The exhibition hall in Singapore where AFA was held was packed to the gills. For a city/state of just 5.4MM it's amazing how they can produce such large crowds of excited fans.
In April, for the first time since records were kept in 1996, inbound tourists outspent Japanese ones. That's no small feat, given that there are about 25% more Japanese going abroad versus foreigners coming in.
The average Japanese company stores (and pays for) about five times the number of documents that the average U.S. or South Korean company does. However, that is set to change in favor of digitally stored company records.
Ten thousand people taking part in the Shimanami Kaido Cycling Taikai descending on the small host city of Imbari is a real challenge logistically, and we suspect is the main reason why they shut off applications this year at 6,500 people.
One of the easiest ways to reduce medical costs for the elderly, as proven in studies around the world, is to increase the physical fitness of the target population.
How to take advantage of takkyubin (parcel delivery companies) on a road cycling tour in Shikoku for having luggage shipped ahead each day.
Japan is undergoing a massive labor sea-change, and is creating two classes of workers -- the privileged and the rest of irregular workers.
What sectors will be hot in the upcoming travel boom? There are many, and all have to do with servicing the tourists or servicing the folks who service them.
Most Japanese senior managers, no matter how entrepreneurial, are educated and conditioned to work in groups, and the idea of working alone in their Country Manager role doesn't feel to them like a "real" company.
The Tokyo District Court ordered Google to remove search results that implied a man was connected to a criminal organization ten years ago. This case appears to be echoing the finding in a European court earlier this year.
A teenager was reportedly bitten by a mosquito at Yoyogi Park, and shocked local officials took immediate action and closed the park the next day, subsequently undertaking an intensive mosquito eradication campaign.
The numbers come from a recent education ministry survey, and show that 20.4% of the kids dropping out, an increase of about a quarter over the last 7 years, are doing so because of financial reasons.
Given that 16% of all Japanese children (about 2.6m kids) were apparently living in poverty in 2012, we are probably looking at almost a million households of 2-4 people who have to live on JPY2,680,000 a year.
So why is Recruit going public? The Nikkei reckons that there are rumors that Recruit wants to do some major M&As. We think we can safely rule out much of that happening in Japan.
One way to alleviate travel language fears and to give tourists some real depth and perspective to this amazing country would be to open up the tour guiding sector so that more youthful bilinguals could get involved.
There can be few more satisfying meals in Japan than a steaming (or chilled) bowl of ramen (Japanese noodle soup dish.) Pork, miso, soy, salt, curry, or vinegar flavored. Thick or thin, al dente or soft.