business

Boot camps and desertion in the mountains among the ways Japanese companies train new recruits

Boot camps and desertion in the mountains among the ways Japanese companies train new recruits

There appears to be a generational shift in the workforce of Japan recently. New additions to companies labelled as “monster recruits” in the media, along with a reported 30% of new employees quitting in three years, are leading organizations to look into new ways to protect their human resource investments. Many of the following training methods have been carried out for decades but have been steadily growing in popularity among Japanese companies.

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Chinese celebrity caught cheating on his wife triggers rush for “love insurance”

Chinese celebrity caught cheating on his wife triggers rush for “love insurance”

We’ve heard of celebrities and famous athletes spending insane amounts on insurance for their body parts, but it would seem that in China, the trend now is to buy insurance for love.

Recent reports of the infidelity of popular Chinese actor Zhang Wen not only set flame on Chinese social media networks, they also triggered off a rush for “love insurance”, generating more than a thousand new clients solely in Xiamen of Fujian Province. How does this “love insurance” work? Details after the break!

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That scene from “Frozen” and 10 other fascinating jobs that have gone extinct

That scene from “Frozen” and 10 other fascinating jobs that have gone extinct

Long before we had color television, microwave ovens, mobile phones and the all-mighty Internet, many things had to be done manually and took more time and effort to accomplish. While you may be reading RocketNews24 on your computer or mobile gadget now, the latest news and information used to be only available on handwritten sheets many moons ago.

In many cases, improvement and changes to traditional methods bring greater convenience to the masses, but gone with the olden ways of things are fascinating jobs that once existed to make life easier for the people of their era. How do you think people woke up on time for work before alarm clocks were invented?

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Notes from the Evangelion payroll department – How much does Shinji earn?

Notes from the Evangelion payroll department – How much does Shinji earn?

Many critics and fans credit the success of hit anime Evangelion to the way in which the franchise realistically examines the psychological effects of one of Japanese animation’s standard plot setups, in which a teenage boy must pilot a giant robot to save the world from alien attackers. To its credit, Evangelion does a fine job of answering how the mind of Shinji, its young protagonist, would react to the fear of putting his life on the line, the pressure of acting as humanity’s savior, and the sexual frustration of having the hots for almost every one of the few women he’s had a conversation with, but there’s one question the show’s never dealt with.

How much does Shinji earn?

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Advice for new employees in Japan: Never take your temperature

Advice for new employees in Japan: Never take your temperature

My very first job in Japan was with an established, well-known company that’s one of the top enterprises in its field. The company’s nationwide scale and decades of operations seemed to mark it as sophisticated and experienced enough to appreciate the value of a good employee support system, so I was a little surprised during the training session for new employees when we were told, “If you’re going to take a sick day, you have to tell your manager at least 24 hours in advance.”

The problem is, coming down with the flu isn’t like getting free shipping from Amazon, in that it usually doesn’t take more than a day. Unfortunately, my old employer never taught us how to know we’d be sick two days ahead of time, but another Japanese company has an effective way of sidestepping the issue entirely: never check to see if you have a fever.

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“Business Nail” – the latest trend among young Japanese businessmen looking to get ahead

“Business Nail” – the latest trend among young Japanese businessmen looking to get ahead

In a country where concepts like uniformity and social cohesion are praised from kindergarten to retirement, and where those who seek out their own paths are considered quirky at best and troublesome renegades at worst, it is difficult for young professionals in Japan to stand out and make a name for themselves. For men especially, who more often than not must don the same black suit, white shirt and neutral-coloured necktie combo as their millions of peers, it’s easy to become just another face in the commuter crowd.

But a new generation of young businessmen has recently started bucking social trends in order to do precisely what they were always discouraged from: stand out and get noticed. Known as bijinesu neiru (“business nail”), thousands of men working in industries from pharmaceuticals to video game design are now paying hundreds of dollars a week to have their fingernails prettied up with gemstones, pastel-pinks, hearts and even company logos, with many claiming that, since getting their nails done, they have been rewarded with pay rises and promotions, and now have more friends and lovers than they could ever have dreamed.

