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Japan Airlines said to hire Merrill Lynch as adviser

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Taking up herewith Japanese Business Trend News by Media.
Business Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Sep 19 Japan Airlines said to hire Merrill Lynch as adviser (Bloomberg)
 Japan Airlines Corp., Asia's most indebted carrier, hired Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co. to advise on its search for partners and investments, two people familiar with the situation said. Overseas carriers including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc. and Air France-KLM are considering investments in Japan Air, also known as JAL.
Sep 19 Hawaii hopes to cash in on Japan's 'Silver Week' (victoriaadvocate.com)
 Japanese tourists have long been golden for Hawaii. The islands now hope to cash in on Japan's so-called "Silver Week." Hawaii and other vacation destinations are expecting to see a much-needed boost in Japanese travelers thanks to the first-ever Silver Week, a series of national holidays that provide a five-day respite starting this weekend.
Sep 18 American said to plan Oneworld Japan Air investment (Bloomberg)
 American Airlines, the world's second-largest carrier, may lead other members of the Oneworld alliance in an investment in Japan Airlines Corp. to help an ally predicting a fourth loss in five years, two people familiar with the plan said. American has hired an investment bank to advise on an undecided financial investment in Japan Air, its partner in the Oneworld marketing group, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions aren't public.
Sep 18 Japan's battered Aiful seeks debt reprieve (Forbes)
 Japanese consumer lender Aiful Corp said it would ask creditors to let it to push back repayments on $3 billion in debt, as it faces difficulty raising funds and plans for more restructuring. Japan's moneylenders have been crippled by regulation lowering maximum interest rates and legal rulings that have forced them to repay past charges that are now considered illegally high.
Sep 18 Why Japan is the land of rising car satisfaction (Daily Mail)
 Japanese and German cars make their owners happy but French models drive them to distraction, a poll reveals today. Five of the top ten cars in the Which? Car owners' satisfaction table are Japanese - and four of the rest are from the family of German car giant Volkswagen - namely two Audis, a Skoda and a Porsche.
Sep 18 Luxury hotel oversupply in Tokyo may cut occupancy (Bloomberg)
 Luxury hotel occupancy in Tokyo may decline because of an increase in rooms and a delayed recovery in the world's second-biggest economy. Occupancy rates for high-end hotels in Tokyo fell to 62.1 percent in the seven months ended July from 70 percent in the previous year.
Sep 18 JAL revival tied to open skies pact, Japan Democrats (BusinessWeek)
 As Japan Airlines attempts to avoid bankruptcy, slashing costs and raising funds aren't its only concerns. The company must also appeal to newly elected Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's administration for help and prepare for a possible loosening of restrictions on transpacific flights. Like many airlines, JAL has been hammered by the global recession, suffering a drop in passengers and cargo. Japan's biggest airline reportedly has asked creditors for more than $3 billion in funding to stay afloat this year after posting a $1-billion loss in the latest quarter.
Sep 17 Battle heats up for Japan's private banking market (Reuters)
 Japan's large private banking business is set for a bruising market share battle, with local lenders beefing up and foreign banks curbing their activities but unwilling to back off completely. While it is early to say if the local lenders can prevail over foreign banks in the world's second-biggest private banking market, the stage is being set for niches to develop, with Japanese banks making strong inroads into the affluent segment and foreign banks consolidating their hold on the super-rich.
Sep 17 Mitsuoka Motor goes into rental mode (Asahi)
 Mitsuoka Motor Co., a small automaker known for its eye-catching lineup of cars, will from Oct. 15 offer its Orochi and Himiko models for rent from its showroom in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward. The Orochi, a two-seater coupe powered by a 3,300cc engine, will be hired out for 25,000 yen between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., while Himiko, a 2,000cc, two-seater convertible, will be available for 20,000 yen over the same hours.
Sep 17 Walkman vs. iPod battle revisited (BusinessWeek)
  Sony Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer rarely headlines the launch of new products in Japan. But today he showed up for the first 5 minutes of the unveiling of two new Walkman media players at Sony's building in the Ginza shopping district. Clearly, putting the chief executive front and center was at attempt to generate buzz for Sony gizmos as the yearend holiday season nears.
