Bureau Chief, Helsinki
Ritsuko's Feed
Dec 17, 2014

Leaked Sony emails show Loeb influence on studio execs

TOKYO/BOSTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Sony Corp movie
executives kept up a dialogue with hedge fund titan Daniel Loeb,
even after rebuffing the billionaire investor’s proposal to sell
up to one-fifth of the studio’s entertainment business, leaked
emails show.

Loeb’s New York-based Third Point took a 7 percent stake in
the company in May 2013 and suggested that proceeds from a sale
could be used to overhaul Sony’s struggling electronics
business.

Dec 15, 2014

Sony hacking highlights challenge to CEO Hirai’s ‘One Sony’ vision

TOKYO (Reuters) – Leaked emails reveal a cultural gulf between Japan’s Sony Corp and Hollywood subsidiary Sony Pictures Entertainment, highlighting the challenge of CEO Kazuo Hirai to turn around the money-losing company under the slogan One Sony.

The Japanese conglomerate is heading for its fifth net loss in six years, raising questions about its ability to hold on to businesses ranging from making television sets to movies. While activist hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb has given up his call for Sony to spin off its entertainment arm, others believe it should exit weak product lines such as TVs.

Dec 5, 2014

Struggling Sony to cut pay even as PM Abe calls for higher wages

TOKYO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Sony Corp is likely to cut
average pay next year in a rare move for a big Japanese company,
and one that goes against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for
higher wages to get the economy moving.

For a second year, Abe is pressuring major companies to
raise base pay in the fiscal year from April, and boost
investment, to kick-start a positive cycle of higher wages,
profits and prices to end 15 years of deflation.

Nov 23, 2014

South Korea holds winning hand as Japan gambling bill dies

TOKYO/SEOUL, Nov 24 (Reuters) – South Korea looks like the
consolation prize as Japan’s $15 billion casino dream fades, a
setback for companies such as Las Vegas Sands Corp that
envisioned a new gaming hub rivalling Las Vegas in 2020.

A bill that would have legalised casino gambling died when
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved parliament on
Friday to call a snap election. That means lawmakers cannot pass
regulatory legislation next year, making it highly unlikely any
casinos will be ready in time to profit from tourists arriving
for Japan’s 2020 summer Olympics.

Nov 18, 2014

Sony aims for hefty jump in movie, TV revenue over three years

TOKYO, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Japan’s Sony Corp said it
is aiming to lift its movie and TV revenue by more than a third
in the next three years as it cuts costs and invests in
potential hit films, including a new Spider-Man movie.

Loss-making Sony has been under pressure to show its
entertainment business can be a stronger contributor to growth
after rejecting last year a proposal by U.S. hedge fund Third
Point to spin off the segment, and as its mobile division
flounders.

Nov 10, 2014

Panasonic CEO says considering home appliance M&A in Europe

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese electronics conglomerate Panasonic Corp is considering M&A deals to bolster its position in the European home appliance market, its chief executive said on Monday, as it shifts its focus to growth following years of restructuring.

“We need a partner who understands the European market in the white goods segment,” CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga, credited with leading the company’s turnaround since his appointment in 2012, told Reuters in an interview.

Nov 4, 2014

Japan set to indefinitely postpone casino legalization: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese lawmakers are set to indefinitely postpone legalizing casinos as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose cabinet has been hit by a series of scandals, lacks the political leverage to pass a bill this year, sources directly involved in the process said.

The latest in a string of delays for the controversial bill will be a blow for Abe, who has promoted casino resorts as part of his economic growth program, and for casino developers from Las Vegas to Macau. It also dashes hopes for any casino resort to be built in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Nov 4, 2014

Japan casino bill delayed indefinitely, dashing 2020 hopes-sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese lawmakers plan to indefinitely postpone a vote on legalizing casinos, ending hopes of enacting a law in this session of parliament and of having a gambling resort open in time for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics, three people directly involved in the process said.

The latest in a string of delays for the controversial bill will be a blow to Abe, who has promoted casino resorts as part of his economic growth program, and a disappointment to casino developers from Las Vegas to Macau.

Oct 22, 2014

Japan casino bill delayed again; resort opening could miss Olympics: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s plan to open up to casino gambling has been delayed again, three people familiar with the process said, dealing a blow to one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy priorities and to hopes the first resort will open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Pro-casino lawmakers have given up debating a casino legalization bill this month and now aim to start discussions in November, two people directly involved in the process and one person briefed on the deliberations said on Wednesday.

Oct 21, 2014

Lawmakers in Japan’s tsunami-hit region eye casino to hasten recovery

SENDAI, Japan, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Business and political
leaders in northeastern Japan are betting on a casino as the
brightest hope to speed reconstruction in a region battered by
the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Supporters of the plan for a casino near the northeastern
city of Sendai are not publicising their efforts yet, as they
expect strong opposition from residents on the grounds that a
casino would exploit victims of the disaster.