Japan Travel

* * * * * * * * TERRIE’S TAKE – BY TERRIE LLOYD * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd, a long-term
technology and media entrepreneur living in Japan.

General Edition Sunday, August 10, 2014, Issue No. 768


– What’s New — Dateline Tokyo Journalism Project Kicks Off
– News — Hubbie help determines birth rate
– Web Content/Tech Job Vacancies — Account manager/Sales position
– Upcoming Events
– Corrections/Feedback — Minimum Pay-in Period to Reduce to 10 Years
– Travel Picks — Cycling in Kyoto, Kawagoe Bell Tower
– News Credits

SUBSCRIBE to, UNSUBSCRIBE from Terrie’s Take at:

http://www.japaninc.com/terries_take, or,


This week Japan Travel KK started advertising on international
websites a project to recruit working journalists for an innovative
news generation program started by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government
(TMG) and Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan (FCCJ). The idea
behind the program is to get more Tokyo-centric news, events, and
lifestyle reportage into the international news distribution system,
and thus start increasing international awareness as the city runs up
to the 2020 Olympics.

Nothing special about that, you might think, sponsored journalist
coverage happens all the time. However, in the Dateline Tokyo project,
journalists will be in town not for a few days, but six full weeks.
Further, the journalists themselves will mostly choose what they want
to cover. It’s not often that a major Japanese entity, like the TMG,
will allow foreign journalists this level of freedom, and speaks
volumes of the importance in having the FCCJ involved. We think this
is a big step forward and will create some interesting content.

The full name of the project is “Dateline Tokyo — 2014 Journalism
Program” and will bring five foreign working journalists to Tokyo
between the end of September and start of November this year. This is
a first step for the two partners, and if the program goes well, there
will likely be a ramping up in both the number of reporters and scope
of coverage in coming years. Not to confuse things, Japan Travel also
runs its own internship program, which involves bringing in about 40
interns in a year, and this program formed the basis for the Dateline
Tokyo effort.

[Continued below…]

———– WILD TOUR KICKOFF 2014 ———————

Ever thought about raising venture capital in the USA rather than
Japan? It’s possible and we show you how. KOEI Company, Inc., LINC
Media’s U.S. affiliate, teamed with ARYS Company, Inc., one of Japan’s
leading startup coaching firms, has co-launched a brand new Silicon
Valley/San Francisco tour event for new start-ups, growth/mid-sized
companies from Japan ready to pitch their businesses on a unique
“one-on-one basis” to major VCs, incubators and startup CEOs based in
Silicon Valley.

Our “Wild Tour Kickoff 2014”, part of the larger Wildcard Incubation
Program, will be held during October, from the 12th – 19th, and we are
currently accepting participants based in Japan, who are willing to
take the challenge! Free information sessions are scheduled on 8/2,
8/9, and 8/23 at Wis Square near Tokyo station. Register now to get
more details as they happen.

More info (Japanese) at:
http://www.innovations-i.com/release/13597.html. Contact:

[…Article continues]

Thanks to the backing from TMG, Dateline Tokyo is offering an
attractive package to journalists, which should bring in some
good-quality applicants. The package includes return airfares, salary,
accommodation, transportation, and local bilingual research and
interview support. In the 3 days since we started advertising the
positions, we have already received dozens of applications from all
over the world, and so any fears that Tokyo might be perceived as a
hardship posting are now removed. As you would expect from such a
broad-based recruiting effort, applicants come from many walks of
life, which should make for some interesting diversity. So far we have
seen specialists in gaming, music and art, business, travel,
architecture, cooking, sports, and even coverage of the Olympics

In helping out with Dateline Tokyo, we also put up a discussion on the
Business in Japan (BiJ) board on Linked In, to solicit member input on
the types of stories that journalists should be asked to include. We
like the BiJ group because of its size (44,459 members as of today)
and its focus on Japan and pragmatic issues. If you’re not a member of
BiJ and you are involved with Japan to any extent, you should join.
Jason Ball and the rest of the moderator team there do a great job of
keeping everyone on track.

