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San Diego-Japan Newsflash

This e-newsletter is designed to keep you informed on news related to the U.S. and Japan in the areas of the management of science and technology, innovation, and business and policy strategy.

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June 20, 2022
Main topics include: The DX and Japan’s “Lucky Moment”; New Magic to Save the World from Fast Fashion Waste; What’s in Your Cup Noodles? Nissin Joining the Health Fast Food Bandwagon; Database of Japanese University Startups; Sunny San Diego Update: Using the Metaverse for Drug Development?

April 30, 2022
Main topics include: Japan’s Retail Reinvention: Seijo-Ishii is Next; Japan’s Largest Sogo Shosha Joins Gates' Breakthrough Energy Catalyst Program; First Tapioka Teas, then Kara-age Fried Chicken – What’s Next?; Sunny San Diego Update: Where women under 30 are earning more than men

April 15, 2022
Main topics include: Unbelievable but True: Japan is Offering 4-Day Workweeks; A Gendered U-Turn:
Regional Revitalization 2.0?; Pandemic Over or Not: SCARDA to Enhance Japan’s Preparedness; Sunny San Diego Update: UC San Diego In a Growth Spurt

April 5, 2022
Main topics include: Workman Making a Run for Fashion Profits; The Virtual Shopping Mall Already Exists – And no Longer Just for “Otaku”; Completing Japan’s Innovation Ecosystem: Keidanren to the Fore; Mizuho Catapulting into the DX? Google Cloud May Show the Way; Sunny San Diego Update: San Diego Ranks #3 for Pre-IPO Startups, and TCA is now Nu-Fund

March 19, 2022
Main topics include: A Pharma Leader for the Ageing Society? Tohoku’s Medical Megabank; Air conditioning and the new business of global warming; Are Tomy and the “Tomica” Japan’s biggest car company?; Sunny San Diego Update: San Diego’s Seaport turning into a Luxury Park?

March 4, 2022
Main topics include: The Sultan of JIT is Shut Down For a Day; Can A New Drug Save Japanese Area Studies?; Art is Money, Money is Art! Maezawa Strikes Again; Sunny San Diego Update: Steady progress of MTS bus and trolley pandemic

Feb. 18, 2022
Main topics include: Japanese Startup Funding Soon to Top $10 billion; The ARM Debacle - Whither the Vision Fund?; Barbarians at the Gate – Is the Retail Chain Game Coming to Japan?; The End of a Famous Auto Supplier; Sunny San Diego Update: The Last Trip of a Cold War-era Soviet Submarine; 

Feb. 4, 2022
Main topics include: Petri-Dish Maguro Coming Your Way; Let the Robots Save Our Farmers!; Wanna Wear Your Sustainable Pearls With that Suit, Son?; Sunny San Diego Update: San Diego’s Water Industry Moving Forward; Jeff Bezos Has His Eyes on San Diego’s Innovation Ecosystem

Jan. 21, 2022
Main topics include: From Nuclear Fusion to AI, Japanese startups are going global; Sony accelerates the speed toward EV business to catch up with competitors; Traditional car makers such as Honda pursue a "safe" drive through brain studies; Revitalize Ukiyo-e through the creation reflecting the modern world; Sunny San Diego Update: Female leaders' footprints during the pandemic

Dec. 3, 2021
Main topics include: Bringing E-commerce to Japanese Craftsmen, Brand Aggregator Forest Bags $8 Million in Seed Funding; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Taking on SpaceX, Japan Launches Reusable Rocket Project to Cut Costs 

Nov. 19, 2021
Main topics include: Downsizing or Divorcing? Old Guard Conglomerates Decide its Time for a Break Up; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Into the Metaverse: Once considered a societal plague, is Hikikomori now the goal?

Nov. 5, 2021
Main topics include: By Prioritizing the DX, Itochu Bags Record Net Profit Charting New Course for Trading Houses; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Bringing Gourmet Food to Space, Japanese Firm Aims to "Teleport" Sushi and More to Space with Food Printer

Oct. 22, 2021
Main topics include: Just Can't Put Your Finger on it? Japan's Electronics Solidifying Shift to Asset-light Strategies Boosting their Intangible Assets; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Yahoo Japan Adds AI to its News Section to Make Online Comments Sections Less Terrible

Oct. 8, 2021
Main topics include: Japan to Force 4,000 Blue Chip Companies to Put their Money where their Mouth is on ESG; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; From Hacking into Priuses in Silicon Valley to Toyota's Boardroom

Sept. 24, 2021
Main topics include: With Poison Pill Proposal, Shinsei Bank is Again Headache for Government but also a Litmus Test on Reform; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Japan Flying Car Startup Looks to Osaka for Regulatory Seal of Approval to Take Off

Sept. 10, 2021
Main topics include: Japan Launches Digital Agency to Pursue Reform and Break through Institutional Barriers; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Japanese Materials Company Spiber Lands Massive $312 million Funding Round as Global Investors Discover Late-stage Japanese Startups

Aug. 27, 2021
Main topics include: In Major Crypto Tie Up, MUFG Partners with Coinbase to Launch Japanese Operations; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Remote Work Revolution Takes on Food Service: Japanese Burger Chain Tests Robots to Enable Telework

