Opinions

A U.S. midterm message that resonates across the Atlantic

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One of the major political messages of the U.S. midterm elections has been that rural voters dominate the cities. While the Democrats made enough gains in urban areas to take control of the House of Representatives, Republicans were able to expand their majority in the Senate, where each state gets… Read

Opinions

Can Japan’s crypto companies take a page from PayPal’s playbook?

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Even though Japan has some of the most progressive cryptocurrency regulations in Asia Pacific, the vast majority of Japanese are still buying digital currencies to hold (or “hodl” in the language of speculators) as an investment rather than use to transact. The question thus remains: What will it take for… Read

Opinions

Japanese monetary policy develops a sense of humour

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Rakugo is a Japanese art form. It is a one-man comedy act which was perfected in the Edo period (1603–1868). It is stand-up comedy delivered by a performer who invariably sits on a cushion. So one might call it sit-down comedy. The performer wears a kimono and carries nothing but a fan and a… Read

Opinions

Japan can learn from how Australia responds to corporate scandals

6 Comments

It has been an extraordinary year for governance in Australia. The ongoing fall-out from a government investigation into the financial services sector and a damning regulator’s report into the capacity for proper oversight of the board of the country’s biggest company, have forced change at the highest levels of public… Read

Opinions

Going full circle for growth and the planet

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The business case for making our economy more sustainable is clear. Globally, transitioning to a circular economy - where materials are reused, re-manufactured or recycled-could significantly reduce carbon emissions and deliver over $1 trillion in material cost savings by 2025. The benefits for Asia and the Pacific would be huge.… Read

Opinions

Love of notes and coins keeps the Japanese brain awake

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The Japanese love their cash. Cash as in physical notes and coins. Not the electronic variety that floats around in cyberspace instead of bouncing about in purses and pockets. Surveys show that we are totally behind the times in our attachment to the ¥10,000 and ¥1,000 notes and the way… Read

Opinions

Entrepreneurial about gender equality

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Establishing a business can be life-changing. Particularly for women in developing countries where it’s a passport to financial independence: a means of breaking out of poverty. More women in employment gives families financial security. It helps guarantee children a good diet, a solid education and reliable healthcare. And because women… Read

Opinions

Pre-Edo warlords: Japan and the EU join forces against the U.S.

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Japan and the European Union have agreed on a trade pact. President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker came to Tokyo for the signing ceremony in July. The agreement is being hailed as a shining beacon for free trade that counters the… Read

Opinions

After international lending, where to for Japanese banks?

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Japanese banks have occupied a dominant place in world capital flows for nearly a decade now. The global financial crisis that paralysed parts of global banking centers New York and London coincided with the end of Japan’s very painful financial sector restructure. Suddenly, from around 2008 after decades of post-bubble… Read

Opinions

Japan's road system needs to be redesigned to make it safer for cyclists

13 Comments

In July 2015, a set of stricter rules came into place regarding bicycle use in Japan. One of the aspects of this is to disallow the use of bicycles on pedestrian sidewalks, apart from “exceptional circumstances.” Now, that may seem a good rule. We have all seen people riding carelessly… Read

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