Japan firms fall woefully short of meeting government goals on women in management – Reuters poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – About one-fifth of Japanese companies have no female managers and most say women account for less than 10% of management, a Reuters monthly poll found, highlighting the struggle for the government’s “womenomics” drive to make headway.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask uses an escalator in a quiet business district on the first working day after the Golden Week holiday, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan, May 7,2020.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The survey results come as Japan is seen to delay its target this year to raise the share of women in leadership posts to 30% as part of the government’s campaign to empower women, dubbed “womenomics”, and cope with Japan’s ageing population.

The Reuters Corporate Survey, conducted Sept. 29-Oct. 8, found 71% of Japanese firms said women accounted for less than 10% of management, while 17% had no female managers at all.

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Japan firms fall woefully short of meeting government goals on women in management: Reuters poll

By Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – About one-fifth of Japanese companies have no female managers and most say women account for less than 10% of management, a Reuters monthly poll found, highlighting the struggle for the government’s “womenomics” drive to make headway.

The survey results come as Japan is seen to delay its target this year to raise the share of women in leadership posts to 30% as part of the government’s campaign to empower women, dubbed “womenomics”, and cope with Japan’s ageing population.

The Reuters Corporate Survey, conducted Sept. 29-Oct. 8, found 71% of Japanese firms said women accounted for less than 10% of management, while 17% had no female managers at all.

Asked how much scope there was to increase female managers, 55% said by around 10%, a quarter said by about 20%, one in 10 firms said by around 30%, while 5% saw no room for that.

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Big Money, Day Traders Both Love Japan Tech Darling Mercari

(Bloomberg) — Mercari Inc., the online flea-market operator that has become one of Japan’s most closely watched tech ventures, is closing in on new highs as the stock has drawn both big and small money.

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The company has already grown to command the largest weighting on Japan’s startup-focused Mothers index as individual investors buy in — of some 230 of the largest Japanese companies with market value of over $5 billion, Mercari has the third-highest percentage of individual shareholders. Then on Oct. 7, Los Angeles-based money manager Capital Group declared it had taken a 5% stake in Mercari.

That’s helping propel the stock to near the 6,000 yen mark it hit just once, on the day it listed to great fanfare in 2018. After a rapid decline, the stock has worked its way back up this year, fueled by its first quarterly operating profit. That’s been helped by

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Japan start-ups see hope on horizon

Hampered by cautious investors and a rigid corporate culture, Japan has produced just a handful of major start-ups. But there are signs that could be changing, industry insiders say.

Despite being the world’s third-largest economy, Japan is far behind the United States and China when it comes to producing “unicorns” — new comapnies valued at more than $1 billion in private funding.

There are nearly 500 unicorns worldwide, from Silicon Valley rental giant Airbnb to Bytedance, TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company.

But only four of these firms are Japanese, according to the latest list compiled by US analytics platform CB Insights.

“Relative to its GDP, Japan should have at least 50 to 60 unicorns,” said Gen Isayama, head of World Innovation Lab, a California-based company that provides advice and capital to start-ups, with a focus on Japan.

“In Japan, innovation efforts have always been led by big corporations,” he explained, with

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Five Eyes governments, India, and Japan make new call for encryption backdoors

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Five Eyes cyber panel at CYBERUK 19


Image: ZDNet/CBSi

Special feature


Cyberwar and the Future of Cybersecurity

Today’s security threats have expanded in scope and seriousness. There can now be millions — or even billions — of dollars at risk when information security isn’t handled properly.

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Members of the intelligence-sharing alliance Five Eyes, along with government representatives for Japan and India, have published a statement over the weekend calling on tech companies to come up with a solution for law enforcement to access end-to-end encrypted communications.

The statement is the alliance’s latest effort to get tech companies to agree to encryption backdoors.