Sep 17 Grand Hyatt, Mori team up on copter shuttle (Japan Times)
 Grand Hyatt Tokyo, in the city's glitzy Roppongi Hills district, and Mori Building Co.'s helicopter service arm announced Wednesday the start of a helicopter shuttle that will fly guests to and from Narita airport in 30 minutes starting Oct. 1. Mori Building City Air Services Co. helicopters will ferry passengers to a heliport on the roof of the Ark Mori Building in Minato Ward, near the hotel. Guests will be taken by limousine from the heliport to the Grand Hyatt in two to three minutes.
Sep 17 JAL plans to cut flights at 7 domestic airports (Yomiuri)
 Japan Airlines likely will stop flights to and from seven domestic airports, including Shizuoka, Matsumoto, Kobe and Hiroshima-Nishi, it was learned Wednesday. It also is likely to stop flying to and from Sapporo-Okadama and Okushiri in Hokkaido and Aguni in Okinawa Prefecture. As some of these airports depend on JAL for a good portion of their revenues, including landing fees, the decision is likely to have a serious impact on their operations.
Sep 16 Japan chip makers agree on deal, cash infusion (Forbes)
 Renesas Technology Corp. and NEC Electronics Corp. will combine operations by April after their Japanese parent companies agreed to inject 200 billion yen ($2.2 billion) into a new company that would become the world's No. 3 chipmaker. After the deal is completed, NEC Corp., the parent of NEC Electronics, will have 33.4 percent stake in the new company.
Sep 16 Regional cities challenge Tokyo in fashion stakes (Asahi)
 At first glance, the stylish magazine featuring glossy images of pretty models gives readers the feeling they are holding a fashion publication showcasing the latest trends from Tokyo. Some might search their pockets for change, or meekly look around before plucking a copy from the rack. But the new magazine titled Fukuoka Bishojo Zukan (Fukuoka beautiful girl pictorial), which made its debut late last month, is free. In fact, the images of urban chic were all created here using local, amateur models.
Sep 16 Japan's drinks makers go global (BusinessWeek)
 Japan's beverage companies have been in a buying mood lately. Since the start of the year, they have been on the hunt for deals, spending roughly $5.7 billion on M&A activities through August, nearly double the period in 2008, according to Thomson Reuters. The dealmaking isn't tapering off: Suntory Holdings said on Sept. 10 that it is in talks to buy Orangina SAS, a European soft-drinks maker that is owned by private equity firms Lion Capital and Blackstone.
Sep 16 U.S. airlines intensify fight over JAL (Yomiuri)
 The battle to form a tie-up with the embattled Japan Airlines is intensifying between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. The Construction and Transport Ministry, which is supervising JAL's restructuring program, believes stronger ties with Delta would better serve passengers. But a tie-up with Delta means JAL would have to leave the airline grouping it currently belongs to and join another that includes its potential tie-up partner.
Sep 16 Number of 'nonactive' religious corporations doubles in just 5 years (Yomiuri)
 A total of 13,400 religious corporations did not submit legally required reports to the government last year, nearly double the number from five years ago, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. About 180,000 religious corporations are registered nationwide. As entities with corporate status they receive preferential tax treatment under the law, and there have been countless cases in which such status has been brokered as a means of tax evasion.
Sep 16 6 ex-steel firm executives found guilty of price-fixing (Yomiuri)
 Six former executives at three steel companies were given suspended sentences at the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday for their part in forming a price cartel for the sale of galvanized steel plates. Presiding Judge Yasushi Handa handed down sentences ranging from 10 months to one year--all suspended for three years.
Sep 16 Kirin, Suntory ask FTC to OK merger (Japan Times)
 Holdings Co. and Suntory Holdings Ltd. on Tuesday filed an application with the Fair Trade Commission for a preliminary investigation into whether their proposed merger would run counter to the Antimonopoly Law, officials said. Kirin and Suntory are seeking to integrate, creating one of the world's largest beverage makers.
