For a nation of mostly tea-drinkers, Japan has surprisingly embraced Starbucks and the coffee culture it brought with it in the 17 years it's been in the country. And now, they are set to open their 1,000th store and CEO Howard Schultz says that this is "an important milestone" for the company but still there is room for "more innovative growth and development in this dynamic market."
Sharp Corp., Japan’s leading manufacturer of liquid crystal displays (LCD), is aiming to strengthen business ties with Korea’s mobile phone making giant Samsung Electronics Co. expanding the latter’s supply of small LCD panels. Sharp is planning these overtures towards the Korean company while still providing small LCD panels to Samsung’s top rival Apple Inc. Anonymous sources have revealed that this plan will be made public as Sharp looks set to announce its latest earnings today, putting forward a goal to increase annual operating profits to 153 billion yen (1.5 billion US dollars) by March 2016.
Japanese automakers Nissan announced quarter profits that jumped 46 percent from last year’s numbers on the back of stronger sales and a favorable exchange rate. The ideal trade environment offset a sales decline in the Chinese market due to a continuing territorial dispute.
Japan's financially beleaguered Sharp Corp. is expected to reveal that it will be eliminating 5,000 positions from its current workforce of 51,000 by March of 2016. As the TV manufacturer struggles to stay afloat after losses amounting to billions of dollars over the last fiscal year, their revival plans will see the sales of factories in China and Malaysia, cutting the number of workers at head offices by half, and dropping the number of board members from 12 to six.
Japan's Sony Corp. revealed today that it recorded its first annual net profit in the last five years, with much of credited to the recent weakening of the yen and the resulting increase in overseas revenue. For the fiscal year ending March of this year, the financially beleaguered electronics giant earned 43.03 billion yen (approx. 436.08 million dollars), a quick turnaround from the 456.66 billion yen in losses that were recorded one year earlier.
Japan is not famous for giving women opportunities in the corporate ladder, as the still hugely patriarchal society ranked among those at the bottom in the Asia-Pacific region for socioeconomic standing. But last month, a group of around 60 female executives of companies and business organizations gathered together in hope that this situation would soon be remedied. In the elite confines of Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills, the Japan chapter of the global group Women Corporate Directors (WCD) was launched.
Subaru's Japanese parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., has revealed plans to make an investment of 400 million dollars in order to expand its only U.S. production plant in Indiana. This move will allow an increase in yearly production by around 100,000 units, as well as see the Japanese automaker start manufacturing its popular Impreza sedan outside its borders for the first time by 2016.
Japanese auto giants Toyota marked a quarterly profit that has more than doubled from the same period last year. On the wake of wise cost cutting moves and better sales, the newly reinstated top carmakers in the world marked a 313.9 billion yen (3.2 billion US dollars) profit from January to March 2013, more than doubling the company’s income from the same period last year.
Masayoshi Son, the billionaire founder and president of Softbank, Japan's third-largest mobile network, revealed on Tuesday that he will be heading to the U.S. this week to meet with the major shareholders of Sprint Nextel as he attempts to secure his company's takeover purchase over a rival bid from Dish Network Corp. Softbank's Son has recently stated that he believes the Japanese company's offer of 20 billion dollars for a 70% stake in the struggling U.S. carrier is the better choice, despite Dish's offer of 25.5 billion dollars.
Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has asked the United States to quickly approve exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan. Motegi was in a meeting on Friday with Acting Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman to forward this request from the Japanese government, as the Asian country continues to look for cheap thermal energy sources. Japan's heavy dependence on fossil fuels for power generation stems from the shutdown of the majority of the country’s nuclear reactors after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.