Japan News

Japan Business and Cultural News from Japan Story

Doggy Dad, Mr Son and the 300 year vision for Softbank

Most people in Japan are familiar with a cool white dog who has an unusual name: Otosan, which means “father.” He’s the mascot of Softbank, founded by the hugely ambitious Masayoshi Son. He is Japan’s richest man and its best communicator. His vision is for a company which thrives for the next 300 years. And …

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Why does the foreign press keep criticising Japan’s economic animals?

For some reason business leaders in Japan often say they are economic animals. Perhaps this humility prepares them for criticism when economic growth, measured by GDP, looks weak or sluggish. But is it the right to measure a country’s value using such statistics? In this week’s Japan Story blog, Duncan Bartlett talk to the former …

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Has North Korea caught Japan in a propaganda trap?

North Korea’s cheerleaders and politicians have been the centre of attention at the Winter Olympics. Japan’s Prime Minister was in a dilemma on whether to attend. He didn’t want to play into the propaganda of a national enemy. On the other hand, as the next Olympic host, he wanted to support the Japanese team and …

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North Korea threat leaves diplomats dismayed

Diplomats are struggling to cope with the rising threat from North Korea. South Korea wants the US to send a special envoy to try to prevent a war. Japan’s prime minister also wants robust diplomacy but sees little point in talks at this stage. Japan is trusting the US will step in to defend it. …

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Are Japan’s slack students letting down its universities?

Only one Japanese university, Tokyo, shines bright in the global education league.  Many others are alleged to be weak intellectually and reluctant to dismiss even the laziest of students. In Japan’s tough education system and work culture, university offers a rare opportunity for personal freedom. So are some students slacking off their studies, knowing that …

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Shinzo Abe

Conservatives relish Abe’s election success but Abenomics has a long way to go

Conservatives in many countries, including Britain, would like to emulate the success of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He has trounced the opposition with a firm right-wing agenda built upon the premise of an economic revival. Yet many analysts say the arrows of Abenomics are missing their targets. Japan’s business magazine, Nikkei Asian Review, claims …

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