Arts Sponsorship -- Advertising in Tough Times

By Tokyo Sinfonia Music Director Robert Rÿker

Advertising in tough times

Performing arts sponsorship is big business. Despite the gloomy economy and impending recession, corporations continue to spend on arts sponsorships.


Executive Interview -- Business Class for Banking

Adrien WattelAdrien WattelBy Rob Churcher

J@pan Inc talks to HSBC Premier Financial Service (PFS) Relationship Manager Adrien Wattel about taking on the high-end Japanese retail banking market.


Manufacturing -- Shifting Gears

By Norifumi Kawai

Keiretsu corporate networks are innate to the Japanese auto sector, but could this system finally be changing?


Entrepreneurs -- Challenging Perceptions

Illustration Female EntrepreneurBy Marilyn Helms

How one female entrepreneur made it work for her.

Can Japanese women find career success and personal satisfaction through new venture creation? Professor Shiho Futagami and I addressed this question in our recently published case study of Digimom Workers, a successful female start-up company in Japan.


Entrepreneurs -- Dipping From the Well

Illustration: Female EntrepreneurshipBy Shiho Futagami

The significance of female entrepreneurship in the Japanese economy.

One economic solution for reversing Japan’s financial challenges is female entrepreneurship. These independent businesswomen are emerging outside the traditional Japanese management but remain Japan’s greatest untapped human resource.


The Labor Market -- Poles Apart

Illustration: WorkforceBy Wataru Nakazawa

The stratification of the Japanese workforce.

Over the 2008/2009 holiday period, the reality of Japan’s non-regular employment system set in. The nation tuned in to the television news to see report after report on a temporary village of haken workers (dispatched workers) camped in Hibiya Park in the center of Tokyo. The flood of newly unemployed and homeless entered the park as the fallout from the Lehman’s collapse and the unprecedented recession that followed spread to factory floor.


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.




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