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Aepsilons

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Mercedes Benz teams up with Super Mario in new SUV advertisements for Japan

We all know that the most famous 8-bit plumber in the world, Super Mario and the whole franchise behind it, is a legend in Japan and in all of geekdom, and it probably makes sense to take advantage of partnering your product with Nintendo if given the chance. But what German luxury sedan makers Mercedes Benz has done with the marketing ploy for its new GLA class compact in Japan is a little bit on the weird side.


Mario, probably Nintendo’s most famous character and the top money-maker for the struggling video game company, is front and center in the Mercedes Benz GLA class commercial that is doing the rounds on TV and social media. It starts out with the most popular opening stage of all time in
video games, Mario’s familiar starting point, complete with that beloved MIDI soundtrack, bricks and question boxes. But this time, our plumber friend jumps into an 8-bit version of the GLA and proceeds onto the game riding the car. One would think that this is cute at this point, but this is not where the commercial ends. Suddenly the video pans into real live footage, and we’re faced with a bizarre-looking real-life Mario – an Italian looking guy with a nose job to give him that authentic Mario look – driving the GLA. If you blink, you might miss the Goomba which “kills” him at the end of the commercial.


Japan has a history of bizarre commercials and TV shows, so we guess it’s not surprising at all that Mercedes Benz – a very serious brand – would take this path in marketing its cars to the Japanese public. Nothing like familiarity to build from. Mercedes Benz is also taking this partnership with Nintendo another level higher, as it’s said that the new Mercedes GLA will be a downloadable add-on car to the Japanese version of Mario Kart 8, Nintendo’s newest version of its unbelievably cute racing game.
















Mercedes Benz teams up with Super Mario in new SUV advertisements for Japan - The Japan Daily Press
 

Aepsilons

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Trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday he will seek to negotiate a free trade deal with the European Union at a ministerial level, as EU member countries have agreed to continue the negotiations after seeing progress in Tokyo’s efforts to reduce trade barriers.

Motegi also told a news conference the two sides will accelerate talks to achieve a broad agreement in 2015. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for July 7 to 11 in Tokyo.


Japan-EU free trade talks in offing | The Japan Times
 

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports to Japan stood at $478 million while imports from Japan were at $1,432 million during 2013, according to data released by Japan Embassy Islamabad.

Japan’s major exports to Pakistan during 2013 were machinery and transport equipment including vehicles and cars parts while Japan’s major imports from Pakistan were textile, textile articles and chemical products.
Similarly the net inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Japan was $34.5 million of which FDI accounted for 87 percent.

The accumulated figure of the net FDI from Japan between 1994-95 and 2012-13 was US $774 million and about 70 Japanese-affiliated companies do business in Pakistan. Pakistani and Japanese companies for the purpose of strengthening the business relationship between Pakistan and Japan established Pakistan-Japan Business Forum (PJPF) in 2001.


Pakistan’s exports to Japan stood at $478m in 2013
 

Aepsilons

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Japan's Mitsubishi Motors buys PHL transmission maker to boost ASEAN output base



Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) has bought nearly 100 percent of Asian Transmission Corp. (ATC), maker of transmission assembly and its component parts as well as the engine assembly of Mitsubishi vehicles, as part the business strategy to have a stronger production base in Southeast Asia.

Asian Transmission is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Motors and Sojitz Corporation, considered two of the largest conglomerates in Japan.

Mitsubishi Motors said it expanded its 5.29-percent equity stake in Asian Transmission by buying the 79.42-percent stake of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. and the 5.29 percent of Sojitz in ATC.

The transmission assembly maker operates a factory in Calamba, Laguna and basically meets the needs of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines and other Mitsubishi Motors in Southeast Asia.

MMC said this development this development is part of the company's New Stage 2016 business plan that aims develop a stronger supply chain of manufacturing components in the region expand the output Mitsubishi Motors Philippines.

“Accordingly, MMC will utilize this advantage in the ASEAN region and produce newly-developed transmissions exclusively at ATC starting from September this year,” Mitsubishi Motors said in an e-mailed statement Friday.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines bought the Ford Motor Co. factory in a 21-hectare lot in Sta. Rosa, Laguna to boost its capabilities to assemble Mitsubishi vehicles. The Japanese car maker planned to relocate to the Sta. Rosa plant early next year.

