At the Casual Connect conference on Wednesday, Junde Yu – app tracking website App Annie’s vice president for Asia-Pacific – presented some very relevant data on Google Play’s game revenues. One of those is that Japan and Korea generate more game revenue in the Android app marketplace than the entire world combined. The data also shows that 80 percent of Google Play’s game revenues come from three countries – the United States, Japan and Korea.
Microsoft’s Xbox game console franchise – while it is the face of a platform that competes with Sony’s PlayStation globally – represents a conundrum of sorts for the software and gaming giant when in Japan. That it took Microsoft’s console unit eight years to update Xbox 360 is a testament to the enduring value and engineering that went into the best-selling console, rather than Microsoft’s dillydallying. But while the franchise has found relative success in North America, Europe and other markets – it has continually failed to attract the Japanese gaming market.
Keiji Furuya, the Cabinet Minister in charge of the North Korea abduction issue, said that the Japanese government will not provide any form of economic aid to Pyongyang unless they safely return all the Japanese abductees that are still alive and in their country. The statement was released after fears that Japan is compromising on the issue, after a visit to North Korea by a top cabinet advisor.
Japan has granted one of its highest honors to a Japanese-American World War II veteran for what he has done to improve and further relationships between Japanese and Americans. Terry Shima received the "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette" award at a ceremony at the house of Kenichiro Sasae, the Japanese ambassador to the United States.
Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank is upping the pressure in its attempts to acquire a United States-based mobile provider, agreeing to give the U.S. government the right to approve one of the probable members of Sprint’s board of directors should the acquisition push through. This is part of the Japanese mobile carrier’s efforts to ease national security concerns over the proposed acquisition, as the U.S. government-approved board member would serve as an assurance that a SoftBank-owned Sprint would make all efforts to keep any security agreement required by U.S. telecommunications regulators, as revealed by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.
For the first time in three years, the three defense ministers of Japan, South Korea and the United States will be holding trilateral talks on the sidelines of the Asia Security Summit at the end of this month in Singapore. The main agenda of the meeting is to discuss strategies to deal with the continuous threat of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
Japan's upper and lower houses of parliament finally approved on Wednesday an international treaty on child abductions, as decades of pressure from the United States and the international community finally created the result. Before today, Japan was the only member of the Group of Eight (G8) – the global group of highly-industrialized nations – that has not put into its country’s law articles of the 1980 Hague Convention – an agreement requiring nations to return abducted children to the countries where they naturally reside.
Two top executives at Denso Corp. – Japan’s largest auto-parts maker in terms of revenue – have agreed to plead guilty to charges of price-fixing in transactions for electronic automobile parts sold to Toyota, and have also chosen to cooperate with the investigators, this revealed by the United States Justice Department on Tuesday. This settlement adds the two executives to 14 more from 9 different companies who have pleaded guilty to a variety of price-fixing charges for transactions selling car parts to different automakers.
A 15 year old American teen, the son of a US contractor assigned to Camp Zama in the Yokota Air Base, has been sent to a Japanese juvenile detention facility as part of his punishment for setting fire to the historic Kurihara Shrine, located in Kanagawa Prefecture. The boy confessed to setting fire to a shed and consequently the shrine last March 7 because he was trying to release his stress.
It's been 41 years since Okinawa reverted to Japanese rule, and yet the residents don't feel that they are totally free yet because of the strong US military presence in the prefecture. To commemorate the anniversary last Sunday, around 3,500 people gathered in a park in Ginowan to call for an Okinawa free of US military bases.