mark in nagoya, perhaps you know a lot about Japan's economic history of the last ten years, however, I welcome you to tour the Tokai district or any other manufacturing centre (say, Sony which gave some 16,000 of its employees the pink slip last year).
Perhaps you didn't read or hear about Toyota's red ink in 2008, the first in 70 years of operation. In any event, the toll has yet to be counted in terms of actual jobs lost.
The company is forecasting an operating loss of 150 billion yen ($US1.6 billion) for fiscal year to March 2009 reversing its previous forecast of a 600 billion yen profit. The figure is a dramatic fall from last year's record profit of 2.27 trillion yen or $25 billion. Toyota has not made a loss since it first started publishing results in the 1940-41 fiscal year. Its internal records showed a small loss in its first year of operation in 1937.
Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe painted a bleak picture of the corporation's prospects, saying: "It's a kind of emergency that we've never experienced before. The environment surrounding us is extremely harsh... The change in the world economy is of a magnitude that comes once every hundred years... The tough times are hitting us far faster, wider and deeper than expected. This is an unprecedented crisis requiring urgent action." Source: WSWs.org
This same person, the president of Toyota Motor Corporation, maybe looking for a new job this year... Reports: Top Japanese Auto Executive in Trouble Source: The Chosun Ilbo http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200812/200812240031.html
Or perhaps you care to read this article about the Brazilian Japanese population in Japan... 'Japan's migrant workers will just be first to lose jobs' Source: Times OnLine http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article5400502.ece
As one of the readers of the same article wrote, 'the 2008 tsunami ... is not over'. This tsunami is going to rewrite the history of Asia's economic success.
So, get with it Mark in Japan... I'd recommend you get some first hand experience about the real economic crisis. For a starter, I'd suggest you meet some Japanese people who work in manufacturing.
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n3312, you might want to read this > http://www.informinc.org/japanepr.pdf
From that same tract, "Recycling fees are transmitted to manufacturers monthly. They are intended to cover the costs associated with operating the regional consolidation centers, transporting products to recycling facilities, and recycling itself. However, it is important to note that these fees are insufficient to cover all the costs of recycling and that manufacturers are responsible for the remaining costs."
There's another article about recycling in today's Japan Today about cellphones and other small appliances (digital appliances and consumer goods).
It would appear there are products which are desirable to recycle and others that nobody wants, such as old television sets.
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