Consumers

Osaka train station building to get prayer room

OSAKA -- Aiming to welcome more foreign tourists, JR West will give visitors to the commercial complex at its Osaka Station a quiet place to pray. The roughly 30-sq.-meter prayer room -- a first for the Japan Railways group -- will open Oct. 22 o...

  • Tokyo Game Show attracts record 421 exhibitors

    TOKYO -- The Tokyo Game Show 2014 began Thursday at a convention center near Tokyo, with a record 421 companies and organizations from around the world showcasing their latest products and services. The organizer of the four-day event, one of the...

  • Aeon aims to win over Southeast Asia by replicating Malaysia model

    KUALA LUMPUR -- Since entering Malaysia 30 years ago, Japanese retail giant Aeon has worked tirelessly to build a solid presence in this diverse market, offering products that suit the lifestyles of consumers with different religions and income level...

  • Casio taking Oceanus upscale watches beyond Japanese shores

    TOKYO -- Casio Computer will roll out its solar-powered, radio-synchronized Oceanus wristwatches in Southeast Asia and elsewhere overseas at the end of the year. With its G-Shock series having proved popular in many parts of the world, the Japane...

  • Starbucks to conquer final frontier in Japan: Tottori Prefecture

    TOKYO -- Starbucks Coffee Japan plans to open a store in Tottori Prefecture, the sole remaining Japanese prefecture where the coffee shop operator still lacks a presence. Plans call for launching a street-level location in the city of Tottori aro...

  • Sharp's new air purifiers to target China's affluent

    OSAKA -- Sharp will roll out two high-end air purifiers in China starting next month, part of a push to expand the business there. Featuring golden exteriors chosen by a Chinese designer, the machines will detect and remove the fine particles kno...

  • With new Apples on tree, Japanese wireless carriers gear up for harvest

    TOKYO -- The two new iPhones that Apple unveiled Tuesday in the U.S. will be available for order Friday in Japan and delivered into people's hands here starting Sept. 19. The Apple handsets are already hugely popular in Japan, accounting for half...

  • Kikkoman to lift output of unpasteurized soy sauce 50%

    TOKYO -- Kikkoman is planning a 50% increase in production of soy sauce that does not undergo heat treatment after being pressed. The Japanese company will invest some 1 billion yen ($9.34 million) to install a production line at its plant in Tak...

  • Nissan looks to jolt Chinese market with new electric car

    SHANGHAI -- Nissan Motor's Chinese joint venture released an electric vehicle Wednesday, getting a jump on its Japanese rivals in that promising market. The e30 was developed specifically for the Chinese market under the Venucia brand by Dongfeng...

  • Japanese supermarkets to promote part-timers amid staff shortage

    TOKYO -- Major Japanese supermarkets are implementing new staffing policies to cope with a serious labor shortage, including promoting part-time workers to regular status and recruiting the elderly. Ito-Yokado now employs 36,000 part-timers. It h...

  • McDonald's Japan reports supersized decline in August

    TOKYO -- McDonald's Holdings Japan did not serve the markets a Happy Meal on Tuesday. Jolted by reports in late July that a Chinese supplier had used expired meat to make Chicken McNuggets, the fast-food giant reported that same-store sales plung...

  • Uniqlo operator eyes 2.5 trillion yen sales in 3 years

    TOKYO -- Fast Retailing, the company behind the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, is shooting for sales of 2.5 trillion yen ($23.35 billion) in the year ending August 2017, its leader told group officials and store managers who gathered to hear him Tuesd...

  • 'Gutter oil' from Taiwan sparks regional food scare

    TAIPEI -- Taiwanese officials are struggling to contain an escalating tainted cooking oil scandal that has affected local businesses and already spread to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Taiwan investigators busted Kaohsiung-based oil wholes...

  • Seiyu to quintuple online selection over next 3 years

    TOKYO -- The Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu plans to expand the number of items it sells online fivefold, to 100,000, over the next three years. The company, affiliated with Wal-Mart Stores of the U.S., is aiming to reach customers in areas its sto...

  • Designer goods retailers target foreigners in hunt for more business

    TOKYO -- The Japanese boutique retailer Ships will open new sections at some of its stores this autumn specifically meant to attract foreign tourists. Called Ships Souvenirs, the new areas will sell tableware, socks and other uniquely Japanese goods....

  • Aeon to offer premium frozen food from France's Picard

    TOKYO -- Japanese retailer Aeon will tie up with Picard, a French frozen-food chain, setting up special areas to sell the partner's popular items at 10 or so locations in greater Tokyo later this year. Picard offers private-label brand frozen foo...

  • Lack of real-world infrastructure inhibiting Indonesian e-commerce

    JAKARTA -- Indonesia's e-commerce industry has not had much success corralling the country's ever-growing number of smartphone users, according to research company Nielsen. "It is definitely a growing market, but the user experience is not there ...

  • Sony's new smartphone can control PS4 even away from home

    BERLIN -- Sony unveiled on Wednesday a new smartphone that allows users to access its popular PlayStation 4 game console via the Internet. The Xperia Z3 displays PS4 games, enabling the user to play them when away from home by using a dedicated c...

  • Japan's Internet companies moving into Indonesia

    TOKYO -- With a population of 250 million and a gross domestic product of $870 billion, Indonesia is a giant and growing market already in the sights of Japanese manufacturers and retailers. And now, Japanese Internet businesses also have begun makin...

  • Muji stores to open in India as country eases restrictions

    TOKYO -- Ryohin Keikaku, operator of Muji stores, plans to enter India as soon as next year, making it the first major Japanese retailer to do so. Ryohin Keikaku is finalizing an agreement with a local retailer to form a joint venture in which th...