SENDAI, Japan (Reuters) – By day, Kenichi Watanabe runs an insurance agency. By night, he’s an arm wrestler — and on a recent Saturday, he’s preparing to do battle.
Under a moonlit sky, Watanabe and his opponent face off across an arm wrestling table in a bustling pedestrian street in Sendai, a northern Japanese city hit hard by the March quake. Watanabe is lean and cut, like a lightweight boxer, but his rival looks a couple of weight classes bigger.
TOKYO (Reuters) – The film “Land of Oblivion” may revolve around victims of the Chernobyl disaster a quarter of a century ago, but Japanese audiences will see striking parallels with current-day headlines following the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Environmental damage, exclusion zones and radiation testing are just some of the images in the film that are redolent of the Fukushima catastrophe, which developed after a series of explosions was set off by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
TOKYO, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The “Magic Tree House” books have
whisked millions of readers on adventures to everywhere from
ancient Egypt to feudal Japan. Now, the children’s time-travel
series is embarking on a new destination: the movie theatre.
The Japanese animated adaptation, which premiered at the
Tokyo International Film Festival, comes to the cinema about two
decades after author Mary Pope Osborne was walking past an old
tree house and got the idea for the series that has sold nearly
100 million books worldwide.
TOKYO, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The 24th Tokyo International Film
Festival kicks off on Saturday with a diverse slate of art house
and mainstream fare, but the biggest theme at the annual event
may be the country’s real-life struggle to recover from the
massive March earthquake and tsunami.
Organizers at one stage even pondered whether the Oct 22-30
show could go on after the devastating disaster threw the nation
into a period of “jishuku,” or self-restraint, which resulted in
many events being cancelled. In addition, the Fukushima nuclear
crisis scared away many foreign tourists.
By Tomasz Janowski
Optimism that Japan’s economy will bounce back from a post-quake slump and pessimism about its long-term prospects is the prevailing message of economists addressing the Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit.
The reasons for the near-term optimism are well known: strides made by Japanese manufacturers in restoring production and supply networks ripped apart by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and expectations that sooner or later hundreds of billions of dollars spent on rebuilding the ravaged northeast coast will grease the wheels of the stuttering economy.
By Tim Kelly
Yoshiharu Hoshino, the president of Hoshino Resort, one of Japan’s leading resort operators, is looking forward to a dose of inflation after years of sliding prices.
By engineering a rise in rates by printing money, he reckons Japan can make a big chunk of its burgeoning national debt disappear, which along with tax hikes is, he predicts, likely the way Japan is going to exit a potential crisis as debt soars to more than twice its gross domestic product.
By Leonora Walet
Suntech Power may be the world’s biggest solar panel maker but it trails Sharp, Kyocera, Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric in the fast-growing Japanese solar market.
Now, the company is set to take on these Japanese rivals on their home turf and aims to double its market share in the country to 10 percent next year.
By Tim Kelly
Fixated on reviving the shattered northeastern seaboard, Japan risks neglecting growth in the rest of the economy, warns Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Lawson, Japan’s second-biggest convenience store operator.
“The question is what do you do about the other 95 percent of the economy,” Niinami told the Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit in Tokyo.
By Kevin Krolicki
Suddenly Taro Kono doesn’t look like quite the lonely maverick in Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party.
Kono, a member of the lower house of parliament, has been an unrelenting critic of Japan’s pursuit of nuclear power since he was first elected in 1996. That made him an odd fit with the LDP, which ruled Japan almost continuously from the mid-1950s to 2009 and put nuclear power at the center of Japan’s energy policy.
TOKYO, April 28 (Reuters) – Korean consumer lender A&P
Financial will start turning around business at failed Japanese
peer Takefuji Corp at a time when Japan’s three biggest consumer
lenders are warning of combined losses of about $4 billion,
squeezed by a government order to repay overcharged interest to
Takefuji said on Thursday that A&P Financial has agreed to
buy it. The price was not disclosed.