The Five Eyes alliance, comprised of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, have made similar calls to tech giants in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Just like before, government officials claim tech companies have put themselves in a corner by incorporating end-to-end encryption (E2EE)

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Japan smartphone parts makers bet on miniaturization in 5G era

KYOTO — Electronic component makers in Asia and elsewhere are competing fiercely to supply manufacturers of the latest 5G smartphones. Japanese companies have solid market shares in 4G products and hope to maintain their lead over Chinese and South Korean rivals by honing their skills, especially in miniaturization.

“Given current chip-mounting technology, this is as small as it can get,” said Tsuneo Murata, chairman of Murata Manufacturing, showcasing the company’s new multilayer ceramic capacitor, a key smartphone component it has started making in large volumes.

In smartphones, MLCCs are used to store and discharge electricity to maintain a stable current in a circuit. At just 0.25 mm x 0.125 mm, Murata’s new device is the world’s smallest MLCC, with just one-fifth the volume of comparable products but 10 times the electrical storage capacity.

MLCCs are placed throughout circuit boards in smartphones. About 800 MLCCs are used in a high-grade phone;

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Japan seeks to boost catch limits of prized bluefin tuna

MITO, Japan (AP) — Japan has proposed raising its catch quotas for Pacific bluefin tuna, a fish so highly prized for sushi and sashimi that its population is at less than 5% of historical levels.

An online meeting of countries that manage the Pacific bluefin that began Tuesday is studying the proposal to raise Japan’s catch limits for both smaller and larger bluefin tuna by 20%.

A slight improvement in the spawning population for the fish has raised confidence that it can recover from decades of overfishing. But conservation experts say increasing catch limits too soon could undo progress toward restoring the species.


Increasing harvests of such fish could also drive prices lower, making the industry less profitable in the long run, the Pew Charitable Trusts said in a report issued Tuesday.

The report, Netting Billions 2020: A Global Tuna Valuation, put the market value of seven tuna species including

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Bluefin tuna in focus as Japan seeks boost to catch limits

MITO, Japan (AP) — Countries involved in managing bluefin tuna fisheries are set to face-off over a Japanese proposal to raise its catch quotas for the fish, highly prized for sushi and sashimi.

At an online meeting that began Tuesday, Japan is seeking to raise its catch limits for both smaller and larger bluefin tuna by 20%.

A slight improvement in the spawning population for the fish has raised confidence that it can recover from decades of overfishing. But conservation experts worry that the capture of small fish used for farming bluefin tuna is may be putting the recovery of the species in peril.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission includes more than two dozen countries that collaborate to manage fisheries on the high seas and curb illegal and unauthorized fishing and other activities that endanger highly migratory species such as the Pacific bluefin.

Countries participating in management of

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Japan Startup Surges 300% on Demand for Cloud-Based Accounting

(Bloomberg) — Daisuke Sasaki has seen his cloud-based accounting company’s valuation swell to $3.7 billion despite having yet to show a profit, but he’s not letting that pressure him.

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Shares of Freee K.K. have quadrupled since going public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December, along with rising demand for cloud services amid the remote-working trend.

“We don’t have a set timeframe for when the company will swing to profits,” Sasaki, founder and chief executive of Freee, said in an interview on Aug. 17. “Our business is about subscription.”

The Tokyo-based firm’s stock is one of the many technology names that have surged during Covid-19, fueled by investor euphoria over stay-at-home and DIY themes. While the pandemic roiled the outlook for companies around the world, U.S. accounting software giant Intuit Inc. beat recent earnings estimates, helped by better-than-expected growth for its cloud-based service for small businesses.



chart: Shares of cloud accounting firm have nearly quadrupled since IPO


© Bloomberg

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Arcade Event For 2021 Already Canceled In Japan

Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

This year has been rough, but the novel coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon. In Japan, for example, next February’s in-person Japan Amusement Expo has been canceled.

Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO) is the industry event to show off the latest arcade hardware—as Siliconera points out, it’s the arcade equivalent of the Tokyo Game Show. Considering not only the proximity of event attendees but also that they would be touching the same arcade cabinets, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

As Siliconera reports, the Japanese arcade industry’s magazine summed up reasons why the physical event is being canned:

It is hard to think that the novel coronavirus will subside by February 2021, and it is also extremely unclear whether an

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