April 2016

Work Perks

Although salary may still be the first thing job seekers look at when scanning potential positions, perks and benefits are being increasingly recognised as crucial ways for companies to attract and retain staff ...
May 2016

A leap in the dark

With Japan’s demographic time bomb ticking, how will the government fund millions of retirements? And how will its pension reforms affect Europe? Until recently, the office of the planet’s biggest public pension pot ...
June 2016

Better courts for better protection

“Japan remains a key and highly regarded intellectual property [IP] jurisdiction worldwide that IP lawyers and practitioners watch very closely. It also remains a driver of legal development in the IP field,” says Richard Bird ...
June 2016

Breaking out of the old system

Intelligence Global Search (IGS), a division of one of the largest recruiting companies in Japan, Intelligence, Ltd., has fostered a culture of diversity since it began. Aiko Tokuhisa, senior manager of talent management; Eiko Kishida ...
July 2016

At the centre of it all

Central Tokyo is changing. Leading up to 2020, the Toranomon area — a short distance from Tokyo station, Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace — will have been extensively redeveloped with a new subway station ...
July 2016

Getting ready for work

The intricacies of Japanese society and culture can sometimes feel like impenetrable riddles. However, some things are easier to understand and are, quite literally, closer to the surface. It’s no secret that Japanese women ...
August 2016

Omotenashi for the surging number of tourists to Japan

Japan was somewhat of a late-starter when it came to marketing itself as a tourist destination. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, when countries like Indonesia and Thailand were beginning to milk the tourist dollar for all it was worth ...
September 2016

In capable hands

It is said that in Tokyo you are never more than a few hundred metres from an automated external defibrillator, or AED. The device is now a familiar sight at railways stations, hotels, government buildings, police boxes and ...
October 2016

Universal basic income

Imagine if every citizen, regardless of age or employment status, received a modest, yet guaranteed, income from the state — no strings attached. It sounds like a pipedream, but universal basic income is becoming a reality ...
November 2016

The sky’s the limit for biometrics

Science fiction films are often a template for emerging technology. The 2002 thriller Minority Report has a memorable scene in which Tom Cruise’s character undergoes an instant retinal scan as he walks into a Gap store ...
January 2017

Bucking globalisation

Friday 9 December should have been a day of quiet satisfaction for Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe. After months of acrimonious debate, the House of Representatives ratified the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ...
February 2017

Japan’s pollen problem

Get your masks and protective glasses ready — hay fever season is about to hit again. Spring is not a happy time of year for the over 30 million people in Japan who have been diagnosed as having cedar pollen allergies.
March 2017

Litigate or arbitrate?

It all seems a long time ago. In 2011, Michael Woodford, the first non-Japanese president and CEO of Olympus, triggered a scandal that eventually revealed a $1.7 billion accounting hole at the company. The revelation toppled Olympus’s top executives ...
April 2017

Safety in numbers?

The issue of personal data protection has been gaining increasing attention as ever greater chunks of our lives are recorded, and conducted, on the internet. Networks belonging to government pension systems, e-mail servers ...
May 2017

Not cutting the mustard

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics approaches, Japan is working to bring its often unique sets of regulations — in a wide range of fields — more in line with international standards. One area receiving particular attention is food safety.
June 2017

The virtuous cycle is stuck

Last month brought a rare piece of good news for Japan’s 65 million workers: their wages had risen by 0.4% in real terms in 2016, the first year-on-year increase in six years, according to government data.
July 2017

A big moment

The exchange of two daruma dolls by EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida on 5 July marked the announcement of an agreement in principle on the Japan–EU ...
July 2017

Speed wins

The Luddites who outraged British industry in the early 19th century, smashing Jacquard looms in a bid to protect jobs and workers’ rights, would be horrified at the ubiquity of labour-saving machines today.
August 2017

Ahead of the pack

Japan’s love affair with high-end European bikes seems to be unquenchable. The market, once dominated by Italian steeds Colnago, Bianchi and Pinarello, expanded in the 1990s to include French offerings such as Time and Look ...
September 2017

Lighting the way

The gender equality statistics for Japan are not encouraging. The country ranked 111th globally in the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Gender Gap Report. While Japan’s female workforce participation rate is now above the OECD average ...
September 2017

A space oddity

In October 2018, an Ariane rocket will blast off from Kourou, French Guiana, taking space exploration into an unknown world, and Japanese-European cooperation into a new era.
October 2017

Building a hydrogen society

If you want to get a glimpse of the future of transport in Tokyo, hop on one of the hydrogen buses at Tokyo Station. Not only do they let you enjoy the scenic route to Tokyo Big Sight — the capital’s premiere exhibition venue ...
November 2017

The genuine article

Would you offer your dinner guests some pungent cheese, a couple slices of dry-cured meat and a postprandial glass of blended brandy? Or, more likely, would you rather forego those prosaic descriptions ...
December 2017

First to 5G

One numeral. One letter. But combined, they stand for a revolution in wireless communication, lavishing smartphones with high-speed connections and changing the way we watch, listen and interact on the go.
January 2018

The omnichannel experience

No doubt to the disappointment of many British children, Toys “R” Us announced at the end of 2017 the closure of a third of its stores in the UK, putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Earlier, the American retailer had filed for bankruptcy in the US and Canada ...
February 2018

