TT-690 -- Cybercrime in Japan, ebiz news from Japan

* * * * * * * * * T E R R I E 'S T A K E * * * * * * *

A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd.

General Edition Sunday, Dec 09, 2012, Issue No. 690


- What's New -- Cybercrime in Japan
- News -- 73% of Japanese risk averse
- Upcoming Events
- Corrections/Feedback -- More on Hawaiian tourist stats
- Travel Picks -- Mt. Mitsutoge hike, Taiko drums in Akita
- Japan Business Q&A -- Self pension payments
- News Credits

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In the lead up to Christmas and the New Year break, the
online shopping boom only grows larger as people are
finding that bargains, convenience, variety, and Japan's
great courier services make for a satisfying experience.
According to the Trade Ministry total online retail sales
this year will be worth JPY10trn, up 20% from the JPY8.5trn
sold in fiscal 2011. Further, as much as JPY1trn will be
done on cell phones.

All this activity guarantees at least one thing: companies
and individuals in Japan are moving on to the web in a big
way, and where they are headed, crooks are sure to follow.

Physically Japan is a safe place, and statistics put the
victim rate for theft (robbery) at around 0.2% of the
population a year, one of the lowest rates in the world. In
fact, crime rates in general have fallen over the last 10
years and as a result people are feeling a lot safer than
ever before. A July 2012 government poll of 3,000 adults
found that 59.7% of Japanese feel Japan is a safe country
to live, up from 46.1% six years ago in 2006.
Unfortunately, feeling safe breeds complacency, and while
on a physical level this is a feeling well deserved, now
that Japanese are increasingly on the Internet for daily
activities, that complacency is also marking the nation as
an ideal target for international online fraud.

Hence the widespread concern recently about the targeting
of a number major banks, including the Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan Post Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui,
and Rakuten Bank, by a phishing group that successfully
landed some hundreds of thousands of yen in fraudulent
transfers due to a new and quite sophisticated scam
technique. Apparently the victims were duped into
downloading a trojan program, and when they went to banking
sites thereafter the trojan started a pop-up asking the
user for account details and other information. By keeping
the trojan and the information requests local to the
user's machine, the trojan creators ensured that
authorities would be less likely to spot the scam until
after a large number of victims had been hit.

[Continued below...]

------------------ Mobilize Your Website -------------------

According to Bloomberg, 18% of all purchases on Cyber
Monday 2012 were made on mobile devices, and this was up
70% over last year. Given that next year the percentage of
mobile sales will probably exceed 30%, it's time for your
firm to seriously consider "mobilizing" your existing

Japan Partnership, the new publisher of Metropolis
magazine, has in-house expertise on mobilizing existing
websites, and would be happy to offer a free-of-charge
quotations to make your websites usable on mobile devices.

For more details, contact

[...Article continues]

No one is saying where the trojan originated from (our
guess is China, where cybercrime against the Japanese is
almost a national sport), but the situation must be
serious, because the Financial Services Agency (FSA) has
now gotten involved, asking all banks to start reporting
online incidents of a similar nature. The banks are no
doubt feeling a bit helpless, because being a trojan, the
program's spread and the problems it can cause are well
beyond their control -- but nonetheless, they still have
to deal with the customer and claims afterwards.

Against the overall trend for crime, online crime is
certainly on the rise. According to National Police Agency
(NPA) statistics, in 2009 there were 6,093 cases of
cybercrime successfully resolved by the Agency, up 400%
from the 1,606 cases in 2002. Since these are cases
successfully cleared, a perhaps more meaningful number of
actual occurrences is the number of calls that the nation's
Prefectural Police handled in 2010: 75,810 cases, up from
61,467 in 2006.

In looking at the cybercrime statistics, one thing that
really stands out is the amount of consumer fraud --
falling under the category of "Networking" crime in
NPA-speak. There were 31,333 cases of counselling of
victims of online fraud in 2010 and this was up over 30%
from 2006. In case you're interested, the next most common
online crime was defamation/libel, at 10,212 cases...
Anyway, most importantly, it looks like online shoppers in
Japan are being targeted, because the value of online
credit card fraud jumped more than 210% last year, from
JPY2bn in 2010 to JPY5.23bn in 2011.

How do cybercriminals get their victims? Generally by
winning their confidence then tricking them into
divulging their credit card and other personal
information. And Japan's population is surprisingly
gullible. We've all heard of the real-world "Ore-ore"
scams, where gangs target old people with elaborate
scripted phone calls and personal visits, pretending to be
a child or grandchild of the victim (or a policeman
ostensibly helping the child/grandchild). This simple scam
works really well, despite repeated public notices by the
police, and JPY7.2bn was swindled in 2010.

In the cyberworld, where people get time to think (and
there are less flappable old people online), the method
isn't as direct. Instead, the criminal gets you to download
the trojan or to go to a malicious site by making you think
that you are dealing with someone you know and trust, such
as a friend or family member. It's easy. They simply check
your personal details online, spoof an email address, then
mention a recent event to get your guard down and then tell
you to look at the attached "family photo".