Anyway, the consensus of the 28 BiJ feedback is that food and Japanese
curiosities are important points of focus. As you can imagine, though,
everyone has an opinion about what turns on the fresh-to-Japan
audience and that’s why the Dateline Tokyo team decided to bring their
journalists in from abroad rather than use local writers. They want
coverage that doesn’t get caught up in the layers of subtlety that
local subject matter experts tend to focus on, and instead produce
content attuned to the needs of each writer’s respective market.
That’s also why the program is seeking journalists from primary
English-speaking countries for this first phase, so that language and
market variables are limited and audience reactions can be more easily

For more information on the Dateline Tokyo project if you are a
working journalist living outside Japan or if you know one who’d be
interested in this opportunity, please go to:


Last week we ran a Take on the issues relating to a Supreme Court
ruling on the right of foreign permanent residents to receive welfare,
as regular Japanese do. The court ruled against such a right and said
that welfare was legally guaranteed only to citizens, not to foreign
migrant workers (which means all non-Japanese). In that take, we
mentioned several times about the 25-year pay-in rule for social
insurance and how the ruling was unfair. A number of readers wrote in
to tell us that the law on the pay-in period changed late last year,
and now the minimum pay-in period is 10 years.

Actually, the new reduced pay-in rules don’t start until 2016, but it
was an oversight on our part, and we are running a correction below to
remedy that. It also highlights one really good point about putting
Terrie’s Take together every week, and that is that we have over 7,000
eagle-eyed readers out there who help keep us on our toes… We like
this feedback and really appreciate it. Readers provide us with a kind
of crowdsourced fact checking process — although of course we do our
best to get the facts right to start with. It also means that if you
want to know if something we’ve said really is correct, just wait a
week to see if a correction comes out… :-)

Lastly, this coming week is Obon in Japan, and we will be up in the
mountains of Gunma, enjoying white water rafting, and typhoons
permitting, a spot of paragliding. Japan has so much to offer outside
of temples and shopping, and that’s what makes living in this country
so satisfying. We will be back on board on the 24th. Email in the
interim is of course very welcome.

…The information janitors/


—– Why You Must Have a Presence in Silicon Valley ——

Startup investors know that their returns are directly proportional to
the quality of startups they invest in. The more startups they see,
the greater the chance of finding quality. The biggest flow of startup
opportunities in the world is found in Silicon Valley. It is 3 times
larger than the next biggest startup hub.

There are simple steps that investors from Tokyo, London and Salt Lake
City can take to find quality Silicon Valley startup opportunities.
You can learn more in my free report, “Why you must have a presence in
Silicon Valley and (3) simple tips to get one”.

More info at: http://bowen-consulting.com/startup3/


+++ NEWS

– Safe haven flows drive up yen
– New international school in Karuizawa
– Hubbie help determines birth rate
– Japanese baby trafficker case in Thailand
– eBay and Gree invest in Ticketstreet

=> Safe haven flows drive up yen

As we commented in our Take last week, Japan’s yen is a safe haven in
times of global turmoil, largely because the economy is large enough
to absorb those flows without major impact, and because the country’s
major companies are diversified enough to be resilient to
international problems. So it is that this last week, as tensions have
risen in Russia/Ukraine, and the Middle East, the yen has climbed to
JPY101.74. At the same time, the Nikkei stock index has fallen by 3%,
its largest daily drop in 4 months. Gold was also up. (Source: TT
commentary from wsj.com, Aug 8, 2014)


=> New international school in Karuizawa

It helps sometimes to have a rich dad. In the case of a 12-year old
kid attending school in Karuizawa, his dad was a primary investor in
the new school he goes to, which is apparently Japan’s first
international boarding school (versus boarder-accepting universities).
The new school is called ISAK and will officially open this month to
an initial intake of 50 students. Many of the kids attending are
coming from abroad and just over 50% of them are attending on
scholarships, while the other 50% are paying the JPY3.5m full fee
(tuition and board). The target is to build the school to 150 kids
over the next 3 years. ISAK classes are in English and students will
study the International Baccalaureate Diploma curriculum. (Source: TT
commentary from bloomberg.com, Aug 7, 2014)