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Cosplay panties bring photographers to their knees, but maybe not why you’d expect

Cosplay panties bring photographers to their knees, but maybe not why you’d expect

Recently, we came two stories of trains decorated with pictures of anime girls, and also hardcore fans who fantasize about peeking at their panties. Really, this is pretty disturbing. I mean, these are 2-D pieces of promotional art we’re talking about here. Are there no anime fans out there who would rather peer into the pleated folds of a real girl’s skirt?

Actually, yes, there are many.

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Things to put on your resume: college attended, previous work experience, favorite pop idol

Things to put on your resume: college attended, previous work experience, favorite pop idol

Job hunting is a concentrated, intense process in Japan. In general, major companies all do their recruiting during the same, single stretch of the year, which runs through winter and early spring. Most college students try to line up a job roughly a year before graduation, and those who fail to have a doubly difficult road ahead, as not only will they have to wait a year to try again, being a year or more older than other candidates is considered a black mark against an individual.

With so much pressure on them, job hunters should be happy to learn of what may be a new secret weapon they can implement in trying to land their dream job: make it completely clear that they love idol singers.

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Victoria’s Secret is opening in China — But not to sell lingerie

Victoria’s Secret is opening in China — But not to sell lingerie

Victoria’s Secret is launching in China—but don’t expect any bras and panties at its stores.

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Sega/Nintendo rivalry coming to theatres with Console Wars movie

Sega/Nintendo rivalry coming to theatres with Console Wars movie

You wouldn’t know it from the current state of the industry, but the biggest grudge match in video games wasn’t always PS4 versus Xbox One or Skyrim versus Dark Souls. For the bulk of console gaming’s most formative years, the bitterest rivalry was Nintendo versus Sega.

Back before Sega threw in the towel on making its own hardware, the two companies hated each other, and their fans did, too. “Nintendo makes games for little kids.” “Sega’s marketing is obnoxious and juvenile.” “The Super NES processor sucks.” “The Genesis sound chip sounds like a muffled fart.” “Mario is fat.” “Sonic only has one eyeball.”

Soon, you’ll be able to relive the epic struggle for 1990s video game supremacy with the feature film adaptation of the book “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation.”

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Japanese netizens praise Starbucks’ move to promote 800 temp workers

Japanese netizens praise Starbucks’ move to promote 800 temp workers

With just over 1,000 stores covering practically every prefecture, Starbucks is a coffee powerhouse in Japan. Since opening its first store in Tokyo in 1996, the company has managed to adapt its business model to suit Japanese tastes with seasonal flavors, expanded (alcoholic) menu options and utilizing Japan’s unique architecture. Last week, Starbucks went one step further in its Japanese expansion plan by announcing that it would promote 800 temp workers to full-time positions, which netizens applauded as a move to create pressure on the Japanese market to provide better benefits to workers.

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What’s the secret to Coco Ichi’s reign of the curry kingdom?

What’s the secret to Coco Ichi’s reign of the curry kingdom?

Curry is pretty much the ultimate Japanese comfort food loved by children, adults and picky eaters alike. And with data showing that Japanese people eat curry more than once a week, it has definitely become one of the country’s national foods despite its Indian-British origins. And one curry restaurant in particular, Curry House Coco Ichibanya or “Coco Ichi” to its patrons, is reaping the benefits of this curry craze, claiming about 80% of the market share! With more than 1,200 shops in Japan and 116 overseas franchises, it seems like nothing can stop this curry giant.

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Japanese women reveal their biggest expenditures ever

Japanese women reveal their biggest expenditures ever

A while back, I’d been struggling for months with an old laptop that took a solid 30 minutes to start up each morning. My repeated attempts to rectify the problem, using the most advanced electronics trouble shooting techniques known to me (hurling every curse word I knew in both English and Japanese at the screen), only proved successful in cutting the waiting time down to 29 minutes, unfortunately.

Eventually, I bit the bullet and bought a new laptop. Despite my lovely and crafty wife talking the salesman into a 3,000 yen (US$30) discount, it was still the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought. Not that I’m complaining of course. It works great, and since almost all of my work, in-home entertainment, and overseas correspondence is done through my PC, my life is honestly better for having purchased it.

You can’t always count on being completely satisfied every time you drop a giant wad of cash on something, though. Japanese women’s Internet portal My Navi Woman recently released the results of its survey on working women’s biggest expenditures, and whether or not they got hit with a dose of buyer’s remorse afterwards.