Aug. 13, 2021
Main topics include: Panasonic Levels Up Japan's Pursuit of Hydrogen Power with First Hydrogen-Based Plant; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; In the Land of Champagne, Japanese Sake Finds New Rice Wine Lovers as Foodies Flock to Ligheter Fare

July 30, 2021
Main topics include: World Records Aren't Only for Olympians: Japanese Scientists Smash Data Transmission Speed Record; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Toyota’s Basketball Robot Stuns at the Tokyo Olympics with its Flick of the Wrist and Inhuman Accuracy

July 16, 2021
Main topics include: As Pandemic Wanes, Japan Inc Recovers Appetite for Foreign Acquisitions; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Seeking Entry into Japan's Budding Cashless Society, Google Acquires Pring for over $180 million

July 2, 2021
Main topics include: Japanese Startups Get their Day in the Sun: Global Hedge Funds Drawn to Japan by High Returns; Softbank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Shochu Distillers Look to Carve Out Market Abroad Amid Shrinking Market and Pandemic Challenges

June 18, 2021
Main topics include: How to Make a Unicorn? Japan's SmartHR Charts "Unsexy" Course to Unicorn Status; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Supersonic-jet R&D Lifts Off as Japan Looks to Boost Aerospace Sector

June 4, 2021
Main topics include: Japan Bets Big on Green Energy and Carbon Capture Technology in New National Strategy; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; 'Womenomics' Advocate Kathy Matsui Debuts Venture Capital Fund

May 21, 2021
Main topics include: Japanese Deep Tech Investment Firm, UTEC, Closes $273 Million University-Focused Venture Fund; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Moving the Cloud to the Sky: NTT to Develop Data Center in Space Teaming with Japanese Satellite Startup

May 7, 2021
Main topics include: Big-name Japanese Companies Team Up for Quantum Computing Push in New Public-Private Initiative; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Reinvigorating the Traditional Bathhouse for a New Generation with Yoga, Beer, and Community; With Capacity Breakthrough, Murata Manufacturing to Pivot to All-solid-state batteries in Search of its Niche

April 23, 2021
Main topics include: Japan Startup to Take Rover to the Moon in 2022 as Japan Stakes its Claim in Private Sector Race; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Nidec Reports 46% Jump in Profit as it Positions to Grow with Demand for EVs Leveraging Motors Prowess

April 9, 2021
Main topics include: Mitsui Sumitomo Joins Japanese Insurers' Push Abroad with $4.5 Billion Earmarked for M&A; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; With Focus on Innovation, Japan Looks to Outpace Rivals in Shipbuilding after Decades of Intense Competition

Mar. 26, 2021
Main topics include: Rakuten Inks Two Billion Dollar Deal to Strengthen Role in the Digital Economy; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Looking to the Past to Innovate a Sustainable Future: Brands Turn to Washi for Sustainable Clothing Alternative

Mar. 12, 2021
Main topics include: Panasonic Bids Tsuga Farewell with Cash in the Bank, Plans for Revamp, and Ready to Go All in on Batteries; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Bringing Japanese Luxury Fruit Stateside with Vertical Farming and Indoor Beehives

Feb. 26, 2021
Main topics include: There's a Platform for That: Japanese Startup Yappli Aims to Revolutionize App-making as Shares Soar; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Keidanren Continues to Push its Conservative Bounds with Carbon Neutrality Push, First Female Chair

Feb. 12, 2021
Main topics include: Japan's Most (In)famous Activist Investor Steps Up Battle with PE Giant Carlyle; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Amid Global Supply Crunch, Japan's Renesas to Acquire UK Chip Designer Dialog

Jan. 29, 2021
Main topics include: Automation Boom: Japanese Robot Manufacturers Ready to Meet Souring Chinese Demand; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; To Combat Declining Birthrate, Japanese Government Looks to AI to Help Singles Find Love

Jan. 15, 2021
Main topics include: Despite Pandemic Woes, Japan Showcases Record Number of Startups at CES 2021; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; "Not that Plaid": Case of Mistaken Identity Leads to Boom for Japanese Startup

Jan. 1, 2021
Main topics include:
What Could've Been: Looking Back on a Year of Newsflashes like No Other; From METI to the Kantei to Blackstone? Top Abe Policy Advisor Eiichi Hasegawa to Lead PE Giant's Japan Push; Sunny San Diego Update; SoftBank Corner

2020 Archive

Dec. 18, 2020
Main topics include:
San Mitsu: To Define a Year Defined by COVID, "Mitsu" Selected as Kanji of the Year for 2020; Step Aside Toshiba, Panasonic, and Samsung? Luxury Toaster Maker Balmuda Soars in IPO; Sunny San Diego Update; Ready to Put Their Money where their Mouth is, LDP Backs 10% Tax Break to Back Zero Emissions Pledge

Dec. 4, 2020
Main topics include: The Keys to Being an International Financial Hub? Tax Policy & Foreigners; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; 
Old Habits Die Hard: FTC Reports Big Companies are Hampering Startups with Purse Strings

