September was quite a month to take over the reins at J@pan Inc magazine. As we went to print, the world’s markets were still reeling from the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and the fallout that followed. Japan’s leaders, from both the political and business worlds, were calling crisis meetings to decide how best to deal with the situation. Yasuo Fukuda was downplaying the situation, despite the fact that Aozora and five other Japanese banks were among Lehman’s top 10 unsecured creditors.
Japanese shares continued to tumble despite a bailout of insurer AIG and governments across the globe laid down contingency strategies in case any other major financial institutions tumbled.
And of course, Yasuo Fukuda resigned. The news of the former prime minister’s shock announcement was soon overtaken by the turmoil in the financial sector. Meanwhile, Japan’s biggest steelmakers made their first moves to tackle the world’s most powerful mining companies head on, attempting their first acquisition of iron ore assets in Brazil. Check out our cover story "Steelmakers Unite".
Also, Tobias Harris’ piece on the US election looks at what the world’s most powerful country, under the leadership of either Barrack Obama or John McCain, would mean for Japan.
With "The Socialization of Capitalism", we also take a look at the US’s increasingly interventionist reactions to it’s economic woes and Japan’s planned role in a currency exchange.
Back home, the nation’s real estate companies continue to fall as credit dries up following the crunch abroad. Anna Kitanaka delves into that issue in "Cutting off dead wood?".
But it’s not all doom and gloom, plenty of people are still doing business as usual and a big part of that is, of course, corporate entertainment. In this month’s special, Hugh Ashton looks at the modern face of corporate entertainment in Japan, while Sarah Noorbakhsh finds out what’s happening in company employee entertainment these days in Tokyo.
Also I should say thanks to art director Phil Couzens for his redesign of the magazine this month. I hope readers enjoy the new streamlined, more topical, monthly J@pan Inc and look forward to hearing your feedback. October is going to be an interesting month in the world of business so let’s see what it brings.
Prepress by Sagawa Insatsu KK
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