Trends

A Japanese staffer of Yahoo Japan, far right, works with Vietnamese engineers at Evolable Asia's development center in Ho Chi Minh City.

Japanese IT companies see Vietnam as the answer for offshore software development

TOKYO -- Japanese companies are increasingly viewing Vietnam as the place for software development. The Southeast Asian country offers low costs as well as a pool of skilled engineers, making it an attractive alternative to Japan and China. Corpo...

  • New bullet train line: high-caliber competition for air carriers

    TOKYO -- Two Japanese railway operators said Wednesday they will start service on a long-awaited extension of the nation's bullet train network next March, a change that will reshape travel from the capital to an area now served mostly by planes. ...

  • Top Japanese trading houses retooling portfolios

    TOKYO -- Japan's leading trading companies are speeding up sales of unprofitable assets to secure funds for new investments, especially as traditional areas of investment such as natural resources slump. These companies have been investing heavil...

  • Abe has Japan's big business lobby ready to revive political donations

    TOKYO -- Japan's most powerful business lobby is ready to start urging its member companies to make political donations again, sources told The Nikkei on Wednesday. The Japan Business Federation, commonly known as Keidanren, had given up on political...

  • Western drugmakers try to shop their way out of danger

    TOKYO -- Soaring research-and-development costs are making it tougher for drugmakers to come up with fresh products. But some big Western pharmaceutical companies are finding a way to ease the burden of innovation and enhance efficiency: snapping up ...

  • India slaps massive fines on carmakers

    MUMBAI -- Fourteen automakers in India have been fined a total of 25.4 billion rupees ($420 million) for allegedly preventing fair competition in replacement parts. The Competition Commission of India penalized most of the carmakers operating her...

  • Japanese financial giants casting wider net in Indonesia

    JAKARTA -- Indonesia is making the radar of Japan's banking and insurance giants, as the world's fourth-biggest country is poised for a great leap forward. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, the lending unit of one of Japan's three megabanks, has decided t...

  • Japan software developers tap Vietnam engineering talent

    TOKYO -- Japanese companies are increasingly outsourcing development of software to Vietnamese engineers -- for everything from smartphone and tablet apps to software used in cars and medical equipment. The trend reflects the Southeast Asian coun...

  • Japan's sake brewers target Asia

    KOBE, Japan -- Sake exports hit a new record of more than 5.4 billion yen ($51.4 million) in the first half of this year. With the domestic market shrinking, sake brewers are rushing to develop products for foreigners and expand sales channels fo...

  • Thailand becomes key battleground in cola wars

    BANGKOK -- Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, the two leading cola providers worldwide, face fierce competition in the Thai market from a new local player as well as a South American rival. With its year-round warm weather and spicy cuisine, Thailand is a ma...

  • Suning retains No. 1 spot in China's private business sales rankings

    SHANGHAI -- For the second year in a row, Suning was the top private enterprise in China based on sales, according to 2013 rankings by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. The country's trade group of enterprises and personages of the n...

  • Japanese carmakers eye turbo boost in race to downsize engines

    TOKYO -- Toyota, Nissan and other Japanese automakers are stepping up efforts to make gasoline-powered vehicles more fuel-efficient with turbochargers, which allow the use of smaller engines without compromising power. These companies have led th...

  • Functional fibers finding favor in Japanese clothing industry

    TOKYO -- Functional fibers with comfort-enhancing features such as fast absorption and drying of perspiration are increasingly being used in the Japanese clothing industry. Foreign tourists account for about half of customers at major casual clot...

  • Business hotels set to spring up in Tokyo's posh Ginza district

    TOKYO -- Several business hotels are in the works for Tokyo's upscale Ginza shopping district. This construction boom is in response to a growing number of foreign tourists and business travelers coming to Japan, especially ahead of Tokyo's hosting o...

  • Venerable Asian airlines struggle to shake cheap competition

    SINGAPORE/HONG KONG/MANILA -- The rapid ascent of budget carriers has created turbulence for major Asian airlines, whose market dominance is fading. Singapore Airlines, a leading Southeast Asian carrier, logged a net profit of 360 million Singapo...

  • Hotel room rates on the rise in Tokyo, Osaka

    TOKYO -- With occupancy levels staying comfortably high, Japanese hotels are getting bolder on pricing. Average daily rates at major hotels in central Tokyo went up 5-10% on the year from April to July. Hotel Okura Tokyo enjoyed a 10% gain ow...

  • Mercedes-Benz, BMW setting up large showrooms in Japan

    TOKYO -- European automakers are going big in Japan, opening more large dealerships to show off a wider array of cars. Mercedes-Benz Japan reopened a main location in Yokohama on Friday through imported-car dealer Yanase. The site was renovated t...

  • Japanese nonmanufacturers pressed to distinguish themselves

    TOKYO -- Japanese businesses fell into two categories in the April-June quarter: winners and losers. Armed with globally competitive products, manufacturers logged a 9% boost in combined pretax profit for the three-month period marked by the Apri...

  • China's industrial parks bring in house-hungry city dwellers

    DALIAN, China -- It used to be that Chinese industrial parks conjured images of black smoke, metal on metal and sweaty workers. Today, many of these zones are nice, affordable place to live. City dwellers, especially young couples, are purchasing con...

  • Air pollution spurring expat exodus from China

    BEIJING/DALIAN, China -- Foreign companies hoping to tap China's vast market are facing a serious dilemma as their employees grow increasingly reluctant to accept positions in a country plagued by air and water pollution. At one Japanese electron...