Kimono rental shop that went bust had significant debt amid fierce industry competition: sources
Japan Times -- Jan 11
Details emerged Wednesday about significant debts faced by a kimono rental firm that went bust just before Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies, leaving scores of women celebrating adulthood without their formal attire.

The Yokohama-based company, Harenohi, was behind on payments, a credit research firm said, with a sharp increase in delays over the last six months. Unpaid bills were said to go back as far as a year.

“Harenohi’s finances must have worsened well before the payment delays,” said an official from the credit research company. “The firm should have been able to predict its bankruptcy, so it seems malicious that it waited” this long to cease operations.

A Kyoto kimono trading firm which had been supplying Harenohi suspended the relationship around the summer of 2016 due to late payments. Despite repeated requests for payment, the Kyoto firm says it has an irrecoverable debt of more than ¥10 million due to its business with Harenohi.

In addition to its Yokohama shop, Harenohi had locations in Hachioji, Tokyo; Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture; and the city of Fukuoka.

The Kanagawa Prefectural Police and Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department have received approximately 380 complaints claiming that Harenohi failed to provide kimono that had already been paid for. Police are investigating the firm’s financial status on suspicion of fraud, with damages possibly totaling tens of millions of yen.

In recent years, it has become customary in the industry to take reservations for purchasing or renting kimono for Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies two years in advance of potential customers reaching 20 years old, the legal age of adulthood. Competition has become increasingly fierce. Amid a scramble to win customers, Harenohi’s unstable finances were an open secret within the industry, sources said. Industry officials say they will have to work on winning back the confidence of customers.

News source: Japan Times
Oct 22
A video tape showing a horse getting whipped at a traditional festival held last month in the city of Kumamoto has caused a public outcry, with many people calling it a form of animal abuse. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
The government is considering giving effective 2 percent rebates for cashless purchases of all goods and services at small shops after next year’s planned consumption tax hike, it was learned Saturday. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
Osamu Shimomura, a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008, has died at the age of 90. (NHK)
Oct 22
The head of a school that teaches the art of picking up women and a former student have been arrested on suspicion of rape, the fourth such case to emerge since an investigation began earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 22
A government advisory panel has approved a set of proposals for plastic recycling, including making it mandatory for retailers to charge for plastic shopping bags. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
A man prosecuted last year in connection with the death of a Japanese woman in Vancouver was found guilty of murder on Friday, a Canadian court said. (Japan Today)
Oct 22
The entire Cabinet along with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refrained from visiting Tokyo’s war-linked Yasukuni Shrine during this year’s four-day autumn festival that ended Saturday. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
A 26-year-old unemployed man has been arrested in Sakai, Osaka, for injuring a woman after he threw a bicycle from the 12th floor of a 14-story municipal apartment building in August. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
Final preparations were under way Friday for the launch of a joint mission by European and Japanese space agencies to send twin probes to Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. (Japan Times)
Oct 20
Scandal-hit KYB Corp. on Friday disclosed the names of 70 government and municipal office buildings that used, or are suspected of having used, substandard earthquake shock absorbers in their construction. (Japan Times)