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Fukuoka Now #129 September 2009


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Kyushu Headline News English language summaries of last month's top Kyushu area news stories. 九州エリアの 1 ヵ月分の英文ニュースの中から選り抜きの話題をピックアップ 王さん、九電 CM に

Sadaharu Oh to Appear in Commercials Kyushu Electric Power announced it has signed a contract with former Fukuoka Softbank Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh to appear on behalf of the company in television commercials to be shown only in Kyushu. The contract, which took effect on the 19th, is for one year only. Oh has seldom appeared in television commercials in the past. 博多など JR5 駅「デジタル伝言」サービス開始

Personal Messages at Five JR Stations The JR Hakata Station and four other JR stations in Kyushu have begun a service in which people can pay to use the station’s advertising boards with digitized displays for personal messages, such as wishing someone a happy birthday. The service is being provided by the Fukuoka City-based JR Kyushu Agency, the JR Kyushu group’s ad agency. The company says that blackboards had been used at stations for messages of this sort years ago, but few stations in Japan now provide the service for the digitized display boards. The other four JR stations at which the service is being offered are Kokura, Nagasaki, Oita, and Kumamoto. 福岡・筑後市と大木町、ごみからレアメタル発掘

Rare Metals from Garbage The city of Chikugo and O’oki-machi in Fukuoka Prefecture have decided to establish a new category for small consumer electronics products when separating garbage for collection to promote the recovery of the rare metals used in digital equipment and automobile production. According to the Japanese government, these two municipalities are the first in the country to take such a step. O’oki-machi is slated to begin the program in August, and Chikugo will follow in September. Both will continue the program for three years. トヨタ九州、小倉工場の能力倍増

Toyota Kyushu to Double Capacity Toyota Kyushu plans to boost the annual capacity of its Kokura plant assembling parts for hybrid vehicles from 84,000 units to 168,000 units, it was learned. In addition to assembling large parts for Toyota’s hybrid sports utility vehicles, the plant will also be given the role of producing parts for mid-size hybrid vehicles. The large SUV parts in question are transaxles, which are the combination of the transmission and the motor. 屋台は「福岡の観光資源」

Street Stalls as Tourist Resource A joint questionnaire survey conducted by the Kyushu University School of Engineering and the Kyushu Economic Research Center shows that the residents of Fukuoka City increasingly see the city’s street stalls as tourism resources rather than eating or drinking places. The survey was conducted from December 2008 to January 2009, and the results were compared

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with a similar survey in 1996. Those respondents who said they go to stalls several times a year fell by 12.6 percentage points from the previous survey to 28.8%. The primary reasons cited for not going were (1) not having the chance to go, and (2) no particular reason. In contrast, 73% said that keeping the stalls were a good idea because they were part of the city’ s identity and contributed to tourism. ハウステンボス支援を要請

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キュウシュウヘッドラインニュース無料配信 !

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Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Fukuoka City and Prefecture, and area clothing merchants, will open a section for clothing sales on the Internet shopping site operated by Rakuten in September. The group attracted area attention by holding a fashion show in March that featured well-known models wearing local clothing brands. They hope their section on the Rakuten website will increase interest in their event next March.

Huis ten Bosch Asks for Injection The Huis ten Bosch resort in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, asked its parent company, Nomura Principal Finance in Tokyo, to find another Japanese company and provide financial support to ameliorate the sharp deterioration of its bottom line due to plunging visitor totals. The two groups are already in discussions and a general plan should be formulated by the end of the month. It is also possible that Nomura Principal Finance could transfer its operating authority to the new financial backer.

シーガイア営業損失 5 億円

富士通系列、コールセンター開設

武雄市、イノシシソーセージ完成

Call Center in Kitakyushu to Open The Tokyo-based Fujitsu Communication Service plans to open a call center employing 300 to 350 people in Yahatanishi Ward, Kitakyushu, it was learned. About half of the employees will be newly hired local people. The call center, which will provide technical support for PCs, is scheduled to open in October.

Wild Boar Sausage The city of Takeo in Saga Prefecture recently began a campaign to eliminate wild boar from the city as a harmful animal, setting up a municipal department for that purpose in April. Rather than dispose of the meat, however, they are trying to turn it into a special product. Merchants in the city have begun processing the meat and selling it locally in the form of sausage and bacon. The price for both products is 1,000 yen for 200 grams. They also plan to turn it into hamburger and sliced lunchmeat in the future.

