TVs and $1,000 down coats: What Japan is buying ahead of tax hike
Nikkei -- Sep 04
Japanese consumers are rushing to buy expensive appliances, clothing and jewelry before the country's consumption tax increase on Oct. 1, retailers say, and the trend portends a drop-off in spending afterward.

At big-box electronics store chain Bic Camera, refrigerator sales climbed about 30% on the year in August.

Large-capacity units are among the best performers ahead of the tax hike, which will raise the rate to 10% from 8%.

Washing machine sales soared 40% in August. Bic Camera's flagship store in Tokyo's Yurakucho district enjoyed a 60% jump in demand for front-loading machines that cost over 200,000 yen ($1,880).

Steering Asia's second-largest economy through the tax hike presents one of the biggest near-term challenges for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government.

The government has rolled out incentives for buyers of automobiles and housing to smooth out any wild swings in demand around the tax increase. But for other big-ticket items, it is a race against the clock to score the cheapest price.

Electronics chain Nojima's sales of televisions with organic light-emitting diode displays more than tripled on the year during the past two weeks.

Much of the traffic came from customers looking to replace models that they purchased about a decade ago under the Japanese government's "eco-point" stimulus program, which was meant to offset the economic slowdown following the 2008 global financial crisis.

News source: Nikkei
Feb 17
Japan invented the zombie company: a once proud and innovative name that has lost its way and staggers from one crisis to another. But has Asia's second biggest economy now created the zombie privatization? (Nikkei)
Feb 14
Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten on Thursday said it sold $1.4 billion worth of shares in its technology holdings, including its entire stake in U.S. social networking service Pinterest, underlying growing concerns about overvaluations in the sector. (Nikkei)
Feb 14
SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son said he is considering a new type of fund for startup investing, showing his determination to keep cutting deals after missteps with WeWork and several other companies. (Japan Times)
Feb 13
Nissan Motor has filed a lawsuit with a Japanese court against former chairman Carlos Ghosn, seeking 10 billion yen, or about 90 million dollars, in damages. Ghosn is now in Lebanon after skipping bail in Japan. (NHK)
Feb 13
Find out why the Integrated Resorts project in Japan is bound to be a raging success. The multi-billion project will transform the local economy in a big way. (newsonjapan.com)
Feb 13
More Japanese companies are shifting to merit-based pay as competition for workers heats up, but the change risks holding back the sort of blanket wage hikes the prime minister says are needed to inflate the economy. (Japan Today)
Feb 12
Japanese financial authorities will allow companies to delay submitting mandatory reports if they cannot meet the deadlines due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. (NHK)
Feb 12
A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of the $26 billion merger between wireless carriers T-Mobile and SoftBank Group-owned Sprint, giving the Japanese conglomerate a much-needed boost after a series of investment flops. (Nikkei)
Feb 12
Nissan Motor plans to temporarily suspend production at a plant in Japan's southwest amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus. (NHK)
Feb 09
The top diplomats of Japan and Britain agreed Saturday to work quickly toward a bilateral trade deal that will be "at least as ambitious" as Japan's agreement with the European Union. (Kyodo)