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Olympic Windfall | Business and Economy | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Japanese athletes brought home a record haul of medals from the 2004 Athens Olympics, and thanks to their efforts the Japanese economy has also struck an unexpectedly large pot of gold.
Wallet Phones | Business and Economy | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Cell phones that allow users to pay for their shopping just by holding them over a reader at the cash register, aptly nicknamed o-saifu keitai (wallet cell phones), went on the market in July 2004.
In with the New | Business and Economy | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Some of the long-running models that Japanese automakers first introduced in the 1950s and 1960s have reached the end of the road, and carmakers are replacing them with new models.
Monkey Business | Fashion | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
A Bathing Ape in Lukewater must be one of the world's most unusual brand names. The street-fashion label created by Japanese designer Nigo has earned a fanatical following among celebrities and young people both inside and outside Japan.
Making the Kyoto Protocol Work | Science and Technology | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Now that the Kyoto Protocol on the prevention of climate change has come into force, Japan is busy seeking out innovative ways to meet its obligations under the protocol.
The New Face of Ginza | Fashion | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
In Tokyo's Ginza district more and more foreign luxury brands are opening up large outlets along the heavily trafficked avenues.
Back to Basics | Science and Technology | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Modern cell phones are a lot more than just phones. In addition to voice calls, they can be used to send e-mail, take photos and videos, navigate the Internet, and even conduct bank transactions. But not everyone is impressed with such a plethora of functions.
Lucky Grab Bags | Lifestyle | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
One of the highlights of the New Year's season for many people in Japan is shopping for grab bags, known as fukubukuro, or "lucky bags." Every year major department stores and other businesses offer lucky bags to grab the attention of the public.
Taking Jobs for a Test Drive | Lifestyle | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Many developed countries have been grappling with a common headache - how to create decent job opportunities for young people amid rising unemployment and the spread of low-paying irregular work. Japan's approach to this problem is attracting attention around the world for its focus on matching young people with jobs that suit them.
Playful Peripherals | Arts and Entertainment | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
A new range of novelty peripherals is aimed at injecting a bit of humor and fun into the normally staid world of IT. These products are easy to spot: just look for what appears to be a freshly fried shrimp or some other surreal-looking object plugged into a laptop or desktop.
Toyota Develops Eco-Friendly Shrub | Science and Technology | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's largest car manufacturer, has developed a new type of cherry sage shrub that can absorb airborne pollutants much more effectively than existing varieties.
Super-Powered Cable | Science and Technology | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. has developed a type of superconductive cable that can carry up to 200 times as much power as copper cable - and with electrical resistance of zero.
Talking Paper | Science and Technology | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Electronic paper and other paper with innovative functions is now coming into use. Paper is finally entering the IT age through a fusion with digital technologies.
"Place Your Hand on the Scanner" | Science and Technology | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Some Japanese banks have already begun installing biometric ID systems at their ATMs in an effort to combat cash-card fraud. But biometric ID has many other uses, including keeping track of who enters and leaves offices, protecting computers from tampering, and preventing unauthorized entry to apartment buildings. Manufacturers of these hi-tech security systems report that demand is booming.
New Banknotes Combat Forgery | Science and Technology | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
For the first time in 20 years, Japan rolled out a newly designed set of banknotes in November 2004.
Bottled Tap Water | Lifestyle | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Bottled tap water has been selling well, driven by a demand for water that tastes good but doesn't cost much. Water treatment plants around the country have been scrambling to invest in cutting-edge purification equipment in a bid to stay ahead of the competition.
Drawing Inspiration | Lifestyle | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Of all illustrators in Japan, roughly 80% are female, and these talented artists are responsible for creating the characters, images, and packaging that is used to promote some of the biggest and most influential companies and events in the country.
Gaming on the Go | Lifestyle | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
The competition for customers in the gaming industry stepped up a gear in late 2004, as two major makers of video-game systems engaged in a battle over the next generation of portable video-game systems.
Bright Young Things | Fashion | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
A family of brands known for their cute, trendy children's clothes has captured the hearts of many Japanese girls. The brands are the products of Narumiya International and are not limited to clothes, but include stationery, accessories, and cosmetics designed for youngsters. This wide range of products has attracted the attention of legions of girls.
Fur Vests Complete The Winter Look | Fashion | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
Fur vests are an ideal way to complete the layered look that is currently in vogue. The vests can complement a range of styles from dressy to casual, and this versatility has made them so popular that stores are having trouble keeping them in stock.
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