九州の新興企業育成へ、投資ファンドを設立

Kyushu Investment Fund to be Launched Toyo Capital, a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based, mid-tier securities company Toyo Securities, plans to create an investment fund to provide the start-up capital to new Kyushu companies and new companies listed on the Fukuoka Stock Exchange’s Q Board. The fund, which will be called the Kyushu Capital Engine Fund, is expected to start operations this fall. Its initial capitalization will be from 500 million to one billion yen. 九州 8 空港、休止や減便続く

Flight Reductions at Kyushu Airports As of July, there were 74 regularly scheduled domestic routes and 25 international routes at the eight primary Kyushu airports. Compared to July 2006, the peak period over the past five years, this is six fewer domestic routes and eight fewer international routes. There are also 379 daily round trip flights on the domestic routes, a reduction of 15 during the same period. The declines are attributed to the global economic downturn, during which corporations are cutting back on business trips and individuals are less likely to travel for recreational purposes. 福岡アジアコレクション、楽天に 9 月出店

Fukuoka Asia Collection to Open Fukuoka Asia Collection, a group organized to promote the region as an Asian fashion center that includes as its members the Fukuoka

Fukuoka Now #129 September 2009

Seagaia Posts Loss The Phoenix Seagaia resort in Miyazaki Prefecture revealed that it recorded an operating loss of 500 million yen on the non-consolidated account for the year ended March 2009. It is the business’s first loss in three years. The loss was attributed to the sharp rise of gasoline prices peaking during last summer vacation, and the economic downturn. The resort also had 80,000 fewer lodgers than during the previous year, and sales fell 14.9% year-on-year to 12.0 billion yen.

西鉄 1 億 4,900 万円赤字

Nishitetsu Posts Huge Loss Fukuoka City-based Nishi-Nippon Railway (Nishitetsu) released figures showing they suffered a consolidated net loss in the first quarter of 149 billion yen. This is in contrast to the 72 million yen profit they posted during the yearbefore period. The company attributes this to the economic turndown, the discounted expressway tolls during the Golden Week holiday period, and concerns over the flu epidemic. 福岡空港の赤字、全国最悪

Fukuoka Airport’s Losses Worst in Nation The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport released the financial statements for Japan’s 26 state-managed airports for FY 2006. An examination of their finances performed after removing the airports’ income derived from tax allocation shows that 22 of them, or 80%, lost money. The biggest money-loser of all was Fukuoka Airport, which was 6.7 billion yen in the red. Other regional airports that were in the hole were those in Kitakyushu, Nagasaki, Oita, and Miyazaki. Officials think the plan to expand the current airport in Fukuoka will result in greater losses.


九州ニュース

有効求人倍率は過去最悪に

Job-Seeker to Job Opening Ratio at Rock Bottom The Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry released the seasonally-adjusted June figures for Kyushu’s job-seeker to job-opening ratio. The results showed there were 100 job seekers for every 39 job openings, lower than the 0.43 national ratio, which was a record low. The only Kyushu prefecture to perform better than the national average was Oita, with a 0.46 ratio, while Kagoshima’s was the lowest at 0.34.

gional prefectures for FY 2009. The projected aggregate amount of capital investment for the current year is expected to be 946.4 billion yen, a 22.7% drop from the previous year and the second consecutive decline. The 38.5% fall in capital investment for the manufacturing industries, primarily autos and semiconductors, exceeds the national average. This is the second-largest projected decline reported, following the sharp drop in 1977 caused by yen appreciation.

ダイハツ、新型車種を大分で生産

九州コメ作況指数 92「不良」

Daihatsu to Produce New Mira Model in Oita Daihatsu Motor Co. revealed that the new model in its Mira lineup, due to go on sale in Japan this month, will be produced at its #2 plant in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture. The company anticipates producing several thousand units per month. The plant already manufactures several of the company’s best-selling cars, and the latest announcement shows that the Oita plant has become a key part of the company.

Poor Kyushu Rice Crop Expected The Tokyo-based Rice Databank Inc., a company tracking rice market conditions, released its forecast for the year’s wet paddy rice crop using an index scaled to 100 points. The rating for Kyushu was a poor 92. They gave a very poor rating under 90 for the crops in Nagasaki, Saga, Fukuoka, and Oita prefectures, which were hit by heavy rains in late July. The lowest rating nationwide was for Nagasaki Prefecture, which scored 86.

九州の設備投資 22% 減

Kyushu Capital Investment Plunges 22% The Kyushu branch of the Development Bank of Japan released the figures from its survey of capital investment trends in the seven re-

Kumamoto plant by 40% and shift its focus to the domestic market. New plans call for a 30% increase in production for Japanese customers, which would then account for two-thirds of the plant’s total output. One reason for the decision was the lagging drawdown of overseas product inventory. News source: With permission from the morning editions of the Nishinippon Newspaper.

ホンダ熊本製作所、生産計画 40% 減

Honda Plans to Cut Motorcycle Production Honda Motors revealed it would reduce overall motorcycle and motorbike production at its

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Sep 2009 Fukuoka Now