=> Hubbie help determines birth rate

A National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (IPSS)
study shows once again that Japanese husbands are just too pooped by
the time they get home to do anything to help around the house. The
study found that of 6,409 relevant responses, where the woman also
works, about 13% of men did no chores, while 30% did about a tenth of
the chores. In homes where the woman stays at home, the percentage of
no-helpers rose to 23%. Interestingly, the level of help the husband
provides also seems to affect childbearing plans. Where husbands help
out, 70% of women under 39 wanted to start a family. However, in homes
where husbands don’t help, the number of women wanting kids fell to
48%. **Ed: Interesting… maybe the IPSS has just stumbled on the key
to the baby-bearing puzzle in Japan?** (Source: TT commentary from
asahi.com, Aug 8, 2014)


=> Japanese baby trafficker case in Thailand

Thai police are investigating a case of a Japanese man in his twenties
who is believed to be the father of at least 14 babies born to
surrogate mothers and who subsequently had them raised by individual
nannies in a plush apartment complex in Bangkok. Apparently the man
has already transported five of the babies abroad, and police suspect
that he is at the center of a baby trafficking ring. The man under
investigation is reported to have traveled to Bangkok 41 times in the
last four years — certainly a red flag to immigration authorities.
Paid surrogacy is illegal in Thailand, despite the prevalence of the
practice. (Source: TT commentary from smh.com.au, Aug 8, 2014)


=> eBay and Gree invest in Ticketstreet

Japanese ticket reseller Ticketstreet just got a huge boost in the arm
with an investment from eBay and Gree Ventures. The company received
JPY300m from the two companies, which will allow it to ramp up its web
presence and scope of events coverage. eBay also owns Stubhub and
apparently plans to provide Ticketstreet access to Stubhub events in
the USA, such as major league baseball games. ***Ed: We expect a lot
more of this kind of strategic cross-border strategic investment in
the next 3-4 years — mostly because tickets and similar commodities
are the gateway to inbound travel as well.** (Source: TT commentary
from nikkei.com, Aug 7, 2014)


NOTE: Broken links
Some online news sources remove their articles after just a few days
of posting them, thus breaking our links — we apologize for the



=> Are you in web content, sales, or engineering- If so, this section
is for you.


– Account manager/Sales position

Bilingual account manager for major tourism portal
(www.japantravel.com), we are particularly interested in speaking to
people living both inside and OUTSIDE Tokyo, and wish to recruit at
least 5 more staff within FY2014. JPY3M – JPY5M base + 10% commission.
We are interested in both Japanese and foreign job applicants. The key
requirements are that you have an outgoing personality, ability to get
a visa (which we will sponsor), and that you can speak/hear/understand
reasonably fluent Japanese and English. Strong reading and writing
skills in your non-native language are not necessary.

Interested individuals may e-mail resumes to: info@japantravel.com.




————– BizDo Introduction Seminar —————–

Discover The Secret of Leadership Success : Gyoku Shin

On November 7th, during the height of Kyoto’s beautiful foliage
season, we will hold our next BizDo Introduction Seminar which
introduces the secrets of Leadership success hidden in the philosophy
and principles of the Japanese Martial Arts. This event is exclusively
for senior executives and only 20 seats are available.

To hear what other top Executives in Japan say about our Seminars and
to reserve your seat, visit: http://www.bizdo.co.jp/seminars/terrie/



=> => In TT-767 we mentioned that the social insurance program has a
minimum 25 year pay-in period. But actually, this is not entirely
correct, as our researcher found out in a follow-up report below.

*** Researcher feedback:

A new national pension act was passed last year
(http://www.nenkin.go.jp/n/www/faq/detail.jsp?id=6706) which will give
all residents of Japan (including foreign workers) the right to
receive a pension after just 10 years of premium payments, versus the
current 25-year pay-in period. As the pay-in period will be shorter,
unless the payee decides to increase their contributions (an unlikely
scenario in our opinion), the pension amount that they will receive
will also fall, to about 40% (i.e., ten twenty-fifths).

