On Meru Magu

The newsletter is great and timely for me. We're an international manufacturer of telecoms equipment and have a small representative office in Japan. I just returned from a trip there to begin jump- starting our marketing efforts. One of the marketing activities I plan to do is use Nikkei Communications online database to promote our newly created Japanese language Web site. The article about Meru Magu confirmed what I had always suspected about email in Japan. Thanks for the tips.

Ilan Seidner
RAD Data Communications


A Hankering for Games

Dear Sirs,

I'm interested in the handheld and video game console markets, especially hardware development and innovations. Given the upcoming releases of XBox and GameCube this year, I wonder if you are focusing on this?


REGARDING: ++ VIEWPOINT: DoCoMo's New Policy Has Foreigners Fuming

I would not be too hard on NTT DoCoMo. I am the managing director of a Japanese company in Germany and tried to get a mobile phone as a foreigner in Germany. I was refused because a visa must be valid for a FULL year. The problem is that the German working visa is only valid for a year. This means that if you don't go on the day you receive your visa, it is impossible to obtain a mobile phone here. I ended up purchasing a pre-paid one as it was my only option. Just FYI. Regards, Robert Bouwman

Robert Bouwman


JIN 176: NTT Docomo Policy / Vodaphone

I read with interest your article in JIN 176 on NTT DoCoMo policy with respect to non-permanent residents. This is similar to , but in some ways not quite as harsh as , what appears to be Vodaphones policy in the UK regarding non-permanent residents. At this point I should say that my knowledge is based purely on the related experience of those who have been on the receiving end of this policy, however the starting point for NPR's under that policy seems to be that Vodaphone want all calls to be paid for in advance.


Wireless Lights Up

Why Japanese Is Much Better Than English comments = For a while now, Nokia mobiles have had "predictive text input"... this simplifies input of email/sms messages and speeds up replies. It was a joy to use a Keitai with it, and now I'm sad I'm back to a crappy DoCoMo without it. C'mon Japan! Get with it!

Chay Harley



Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your newsletters. Out of the many that lob in my inbox the Japan Inc is amongst the most interesting and useful. Many of your articles are absolutely spot on! Keep up the good work! Best Regards Paul Dobie

Paul Dobie
Access Japan Pty Ltd


Internet Withdrawl in Akita

Justin - I enjoyed your article on trying to get online in Tohoku. Actually, I've sat in the very spot of your Morioka Mr. Donuts picture many times, Toshiba Dynabook open, wishing I had a wireless card - I was a long term resident of Morioka, now based in Tokyo. I assume the electronics shop you were referring to is Denkodo, just a block down and around the corner. Thanks again for the article - a good read. Sean

J. Sean Bennett
Mori Building Co., Ltd.


RE: ++ Viewpoint: How Much is an Innovative Engineer Worth?

Sir, Regarding your article in JIN 197 "How much is an innovative engineer worth?" I take the liberty of sharing some of my experience and insights with you. I spent 4 years as a design engineer in a Japanese company (Sumitomo Group) where they demanded a minimum of 3 patent applications a year from each engineer. They paid me of the order of a 500yen for two of them which were hardly worth the paper they were written on and worse I suppose a few bob was spent on research and filing and they probably never came to anything anyway.



Japan needs to seriously come up with several ambitious reform efforts and focus on the future with cutting edge intelligence and committment. Thank you.



I Learn So Much From Your Newsletter-Thank You!

Dear editors, This is an unsolicited testimonial from a regular reader of your letter. I attended your seminar a year ago in Honolulu as a guest from Hawaii Pacific University. I teach Accounting. Many of my best students are from Japan. Your newsletter has provided me with regular insights into the political and economic issues of interest to these students. Your comments allow me to understand the operations of business in Japan in a way which has not been possible by reading a variety of other business publications.



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