Sep 15 Japan Air stake may help Delta or American with China access (Bloomberg)
 Taking a stake in Japan Airlines Corp., Asia's most indebted carrier, may help Delta Air Lines Inc. or American Airlines improve access to the region's biggest air traffic market: China. Japan Air, with the biggest network of flights between the two Asian countries, needs more money as it predicts a fourth annual loss in five years amid the biggest passenger drop since 2003.
Sep 15 The jury is out on Nomura's 'organised chaos' (The Peninsula)
 For years Nomura has marketed itself as a global investment bank with deep roots in Asia. But a year after acquiring most of Lehman Brothers' businesses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East when the Wall Street institution collapsed, Nomura's biggest challenge lies in playing down those Asian roots. Nomura insiders have a well-worn phrase for the Lehman integration: "organised chaos". Virtually overnight, the bank gained more than 8,000 employees globally, many of whom were unfamiliar with some of the more idiosyncratic business practices of Japanese companies.
Sep 15 Nippon Yusen hikes shipping fees (Japan Times)
 Shipping line Nippon Yusen K.K. has raised rates on container services to the United States from Asia after slashing its supply of ships. The carrier reduced service on the routes by about 25 percent in the past year and is filling about 90 percent of its capacity on routes to North America, said Mikitoshi Kai, head of investor relations at the company, Japan's largest shipping line.
Sep 15 Lehman fraud nets 15-year term (Japan Times)
 A former president of a medical consulting company was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison and fined ¥5 million for conspiracy by defrauding a Japanese unit of failed Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. using fabricated Marubeni Corp. documents.
Sep 14 NEC, Casio, Hitachi to merge mobile phone ops (Reuters)
 Japan's NEC Corp, Casio Computer Co and Hitachi Ltd said they planned to merge their struggling cellphone operations to cut development and manufacturing costs. A union would create Japan's second-largest cellphone maker with sales of 505 billion yen ($5.6 billion) and could trigger more consolidation in a sector worn down from infighting in a crowded and dwindling market.
Sep 14 Japan turns 'meek,' needs change, Sony ex-chairman Idei says (Bloomberg)
 Nobuyuki Idei, the former Sony Corp. chairman who founded consulting firm Quantum Leaps Corp., said Japanese companies need to rejuvenate their management and stop clinging to business practices from two decades ago to become more competitive. "It's said a successful person often experiences depression after having success, a state known as creative depression," Idei, 71, said at a conference in Tokyo today. "Japan is precisely in such a state of depression, being unable to forget its success in the 80s."
Sep 14 Toyota sticks with nickel after lithium Prius test (Bloomberg)
 Toyota last month ended road tests of 126 Priuses in the Toyota Motor Corp., the biggest seller of hybrid cars, is sticking with nickel as the preferred battery material for most of the vehicles after three years of secretly testing Prius hatchbacks with lithium-ion packs. U.S., Japan and Europe that began in 2006. Details of the program, in which the cars' nickel metal hydride batteries were replaced with more expensive lithium models, haven't been released.
Sep 14 JAL seeking to strengthen ties with American Airlines (AP)
 Struggling Japan Airlines Corp. is negotiating with AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, to expand their business cooperation, industry sources said Sunday. Japan's largest airline and American Airlines are members of the global airline alliance Oneworld.
Sep 14 Yoshimoto's strategy no laughing matter (Japan Times)
 Being listed may be a huge benefit for startups and young companies that want to get their name in the public eye or hope to gather funds from the market. But for talent agency Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. - known as the king of the comedy industry - being a public company has been more of a burden than a boon. At times it has made it difficult to quickly reach key business decisions.
Sep 13 ANA looks to sky as JAL hangs head (Japan Times)
 In a TV commercial aired all last summer, airline passengers are shown relaxing when the pilot comes on the PA to make the usual announcement about travel times and weather. Nobody seems alarmed when they learn that the skipper is teen golf sensation Ryo Ishikawa, who isn't old enough to drive a car much less a commercial jet.
By J.S. on Sep 22, 2009



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