Take a look around any Japanese city and reminders of the H1N1 influenza threat are everywhere. Commuters in surgical masks. Hand sanitiser at building entrances. Classrooms and daycare centres being temporarily shut.But nothing gets parents more into a panic than news reports of small children having died from the disease. Moms and dads understandably want vaccinations for their kids as soon as possible but there’s one major problem: where can you get them?Japan has started administering the swine flu vaccine to high-risk groups such as medical personnel, pregnant women and children under the age of nine with medical problems such as asthma. But the wider school-age population will not be eligible until early next year.One of my 3-year-old twin daughters qualified because she has a serious case of asthma, but the doctor told us to “keep it a secret” for fear of a rush on the hospital for scarce vaccine.”This place already looks like a field hospital,” said the pediatrician at the children’s hospital, which was packed with young flu patients in the waiting room where some were even vomiting. “Everyone is desperate for the shot. We can’t work like this.”Still, even high-priority patients have no guarantee of immediately receiving the vaccine.We tried to get the vaccine for my other daughter, who also has asthma, but were told to call back later in the month because the doctor judged her symptoms to be too mild.On the other hand, the swine flu outbreak has been a boon for some companies. Drugstores have been selling out of masks and hand disinfectant as people try to avoid coming down with the virus, which is thought to spread person-to-person through coughing or sneezing.And in one innovative approach, a clinic near Tokyo with walls, door knobs and other fixtures made out of copper recently opened for business, after a British scientist reportedly found copper to be effective in preventing the spread of influenza.Maybe it’s time to start investing in copper?Photo credit: REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
TOKYO, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Shares of Aiful Corp <8515.T> and
other Japanese consumer lenders soared on Monday after a source
said the government may ease regulations that have crippled the
industry and raised hurdles for small businesses to get loans.
The government will launch a study group as early as this
month to reassess regulations, including a cap limiting unsecured
loans to one-third of an individual’s annual income, a government
source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Results from Japanese technology
groups such as Fujitsu <6702.T> and NEC Electronics <6723.T>
indicated the worst is not yet over for the struggling sector
as the sector grapples with sluggish demand.
NEC Electronics <6723.T>, Fujitsu’s rival in high end
chips, expects a slowdown in chip output, while Taiwan’s UMC
<2303.TW>, the world’s No.2 contract chip maker, forecast
weaker wafer shipments in the fourth quarter.
TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Co <BA.N> estimates northeast Asia will need about 1,200 airplanes worth about $190 billion over the next 20 years, a senior company executive said on Thursday.
Northeast Asia plays a big role for Boeing with Japan its biggest single-country international market for its commercial airplanes.
TOKYO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Sumitomo Trust and Banking <8403.T>
said on Monday it will join hands with French insurer group AXA
<AXAF.PA> to set up a $1.1 billion real estate investment fund to
buy office buildings in Tokyo.
Tokyo’s office market was the world’s most active in the
first half of this year, as investors return to a market hit hard
after the global credit crunch pushed down property values and
squeezed financing. [ID:nT48570]
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s SBI Holdings Inc <8473.T> plans to launch an Islamic investment fund worth $112 million as early as next year and to set up an online brokerage firm in India, the financial services conglomerate’s CEO said.
SBI, which generates about half of its revenues from asset management as well as from its brokerage and investment banking business, plans to shore up these core segments by accelerating investment in Asia’s emerging countries.