Ford closed down its Philippine factory 2012 due to soft demand and an inadequate supply base for the automotive industry. – VS, GMA News


Japan's Mitsubishi Motors buys PHL transmission maker to boost ASEAN output base | Economy | GMA News Online
 

Aepsilons

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India seeks Japan’s help to build 100 smart cities

NEW DELHI: India is seeking Japanese investment to develop 100 smart cities and high-speed bullet trains to boost infrastructure and create jobs, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion secretary Amitabh Kant yesterday said Japan had formed a partnership with India to develop the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project – a 1,483km freight corridor.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has proposed to build smart cities under the project which will have self-sustainable habitats with minimal pollution levels, maximum recycling, optimised energy supplies and efficient public transportation.

“Rapid urbanisation is happening in India and about 750 million people will enter the urbanisation process in the next one decade. Japan will be a natural partner,” Kant said.

He said Japan would become a key player in the development of the Indian economy.

“We need 10,000 Japanese companies in the next five years,” said Kant.

Japanese foreign direct investment in India stood at US$16.26 billion between April 2000 and April this year. – Bernama



India seeks Japan’s help to build 100 smart cities | Free Malaysia Today
 

Aepsilons

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Toyota to supply fuel cell vehicle parts to other automakers



NAGOYA – Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to provide the major components of fuel cell vehicles to other automakers to promote their entry into the market, company officials said.

Since the huge cost of developing the next-generation cars will be difficult for midsize companies to bear, Toyota is considering supplying such parts as fuel cells, high-pressure hydrogen tanks and motors to accelerate the spread of FCVs.

Once production and sales of FCVs get solidly under way and their production capacity is readied, Toyota plans to supply the parts to other car manufacturers, the officials said.

If more companies enter the market, it will be easier for the government and the energy industry to develop the needed infrastructure to support them, including hydrogen charging stations, experts said.

FCVs are powered by electricity generated through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen that produces only water and no carbon dioxide. Toyota said last week it will launch a sedan-style FCV in Japan by next March at a retail price of around ¥7 million.

If production of FCVs rises with its parts supply operations, Toyota could slash manufacturing costs and lower the price of the vehicle later.

“For cutting costs, technological innovation is important but mass production is effective,” said a Toyota executive.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., with which Toyota has formed a capital alliance, is seen as another automaker that could potentially supplying such parts. Since Toyota makes most of its major FCV parts, it would be difficult for other carmakers to purchase parts to be used in the vehicle.


Toyota to supply fuel cell vehicle parts to other automakers | The Japan Times



 

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Toshiba reportedly nearing deal on Bulgarian nuclear reactor



TOKYO: Toshiba's US unit is nearing a deal estimated at almost $5 billion to build a nuclear reactor in Bulgaria, a report said Thursday, as Japanese firms eye atomic contracts overseas after the Fukushima crisis erased demand at home.

The Japanese giant's subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, is in the final stages of talks with Bulgarian Energy Holding for a mid-sized reactor expected to be running by around 2025, the leading Nikkei business daily reported.

The price tag for the project is estimated at about 500 billion yen ($4.9 billion).

Westinghouse may also take a stake in the Bulgarian firm's nuclear power unit as part of the deal, the paper added without citing sources.

A Toshiba spokeswoman in Tokyo said the two sides were closing in on a deal, but added that talks "are still continuing and no details have been decided yet".

The report comes as some European nations are looking to cut their reliance on Russia for their energy needs as the Ukraine crisis rumbles on.

Japanese engineering giants including Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have been eyeing opportunities abroad as they try to rekindle an atomic business hammered by the 2011 Fukushima crisis.

The country's nuclear reactors have been shuttered since a quake-sparked tsunami slammed into the Fukushima plant, sending reactors into meltdown and setting off the worst atomic accident in a generation.

Last year, Japan and Turkey agreed on a long-awaited deal to build a sprawling nuclear power plant on the Black Sea coast, marking the first order for Japan's atomic sector since the 2011 tragedy.



