Charity Begins at Home for Toshiba


Charity Begins at Home for Toshiba

Hello Tosh; Gotta Toshiba?

Perhaps it was before your time but Toshiba really nailed it with that 1984 advertising campaign.   It’s funny because way back then it was all about the stereo….how far things have come.  Today Toshiba is still in the news, forever the helpful.  Along with Hitachi, the company had sent “hundreds of staff to provide support at Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and to carry out checks at the neighboring Daini plant.”  Clearly for Toshiba, charity begins at home.

<h3>Hitachi and Toshiba Make Waves After Quake</h3>

Following the earthquake and tsunami both Toshiba and Hitachi supplied the Daiichi plant with reactors.  Indeed, a 100-man team was sent to the two Fukushima plants from Toshiba and Hitachi sent 120 –man team to the Daiichi plant.  This is in addition to other mega-assistance both companies are sending.

<h3>Japanese Markets Continue to Soar</h3>

Despite everything that’s been going on, Tokyo Electric Power Co., rose 16 percent with Toshiba Corp. increasing 12 percent.  In addition, an additional 11 percent was gained by JX Holdings Inc. with Nippon Steel Corp., gaining a further 7.5 percent.

<h3>Improving Japanese Stock Market</h3>

The Japanese stock market is improving, with trade figures for today increasing, in the anticipation that the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant is being contained.  As well, the Bank of Japan is not showing any signs of pulling out of its emergency fund provision to “soothe the jittery markets” which also “boosted sentiment,” at around yen 2 trillion into the short-term money market.

The Japanese are clearly banding together.  There is major support from the country’s successful companies and the central bank.  No doubt all this backing will lead to a smooth recovery from Japan’s recent disaster.


Japan Returning To Recession?

Well, if it did it certainly wouldn’t be surprising.  There’s not that much worse than what the country endured last week, with the extent of its earthquake and tsunami.  So why is this enough to make headline news?  Well, because what’s newsworthy is that the country looks set to “become the first Group of Seven member” to go back to that recession status following the easing of the global financial crisis.

Statistics and Truth

Although it is said that there are lies, damned lies and statistics, in Japan’s case it seems like the figures are speaking for themselves.  The G7’s yen sales depreciated the currency the most since September to ¥80.58 per US dollar at Friday’s close in New York.  This is very different to its postwar peak of ¥76.25 on March 17.

European Banks Band Together

The potential problems of Japan’s economy and currency following the country’s disaster have led various European banks to join with the Bank of Japan “in the first co-ordinated intervention by the G7 since the launch of the euro a decade ago.”  It is anticipated that the US Federal Reserve will be joining this effort too.  It is hoped that such action “may help corporate sentimate to recover, a key factor in reviving growth, along with public spending said Takuji Aida, UBS AG economist in Tokyo.

For sure when there is such a strong economic force working together the economic recovery of a country stands a way greater chance than it slumping back into a recession.  And if that is the case, then the global economy faces a far greater likelihood of being able to recover which will benefit everyone.  So let’s hope the European and American banks put their money where their mouth is vis-à-vis Japan’s recovery.

Online Drug Companies Abusing Tsunami Disaster?

Obama Causing Panic?

There’s always someone who tries to make money from a disaster.  And this time it’s following Japan’s tsunami, with the threat that Americans might be in danger of the nuclear fallout.  This is likely due to the panic President Barack Obama and his top medical official raised which has led to Americans buying drugs for protection.  Although Obama himself was given the assurance that “any harmful radiation from Japan will have dissipated before it reaches Hawaii or the US mainland.”  

So why the panic?  Because everyone likes to be prepared and according to US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, it is a good idea to buy radiation antidotes “as a precaution,” such as potassium iodine pills which is often able to protect the thyroid gland against cancer and radiation, reducing the amount of iodine the body can absorb.

Drug Suppliers Reap Benefits

So now drug companies are getting wise to how they can make some extra money. Although it seems a bit like black money.  Indeed one drug supplier in America sold 250,000 anti-radiation pills since last Friday, ordering more medicines to meet increasing demand.  Those who haven’t managed to buy them yet are spending extortionate amounts of money by purchasing them on line.  It seems everyone is suffering from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, but drug companies are taking advantage of what happened.

