How the iPhone conquered Japan | Fortune Tech
What happened? Japanese mobile phone guru Nobuyuki Hayashi believes there are three main reasons Japan has fallen out of love with its own handset makers. First, he says, you have to understand what a colossal and unexpected hit the iPhone was with Japanese women. “The iPhone has been very strong among women from very early on. The original round plastic iPhone 3G series soon become a fashion item for Japanese women who also enjoyed the huge variation of cases and ease of decoration. Then there is the brand loyalty of Japanese women.”
iPhoneは，どのように日本で普及したか－海外から見た日本市場 | Cartan’s Blog
Apple、iBookstoreを日本で提供開始 | Apple (日本) – Apple Press Info
アップル iBooks v3.1提供開始、iBookstore で有料日本語書籍を販売 | Engadget Japanese
アップル iBookstore 日本開設を歓迎する | EBook2.0 Magazine
【雑感】iBookstore 日本版を3日間利用してみた感想などwww | Blog!NOBON+
Apple Store, Ginzaイベント「Meet the Author: 村上 龍」レポート（これからも必死に電子出版の未来を探して獣道を邁進して行く） | Macお宝鑑定団 blog（羅針盤）
President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Abe of Japan | The White House
Japan and United States Reaffirm Their Close Ties | NYTimes.com
Mr. Abe also seemed to move closer to committing Japan to join the United States and other Pacific Rim nations in negotiating the regional free-trade agreement — and in a way that seemed intended to satisfy both leaders’ separate domestic political concerns. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership has been a priority of Mr. Obama’s economic and foreign policy agenda since late 2011.
While Mr. Abe’s advisers have said he has personally favored joining the talks, in keeping with his emphasis on an economic stimulus program that has become known as “Abenomics” in Tokyo, he faces domestic political risks: Mr. Abe regained office less than two months ago, and his party faces critical parliamentary elections in July, when it will need the support of rice farmers skeptical of more open markets.
In a joint statement, the two governments agreed that if Japan does participate in the trade talks, there would be no exemptions stopping discussions on any products, a starting point the United States had insisted upon. But the statement also recognized “that both countries have bilateral trade sensitivities, such as certain agricultural products for Japan and certain manufactured products for the United States” and held that Japan would not have to commit to ending all tariffs upon joining the talks. Even so, the goal of the trade talks is a comprehensive agreement that eliminates tariffs.
With Japan still the world’s third-largest economy despite two decades of economic weakness, its participation in the negotiations is considered all but essential to any agreement’s success. But the Obama administration had opposed any exemptions or preconditions to secure Tokyo’s entry, especially given the opposition of American agricultural and manufacturing interests, including automakers.
A response to the leaders’ joint statement from Representative Sander M. Levin of Michigan testified to the skepticism within Mr. Obama’s party. “There must be a clear, concrete understanding that before Japan would join the T.P.P. negotiations that those negotiations would result in a real change in Japan’s policies and practices,” Mr. Levin said, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Obama, Japanese prime minister pledge to seek strong action against North Korea | The Washington Post
Friday’s meeting was an opportunity for the U.S. to gauge Tokyo’s intent to join negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regionwide free trade pact being pushed by Washington. Abe held back from such a commitment, which is opposed by most of his party and Japan’s small but politically powerful farming lobby, at least until after key elections in July for the upper house.
In a joint statement following the meeting, the two leaders agreed to continue their talks about Japan’s “possible interest” in joining the trade pact, known as the TPP. But they agreed that concerns remained, particularly with respect to the automotive and insurance sectors.
The U.S. and Japanese leaders also discussed the question of Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new U.S.-led free trade group.
Speaking through a translator, Abe said he will discuss the proposal with his political coalition when he returns to Tokyo.
“And based on that, whether to decide to take part in the negotiation, it should be left to the government and we would like the parties concerned to leave this to us,” he said.
US and Japan leaders affirm security alliance | Al Jazeera English
In a joint statement following the meeting, the two leaders agreed to continue their talks about Japan’s “possible interest” in joining the trade pact, known as the TPP.
But they agreed that concerns remained, particularly with respect to the automotive and insurance sectors.
Japanese foreign policy: Down-turn Abe | The Economist
Politics in Japan: The Kamikaze election | The Economist
The Kamikaze election
As the economy sinks, the prime minister appears ready to go down with it
Why hold an election, so soon, that polls suggest he is bound to lose?
The answer reveals a lot about the prime minister, a man who seems prepared to take his party down in flames in order to do what he thinks is the right thing. Many within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) had urged him to cling to power for as long as possible, hoping that Mr Abe, who fluffed the job of prime minister from 2006-07, would stumble again in opposition.
In the meantime, though, Mr Noda appears to be on the verge of handing power on a plate back to an LDP that has barely reformed itself since it was driven out in disgrace three years ago. That, for all his good intentions, would be a legacy of failure.
日本の政治：カミカゼ選挙 | Japan Business Press
日本の失われた20年がわかる表：Japan’s Two Lost Decades | Long Tail World
Japan’s once mighty tech industry has fallen far behind Silicon Valley | SiliconValley.com
Shinzo Abe Elected to Lead Japan’s Opposition Party | NYTimes.com
Shinzo Abe, a nationalist former prime minister, was elected to lead Japan’s main opposition party on Wednesday, giving him a chance of regaining the nation’s top job — a prospect that could worsen the country’s tense relations with China and its other Asian neighbors.
Ex-PM wins Japan opposition party vote | Al Jazeera English