Foreign supermarkets struggle to make a profit in Japan
Japan Times -- Jul 22
Some of the major foreign supermarket chains that entered Japan around 2000 offering low prices made possible through bulk purchases have exited the country.

Carrefour SA of France and Tesco PLC of Britain pulled the plug on their supermarkets in 2005 and 2013, respectively.

Even the world’s largest retailer, Walmart Inc. of the United States, is considering selling Seiyu GK, a chain of over 300 stores, informed sources said. Walmart acquired a stake in Seiyu in 2002 to introduce its “Every Day Low Price” strategy to Japan. It thought success here would be needed to become a global retailer.

But Japan’s population is declining, posing a major hurdle to all retailers. In addition, Japan’s consumers are said to be picky about quality. They buy “items that are worth more than their prices,” a senior official at a major Japanese retailer said.

But Costco Wholesale Corp. of the United States and Metro AG of Germany, which launched their Japan operations around 2000, are surviving. They are competing in areas outside pricing.

News source: Japan Times
Feb 20
Honda Motor says it plans to shut down its manufacturing plant in Swindon, southwest England, in 2021. (NHK)
Feb 20
Japan's government says it's building a computer database of registered private lodgings. It aims to stop people renting out properties illegally in the rush to cash in on the growing number of tourists visiting Japan. (NHK)
Feb 20
A Japanese real estate leasing company says it has found defects in more than 11,000 buildings nationwide. (NHK)
Feb 18
By changing his lead attorney from a former prosecutor known as "the breaker" to a hotshot trial lawyer nicknamed "the acquitter", Carlos Ghosn plans a defense in his own image -- combative and media-savvy, experts say. (Japan Today)
Feb 17
With 125 million citizens and the world's third largest GDP, Japan is an important market force. (
Feb 16
Soft drink companies in Japan have put aside their long-held fear of losing market shares, moving to raise prices amid soaring expenses for labor and materials. (Nikkei)
Feb 12
Convenience store operator Family Mart Co. on Monday announced the dismissal of a male employee after the emergence of a video showing him licking items, the latest of several similar incidents involving a food-related company in the last week, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 12). (
Feb 09
The parent company of All Nippon Airways will invest in the operator of Philippine Airlines to take advantage of growing demand for travel in Asia. (NHK)
Feb 08
Rental unit provider Leopalace21 said Thursday that possible construction code violations were found in an additional 1,324 of its apartment buildings, a discovery that will require the relocation of roughly 14,000 tenants. (Nikkei)
Feb 07
Lawson Inc. said Wednesday it closed two of its franchise convenience stores after discovering they had systematically falsified expiration times on some food items prepared in the stores over a period of several years. (Japan Times)