Chris's Feed
Jan 26, 2011

Toyota recalls over 1.7 million vehicles globally

TOKYO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it
was recalling more than 1.7 million vehicles worldwide, the
latest in a string of recalls that have ballooned to nearly 16
million since late 2009, further denting the automaker’s
reputation for quality.

Shares of Toyota extended their decline after the
announcement and closed down nearly 2 percent.

Nov 26, 2010

“Norwegian Wood” director Tran cuts through language barrier

By Chris Gallagher

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – Adapting a bestselling novel like “Norwegian Wood” for the cinema can be a tough task for any director, but try making the film in a language you can’t speak.

That’s the challenge Vietnamese-French filmmaker Tran Anh Hung faced in bringing the Haruki Murakami story of love and loss to the screen 23 years after the book enchanted millions of Japanese readers and raised the author’s profile globally.

Oct 15, 2010

In Japan, 3D films get kicked by new samurai flicks

TOKYO (Reuters) – Hollywood 3D movies may be huge in Japan, but a wave of new samurai films threatens to tarnish their image by dazzling audiences with old-school action and some clever new twists to the sword-and-kimono stories.

From the works of filmmaking legend Akira Kurosawa, such as “Seven Samurai,” to dramas aired on public broadcaster NHK, samurai fare has long been a staple of Japanese entertainment.

Jun 9, 2010

Paramount revives hit film “Ghost” in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Paramount Pictures is bringing “Ghost” back to life with a Japanese version of the romance blockbuster, becoming the latest Hollywood studio to launch a local-language production as U.S. films stumble at Japan’s box offices.

The unit of Viacom Inc also is starting to dub more U.S. movies, such as “Shutter Island,” into Japanese to lure elusive young audiences, an unusual step in a country where most foreign fare, apart from kids’ films, is shown with subtitles.

May 12, 2010

Driving schools rev up with BMWs, manicures

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese driving schools are offering more than instruction behind the wheel, with Hawaiian massage and lessons in BMWs among the services available to compete for a dwindling number of potential students.

Like a broad spectrum of Japanese companies, driving schools are grappling with the country’s shrinking population and a tightfisted economic climate that have triggered fierce price competition.

Mar 4, 2010
via Raw Japan

Give me my allowance back!


Kids these days can’t get a break. They cop flak from the older generation for their manners, the way they dress, and having it too easy compared with in the good old days.

And now their pocket money has taken a hit.

High school students in Japan saw their allowances fall 11 percent last year to an average 6,045 yen ($68) a month — the lowest since 1990 — according to a recent survey by the Central Council for Financial Services Information.

Mar 2, 2010
via Raw Japan

Go, Johnny, go


Moviegoers in Japan can’t get enough of Johnny Depp: The swashbuckling “Pirates of the Caribbean” star has been named favourite actor for a record seventh straight year in a survey by film magazine Screen.

That topped the previous record of six consecutive years for actress Audrey Hepburn in the early 1960s in Screen’s annual readers poll, which the magazine has been conducting since 1952.

Feb 12, 2010
via Raw Japan

Skipping the taxi


Looking for extra motivation to walk away the pounds? Japan’s Happinet Toys is selling a pedometer that calculates how much money you save on taxi fares by walking as well as the calories you burn.

The meter on the ”Taxi Walker” starts at 710 yen ($7.90) — the same as the initial fare for most Tokyo taxis and which covers the first 2 km  (1.2 miles). Once the user has walked more than 2 km, the pedometer tacks on 90 yen for each additional 280 meters.

Jan 29, 2010

Silence from the top as Toyota recall crisis deepens

TOKYO, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Akio Toyoda took the helm of
Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> last year pledging to steer the
company out of its worst downturn in history and bring greater
transparency to its sprawling corporate culture.

Now Toyoda, the grandson of the company’s founder, is
having to cope with a deepening recall crisis that threatens to
do irreversible damage to its brand and once stellar reputation
for quality.

Jan 13, 2010

American Airlines sweetens offer as JAL shares plunge

TOKYO (Reuters) – American Airlines <AMR.N> and its partners in the Oneworld alliance sweetened their offer to Japan Airlines <9205.T> to $1.4 billion to keep the struggling national carrier from joining hands with rival Delta Air Lines <DAL.N>.

The announcement came as JAL shares plunged 45 percent to a record low, wiping out nearly $900 million in market value, on growing expectations the airline is headed for bankruptcy and a delisting from the Tokyo exchange.