Winds of change

Japan’s wind power industry is getting ready to soar. International and domestic players are introducing new technology and investing in a greater deployment of wind energy. Now it is up to the Japanese government to ...
March 2018

The future of driving

As we embrace the age of artificial intelligence, the relationship between cars and their owners is undergoing arguably the biggest transformation since the invention of the internal combustion engine.
April 2018

The mission to change the world by 2030

There’s a colourful, boxy graphic making the rounds on the internet these days; it looks like a calendar or the periodic table of elements, but with simple icons. The boxes are a representation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ...
May 2018

A fertile business

European firms are helping Japan make more babies. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a country running short of children has one of the world’s busiest fertility hospitals. The Kato Ladies Clinic in Shinjuku, central Tokyo ...
June 2018

A smart day in the life

Imagine waking up in a world where everything is done for you, from chores to food preparation, all at the touch of a button or a spoken command. It may sound like something out of The Jetsons ...
July 2018

Toward a clinical utopia

There must be many urban residents of Japan who have arrived at a clinic or hospital and — recalling the crowded waiting areas, treatment rooms lacking privacy and consultations that seem to be over before they have even begun ...
September 2018

Better bionics

Technology for people with missing or non-functioning limbs has come a long way since the earliest known prosthetic: a big toe discovered on the mummified body of an Egyptian noblewoman estimated to be 3,000 years old.
September 2018

Free-flowing

Not all that long ago, finding a decent, reasonably priced bottle of wine in Japan was something of a challenge. Restaurants aside, the limited choice generally ranged from expensive labels in department store basements or cheap ...
October 2018

A third way

The impetus for Japanese companies to expand operations overseas continues to strengthen in light of the grim long-term prospects for domestic growth — despite the current relative boom times. And while projects abroad are nothing new ...
November 2018

Big ambitions

It has taken a while to get used to the idea that Japan — long considered an expensive destination only for the truly adventurous traveller — is now a global tourism hotspot. The evidence is impossible to ignore: the fleets of coaches depositing parties of travellers ...
December 2018

Gems among the concrete

As you look out across the Tokyo megalopolis from the viewing platform of any skyscraper, open-mouthed wonder at the city’s sheer scale all too often gives way to sadness when you realise that the buildings within this cityscape, laid bare below ...
January 2019

Going long on health

Japan has long led the world in life expectancy, fuelled by a diet abundant in healthy food and drinks, such as miso, natto and green tea. But Europe is climbing the longevity ladder, with Spain now expected to capture the seniors’ title by 2040.
February 2019

Protecting our oceans

A slew of horrifying statistics — and a video of a turtle with a straw stuck in its nose — have helped raise awareness of the danger posed by disposable plastic over the past few years. Some 275 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced annually around the globe ...
March 2019

Looking beyond Brexit

Many business operators in Japan have a stake in the continuation of a smooth trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, but as the UK draws closer to its scheduled departure from the EU at the end of this month, firms are still struggling to assess the potential impact of Brexit on trading conditions and their supply chains.
April 2019

Dancing to a new tune

For more than a decade, it looked like pirates might sink the music industry. After annual physical album sales peaked in 1999 at $25.2 billion globally, the rampant spread of online piracy nearly halved the industry’s revenue, bringing it down to $14.3 billion in 2014.
May 2019

Tidying up space

Houston, we have a problem. From epoch-making human exploration to the launch of weather and telecommunications satellites, our growing presence beyond Earth’s atmosphere has generated a troublesome byproduct: space junk floating around in orbit that poses a risk to spacecraft and astronauts.
June 2019

Slurring their words

Producers, retailers and imbibers of alcoholic beverages are some of the biggest beneficiaries of the removal of tariffs since the EU–Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) came into force on 1 February. Yet while many are toasting the lower prices and higher exports, not everyone is fully satisfied.
July 2019

A work in progress

The Reiwa era has begun in Japan with the tightest labour market in 35 years, with more women, seniors, foreigners and even robots in the workforce than ever. But will better working conditions emerge?
August 2019

Following a new formula

Japan’s dairy sector is changing thanks to a combination of reforms to domestic regulations and the EU–Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
September 2019

Can’t stamp them out

Even in a nation with a somewhat infamous reputation for bureaucracy, one of Japan’s more anachronistic practices is the continued, widespread use of revenue stamps.
October 2019

The next level

Once the Tokyo Game Show 2019 opened its doors at Makuhari Messe last month, it drew more than 260,000 people. And, last year, Japan’s mobile games market — the world’s oldest — ballooned to $13.3 billion, up from $9.3 billion in 2015.
November 2019

A second opinion

Japan is struggling to shake off its image as a vaccination backwater. Even though it has made progress in closing the “vaccination gap” with the US and the EU over the past decade, and most children here undergo routine inoculations...
December 2019

Adapting to the climate crisis

Although ideological holdouts remain, denying the mounting evidence of climate change is becoming akin to refusing to believe the earth is round.
January 2020

10 years, 120 issues, one major milestone

This month, Eurobiz Japan celebrates its 10th anniversary. It marks a decade of coverage on the strengthening of ties between the EU and Japan.
February 2020

A new age of crime

Not everyone is enthused about Japan’s experiment with increasing immigration. Last April, the government tweaked its visa rules to allow more workers from abroad.
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