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What's up in Japan | 4Q20 review

Updated: May 5, 2021

🇯🇵 What’s up in Japan? 🇯🇵

A review of the major headlines and developments in Japan over the fourth quarter of 2020.


🇯🇵 What’s up in Japan? 🇯🇵

Week ending 11 Dec, 2020 (💹 NKY -0.4% )

  • STIMULUS #3. GREEN AND DIGITAL. Hot on the heels of two earlier supplementary budgets, the third stimulus package is a further $300b, taking the total stimulus this year to almost 17% of GDP.

  • GREEN TECH. 88 Japanese companies have formed JH2A, an body that works to ensure that Japan leads the world in the use of hydrogen #zeroemissions

  • SOLID STATE BATTERIES. VW’s QuantumScape said its solid state batteries allow a car to charge to 80% of its full capacity in 15 mins. Toyota claims that its newly developed batteries enable a maximum EV range of 500km in one full charge and a 0 to 100% charging time of just 10 mins

  • MORE ON SOLID STATE. Toyota taking the lead. Small cap plays include Ohara (5218), Mitsui Kinzoku (5706), and Sannoh Industrial (6584)

  • GREATER DIVERSITY. Companies will be encouraged to set voluntary targets for diversity - women & foreigners - in the new CorpGov Code (Spring 2021).

  • GOVERNANCE WORKING. Facing a shareholder revolt, Fujitec, announced a treasury share cancellation, new strategic direction, and improved (slightly) governance

  • VALUING JP IP. The popular manga series "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" has generated an economic impact of at least $2.5b

  • JAPAN VACCINE DEVELOPMENT LAGGARD. Lack of government support and inadequate scale of Japan Pharmas cited as causes.

✅Links to the above stories can be found 👇👇👇

Demon Slayer




Solid State

Why Japan is largely a spectator in the coronavirus vaccine race


Why Japan is largely a spectator in the coronavirus vaccine race

🇯🇵 What’s up in Japan? 🇯🇵

Week ending 4 Dec, 2020 (💹 NKY +0.4%)

  1. BRAIN DRAIN 🤯: Japan is struggling to retain homeground talent in science as China makes attractive offers on compensation and conditions to Japanese researchers. EMPLOYEE SHARING is taking off as Japanese companies are becoming more flexible and starting to share workers.

  2. DIVERSITY TARGETS 🤦‍♀️: A mere 8% of senior execs are female in Japan, missing the Government target of 10%. Japan is far behind global peers.

  3. SUGA TALKS: Spend $10b on digitalization of economy and $20b on shift to carbon neutral. These two key planks of policy will continue to drive stock selection.

  4. MOBILE PRICE CUTS: Docomo finally bows to pressure from Suga in long-running fight to lower Japan’s expensive mobile data plans 🪓

  5. JAPAN EVs 🚓: Government likely to ban sale of gasoline cars by mid-2030’s following other developed nations’ carbon neutral pledges

  6. SOFTBANK: As Softbank closes controversial Call option positions, a more interesting acquisition of Sinch for $700m - a global leader in B2C mobile customer engagement.

  7. IPO WATCH: Keeping an eye on PLAID (4165), set to IPO on the TSE Mothers Exchange on 17 Dec. They know who is coming and what they are doing on your website! 👀

✅Links to the above stories can be found 👇👇👇









🇯🇵 What’s up in Japan? 🇯🇵

Week end 27 November, 2020

  1. One month following Oasis’ calls for an EGM at Tokyo Dome, Mitsui Fudosan has emerged as a “white knight”. Oasis had called for the removal of long-standing Prez & “independent” directors. Is $1.2b fair value? 🤫

  2. More signs of digitalization as SMBC cashiers hand out QR codes rather than yen bills. 🏧

  3. Japan may be engaging in a great leap into digital transformation, but it seems to have forgotten to safeguard its systems, leaving them wide open to cyber attacks.⛔️

  4. Luckily however, the government is about to provide tax incentives to pursue DX….companies will have to undergo regular cyber security audits.

  5. Activist investors promise to make life hell for Japan's CEOs...but,erm, see number one.⏫

  6. There is still a long way to go for hydrogen to justify the hype as the next big thing in transportation….Asia focused, but ditto for Japan.

  7. Re-alignment of regional banks is one of PM Suga’s key policies. New laws put into place to skirt anti-monopoly concerns. Good 📺 in the link 👇

✅Links to the above stories can be found 👇👇👇

Nikkei on Tokyo Dome

Oasis on Tokyo Dome

Reuters on Mitsui ToB

Japan Times on Digital Banking

NHK on CrowdStrike’s rather shocking findings

Nikkei on tax incentives for DX transformers

Board Prospects on activism

WSJ on the hydrogen economy

NHK Video explaining regional banks and non-banks

🇯🇵 What’s up in Japan? 🇯🇵

Week end 20 November, 2020 (💹 NKY -1.5%)