Brits Try to Escape Too

Brits are now being warned to leave Tokyo and other areas in danger of radiation poisoning.  The country’s Foreign Office is even considering putting on extra planes to ensure all Brits trapped in the country are able to leave on free “rescue flights.”

Asia, America, the whole world, has been affected by Japan’s tsunami.  The question remains, what is one’s host country doing to help, first their own citizens, and second, those working on a recovery plan in Japan?  As the situation changes daily, only time will tell which governments and administrations will really pull their fingers out.  Let’s just hope that in the meantime, entrepreneurs work for the good of the people, rather than trying to exploit them.

Price of Tsunami in Japan With a Potentially Crumbling California

<h3>Tsunami is Costly Vis-à-vis Dollars and Death</h3>
As Japan still faces a disaster that seems to keep continuing, the financial impact is slowly being assessed.  It is thought that the country will be facing tens of millions of dollars worth of damage as well as continuing fatalities, the latest being when 25 year old Dustin Weber was swept away and has not been found, as he turned his back to the surging sea.
<h3>How is California Coping?</h3>
Now there is talk of what is going to be with California.  Crescent City seems to be most affected as the  north part of the state is being impacted by roiling the waters.  According to Josh Zulliger, (warden at the California Department of Fish and Game), “there are three-foot waves still coming in here.”  It is not surprising that it is Crescent City that is being impacted the most since it is known for being a very vulnerable area vis-à-vis tsunamis probably due to its underwater ridge offshore  as well as the shape of the harbor that “effectively bounces waves directly back into the line of incoming waves.”
So the boats are sinking in California.  Everyone has been so focused (naturally) on Japan following the earthquake and tsunami, that California hasn’t been in the press much recently.  But the waves ultimately sent over “an eight-foot swell into the enclosed harbor here, smashing dozens of boats.”  Clearly Japan’s disaster is having a worldwide impact, not just on markets and the economy, but also more directly on people and the potential danger to their lives.

California now has to find a way to pick up the pieces.  Japan has their own – greater – problems that will no doubt take a very long time (and lots of capital) to fix.  But it seems like the west is being affected too and places like Crescent City need to find their own resources to get back to normal as well.  The lesson from this is thus clear:  such an earthquake and tsunami is not just restricted to Japan, or even Asia, but will have a worldwide boomerang effect, especially on an already volatile global economy.

Market Mess in Japan? Too Soon to Tell



Not surprisingly following Japan’s crazy earthquake and tsunami, the financial markets are in a sate of panic.  Finance leaders in the country are trying to calm the situation as the nuclear power crisis continued to worsen matters.  With an estimation according to Bank Credit Suisse of a loss of $171 billion, it’s no great shock that there is this panic. But the question being asked is how much do economists really need to panic?  According to Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said that it’s just too soon to make this kind of assessment vis-à-vis the economy.

Major Japanese Companies Close

When a country’s primary companies start to close down, there’s not likely to be a surge of confidence in the markets. Unfortunately since Friday’s travesties, Panasonic, Sony and Toyota Motor Co. have closed their production facilities.  As well, nuclear power plants have shut temporarily due to the possibility of reactors overheating.

Japan’s Biggest Crisis Since WWII

The earthquake and tsunami are being hailed as the country’s largest crisis since World War II.  Stock markets plummeted over 14 percent as the Fukushima nuclear power plant encountered two explosions. PM Naoto Kan didn’t have much to add, other than give out a warning that radioactivity levels had become ‘significantly’ higher.  This could lead to a cost of anywhere between 3 and 5 percent of output, which is extremely significant for a country that rates as the world’s third biggest economy.

Clearly Japan is going to take a long time to recover from last week’s events.  The question just remains, how much this will cost and what it will mean for the future of the country’s markets?  Only time will tell.


Japan’s Economy: Where to Now, with Failed Fukushima Power Plant?

