Back & forward.Higher costs, falling profit ...
In the January-March quarter, pretax pre·tax
Existing before tax deductions: pretax income.
pretax adj [profit] → vor (Abzug der) Steuern profit at Japanese Japanese (jăp'ənēz`), language of uncertain origin that is spoken by more than 125 million people, most of whom live in Japan. There are also many speakers of Japanese in the Ryukyu Islands, Korea, Taiwan, parts of the United States, and firms fell 17.5% year-on-year, as sales slid 1.5% during the same time. It was the third straight quarter that profit fell at firms in Japan, and the January-March drop was the biggest seen since the fourth quarter of 2001. Increased raw material costs also contributed to a 4.9% decline in capital spending capital spending
Spending for long-term assets such as factories, equipment, machinery, and buildings that permits the production of more goods and services in future years. . Looking back, it seems more and more difficult to speak of an economic recovery having fully fueled Japan out of its doldrums doldrums (dŏl`drəmz) or equatorial belt of calms, area around the earth centered slightly north of the equator between the two belts of trade winds. . Looking forward, expectations are high that Japanese firms will seek improved efficiency--possibly through consolidation, cheaper access to raw materials, and greater direct access to overseas markets.
Whale meat imports; where's the butter?
For the first time since 1990, Japan has imported whale meat. 80 tons of fin whale fin whale
or finback whale or razorback whale or common rorqual
Swift, slender-bodied baleen whale (Balaenoptera physalus) named for the ridge on its back. caught in 2006 by Iceland Iceland, Icel. Ísland, officially Republic of Iceland, republic (2005 est. pop. 297,000), 39,698 sq mi (102,819 sq km), the westernmost state of Europe, occupying an island in the Atlantic Ocean just S of the Arctic Circle, c. arrived in Japan in May, and five tons of minke whale caught by Norway Norway, Nor. Norge, officially Kingdom of Norway, constitutional monarchy (2005 est. pop. 4,593,000), 125,181 sq mi (324,219 sq km), N Europe, occupying the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. have been shipped to Japan so far this year. With the US State Department urging Iceland and Norway to stop the export, the importation of the meat raises several questions: Have western protests over Japanese whaling whaling, the hunting of whales for the oil that can be rendered from their flesh, for meat, and for baleen (whalebone). Historically, whale oil was economically the most important. Early Whaling
Whaling for subsistence dates to prehistoric times. led to increased domestic demand? Is the government importing meat to pass off to hospitals and schools? Have the decreased sizes of Japan's 'research' catches in recent years led to shortages of whale meat on supermarket shelves? Do Norway and Iceland have any butter to send over?
... and hotels look at consolidation, overseas operations ...
Faced with increased competition from foreign luxury hotel operators, Hotel Okura Okura may refer to:
Overtime pay? Is nothing sacred anymore?
Further pressure on Japanese firms could come in the form of increased wages. Although wages have been increasing slightly over the past few months, as more workers switch to full-time positions, the decision by McDonald's to pay overtime to store managers might motivate others such shops to follow suit. Seven-Eleven, Yofuku Aoyama and Aoki have already announced that they will begin paying overtime to shop managers. In the case of Yofuku Aoyama, the increased payroll bill is expected to total just over [yen] 500 million per year.
... while Seven-Eleven rolls the dice in China ...
Another firm with its eyes set on the Chinese market is Seven-Eleven Japan. Seven & i Holdings has set up a subsidiary in Beijing called, you guessed it, Seven-Eleven China. In China, the number seven is sometimes considered lucky, as it stands for 'togetherness' and sounds like 'family.' However, it is an unlucky number in northern China, and the seventh month of the Chinese calendar Chinese calendar
The traditional lunisolar calendar of the Chinese people, based on 24 seasonal segments each about 15 days long. An intercalary month is occasionally necessary to reconcile the lunar year with the solar year. is known as the 'Ghost Month.' Although possibility of a tie-up with Hotel Okura and Seven-Eleven has not been mentioned, it could lead to some interesting number combinations, with the 096 of Okura and the 7-11 of Seven-Eleven in play ...
... and Steel Partners swings its hair.
Steel Partners, which has made high-profile unsuccessful bids to acquire Sapporo and Bull-Dog, managed to convince shareholders to oust oust
tr.v. oust·ed, oust·ing, ousts
1. To eject from a position or place; force out: "the American Revolution, which ousted the English" Virginia S. Eifert. the top management team at Aderans. As the largest single shareholder of the wig-maker, Steel had previously demanded the resignation of Aderans' president. The firm refused, and management's heads rolled at the annual shareholder meeting. With just over half of Aderans' shares owned by foreign investors, and local shareholders growing fed up with management's performance, the vote's result was not surprising, and could strike fear into board-rooms well beyond the wig-making industry.
Ken Worsley runs JapanEconomyNews.com. He can be contacted at email@example.com