Toshiba reportedly nearing deal on Bulgarian nuclear reactor - Channel NewsAsia
 

Edison Chen

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Toshiba reportedly nearing deal on Bulgarian nuclear reactor



TOKYO: Toshiba's US unit is nearing a deal estimated at almost $5 billion to build a nuclear reactor in Bulgaria, a report said Thursday, as Japanese firms eye atomic contracts overseas after the Fukushima crisis erased demand at home.

The Japanese giant's subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, is in the final stages of talks with Bulgarian Energy Holding for a mid-sized reactor expected to be running by around 2025, the leading Nikkei business daily reported.

The price tag for the project is estimated at about 500 billion yen ($4.9 billion).

Westinghouse may also take a stake in the Bulgarian firm's nuclear power unit as part of the deal, the paper added without citing sources.

A Toshiba spokeswoman in Tokyo said the two sides were closing in on a deal, but added that talks "are still continuing and no details have been decided yet".

The report comes as some European nations are looking to cut their reliance on Russia for their energy needs as the Ukraine crisis rumbles on.

Japanese engineering giants including Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have been eyeing opportunities abroad as they try to rekindle an atomic business hammered by the 2011 Fukushima crisis.

The country's nuclear reactors have been shuttered since a quake-sparked tsunami slammed into the Fukushima plant, sending reactors into meltdown and setting off the worst atomic accident in a generation.

Last year, Japan and Turkey agreed on a long-awaited deal to build a sprawling nuclear power plant on the Black Sea coast, marking the first order for Japan's atomic sector since the 2011 tragedy.



Toshiba reportedly nearing deal on Bulgarian nuclear reactor - Channel NewsAsia
I have a Toshiba laptop, 400 USD
 

Aepsilons

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Nissan's newest factory lines boost deliveries













NASHVILLE -- Nissan Motor Corp.’s recent investments in North American factory capacity translated to robust small-car sales in June. The growing stream of Mexican-made Sentra compacts and Versa subcompacts helped push the brand to record June sales, despite declines in other volume products.

Nissan Division sold 101,069 cars and trucks for the month, up 6 percent from June 2013.

Versa sales rose 33 percent from a year ago to 11,613, and Sentra sales increased 68 percent to 17,097 in June.

However, most of Nissan’s other volume products -- including the Altima and Rogue crossover -- declined from a year ago.

Fred Diaz, Nissan senior vice president for U.S. sales & marketing and operations, said the Rogue’s 3 percent dip was due to tight capacity as another new assembly line continues to ramp up in Smyrna, Tenn. The new-generation Rogue, which was launched in January, is selling without incentives and running at a 31-day supply, Diaz said.

Retailers sold 15,066 Rogues in June, down from 15,518 a year earlier, when the model was imported from Japan.

“Rogue has been an absolute hit, and it’s a little bit of an issue right now because we’re capacity-constrained,” Diaz said. “We’re doing everything we can to try to get more.”

Altima sales dropped 3 percent to 26,111 in June. Diaz said the decline was due to a cutback in its fleet sales. Altima retail sales rose 9 percent for the month, he said.

“Across the model portfolio, we have intentionally cut back on fleet sales by 6 percent and increased retail sales by 8 percent,” Diaz said.

Sales of Infiniti vehicles dropped 6 percent in June to 8,574 units, despite volume of 2,423 on the Q50 compact sedan, which was not on sale last year.


Nissan's newest factory lines boost deliveries
 

Aepsilons

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Japan's Regional Economies Stay Solid



July 7, 2014 8:11 a.m. ET

Pedestrians walk past the Bank of Japan building. European Pressphoto Agency




TOKYO—Japan's regional economies reported smooth sailing in the three months to July, providing the latest indication that businesses are weathering the headwinds from a higher sales tax.

In its quarterly "Sakura Report," the Bank of Japan maintained its assessment of all of the nation's nine local economies, describing the overall state of the economy as "recovering or recovering moderately as a trend." Similar to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey, the Regional Economic Report released Monday summarizes the reports from all of the BOJ's regional research divisions.

While the central bank keeping its view unchanged—the first time that has happened since 2007—typically wouldn't be a cause for fanfare, economists largely predict a rise in the consumption tax that took effect in April to cause Japan's growth to sharply contract. If regional economies are reporting that conditions aren't significantly worsening, then that could give rise to the view that the situation is better than expected.