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Tensions in Ghana rising between locals and Chinese over gold

Tensions in Ghana rising between locals and Chinese over gold

Despite the frequent complaint in many nations about jobs being moved to China, not everyone in the planet’s most populous country can easily find work domestically. People from the country’s more impoverished regions sometimes see going overseas to be their only means of obtaining gainful employment, and over the last decade more than 500,000 Chinese nationals have moved to Ghana.

However, history is rife with examples of countries taking issue with sudden influxes of foreign workers or capital. In Ghana, it appears tensions are rising between Chinese workers and businesses and their Ghanaian hosts over one of the most historical measures of wealth, gold.

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5 ways Japanese TV shows are broken

5 ways Japanese TV shows are broken

There are certain things almost everyone who moves to Japan seems to like. The food? Tasty and healthy. Public transportation? Clean and punctual. But Japanese TV? Let’s just say there’s a reason Internet access is one of the first things new arrivals in the country look to outfit their apartments with.

It turns out this lukewarm reaction to the country’s programming isn’t just a foreigner thing, either, as some 75 percent of Japanese citizens polled by the Asashi Shimbun newspaper also said that TV has become boring. Today we look at why.

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Does Japan really need company drinking parties?

Does Japan really need company drinking parties?

Among the Japanese language’s many unique loanword mashups is nominikeshon, a hybrid of “nomi / drinking” and the English “communication.” Nominikeshon is a term that gets applied to the common Japanese business practice of workers from the same company going out together for a beer (or six) after work, and hopefully strengthening their bond along the way.

But even if you’ve technically punched out, if you have to spend time with your boss, with a large chunk of it used to talk shop, couldn’t you make the argument that you’re still working? In which case shouldn’t you get paid for drinking with your coworkers?

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How the meaning of “quality” differs between the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China

How the meaning of “quality” differs between the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China

Quick, what color means “go” at a traffic signal? If you speak English, odds are you just said “green” (and if you don’t speak English, why are you here? The articles with pictures of cute girls and cool robots are in a different part of the site).

On the other hand, in Japanese that same light is considered ao, which translates as “blue.” Crazy as it may seem, the Japanese concept of the color extends all the way down to the hues of traffic signals and mountain forests. It’s just one example of how the same word can have different meanings in different cultures.

OK, so that may be true for artsy fartsy things like colors, but surely this kind of linguistic flatulence isn’t present in the world of business, right? Wrong. Even seemingly simple things like the term “quality” can have vastly different meanings depending on the nation, as one expert demonstrates by explaining the differing definitions consumers in the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China have for it.

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Year-end bonuses in China: Coffins, vegetables, sheep and more!

Year-end bonuses in China: Coffins, vegetables, sheep and more!

Many Chinese companies like to end the year with a bang, rewarding their employees with bonuses before they enter a long break to celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is common for these bonuses to come in the form of cash, but there are also companies that reward their staff with gifts instead. Among them, some companies got a little too “creative” with their gifting, which triggered off the recent trending topic of “unusual bonuses” on Chinese websites.

How unusual are these bonuses? You be the judge.

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The incredible business card of the Chinese millionaire who wants to buy The New York Times

The incredible business card of the Chinese millionaire who wants to buy The New York Times

Chen Guangbiao is an audacious man, and not just because he wants to buy the New York Times for $1 billion (or $2 billion or $3 billion).

One of China’s top 400 richest people, he was estimated to have a personal fortune of worth $740 million in 2012, but how he’s really made his name is by high-profile charity donations — something he brands “flashy philanthropy.”

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Why does Japan love fictional characters so much?

Why does Japan love fictional characters so much?

A lot of surprising things about Japan actually have pretty simple explanations. People eat fish raw because it’s delicious that way. Public intoxication isn’t frowned upon because the publicly intoxicated are generally well-behaved, even when they are incoherent. And late-night TV features plenty of young female skin, because young males make up the vast majority of viewers in that time slot.

But what about Japan’s love affair with cute, fictional characters? How is it that lingerie based on Sailor Moon sells out in a day? Or that a salaryman can pull out his cell phone with a strap featuring a chubby regional mascot and nobody bats an eye?

Scholars and commentators point to two of the strongest forces in shaping society: religion, and business.

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