Category Archives: BUSINESS

5 Ways To Help Small Businesses In Japan

local shop

Local small businesses are essential for creating unique neighborhoods. Customers are more often satisfied by these sorts of businesses as they show a similar awareness about their communities and provide friendly customer service for all.

The Japanese government is providing every resident in Japan with a ¥100,000 stimulus package. If possible, why not put this extra cash boost towards something meaningful and economically boosting? If you’re someone who has some extra yen to spare, spend it away with love for the sake of your community. Here are five awarding ways to support your local small businesses.

1. Order products with takeaway or delivery options

Delivery

Many of us are probably taking full advantage of takeaway and delivery options when it comes to premade meals, but another suggestion is to look into other local stores such as flower shops and fashion boutiques to see if they also have alternative shopping options.

SAVVY PICKS

Lotus Garden is a flower shop in Yamagata which delivers flower arrangements with a variety of themes all around Japan. They also provide free flower arranging lessons on their website and lesson kits for different flower themes. If you’re just after some flowers we recommend asking your local flower shop to see if they have anything available first, but if you’re wanting something specific Lotus Garden will be more than happy to provide it.

2. Buy “future tickets”, gift cards or credit for later

naramirai

Buying gift cards and credits are a great way to support your local businesses whilst still getting something in return later on. …continue reading

    

How You Can Support Local Businesses in Japan During COVID-19

Source: Gaijin Pot
How to Support Local Businesses in Japan during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be an economic marathon for those small businesses and independent companies who have seen their customer base plummet.

With so much happening right now, and hints at the nation beginning to get a little back to normal, we still need to remain diligent and to avoid potentially facing a second wave outbreak.

If you’re looking for a way to continue to shop safely and help local businesses, there are some pretty easy ways to chip in, help locals get back on track, and get a few goodies for yourself too.

Buy a local produce box

A farmer’s market in Shimo-takaido, Tokyo.

If this current time isn’t the absolute pinnacle moment for online shopping, I don’t know what is. Rather than going straight to Amazon, make your online spending a little more ethical by shopping locally.

While you’re trapped inside with extra time and a rediscovered passion for cooking—or at least flexing your culinary skills on Instagram—a locally sourced produce box is a win-win all around. You get fresh fruit and veggies, you don’t have to leave the house, and you’re supporting farmers directly.

With a majority of restaurants running on a low capacity model or just offering take out, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get the cream of the crop as many producers are stuck with an excess of product.

Where to buy

Help local farmers and get more delicious produce while doing it.

Couple Atsue and Cameron run Base Side Farm out near Fussa Yokota Air Base. They’re selling a variety of seasonal vegetables, including plenty of greens, all of which you can see on their Facebook page<span …continue reading

    

The economy dominates South America’s relationship with China and Japan

Grain is loaded aboard ships for export at a port on the Parana river near Rosario, Argentina, 31 January, 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Brindicci).

Author: Nobuaki Hamaguchi, Kobe University

The United States and Europe tend to associate South America with Amazon rainforest burning, pink-tide leftist ideology, drug trafficking, corruption and illegal migration. These issues oppose their values of justice, social stability and global order. For China, whose 2016 Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean states a position of ‘non-interference in each other’s internal affairs’, these are not of concern.

China seeks South American natural resources like oil, gas, metals and food and access to its capital and consumer goods markets comprising 431 million potential consumers. South America also receives substantial Chinese investment in the resources and infrastructure sectors. For South American countries, the growing presence of China is an opportunity to pursue development agendas which may not be otherwise viable.

China has extended the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to South America and invested in mega-infrastructure projects, including ports and railways. Chinese technology company Huawei is also selling 5G networks to Brazil, despite US efforts to block it by tempting President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration with a military cooperation program. If realised, Brazil would become a showcase of a South American regional market using a technological platform made by China.

China has become the number one or two trade partner for all South American countries. But a high concentration in natural resources trade has created tensions in economic relations, as shown by the increasing number of anti-dumping complaints against China. WTO statistics show that South American countries initiated 23 per cent of anti-dumping probes against China over 1995–2019 — the same as the United States and European Union combined.

There is also a fear that the South American economy may be too dependent on China. The fear is becoming a reality as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean …continue reading

    

Number of registered short-term accommodations drop for first time

The number of registered ‘minpaku’ short-term accommodation providers has dropped for the first time since the new system was introduced in June 2018. According to the Japan Tourism Agency there were a total of 21,176 registered properties across Japan as of May 11, down from 21,385 just one month earlier.

Minpaku rentals, many of which use online platforms such as Airbnb, had seen exponential growth over the past two years and were popular with budget-conscious foreign tourists. Private hosts were often subletting or even buying properties to convert into Airbnb-style rentals. Many are now looking to exit the market quickly.

Over the past month there were 629 properties de-registered and 420 new registrations. Up until this month, there had been a consecutive month-on-month net increase for the past 22 months.

With the entry ban on foreign arrivals extended throughout the month of June, the accommodation industry, particularly the sector that relies on foreign tourists, will continue to be hit hard in the coming months. Conditions are not likely to improve as the entry ban on foreign tourists is likely to continue for several months.

Sources:
Japan Tourism Agency, May 20, 2020.
Jiji Press, May 20, 2020.

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Nationwide average apartment price drops for first time since 2012

According to the Real Estate Transaction Promotion Center, the average sale price of an existing apartment sold across Japan in April was 25,400,000 Yen, down 9.03% from last year. The average sale price per square meter was 385,200 Yen, down 8.76% from 2019. This is the first time since September 2012 to see a year-on-year drop in prices.

The average apartment size was 67.03 sqm (721 sq.ft), while the average building age was 24.34 years.

A total of 3,566 apartments were reported to have sold during the month, down 45.75% from last year. For detached homes, the year-on-year drop was slightly less severe at 29.75%. The average sale price of an existing house fell 11.38% to 20,010,000 Yen. The average house size was 113.30 sqm (1,219 sq.ft), and the average building age was 26.03 years.

Source: The Real Estate Transaction Promotion Center, May 15, 2020.

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