TT-414 -- Tamiflu

The nurse filling out the prescription said that they would give our daughter Tamiflu. We were concerned at hearing that, since we'd heard the media reports about the drug and didn't want to take any chances. But the nurse told us that the alternative drug was "sold out" because everyone was looking to switch from Tamiflu. So it was either the Roche drug...

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TT-413 -- Hedging against the fall of the US dollar

Ever since the Chinese overtook Japan as the largest holder of foreign reserves, the US in particular has started to realize that having a bunch of foreign governments you're not necessarily friendly with holding your debt isn't such a good idea. While only Hillary Clinton has so far come out and said that the foreign holdings are a risk, perhaps she should have gone further and said...

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TT-412 -- 5.5m vending machines

Japan is rightfully known as the land of vending machines. It's hard to say why there are so many, given that there are already plenty of little specialty shops down every alley. But perhaps one reason why there are no fewer is the simple fact that this relatively law-abiding society doesn't see vending machines as...

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TT-411 -- divorce surge

It's been a while since we wrote about divorce in Japan. However, an article in the Daily Yomiuri several weeks back reminded us that this is one big black hole in Japan and the law has not caught up with the changing social realities. The article was the so-called "Troubleshooter" column, in which a woman says...

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TT-410 -- Nikko's resurrection

In our January 21st editorial giving business predictions for the year, we commented about Nikko Cordial's JPY18bn (and rising) window dressing scandal, and in contrasting it with the Horie-Livedoor scandal, we wondered why the Nikko guys were getting off with just a fine and a slap on the wrist? Well it appears that...

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TT-409 -- Xenophobia

The Nikkei carried a short article today about the Justice and Internal Affairs Ministries meeting to discuss changing the rules for monitoring foreigners resident and working in Japan. Until now, the registration of foreigners...

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TT-408 -- Traffic safety for kids

Something that strikes foreigners driving in Japan is the number of families who let their young kids ride in the front on a parent's lap, or in the back, unharnessed. "Don't the parents care that they might kill their kids?" is the frequent shocked refrain. Well apparently not. In 2005...

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TT-407 -- Dead dogs and Canon IP troubles

As Japanese electronics manufacturers rediscover their place in the consumer electronics world, competing with Chinese, Taiwanese, and Korean companies by introducing innovative and high-end products, Intellectual Property (IP) is increasingly becoming the point of leverage that defines success or failure. As a result...

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TT-406 -- Tamagotchi takeoff, ebiz news from Japan

What small Japanese electronic toy created in 1996 has sold more than 40m units around the world, and within its target age group of under 15's purportedly has a 100% consumer recognition rate? Hint: when it went on sale in 1997, at its peak it sold at a rate of one unit every 4 seconds in North America ...

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TT-405 -- Business predictions for 2007 - Updated

Welcome to the first issue of Terrie's Take for 2007. The signs are that the first half of the year at least is going to be a good one, certainly the mandarins at the Bank of Japan and our leaders in government and big business are saying so...

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