Editorial

Electricity Supply and Demand - Grid

Internet of Things: Better Electricity Supply and Demand Efficiency in Japan – Part 1

By Frank Piller, General Manager Products at TÜV Rheinland Japan   In recent years, the Japanese government has vigorously promoted energy conservation through various actions, including installing the feed-in tariff system for renewable energy, deregulating electricity and promoting the Smart House concept. For its part, in 2015 the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has formulated its Long-term Energy […]

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Diversity in Japan - Sasaki

Female Role Models Create Successful Women in Japan, Survey Says

Successful women serving as female role models are the most effective way to create a more diverse workplace in Japan, said Marc Burrage, managing director of Hays Japan, at the specialist recruitment firm’s recent presentation of its latest Gender Diversity Report in Tokyo. This marks a crucial difference to global trends that strongly focus on flexible working practices. Japanese organizations […]

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English in Japan - Meiji Constitution

Can Japan Become a Nation Fluent in English?

Anyone who believes that Japan will never embrace multilingualism would do well to picture this scene. Students at Japan’s elite universities are studying in English. Not just English, either: they learn about science in German and philosophy in French. European languages present a formidable challenge, but the students are not daunted. We’re in the early Meiji Period, of course, and […]

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China-Japan Rubber Industry Forum Tokyo 2016

China, Japan Strengthen Ties at Rubber Industry Forum in Tokyo

To make a point, most people are not aware what the rubber industry means for their daily lives. Namely, that they can’t live without it. The material, for example, drives personal mobility. Tires use up about 70 percent of global rubber production and car engines and other car parts another substantial amount. No rubber, no cars. Also no bicycles, airplanes […]

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Industry-Academia Collaboration Japan - Graduate

Industry-Academia Collaboration in Japan – Opportunities for Foreign Companies

Technology transfer from science to industry has not been particularly well developed in Japan traditionally. Yet the country’s level of science is excellent and offers a good source for industry and even foreign companies. Before turning to the latest developments in the Japanese Science and Technology system in my next article, let me today make a detour to the situation […]

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Subcontractor Bullying in Japan

Subcontractor Bullying in Japan

If your products are not selling as planned, do you ask longstanding suppliers to accept returns? Or, if you are offering discounts, do you have them bear some portion? These are just two examples of considerations you may have if your bargaining position against your suppliers is very strong. And you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, not a few companies […]

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Japanese Smart House Technologies

The Smart House – Japanese Technology and Standards

By Frank Piller, General Manager Products at TÜV Rheinland Japan   Protecting the environment, conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions are global challenges. In Japan too, various sectors, including the government, are aggressively addressing these difficult issues. The Japanese government has recently introduced a variety of measures to reduce energy consumption at home, in order to promote energy conservation by […]

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The Japanese Candidate - Lady

The Japanese Candidate

“We have difficulties in finding the right people,” or “there are not enough suitable candidates available in Japan” are only two sentences I am hearing too often. Domestic hiring is without a doubt a question of supply and demand, and method. But there are other factors, too. Before tackling the topic, let me throw in some general information and statistics. […]

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Internet of Things Japan - NRW Conference 1

Internet of Things in Japan: Quietly, Systematically Plowing Ahead

Germany’s famed Plattform Industrie 4.0 initiative has become nothing less than a mainstay at seminars focusing on the future of manufacturing. The U.S. based Industrial Internet Consortium has been gathering momentum, too. Even China has prominently launched its Made in China 2025 initiative. Yet one of the world’s most important industrial powerhouses is apparently not much being talked about. One […]

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Effective B2B Communications - Business Lady

Effective B2B Communications in Japan: The Vital Role of Strategy

Many small and mid-sized subsidiaries of foreign B2B companies in Japan don’t have large budgets for communication activities. Although there is a trend toward recognizing communications as a strategic function here, too, more often than not, this awareness is still lacking. It’s not uncommon for sales people to think that communications equals advertising, which in turn equals a waste of […]

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Electricity Deregulation - Mount Fuji

Energy Regulations and Electricity Deregulation in Japan

By Frank Piller, General Manager Products at TÜV Rheinland Japan   Renewable energy. Energy efficiency. Energy conservation. Energy storage. Hotly discussed topics all of them – indicating that energy has become one of the most important issues of our time. The Paris Agreement at COP21 and the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference last November are evidence of global momentum. […]

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Dismissing People in Japan - Fire

What Is the Cost of Dismissing Employees in Japan?

Many foreign companies don’t properly understand how hard it actually is to unilaterally terminate employment in Japan. In fact, they often try to dismiss employees based on norms of their home countries and without careful consideration of the local situation. As introduced in a previous article, dismissals in Japan are strictly regulated under the Labour Contract Act. Employers have to […]

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Nation Based on Science - Researcher

Japan: The Nation Based on Science

Remarkably, in 1986 the mounting U.S. trade deficit in semiconductors with Japan even led to a trade agreement easing the situation. The Japanese semiconductor industry was expanding rapidly. Technologically, this was the outcome of the most successful of the so-called Big Projects I described in a previous article: The research association for the very-large-scale integrated circuit VLSI (1976-1980) helped push […]

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Indirect Sourcing - Business Woman

What Is the Shelf Life of Indirect Sourcing Managers?

Several of my friends and clients are directors or managers of indirect sourcing divisions at foreign capitalized firms in Japan. They are part of a clear trend among these companies to establish such divisions and assign high profile managers with consulting background or business school education. Shortly after taking over, they’re all motivated and proud of their significant cost reduction […]

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Talent in Japan - Work Abroad

The Conveyor Belt of Talent in Japan

Japan is a nation at war. But there are no signs of DPRK missiles flying overhead. It’s a different, more insidious kind of war called the Global War for Talent, and it begins on the university campus. QS, a publisher of university rankings, has just placed Tokyo third in its 2016 list of the world’s best student cities, up from […]

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