NEC and the sorrow of Japan
Yahoo! News -- Jul 18
Sadly enough, NEC's share price rose 2.6% on the news that it is going to shutter its mobile phone unit. It's a tragic epitaph for what was once a genuinely exciting brand. It's also a sad reminder of the profound failure of Japan's technology industry.

The global smartphone market is currently shaken by a cluster of vital, hungry challenger vendors of China and India, including Huawei, ZTE, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice. Japanese mobile phone powerhouses like Sharp, Toshiba, Matsushita and NEC have been left in the dust. Only Sony still soldiers on, grimly and joylessly.

In the end, NEC fizzled out as a global phone brand despite having pioneered key technologies like color displays, 3G support, dual screens and camera modules. Just like its Japanese peers, NEC was too focused on Japan's domestic market and its idiosyncratic nature to ever really anticipate global trends accurately.

NEC's miniature models had lousy battery performance and Nokia's larger, heavier models triumphed among consumers who appreciated five days of stand-by time over a slim chassis. Motorola's dazzling RAZR designs trumped NEC's boring Japanese ovoids among consumers who valued slimness. NEC's 3G phones were the first in the world, but they suffered from serious quality issues and were buried by models that arrived nine months later, offering more finesse. The Japanese disease of valuing early introduction of technological advances over usability blighted NEC permanently. The damage as particularly obvious in the early camera phone race, where NEC missed the huge mass market for cheap models by focusing on the expensive, exclusive dual-screen niche.

Source: Yahoo! News
Oct 23
The number of visitors to Japan in January-September totaled 9,737,300, up 26.0 pct from a year earlier, an estimate by the Japan National Tourism Organization showed Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Oct 23
A Thai man has admitted killing a 79-year-old Japanese man who has been missing in Thailand since late September, according to local police sources. (Jiji Press)
Oct 23
With the Ebola outbreak swiftly spreading in West Africa, Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital opened to the press on Wednesday a special isolation ward for highly dangerous infectious diseases. (The Japan News)
Oct 22
A total of 74 people are believed to have died from January to September this year due to their use of so-called dangerous drugs, according to the National Police Agency. (The Japan News)
Oct 22
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun dismantling the cover of a reactor building to remove debris as part of preparations for removing the nuclear fuel from a spent fuel storage pool. (NHK)
Oct 22
Police in Hachioji, Tokyo, said Wednesday that a man suspected of fatally stabbing a 35-year-old woman at her home, apparently jumped to his death from the building roof. (Japan Today)
Oct 22
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
A Tokyo court has ordered Facebook to disclose the IP addresses used by fake accounts that were posting revenge porn, a lawyer said Tuesday, in the first such case in Japan. (Japan Today)
Oct 22
Denenchofu, a quaint residential area of Tokyo's Ota Ward, is home to some of the richest people in the metropolis. (Tokyo Reporter)
Oct 22
The Shonen Tanteidan (Boy Detectives Club) series written by famed mystery novelist Edogawa Rampo (1894-1965) will be resurrected by current popular novelists. (The Japan News)
Oct 21
The man arrested on suspicion of killing a 6-year-old girl in Kobe has confessed to the crime, his lawyer said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Oct 21
Google Inc. has started a service that allows users to get an offshore look at the latest recovery efforts in the Tohoku region devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Asahi)
Oct 20
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday arrested two male suspects for allegedly dumping a large quantity of adult video (AV) material inside a park in Nishinari Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 17). (Tokyo Reporter)
Oct 20
A Japanese court has sentenced a former college employee to 2 years in prison for using a 3D printer to make handguns. (NHK)
Oct 20
The bodies of a Japanese man and woman have been found on a popular Nepal hiking route that was engulfed by a blizzard last Wednesday. The death toll is now 39. (Japan Today)