Saying that there is “rising uncertainty” with regards to the country’s debt situation, Moody’s has cut Japan’s credit rating. Yet another indicator of fundamental problems in one of the world’s most powerful economies, Japan’s problems go well beyond its dramatically changing TECH industry.
Jiji Press in Japan is reporting that Google has sent its Street View vehicles into at least eight municipalities in the devastated Fukushima District in Northern Japan. The area was devastated in March 2011 as the result of an earthquake and tsunami that fatally damaged The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s reactor causing the greatest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in Russia.
See video below of the remaining devastation in Fukushima District even two years later… [Read more…] about Google Sends Street View Cars Into Devastated Fukushima District in Japan
At last month’s CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis, we learned about – and reported on – a new venture by industry stalwart Joe Piccirilli to sell a residential energy storage hub under the Rosewater Energy Group brand. Their hub uses rechargeable batteries to store energy from the power grid, or from renewable sources (i.e. solar panels, wind turbines), or even from a back-up generator to condition the energy and power your home.
Now news comes out of Asia that Japanese industry, in conjunction with the Japanese government, is preparing a proposal for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to set international standards for the fledgling residential storage industry.
Why is Japan focusing on residential energy storage? Read below to see why… [Read more…] about Japan Moves to Set Worldwide Standard for Residential Energy Storage
Sharp Corp., once a high flying superstar of Japanese manufacturing might, finds itself engaged in a multi-front battle for survival as it seeks to replenish its depleted capital reserves. Recently, the company had announced that it was negotiating a partnership deal that included the sale of factories and a capital investment from Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. But these talks stalled when Sharp’s share price dropped to a value less than half the agreed-upon level.
Now, in a series of announcements, the company has submitted a new plan seeking the support of its banks by “upping the ante” in its restructuring plans, more than doubling staff cuts, selling off company assets, and offering several Sharp-owned properties as collateral – including its headquarters facility.
Sharp’s new plan cuts deeper and will be more painful…but is it enough?… [Read more…] about Sharp, Struggling to Survive, Provides Banks with a New Plan; Ratchets Up Painful Cuts
In a rash of news coming out of Japan, it is clear that manufacturers are still struggling with the global economic slowdown…as well as an electronics industry retrenchment. As painful as it’s been for Japanese manufacturers (often called Japan, Inc.) over the last 12-24 months or so – adding insult to injury, the China market has slowed down dramatically recently. Considering that China was everyone’s favorite “emerging” growth market – this amounts to a swift kick in the pants and is forcing many to revisit their estimates for this fiscal year. Below is a sample of the latest painful announcements to come out of Japan over the last few days.
See the latest roster of who’s hurting below… [Read more…] about Japan, Inc.: The Cuts Keep Coming
As the industry is on the verge of rolling out the latest HDTV upgrade – 4K resolution – news comes out of Japan that a coalition of Japanese broadcasters and television equipment manufacturers have collaborated to create the next great standard they call Ultra High Definition Television or UHDTV. Another incremental improvement? Oh no…UHDTV leapfrogs 4K…
Have you heard about UHDTV? You’re going to want to know about this… [Read more…] about Forget 4K! Japanese Engineers Create New Global Standard – UHDTV
In yet another sign of the decline of a once seemingly invincible technological powerhouse, shares in Sony Corp. in Tokyo closed Monday below ¥1,000 ($12.76) per share – setting a disturbing new record low. The last time the stock was this low was August 1, 1980 – 32 years ago. The press in Japan took notice and newspapers couldn’t help but point to the development as a symbol of an industry slump that is changing the world’s view of Japan’s technological prowess.
Why do analysts think this happened?…
<January 22, 2012> Just days after news reports of the formation of a strategic partnership between Osaka, Japan-based Onkyo Corporation and Nashville, Tennessee-based Gibson Guitar Corporation – a new report by the Nikkei says that Onkyo has now formed yet another new strategic partnership with Teac Corporation. While details are sketchy, apparently the two reached an agreement this past Friday, January 20th. [Read more…] about Though Ink Not Yet Dry on Gibson Deal, Onkyo Launches Another Partnership with Teac
<January 22, 2012> On Thursday, the Nikkei said it had learned that Onkyo Corporation has decided to cease production of loudspeaker systems in Japan. This decision ends several decades of domestic production of a product category in which Onkyo not only had a great reputation for quality, but also leading market share. [Read more…] about End of an Era, Onkyo Halts Production of Loudspeakers in Japan
<November 30, 2011> On Tuesday, Pioneer Corporation released its revised medium-term business plan designed to rebuild their sales and profits after a tough year of environmental and economic challenges including earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and Thailand, as well as a global economic slowdown. The company also revised its forecast for the results of the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2012 showing a slightly better outcome than the last revised guidance offered. [Read more…] about Pioneer, Pummeled by Problems, Reveals Revised Recovery Plans