A small town north of Tokyo that Sharp Corp picked as the hub of its TV production during Japan's export boom four decades ago expects to bear the brunt of a round of job cuts intended to save the company.
As Sharp races to complete an emergency turnaround plan that includes the loss of 5,000 jobs, many people in Yaita, a fading former lumber town nestled between rice fields and woods two hours from the capital, are braced for the worst.
Yaita is an emblem of the decline of Japanese electronics manufacturing and the uncertainty that surrounds Sharp as the company negotiates a lifeline from Japanese banks and an investment from its Taiwanese partner Hon Hai.
Since early August Tadashi Endo, the town's mayor, has been working with an emergency team of officials to prepare its 36,000 residents for the closure of the plant, which employs 1,600 people.
The government of Japan has bestowed one of that nation's highest honors on a Japanese-American, a former U.S. Soldier and World War II veteran, for his work furthering relationships between the Japanese and Americans. (army.mil )
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )