine will take on a quarterly format and will be packed with features, so keep an eye out at bookstores or alternatively subscribe so that you don’t miss getting your copy. JI
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