Trends

Local banks join in effort to support career women

TOKYO -- Sixty-four Japanese regional banks will band together to let employees find work at different lenders when their spouses are transferred to another part of the country. The initiative, which comes amid a flurry of proposals for promoting...

  • Energized by maglev project, Japan's bullet train lobby rolls on

    TOKYO -- Japanese railway operators and rolling stock makers talked up their bullet trains' safety record to an international audience Wednesday, seeking an edge in global competition for high-speed rail projects. About 300 people attend the conf...

  • Audi, Mercedes close in on BMW in luxury-car wars

    FRANKFURT, Germany -- BMW's global lead in premium vehicles is eroding amid robust demand for all of the top three marques. BMW's sales rose 9% on the year to 1.32 million vehicles for the January-September period as second-ranked Audi reported 1...

  • Kansai Airport anticipates busiest season ever this winter

    OSAKA -- Flight records are set to fall this winter at Kansai Airport, which is expected to reach 926.5 international takeoffs and landings a week during the peak in March 2015, trouncing the record 916 weekly flights handled this past summer. Th...

  • Thai auto output down 15th straight month in September

    BANGKOK -- Thai automobile production fell 16% from a year earlier to 164,299 vehicles this September, the 15th month in a row of year-on-year declines, according to figures released Wednesday by the Federation of Thai Industries. Thailand is the...

  • Bye-bye to the tuk-tuk? Three-wheelers lose luster in Asia

    MUMBAI/JAKARTA -- Three-wheeled vehicle production appears to be on the wane in Asia as four-wheeled cars and motorcycles become the rides of choice, and because of environmental concerns. India's Crisil Research projects that sales of cargo-carr...

  • Japan's electronic parts makers field record order volumes

    OSAKA -- Japan's major electronic components producers, such as Murata Manufacturing and TDK, have been handling record-high order volumes, propelled by Apple's new iPhone. Orders at six major Japanese manufacturers totaled 1.26 trillion yen ($11...

  • Drugstore market primed for realignment

    TOKYO -- By moving to restructure its drugstore business via the acquisition of Welcia Holdings, Aeon aims to boost profitability in an increasingly cutthroat environment. The company expects group sales to total 7 trillion yen ($64.9 billion) fo...

  • Falling demand, rising costs put squeeze on Japanese papermakers

    TOKYO -- Hit by weaker demand for printing paper and higher prices for materials and fuel, paper companies have resorted to production cuts amid weak prospects for an immediate turnaround. Overall output of printing paper fell 6% on the year in S...

  • Indonesian developers look abroad for new opportunities

    JAKARTA -- Indonesia's major government-affiliated property developers are increasingly planning offshore projects amid intense competition and weakening demand at home. Pembangunan Perumahan is looking to build a residential-commercial complex i...

  • Japan trading houses boost Australia wheat ops

    SYDNEY/JAKARTA -- Japanese trading houses are expanding exports of wheat from Australia to Southeast Asia, where demand for the grain is increasing. Mitsubishi Corp. in July acquired 80% of shares in Olam Grains Australia, which holds a 32.5% st...

  • Taiwan tech companies find China less profitable

    TAIPEI -- A key industry group reported on Monday that Taiwanese businesses operating in China are making less money and encountering more disputes as the economy slows. The survey by the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Associatio...

  • Foot massage therapists show China's fading fortunes

    TOKYO -- A triple whammy of improper property investment, soaring real estate prices and rising wages have plunged one of China's largest foot massage chain operators into a management crisis. Observers say the incident points to a broader trend ...

  • In Japan, the salaryman is the entrepreneur

    TOKYO -- A wave of new businesses that sweeps Japan every decade or so is upon us. This one differs from its predecessor. That one, which hit around 2000, when the Internet bubble was expanding, encouraged entrepreneurship. This time, company employe...

  • Tokyo developers woo foreign clients with services, spaces

    TOKYO -- Real estate developers in Tokyo are working harder to attract foreign residents and businesses. Sumitomo Realty & Development is reviewing a plan for an apartment complex to be built in Tokyo's Ariake district, after the city was select...

  • Japan Inc. revs up hiring push in tussle for talent

    TOKYO -- Japanese businesses are tripping over each other to hire college graduates that can contribute to development of next-generation technologies, help lead expansion in such fields as the environment and energy, and speed growth in overseas mar...

  • Jobs market improves for Japan's college grads for 4th year

    TOKYO -- The number of college students offered jobs rose 7.3% this year, up for a fourth straight year, with manufacturers bringing aboard more workers for the first time in three years, according to a Nikkei survey released on Sunday. The Nikke...

  • Microfinance reaps benefits for small businesses, investors across Asia

    TOKYO -- Microfinance is increasingly used by small businesses across Asia to expand operations. The finance tool enables those in extreme poverty to borrow small amounts of money without collateral. The system is helping entrepreneurs and small ...

  • Train companies court tourists with luxury

    TOKYO -- Japan's railway companies are ramping up their deluxe train services, offering luxurious sleepers and local cuisine in a bid to attract more tourists. One of the most popular luxury rail experiences is JR Kyushu excursion train, Seven St...

  • Japanese restaurant chains stepping up store openings in China

    TOKYO -- Japanese restaurant chains Watami and Saizeriya will accelerate openings in China, targeting the growing ranks of middle-class consumers there. Watami will open a new line of restaurants serving Mediterranean cuisine with a Japanese flar...