Many regional managers expressed the view that a falloff in demand after the sales tax rise "is gradually abating," the BOJ report showed.

Atsushi Miyanoya, the BOJ's Osaka branch manager, said the drop in consumption across the country "has been within expectations." He said that's because higher incomes and tightening labor market conditions have supported sentiment.

With regard to the region in western Japan Mr. Miyanoya oversees, he said many firms expect consumption to regain traction in the July to September period. He also said a fall in consumer spending has been partly offset by increased spending on food and lodging by foreign tourists.

The number of overseas tourists to Japan rose 25.3% in May from a year ago to a record 1.09 million visitors for the month, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Mr. Miyanoya's region is also home to some major electronic companies such as Panasonic Corp. 6752.TO -1.05% and Kyocera Corp. 6971.TO -0.55% While machinery exports to Southeast Asia have been lackluster in recent months, exports of electronic devices used in smartphones to China and batteries used in electric cars to the U.S. show signs of improving, Mr. Miyanoya added. This is a good sign for the central bank, which has long waited for a pickup in export growth to make the country's domestic demand-led recovery more balanced.

The central bank raised its view of corporate capital spending in four of the nine regions, coinciding with recent reports that companies plan to ramp up their spending in the current fiscal year that started April 1.

Nagoya branch manager Toru Umemori said that big firms as well as midsize firms are eager to boost spending. He said such spending isn't confined to firms hoping to raise their production capacity but also firms opening their wallets for strategic purposes.

Some managers expressed concern that a decline in net incomes, adjusted for inflation, may worsen consumer sentiment and take a toll on the economy later this year. They cited a labor shortage in the retail sector and rising raw materials costs as risk factors.

Mr. Umemori said firms in central Japan's Tokai region, which is home to Toyota Motor Corp. 7203.TO -1.13% , were concerned about a further weakening of the yen and rising crude oil prices as that could add to production costs. He said that they hoped that foreign exchange rates would stabilize at around their current levels.



http://online.wsj.com/articles/japans-regional-economies-stay-solid-1404735080
 

LeveragedBuyout

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I had not considered the role inflation plays on business culture, but it's a good point.

Inflation Is Changing Japan, Says Incoming Suntory President - Japan Real Time - WSJ

  • July 10, 2014, 5:50 PM JST
Inflation Is Changing Japan, Says Incoming Suntory President
ByMitsuru Obe

Takeshi Niinami, the incoming president of Japanese brewer Suntory Holdings Ltd., says inflation is starting to change the mindset of Japan Inc.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
The emergence of inflation is already starting to change the mindset of corporate Japan, with the tide turning in favor of innovative risk-takers, says the incoming president of Japanese brewer Suntory Holdings Ltd.

Takeshi Niinami, a member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s advisory panel on industrial competitiveness, said that during more than a decade and a half of deflation in Japan the formula for business success was simple: cut costs.

“People who were good at saving on expenditure got promoted. Risk-taking innovators were punished,” Mr. Niinami said Wednesday at the Japan National Press Club.

But Mr. Niinami, who has been at the helm of convenience store operator Lawson Inc. for the past nine years, says the pendulum is starting to swing the other way as inflation expectations change behavior in Japan.

“The most interesting people are those who have experiences of failure,” the 52-year-old said. “But it’s difficult to find these people because big Japanese companies haven’t allowed employees to make mistakes.”

Mr. Niinami joined trading house Mitsubishi Corp.–a company at the heart of Japan’s business establishment–after graduating from college in 1981. When he was still in his early 30s, though, he jumped from the safety of the blue chip job to set up a meal delivery service in 1995.

“It’s easy to recover from mistakes when you’re young,” he said, drawing on his own experience. Mr. Niinami went on to become the chief executive of Lawson in 2005.

He said he wants his fellow business executives and companies in Japan to take on new challenges, quoting a Suntory business motto to that effect.

Again, Mr. Niinami’s career illustrates his point. In October he will become the first president of Suntory from outside the founding family since its establishment in 1899. That’s another sign of change afoot at the brewer following its $16 billion purchase of U.S. whiskey producer Beam Inc. in one of the largest ever overseas acquisitions by a Japanese company.