Following Japan’s “monstrous earthquake” (the largest in the region for over 1,200 years; seventh largest ever in the world), the country’s Fukushima power plant failed which has led to “fears of serious accident.”  But experts have said that there isn’t a risk to human health from the low radiation.  The crisis in Japan is no doubt escalating following Friday’s earthquake and tsunami ; a situation which isn’t being helped by the failure of another emergency cooling system at a different reactor.

Energy Fuels Japan’s Economy

Energy has always been a major source of economic sustenance for all countries.  But for Japan it is even more the case.  This is for the following reasons:  less than  half a percent of Japan’s crude oil supply is accrued from domestic sources; the country has to import more than 80 percent of all its major energy needs;  and added to this fact is the issue that Japan is home to very few domestic sources of uranium, natural gas or coal.  In spite of this, the country has managed to develop its economy into the second largest in the world.  It has managed to decrease its dependability on crude oil since the oil crises’ in the 1970s by instead using a mixture of energy resources, one of these being nuclear power.

Which Way Forward Following Tsunami

So the question that will be asked when things start to calm down a little in Japan, is what is the way forward for Japan’s economy following the impact of the tsunami and the failed Fukushima Power Plant.  It would be doubly devastating if the incredible work that has been done on bringing Japan to the forefront of global economic success were to be undone because of this crisis. Only time will tell what direction the country – and especially the economy – will be taking.

Naota Kan to Celebrate International Women’s Day?

Although he may be struggling to win popularity in his cabinet, Naota Kan might have some fans from the fairer sex and might even be stealthily celebrating International Women’s Day today.  Following his university graduation, Kan was a staff member for Fusae Ichikawa’s campaign, a woman’s rights activist.  But unfortunately, this isn’t exactly helping his case today.  When things are already looking somewhat bleak for the guy, his cabinet is facing further instability leading commentators to conclude that his “days as prime minister are numbered.”

Kan’s Cabinet Crashes

Seiji Maehara resigned for taking illegal donations from a Korean national which also brought to the forefront discussions about Japan’s diplomacy.  This doesn’t look good for Kan as Prime Minister or for the stability of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) either.  The resignation of three cabinet ministers cannot be good for anyone.

So perhaps Kan should step down gracefully and go do something else in the non-profit world instead…like celebrating the women in his country by fighting their corner.  Who knows?  The fairer sex just might not be so harsh on him.

Japan Aeroforge Ltd. Investments




The new Tokyo-based company Japan Aeroforge Ltd. That will be creating nickel and titanium products for airplanes is going to be investing approximately 20 billion yen in order to build a plan in Kurashiki, Okayama.  What this will mean is that any procedure needed to complete the building of titanium aircraft parts will be able to be undertaken in Japan.  The company will be receiving capital from Marubeni-Itochu Steel and Sojitz Aerospace Corp. for this venture.  It is expected the plant will be completed in March 2012.


Economic Status of China Versus Japan

 Last quarter, China jumped in to second place in the world’s largest economy, pushing Japan out.  This is quite a significant jump considering its Communist isolation some years ago.  Figures for the second quarter were Japan’s GDP at $1.288 trillion (China at $1.337 trillion). Japan’s yearly GDP is $5.07 trillion, with China’s exceeding $4.9 trillion. China took the world out of the global recession last year, given its huge economy (over 90-times larger than in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping [the country’s premier] eliminated mega-Communist policies, replacing them with free-market reforms).  By 2027, China will even be superseding America as the world’s biggest economy where GDP is approximately $14 trillion per year according to Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Tokyo’s Investments Today

Good news has just been reported for Tokyo this year is the doubling of investment in large Japanese blue-chip companies.  Indeed combined stakes are now worth more than 1.6 trillion yen (which translates to $US19.4 billion).  The stakes do seem somewhat passive (investors remaining tight-lipped on corporate strategy and management).  But the stakes also show the escalating monetary ties between China and Japan as well as China’s increasing financial status.  This is simultaneous to the eclipsing of the Chinese economy and the Japanese economy’s rise in status to second in the world. 
During the second and third quarter of 2010, SSBT OD05 Omnibus Account Treaty Clients (a shareholder) made it to the top 10 shareholder registry of major Japanese companies (Toshiba is also on the list).  Six months prior to this, this was not the case; the shareholder made a significant jump during 2010.