Fulsome figures

Back to Contents of Issue: December 2003

On networking, booze and battling the blahs

by Leo Lewis

WHO NEEDS EMAIL? WHEN Foval Corporation asked operators of small- and medium-sized businesses the ways and means of expanding their range of personal networking, 45.9 percent advised: Just try to meet as many people as you can. Other advice: Practice courtesy and good manners, 45.1 percent; be willing to give information in order to get it, 29.5 percent; always follow up after a meeting, 15.4 percent; always keep on top of personal networking, 14.9 percent; strive to identify the key person in a group, 11.0 percent; show awareness of fashion and good grooming, 9.0 percent; make a strong first impression, 8.1 percent; and always request to be introduced to others, 8.1 percent.

A STORY ON THE evolution of female breast dimensions in the October 15 issue of Dacapo -- a pretty staid biweekly magazine with many female editors -- noted that the average chest measurement among third year high school students swelled from 79.8 cm in 1950 to 82.6 cm by 1995. That represents a half-centimeter increase over previous figures from five years earlier. The prefectures with the most well endowed women have taken a major geographical shift over the past half century. In 1950, the largest mammaries were to be found among girls in Kyoto (where the average circumference was 81.1 cm) and Shiga (81 cm). This moved to Fukushima (82.7 cm) and Miyagi/Iwate (both with 83.2 cm) by 1974, and continued its northward movement with Iwate (84 cm) and Akita (83.6 cm) in 1994. Chiba/Miyagi were third with 83.5 cm. The cause of this change may be the greater consumption of soya products, which are said to stimulate the secretion of female hormones.

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF Population and Social Security Research polled adult males on the pros and cons of being married. Among the positives, peace of mind led the pack with 37 percent, followed by: can have children and family (26 percent); can live with a person you love (16 percent) and can obtain societal trust and approval (12 percent). By contrast, 63 percent said being single leaves you free to do what you like. Others pointed out that not having a spouse and kids leaves you with more money to spend (24 percent); that you can take things easy, since there are no family responsibilities (24 percent); that it's easier to make friends with a wide variety of people (20 percent). Only 8 percent cited the freedom to make friends with members of the opposite sex.

IT'S GETTING MORE EXPENSIVE to keep regular staff on the payroll. More companies are using temporary workers. When the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training asked companies for their reasons, 76.6 percent said it lowered their personnel costs. 48.8 percent said it allowed them to obtain specialists. Other factors included adjusting the work force in response to the changing economic climate (46.9 percent); conducting specialized tasks (46.1 percent) and dealing with seasonal fluctuations in demand (38.2 percent). Still, 71.2 percent said a full-time staff offers the best assurance of procuring quality human resources. 44.9 percent thought it was the most practical way to distribute the workload; 44 percent believe it is the best means of improving work processing capabilities. "People just get along better if they're all regular staff," agreed 34.6 percent.

WITH ALL THE ENERGY they expend on social activities and designer goods, you'd think Tokyo's young females would be full of vim and vigor. But confectioner Meiji Seika discovered that women in their 20s are as susceptible to the blahs as the rest of us. The most common complaint, voiced by 62.9 percent, was fatigue. (Wait till they start raising kids ... ) This was followed by stiff neck and shoulders (60.2 percent), qualms over weight gain (46.3 percent); change in body type (45 percent); feeling stressed out (44.5 percent); wrinkles or skin blemishes (42.8 percent); lower back pain (35.7 percent); lackluster skin (33.0 percent); rough skin (32.1 percent) and chills (29.3 percent).

WHAT'S JAPAN'S MOST POPULAR alcoholic beverage? 72 percent of 4,546 respondents to a survey conducted by Hi-Ho Marketing Service said it loud and clear: Beer! Other popular beverages, in descending order (multiple replies were given) included malt beverages (69.1 percent); wines (62.3 percent); pre-mixed canned cocktails (59.5 percent); Japanese sake (42.1 percent). The survey also wanted to know if drinking habits had changed over the past year. The percentage of those who said they are drinking far less was 7.3 percent, exceeding those who said they are drinking much more (4.7 percent). But 20.5 percent conceded their consumption had "gone up a bit," as opposed to 17.3 percent whose guzzling had declined. (Were they drunk?) Exactly half said no change. Cheers! @

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