Back to Contents of Issue: December 2002

Ground Zero in retrospect. How did the events of September 11, 2001, affect your way of thinking? The Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living put this question to 381 Tokyoites between the ages of 18 and 76. Did they now think that a terrorist incident could occur even in Japan? Yes, said an overwhelming 96 percent of respondents. What were some of the other things 9/11 made these people think about? Well, 94 percent were reminded of the sanctity of human life; 93 percent recognized the need for addressing issues that led people to commit acts of terror; 88 percent would never forget the sight on TV of the World Trade Center collapsing; 86 percent came to believe that Japan should assume a greater role in working for world peace; 80 percent felt saddened when watching the war in Afghanistan and gave greater thought to safety when selecting products or services; 76 percent realized that the world has become a place where one could die at any moment; 71 percent felt that one should do the things one wants to in life, rather than regret not doing them; and the same percentage had a greater interest in the Islamic world than before. Oh yes, when asked how much they were willing to pay for their personal safety, men on average said JPY387,469 and women, a considerably higher JPY2,558,035.

Bring on the pixels. During 2002, domestic shipments of digital cameras are expected to exceed 6 million units, surpassing the figure for film cameras. One of the factors in the success of digital is that females appear to be driving the market, which manufacturer Konica attributes to the availability of more inexpensive, easy-to-use models. This was borne out when Konica commissioned a survey of 500 adults ranging in age from their teens through their 50s. It turns out that more than 90 percent of the female subjects currently owning a digital camera have been using them for less than five years, and of these, 49.2 percent said they had acquired a camera within the previous 12 months. This figure was about 15 percent higher than the percentage for males: 34.8 percent.

Whiz kids. Who are the youngest presidents of Japan's publicly listed corporations? Kazuhiko Muraki, prez of Crayfish, a Toshima-ward based Internet hosting service aimed at small- and medium-sized companies, seems to be the youngest, at a mere 25. Here, according to Toyo Keizai magazine, are some other examples of Japan's business prodigies, with age and name of company in parentheses: Takashi Ono (28, ICF); Shin Fujita (29, Cyberagent); Takafumi Horie (29, On the Edge); Masayuki Shichida, (30, Softbrain); Hirotaka Fukuoka (30, Ergo Brains); Shinji Mitani (31, Mitani Sekisan); Kotaro Nakamoto (32,Nihon Seima); Atsushi Ozaki (32, Daiwa Reiki Kogyo); and Hidehisa Onda (32, Zei Plus).

Illegally parked. According to Weekly Playboy magazine, over the 10-year period from 1992 to the end of 2001, 2,065,600 cars were ordered towed off the streets of Tokyo by cops from the city's 96 police precincts. The magazine estimates that 12 truck companies in this business rake in JPY653 million a year in fines and towing costs. In which parts of the Big Mikan are illegally parked cars most likely to be towed away by a wrecker? First is Shinjuku, where 77,800 got impounded. The remaining top 10, in descending order, are Shibuya (74,913), Azabu (69,905), Akasaka (61,127), Ueno (57,258), Ikebukuro (53,221), Tsukiji (48,795), Honjo in Sumida ward (47,691), Manseibashi in Akihabara (42,178) and Fukagawa in Koto ward (40,654).

Young digs. Rental News, a magazine that lists properties for rent, polled 3,483 single, salaried office workers in their 20s and 30s about which train station they preferred to live near in the metropolitan area. The top choice was in less-than-elegant Kawasaki City. Musashi Kosugi station (Toyoko Line) gained 5.36 percent of the responses. It was followed by Naka Meguro (Toyoko and Hibiya lines), with 4.04 percent, and Nakano (JR Chuo and Sobu), with 3.89 percent. Rounding out the top 10 are Ikebukuro (3.31%), Ebisu (3.16), Koenji (3.09), Shibuya (2.87), Kichijoji (2.79), and Ogikubo (2.72), with four tied for 10th: Jiyugaoka, Mitaka, Shinjuku and Yokohama, all with 2.65 percent.

Work skills. A survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare asked 3,153 companies employing 100 or more workers what sort of human resources they desired most to help them deal with the era of globalization. Sharing first place, both with 6.8 percent, were people who were up to date on new product development technology, and those who could develop, manage and apply systems. The remaining top 10 were rounded out by: staff with skills in customer development technology (6.6%), IT business applications (6.3), familiarity with international standards (2.7), foreign languages (2.5), personnel management (2.1), overseas matters (1.6), and new accounting procedures (1.3).

Low priority. The Japan Productivity Center for Socioeconomic Development surveyed 2,669 publicly listed companies (only 282 responded) regarding outlays for employee mental health. Of these, the largest response -- 34.8 percent -- was less than JPY1,000 per employee per year. Another 29.1 percent replied that they spent between JPY1,000 to JPY3,000. Expenditures of more than JPY10,000 were cited by only 1.1 percent of the respondents. However, future outlays appear more likely to go up than down, as 32.3 percent of the companies said they expected to pay more while only 1.4 percent planned to cut the figures.

Buyers and sellers. The latest survey of 2,714 Net users by IPSe Marketing Inc. determined that 77 percent had shopped via the Net, and 55 percent had participated in Net auctions. Among respondents to the survey, conducted July 10-13, 57.6 percent were females. The top three categories of items purchased were fashion items (35.5%), appliances and cameras (19.1), and toys or games (18.8). Of items sold, the top three were fashion items (37.1), tickets and cash substitutes (34.8), and printed matter (27.7). About 10 percent of those making purchases reported some type of trouble, as opposed to 20 percent of sellers at auctions. @

Note: The function "email this page" is currently not supported for this page.