With this process in mind, social networks are a great tool
but also a criminal's dream environment. For example, we
use Linked In a lot and recently we have seen more and more
suspicious requests. Those having few connections or weird
resumes are easy to spot, but some of the more
sophisticated ones have managed to get past our
less-discerning Linked In friends and are connected to
them already, making it much harder to figure out the real
from the fake. With sufficient connections (50 or so), an
imposter can create a quite credible online identity, which
can then be used for nefarious purposes. As we saw from the
Tabelog scandal of 2011, sometimes SNS manipulators will
have hundreds of fake IDs going, each supporting the other,
as they start to embed and float each other reputation-wise.

Having established fake IDs and a growing network, it's a
simple matter for a criminal to run filtered searches on
presumably well-to-do CEOs and senior managers of large
companies in a given market (Tokyo for instance), and use
the resulting list to start targeting victims. Actually,
because these fake profiles are surging recently on Linked
In, we decided to start a discussion thread in the Business
in Japan group about how to spot such scams and fake IDs.
You can find it here: As a side
note, it was interesting for us to find out in setting up
this discussion thread that Linked In doesn't allow their
name to be in the title for a discussion... Makes it harder
for people to complain about them we suppose.

Anyway, be safe this Christmas. To prevent stealing of your
credit card and other data, be sure to protect yourself on
the web, on email, and on your mobile apps (yes, there are
now trojans on Android applications as well). For your PC, we
suggest regularly running a virus/trojan detection program
such as the free or paid version of MalwareBytes, which you
can get from Then when shopping
online on your PC, be sure that any site you visit has SSL
protection at least at the point from when you enter your
credit card information. Lastly, if you are going to send
credit card or password info by email, either use
encryption (highly recommended), or or at very least use
one email for half the information and a second one for
the other half.

...The information janitors/


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+++ NEWS

- Drug patch delivery through dissolvable micro-needles
- Diets changing, more meat
- More smokers despite more tax
- Toyota forecasts 20% drop in sales for 2013
- 73% of Japanese risk averse

=> Drug patch delivery through dissolvable micro-needles

Fujifilm has announced the development of a drug patch,
that uses dissolvable micro-needles to deliver doses to
patients. The patch comes with a polysaccharide-based
micro-needle array, that can be adjusted in height and
density. The company is now preparing for human trials of
the product prior to working with pharma companies to
commercialize the invention. (Source: TT commentary from, Dec 7, 2012)

=> Diets changing, more meat

According to survey data from the Health Ministry, the
average Japanese adult is eating less vegetables, fruit and
seafood, and more meat, than they were ten years ago. Daily
vegetable intake has dropped from 285.8gm to 277.4gm and
fruit from 132gm to 110gm. On the other hand, meat intake
was up by 6.7gm to 80.7gm. The survey also suggested that
lower income leads to lower nutrition, particularly lower
vege and fruit intake. Apparently 30.4% of respondents said
that price dictates what food items they buy. ***Ed:
Perhaps another reason to exempt food from consumption
tax?** (Source: TT commentary from, Dec 6,

=> More smokers despite more tax

A Health Ministry survey has found that the number of
people smoking after the cigarette tax rate rose
significantly back in 2010 actually increased. According
to the poll, there was a 0.2% increase in male smokers, to
32.4%, and a 1.3% increase in females, to 9.7%, one year
after the tax increase. The Ministry noted that only
11.4% said they cut down on smoking because of the higher
costs, while 9.3% said that they quit. ***Ed: Addiction
overcomes logic most every time.** (Source: TT commentary
from, Dec 8, 2012)

=> Toyota forecasts 20% drop in sales for 2013

Toyota has apparently remarked to the Mid-Japan Economist
newspaper that it expects Japan-wide vehicle sales to drop
around 20% in 2013, mainly due to the end of fuel-saving
subsidies. The company is apparently expecting to ship
just 1.36m vehicles. The disappointing sales will come on
top of a tough year in China as well, although sales
elsewhere in the world are doing well. (Source: TT
commentary from, Dec 6, 2012)

=> 73% of Japanese risk averse

Good set of stats in a Businessweek article about Japanese
risk aversion. Apparently:
* Japanese baseballers bunt twice the rate of US teams, to
play safe instead of seeking homers
* 73% of respondents in a 2008 global study said they are
risk averse
* Only 4% of Japanese plan to start a company in next 3
years (3rd lowest among 51 countries)
* Insurance coverage per capita is twice that of USA
* Distrust of the stock market has pushed the Nikkei down
76% from its 1989 peak, with no sign of significant
(Source: TT commentary from, Dec 6, 2012)

NOTE: Broken links
Some online news sources remove their articles after just a
few days of posting them, thus breaking our links -- we
apologize for the inconvenience.