Foreigners from the following countries can sum up their pension
payments to gain a combined pay-out: Germany, UK, Korea, USA, Belgium,
France, Canada, Australia, Holland, Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland,
Brazil, Switzerland, Hungary, India, and Italy (will start soon).
Further, foreigners who have not met the 10-years pay-in period before
they leave Japan permanently will apparently be able to receive a
lump-sum payment within 2 months of leaving the country.

Foreigners who are 50 years old or older will also be able to leave
the Japanese pension system (Kokumin nenkin), other than payments for
the employees’ pension (Kosei nenkin), which will continue because
Kosei nenkin provides payments for bereaved families and for people on
disablement pensions.



=> Cycling Kyoto’s Arashiyama
Storm Mountain’s Fresh Air and Verdant Scenery

Arashiyama is also called Storm Mountain in Japanese. However, its
scenery is best enjoyed on a fine day, as the combination of gentle
sunlight and bamboo groves make for a magical combination and a
photographer’s paradise. This area is well known for Togetsukyo
Bridge, Tenryuji Temple and the Bamboo Grove, and is very popular
during fall because of the amazing colors. Likewise springtime brings
many fans during the cherry blossom season. There are a number of
smaller temples that you can visit as well.

The most enjoyable and convenient way to explore Arashiyama is by
renting a bicycle. These are available around the train station area.
You can select from several options ranging from an hour to a full
day, on either a standard or an electric bicycle. Your choice
ultimately depends on how many places you would like to explore. When
you rent a bike, you will be given a map of the area which you can
follow, allowing you to explore all the different places at your own
leisure. Bear in mind that the area east of Togetsukyo Bridge and the
souvenir shops can get crowded, especially on the weekend afternoons.


=> Kawagoe’s Old Town: Bell Tower
Toki-no-Kane is the historic symbol of Kawagoe

No trip to Kawagoe’s Old Town would be complete without a visit to the
Bell Tower, whose unique shape and design have made it the symbol of
the city itself. Old Town (Koedo in Japanese, literally “Little Edo”)
is an area of Kawagoe City that maintains its historic traditions
dating back to the Edo Period (17th to 19th centuries). During that
time Kawagoe was built around the (no longer existing) Kawagoe Castle,
and played a key role in business transactions with Tokyo (then called
Edo). Old Town is both a functioning city as well as a tourist town,
and attracts many visitors to walk down its streets, enjoying the
old-time architectural styles, visiting the local shops, and getting a
taste of life from a bygone era.

The Bell Tower itself (toki-no-kane in Japanese, literally “Bell of
Time”) was originally built in the early 1600’s, though it has been
rebuilt several times since then due to damage from fire. The current
tower was constructed in 1894, after the Great Fire of Kawagoe
destroyed the previous structure. The tower is three stories tall (16
meters in height), and its beautiful chimes currently ring out four
times a day: at 6 a.m., 12 noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. In 1996, the
chimes were designated as one of the “100 Best Sound Sceneries in
Japan,” to be protected by the Ministry of the Environment.

The tower is just that – there’s nowhere to go inside or buy
souvenirs, although you can walk underneath it to access the tiny but
beautiful Yakushi Shrine on the other side. the shrine welcomes people
praying for good harvests, money, and recovery from various illnesses,
especially eye diseases.




SUBSCRIBERS: 7,300 members as of August 10, 2014
(We purge our list regularly.)


Written by: Terrie Lloyd (terrie.lloyd@japaninc.com)

HELP: E-mail Terrie-request@mailman.japaninc.com with the word ‘help’
in the subject or body (don’t include the quotes), and you will get
back a message with instructions.

Send letters (Feedback, Inquiries & Information) to the editor to

For more information on advertising in this newsletter, contact

Get Terrie’s Take by giving your name and email address at
http://www.japaninc.com/newsletters/free_sign_up, or go straight to
Mailman at:

http://www.japaninc.com/terries_take or,

Copyright 2014 Japan Inc. Communications Inc.

—————– Japan Inc opens up Japan —————-

J@pan Inc authoritatively chronicles business trends in Japan. Each
posting brings you in-depth analysis of business, people and
technology in the world’s third largest economy.
Visit www.japaninc.com for the best business insight on Japan available.
Terrie mailing list