Mr. Niinami gave other examples of the new mentality taking hold in Japanese boardrooms: the appointment of a foreign president at Japan’s biggest drug company Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and the bid–albeit unsuccessful–by Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to join German engineering firm Siemens AG's move to take over the energy business of French rival Alstom SA.

While the need to expand overseas given Japan’s shrinking and aging domestic market may be the main driver of these moves, Mr. Niinami sees inflation accelerating the trend.

Mr. Abe’s economic policies aimed at generating inflation and spurring growth are taking the the nation into uncharted territory, he noted.

“Nobody knows for sure if they will succeed or how things will play out. But whatever happens, you need to learn to adjust your course as you try to move ahead,” Mr. Niinami said.
 

visom

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Lettuce See the Future: Japanese Farmer Builds High-Tech Indoor Veggie Factory
July 9, 2014
  • Humans have spent the last 10,000 years mastering agriculture. But a freak summer storm or bad drought can still mar many a well-planted harvest. Not anymore, says Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, who has moved industrial-scale farming under the roof.

    Working in Miyagi Prefecture in eastern Japan, which was badly hit by powerful earthquake and tsunamis in 2011, Shimamura turned a former Sony Corporation semiconductor factory into the world’s largest indoor farm illuminated by LEDs. The special LED fixtures were developed by GE and emit light at wavelengths optimal for plant growth.

    The farm is nearly half the size of a football field (25,000 square feet). It opened on July and it is already producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day. “I knew how to grow good vegetables biologically and I wanted to integrate that knowledge with hardware to make things happen,” Shimamura says.



    The farm uses 17,500 LED lights spread over 18 cultivation racks reaching 16 levels high.

    The LED lights are a key part of the farm’s magic. They allow Shimamura to control the night-and-day cycle and accelerate growth. “What we need to do is not just setting up more days and nights,” he says. “We want to achieve the best combination of photosynthesis during the day and breathing at night by controlling the lighting and the environment.”

    Shimamura says that the systems allows him to grow lettuce full of vitamins and minerals two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm. He is also able to cut discarded produce from 50 percent to just 10 percent of the harvest, compared to a conventional farm. As a result, the farms productivity per square foot is up 100-fold, he says.

    By controlling temperature, humidity and irrigation, the farm can also cut its water usage to just 1 percent of the amount needed by outdoor fields.



    Purple lighting simulates the ideal night conditions.

    Shimamura got the idea for his indoor farm as a teenager, when he visited a “vegetable factory” at the Expo ’85 world’s fair in Tsukuba, Japan. He went on to study plant physiology at the Tokyo University of Agriculture, and in 2004 started an indoor farming company called Mirai, which in Japanese means “future.”

    The concept took off in 2011, when GE approached Shimamura with an idea for using advanced LED lights to illuminate the farm. The LEDs last longer and consume 40 percent less power than fluorescent lights. The companies started testing the technology in March 2012 and came up with the final design a year later.



    The farm is producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day.

    GE engineers used proprietary technology to make the lights thin enough to fit inside the stacks, provide uniform light and endure the high humidity inside. “That way, we can put in more growing racks and increase productivity dramatically,” says Tomoaki Kimura, country manager for GE Lighting Japan.

    The GE Japan team believes that indoor farms like the one in the Miyagi Prefecture could be a key to solving food shortages in the world. Mirai and GE are already working on “plant factories” in Hong Kong and the Far East of Russia. Says Shimamura: “Finally, we are about to start the real agricultural industrialization.”



    Shigeharu Shimamura shows his produce.

I have a Toshiba laptop, 400 USD
I've been looking for a new laptop since my 6 year old lenovo is dying, how was the toshiba laptop?
 
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Edison Chen

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I've been looking for a new laptop since my 6 year old lenovo is dying, how was the toshiba laptop?
Well, I would not recommend Toshiba laptop, although it works fine, there are better choices. Asus, Lenovo thinkpad...or you can wait for the new Macbook Pro at the year end.
 

Aepsilons

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Japanese tourism officials trying to entice travelers from mainly-Muslim countries like Malaysia and Thailand are encouraging restaurant to offer authentic halal dishes.