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Do you know someone who can write native-level Japanese and
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sector who need to have a substantial number of travel
articles written about Japan. These are paid positions.

While professional writers are welcome, the
project is a writer community set up for talented amateurs
to have a forum to test their skills. Therefore, we welcome
housewives, retired people, and Japanese living overseas
who would like to re-connect with their home country.

All work can be done from your own home, with stories and
editing discussions taking place by email and through the backend dashboard and associated tools.

Interested writers may contact JapanTourist at:, or at:



=> BiOS, a Division of the LINC Media group, is actively
marketing the following positions for customers setting up
or expanding in Japan, as well as other employers of


BiOS is urgently looking for a MAC Coordinator for our
client, a global IT hardware and services provider which is
servicing a global bank in Tokyo. The successful candidate
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businesses in the planning/logistics of user/workstation
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requests, as well as working alongside desktop engineers to
provide a complete MAC solution. In addition, you would
create, manage, and share tracking sheets and help manage
MAC projects on various scales.

Due to the nature and demanding work environment, this
position is suitable for someone with 2 to 3 years of
experience working in an IT department (multinational
strongly preferred), and the ability to work with tracking
sheets in an organized fashion. In addition, given the
constant communication with foreigners and Japanese alike,
conversational-level English and native-level Japanese are

Remuneration is JPY3.5M - JPY5M depending on your
experience and skill level.


- Admin Assistant, IT services provider, JPY 2M - 3.5M
- Software Asset Manager, global bank, JPY4.5M - JPY5.5M
- Sharepoint Specialist, global firm, Tokyo, JPY7M - JPY9M
- Data Center Engr (Cabling), major DC, JPY5M - JPY6M
- Project Mgr, international IT company, JPY5.4M - JPY7M

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for other jobs:



---------------- Start a Company in Japan -----------------

Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar 9th of February, 2013

If you have been considering setting up your own company,
find out what it takes to make it successful.
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 17 start-up companies in Japan,
will be giving an English-language seminar and Q and A on
starting up a company in Japan.

This is an ideal opportunity to find out what is involved,
and to ask specific questions that are not normally answered
in business books.
All materials are in English and are Japan-focused.

For more details:


---------------- ICA Event - December 11 ------------------

Speaker: Jason Wik, Managing Director - Sentry K.K.
Title: "Empower your Sales Teams with Realtime Mobile

Details: Complete event details at
(RSVP Required)

Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Time: 6:30 Doors open, Buffet Dinner included and cash bar
Cost: 4,000 yen (members), 6,000 yen (non-members)
Open to all
Venue is The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan


In this section we run comments and corrections submitted
by readers. We encourage you to spot our mistakes and
amplify our points, by email, to

=> In TT689 we wondered why statistics on tourist traffic
to Hawaii segregates the East and West coasts of the USA,
allowing Japan to be in second place. A reader kindly puts
us in the picture.

*** Our reader writes:

A little feedback regarding the mainland US to Hawaii
travel markets... Distinct differences between them is the
reason to track them separately. The West Coast to Hawaii
market peaks in summer, when folks want to escape the
Santa Anna winds/heat. On the other hand, travelers from
the Midwest and New England go there in winter to escape
snows and cold weather.



=> Mt.Mitsu-toge, Fuji-Hakone-Izu, Yamanashi
Splendid views of Mt. Fuji, rock-climbing and

On a fantastic clear day in the middle of July, my husband
and I went for a 1-day hike in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National
Park. We climbed Mitsu-toge-yama starting at Mitsu-toge
station and finishing at Kawaguchiko, the beautiful lake at
the foot of Mt. Fuji. This is one of the most rewarding
hikes I have done in the Tokyo area. Have a look for

=> Odaiko Hall, Akita
Home of the World's Largest Taiko Drum

Japan is also known as the land of gods. Deities are found
throughout nature and it is thanks to them that people are
able to live off the land. 750 years ago in the village of
Takanosu in Kita-Akita, the villagers knew they needed the
attention of the gods when water for farming was at an all
time low. The solution was to build drums to mimic the
sound of thunder and with it - hopefully - it would rain.

Over the years, the drums became larger and larger -- and
at its pinnacle, the world’s largest was created. You can
see the 3.8 meter 3 ton drum at the Odaiko no Yakata, or
"Odaiko Hall" with your own eyes. It’s hard to judge just
how massive this drum is until you see it in person.


+++ JAPAN BUSINESS Q&A -- Self Pension Payments

=> Q. If my company does not pay my pension directly,
should I be making payment to the Japanese government
directly? Am I legally obligated to opt in to the Japanese
pension system? What will happen if I leave the country
before retiring?

A. In the case your company does not pay your pension
directly, you should make payment to the National
Pension Agency on your own.

If you meet the following two conditions, you are
legally obligated to opt in to the Japanese pension

Condition 1) You live in Japan

To continue reading...



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Copyright 2012 Japan Inc. Communications Inc.

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