May 22, 2014

Japan ranks 32nd best place to be a mother

Japan is ranked 32nd best place in the world to be a mother in a report issued by the international charity Save the Children. The rank was the worst among the Group of Seven top industrialized nations.

In its 15th year, the latest report looks at the well-being of mothers and children in 178 countries. The countries were ranked on five indicators: lifetime risk of maternal death, under-5 mortality rate, expected years of formal schooling, gross national income per capita, and participation of women in national government.

Finland, Norway and Sweden took the top three positions in the overall ranking. Japan was ranked high in health, education and economic status, but lower in female participation in government.

South Korea was ranked 30th, U.S. was in 31th, and China was in 61th.

(May, 2014)
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /
posted by atfuji at 15:11 | General

Japan rose to 21st in world competitiveness ranking

Japan rose to 21st from 24th last year in the world in an annual competitiveness released Wednesday by Swiss business school IMD. Weakening of the yen driven by Japanese economic policy called Abenomics boosted the competitiveness abroad.

The United States remained the most competitive in the world for the second consecutive year because of resilience of its economy, better employment, and its dominance in technology and infrastructure. In Asia, Singapore has reclaimed the No 1 spot, inching past former titleholder Hong Kong after three years.

This year IMD ranked 60 countries across the world, measuring ghow nations and enterprises manage the totality of their competencies to achieve increased prosperity.h

Japan improved its ranking of "international trading" to 51th from 56th. Its ranking of "employment" and "administrative organization" also rose to 8th and 12th, respectively.

(May 2014)
Image courtesy of Ambro /
posted by atfuji at 14:29 | General

March 09, 2013

Japan Returned to Growth in Fourth Quarter

Japan's economy returned to growth in the fourth quarter, bolstering Prime Minister Shinzo Abefs campaign to end 15 years of deflation and revive the worldfs third-biggest economy.

Gross domestic product rose an annualized 0.2 percent in the three months through December, although a preliminary calculation was a 0.4 percent contraction. The current account deficit in January was 364.8 billion yen ($3.8 billion), the finance ministry said.

Private consumption and public investment fueled the nationfs growth. Because of a weakening yen, which is easing corporate pessimism, fall in capital spending was less than initially estimated. Exporters from Toyota Motor Corp. to Nintendo Co. raised their profit forecasts as a yen boosts the value of overseas sales.

Economists expect the pace of growth to pick up in coming quarters backed by government spending, improving corporate profits and the global recovery. They think Japanfs recession is over and the economy is heading to a recovery.

(March 2013)
posted by atfuji at 19:21 | General

February 21, 2013

Household Incomes rose helped by working wives in Japan

In Japan, the average before-tax income for households with at least one worker rose 1.2% on the year to 467,774 yen a month. A sharp rise in pay brought home by wives accounted for the bulk of the increase in household incomes, highlighting the expanding role women play in the nation's labor market.

According to a survey released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the average before-tax income for households with at least two people rose 1.6% on the year to 518,506 yen a month. While the pay increase for main breadwinners was limited to 0.2%, the income for wives surged 11% to a record 59,177 yen.

Labor statistics released by the ministry show that the ranks of employed women, excluding those in executive positions, rose 90,000 from the previous year to 22.88 million. With many finding work in the medical and nursing-care sectors, women in both part- and full-time positions increased. Meanwhile, the number of employed men fell by 200,000 to 28.65 million.

Similarly, the number of men who are not part of the workforce rose 270,000 from the year before, compared with a 30,000 decline in the number of nonworking women. More women are working to help supplement incomes while many men have retired or given up on finding jobs.

(The Nikkei, Feb. 20 morning edition)
posted by atfuji at 19:19 | General

February 10, 2013

Japan service sector sentiment improves

Japanfs service sentiment index rose to 49.5 in January, a Cabinet Office survey showed on February. The index rose for the third straight month. It suggests recent weak yen and expectations for the governmentfs aggressive monetary and fiscal policy had helped business confidence.

The survey was conducted among 2050 workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff, who are close and sensitive to consumer and retail trends.

The outlook index, indicating the level of confidence in future conditions, also improved for the third straight month up to 56.5. This number was the second highest number since February 2006 (56.6.)