Prayer rooms, hijabs made from local silk and even halal-certified whale meat are appearing in Japan as tourism bosses wake up to the demand from Muslim travelers.


For a largely homogeneous country with only around 100,000 practising Muslims, that means groping its way through unfamiliar customs as it looks to tap a growing market to help it double the number of overseas visitors by 2020.


"Muslim travelers still do not feel comfortable here," Datuk Ibrahim Haji Ahmad Badawi, head of Malaysian food company Brahim's told AFP at a recent seminar on halal tourism in Tokyo. "The government seems to have understood this."


Last year, seminars like this one were held in 20 different regions in Japan, where hoteliers and restaurateurs were invited to learn how to cater to Muslims.


The Osaka Chamber of Commerce handed out 5,000 leaflets as a guide to what can and cannot be eaten — the idea of forbidding consumption of things like alcohol or pork is anathema to omnivorous and foodie Japan.


With the Islamic world currently observing the holy month of Ramadan, tourism to Japan is being heavily promoted in mainly-Muslim Southeast Asia, where visa requirements were relaxed in 2013 for Malaysia and Thailand.


Indonesia — the largest Muslim-majority country in the world — is slated to follow shortly.


According to the Japanese Tourist Office, the number of Indonesians visiting the archipelago in 2013 was up 37 percent on the previous year, while 21 percent more Malaysians came.


Chinese tourist numbers have recovered from their plunge following the 2012 eruption of the spat between Beijing and Tokyo over islands in the East China Sea.


But broadening the appeal of Japan as a destination is key if the industry is to meet the 20 million visitors target set for 2020 when the Olympic Games come to Tokyo.


Catering for the world



The influx of athletes and spectators from all over the world that the sporting jamboree will bring is also playing into the drive to make the country more Muslim-friendly.


"Can you imagine the number of Muslim athletes who will then come to Tokyo? We'll have to feed them," said Badawi.


Brahim as a company has already signed a deal with All Nippon Airways (ANA), one of Japan's biggest carriers, to supply inflight halal meals, Badawi said. A number of large hotels have also approached him looking for advice on how they can cater for Muslim guests.


For Badawi, despite Japan's slow start, the direction of travel is clear: Muslims looking for holiday destinations will come, and in bigger numbers, giving Tokyo an ever-larger slice of a $600 billion global pie.


Slowly, various regions across Japan are catching on. Major airports have dedicated prayer rooms, and tourists looking for the perfect present can pick up hijabs made from Japanese silk as they pass through Kansai International Airport, near Osaka, a recent television report showed.

Longer term visitors are also being catered for, with 19 universities offering halal menus in their cafeterias in a bid to boost the number of Muslim students.


Customers looking for an authentic — but halal — Japanese dish already have a choice in Tokyo, including a yakiniku barbecue restaurant run by Roger Bernard Diaz, a Sri Lankan Catholic who converted his business, but not his religion.


He has no qualms about making the change to offering a range of halal meats and says it has helped him garner reservations from customers from southeast Asia, and even the Gulf.


But sourcing produce can be difficult. "It's hard to find all the ingredients,", he admits while pulling a Brazilian-raised halal chicken from a dedicated freezer.


Whale meat


Muslims who want to sample whale meat are also catered for after Japan's whaling mothership, which slaughters the animals on their controversial hunt, was certified halal-compliant last year.


The Japan Halal Association, which was founded in 2010, is one of only two bodies that can grant this status in the country.


Its chairwoman Hind Hitomi Remon told AFP that business is brisk.


"We are an associate member of the World Halal Council," she said. "Since 2012, we have issued certificates to 40 companies, and that number is set to rise a lot this year," a fact she says is directly attributable to Tokyo being awarded the Olympic Games for 2020.


And even if the tourists don't want to eat in Japan, producers are readying to send produce to them, with exports such as halal-certified soy sauce and even rice, grown in northern Akita prefecture.


But until the numbers swell a little bit more, businesses catering to Muslims still have to keep an eye on what their other customers want.


Yakiniku restaurant owner Diaz says around half of his customers now are Muslims yet he still has to cater for his other patrons.


"It's hard to do business here without selling alcohol," he said.


Halal tourism growing in Japan as country tries to attract Muslim visitors - NY Daily News
 

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