The Labor Market -- Below the Surface

Illustration: Japan's Foreign WorkforceBy Florence Rau and Gabriele Vogt

Japan’s Foreign Workforce

Ronaldo N. is waiting. Waiting for a phone call that would bring him back to the construction site where he used to work for 12 years. In December he was temporarily discharged from his employment. For the time being, he has tried to sustain his family of four by packing lunch boxes in a convenience store. “My wife and I were packing lunch boxes even on New Year’s Eve,” he says in broken Japanese.


Innovation -- Saitama City Spreads its Wings

Saitama City MapSaitama City Technology Brand companies use smarts to position themselves on the world stage.

Situated just north of Tokyo, Saitama City is placed, geographically, and has placed itself, technologically, in a unique position. The city, with its extensive transportation infrastructure, serves as the gateway to eastern Japan.


Cutting Through the Storm

James GowJames GowBy Michael Condon

James Gow and FXOnline ride the waves of volatility

Noon, late February 2009, Tokyo. It’s lunchtime in the Onarimon district of the capital and hundreds of uniformly dark suited salarymen flood onto the streets in search of lunch. The popular ramen shops have lines going out the door and a few businessmen too slow out the door wander reluctantly towards the local McDonald’s.



Elections -- Unlocking Democracy

Internet in election campaignsBy Takaaki Ohta

Internet electioneering and Japan’s political process.

Political speeches—a staple of many democratic election processes—have not been allowed to play a major role in Japanese elections.



Sustainability -- Edo Eco

Illustration: RecyclingBy Thomas Daniell

Increasing self sufficiency

The idealized self-sufficiency of Edo Japan is no longer tenable. For true sustainability, everything removed must be replenished.


Industry -- Global Sensitivity

By Kozo Kiyota

The influence of multinational firms in Japanese trade.

Multinational firms directly employ nearly 40 percent of workers and have approximately 94 percent share of Japanese exports.


Real Estate -- REITs

By Hugh Ashton

Some light at the end of the tunnel?

The Japanese real estate and property developer worlds, like so much of the financial world, appear to be in a state of crisis. Residential property developers, builders, etc. appear to be dropping like flies—almost every day seems to bring news of another failure in this area.



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