The Cabinet Office said in its assessment that the economy was picking up.

(February 2013)
posted by atfuji at 19:16 | General

February 05, 2013

Japan has worldfs most expensive cities

2013020502.JPGJapanese cities are some of the most expensive in the world to live in, according to an annual survey.

Asia and Australia accounted for 11 of the world top 20 most expensive cities, with eight from Europe and one from South America, the Economist Intelligence Unitfs worldwide cost of living index found.

In the 2013 survey, Tokyo was the worldfs most expensive city while exchange rate control by Swiss government has driven the Zurich from top last year to No.7 in the list. Osaka was ranked the second most expensive.

Top 10 most expensive cities:
1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Osaka, Japan
3. Sydney, Australia
4. Oslo, Norway
4. Melbourne, Australia
6. Singapore
7. Zurich, Switzerland
8. Paris, France
9. Caracas, Venezuela
10. Geneva, Switzerland

(January 5, 2013)
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January 29, 2013

Japan Is The Third Place In Best Business Ranking

2013012901.JPGJapan rose four places to third, behind the U.S. and Hong Kong, which led for a second straight year, in a ranking of the best countries to do business compiled by Bloomberg. The ranking is based on six criteria including the degree of economic integration and readiness of the local consumer base.

Japanfs advance coincides with a 14 percent slide in its currency against the dollar in the past year that has bolstered its export competitiveness. An expert says that there has been a huge movement for change in Japan to extract the country from its slump of the past 20 years.

The ranking measured nations based on six factors: the cost of setting up businesses; hiring and moving goods, the degree of economic integration; less tangible costs such as inflation and corruption; and the local consumer base. Japan scored highest for the price of labor and materials because its compensation as percentage of total expenses was only 6.9 percent. The rate was 11.9 percent in U.S. and 23 percent in Hong Kong.

(Bloomberg, January 2013)
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January 21, 2013

Co-point Program Market Expanded More Than 20%

Yano research institution released research result about co-point program market in Japan. Co-point program is frequent point award programs offered by companies and can be used across multiple companies.

Co-point program market in FY2011 increased 21.8% from the previous year and reached to 53B JPY. High penetration rate of the program into the market and increase of partner companies seemed to cause the expansion.

Co-point program market in FY2012 seems to increase up to 65.3B JPY, which is 23.2% increase on a year-to-year comparison.

Now, many companies in varieties of industries are offering co-point program offerings. They are working on analyzing their customerfs shopping behavior using the data from the point programs.

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December 16, 2012

Tablet Computer Increase Popularity Facing Winter Bonus Season

Tablet computers increased the popularity among Japanese people who got year-end bonus payments according to a survey conducted by a Japanese research company, MM research institute.

The survey revealed what Japanese people want to purchase with their year-end bonus payments. Among digital home electronics appliances, personal computers, smartphones and tablet computers got awarded as top three products. Especially, tablet computers increased its rank from eighth place in last year to third place in this year.

Release of iPad and more inexpensive products priced less than 20,000 JPY from other brands seems to influence the popularity. Google released Nexus7 in September and Amazon released Kindle Fire on December 18th.

On the other hand, flat-screen TVs, which got second place in the ranking, lost their popularity to fifth place this year.

The survey was conducted among 1,150 Japanese workers aged more than 20 Y.O.

(Asahi Shimbun)
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December 09, 2012

Smartphone it Top in Popular Item Ranking

gPopular item ranking by consumers in 2012h was released on December 7 by Dentsu Communication Institute Inc. Smartphone won first place three years in a row.

Shio-koji, traditional Japanese condiment made by fermenting kouji mold with salt and water, got popularity from women and shapely raised the rank from 127th to 5th.

Facebook in the 3rd place, robot vacuum cleaner in the 4th place and low cost carrier in the 10th place moved up by the support of people who like new things.

Top 10 ranking is as follows:
1. Smartphone
2. Tokyo Skytree
3. Facebook
4. Robot vacuum cleaner
5. Shio-koji
6. Sugi-chan (*TV talent)
7. Yuru-chara (*Macrot characters which has cute looking.)
8. AKB48 (*Japanese idol group)
9. London Olympics
10. Low Cost Carrier (*Airline companies)

(Sankei Shimbun)
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