Nov. 20, 2020
Main topics include: Zoom Boom? Japan Sees Recovery in Q3 as Asia Leads COVID Recovery with Successful Pandemic Responses; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Hitachi Readies to Sell Off its (Former) Core Business, Hitachi Metals, Cementing its Restructuring

Nov. 6, 2020
Main topics include: New Group of Business Leaders Ready to Take Fight for Workstyle Reform to Kasumigaseki; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Prominent Japan Strategist who Coined "Womenomics" Kathy Matsui to Leave Goldman Sachs

Oct. 23, 2020
Main topics include: COVID-19 Threatens to Accelerate Japan's Population Decline and Birth Rate Woes; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Divergent Diaper Visions Derail Chemical Merger with Dispute over Key Diaper Input

Oct. 9, 2020
Main topics include: JFIT Director Ulrike Schaede Embarking on Virtual Book Tour; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; PM Suga gets First Major Test of Regional Economic Plan with Nagasaki Bank Merger

Sept. 25, 2020
Main topics include: Japan's Latest Unicorn Startup Playco Looks a Bit Different as it Rockets to Billion Dollar Valuation; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Innovating for a New Normal, NEC Facial Recognition System Offers 99.9% Accuracy with Mask On

Sept. 11, 2020
Main topics include: Reshaping Supply Chains: Japan Expands Relocation Subsidies for More of China's Neighbors; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; SoftBank Corner

Aug. 28, 2020
Main topics include: Shedding the Non-core: Takeda Sells of Consumer Healthcare Business in $2.3 Billion PE Deal; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Globalizing the Regulator: Japan FSA to Ease Administrative Hurdles for Foreign Investors, including with English Paperwork; SoftBank Corner

Aug. 14, 2020
Main topics include: Staying Ahead of the Curve: Japan's Battery Startups take the World Beyond Lithium Ion; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; SoftBank Corner

July 31, 2020
Main topics include: Japan Selects Four "Global Startup Cities" in Bid to Manufacture the Next Silicon Valley; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; SoftBank Corner

July 17, 2020
Main topics include: To Spur Innovation, Yahoo Japan to hire 100 Moonlighters for Strategic Planning, Double-Down on Remote Working; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Womenomics Delayed? Japan Extends Deadline to Raise Women's Share of Leadership to 30% by a Decade

July 3, 2020
Main topics include: Not Even a Pandemic Can Stop Japan's Corporate Reforms as Shareholder Activism Reaches New Heights; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Will Japan Finally Give Up on Coal? Government to Urge 100 Inefficient Coal Plants to Close

June 19, 2020
Main topics include: Retirement Age Brouhaha: Proposal to Delay Retirement of Japan's Top Prosecutors Spurs Uproar; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; Pandemic Pushes Japanese Geisha to Get Online, Widening Cultural Institution's Reach

June 5, 2020
Main topics include: JFIT Director Ulrike Schaede's The Business Reinvention of Japan; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; SoftBank Corner

May 22, 2020
Main topics include: Keidanren Faces COVID-19, and Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi May be Just the Man for the Job; COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; Sunny San Diego Update; SoftBank Corner

May 8, 2020
Main topics include: COVID-19 in Japan in Focus; With Government's Nudge, Tax Refund Policy Continues to Push Cashless Payments; Sunny San Diego Update; Business Tradition vs. the Coronavirus: Longstanding Practices Forced to Adapt to Changing Workstyle

Apr. 24, 2020
Main topics include: JFIT to Launch New Japan Forum Webinar Series Next Week; SoftBank Corner; Necessary Precaution? Decoupling? Globalization in Retreat? Japan Looks to Block Foreign Investment in Medicine; Sunny San Diego Update

Apr. 10, 2020
Main topics include: Corporate Cash Hoarding in the Age of Coronavirus: The Risk-Averse's Time to Shine; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Tokyo Startup Paidy Raises Capital with Pitch to Credit Card-wary Japanese Consumers

Mar. 27, 2020
Main topics include: Tokyo 2021? Tokyo 2020: Take Two? COVID-19 Pushes the Olympics Adding Yet Another Logistical Nightmare; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Private Equity Entry: Another PE Giant Bets on Reorganization with Largest Fund Yet

Feb. 28, 2020
Main topics include: Abe Gets Work Style Changes, Just Not How He Intended; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Japan Chemical Makers to Tap into Power of AI in Joint Materials Project by Making their Big Data Bigger

Feb. 14, 2020
Main topics include: Japan Returns to Asia: Amid U.S. Uncertainty, Japan's M&A Returns Closer to Home; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Vacation Rental Venture: As Japanese Tourism Booms, Rental Startup Attracts New Funding

Jan. 31, 2020
Main topics include: Brokerages Branch Out: Daiwa Ready to Enter Rehab with New Stake; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Give Me Some Space: Japan Considers Limiting Foreigners' Land Purchases, Citing Security

Jan. 17, 2020
Main topics include: Koizumi Kerfuffle: Koizumi Shinjiro's Paternity Leave Makes Noise in Workaholic Japan; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Machinery Boost: Japan Posts Record Machinery Orders Growth in November in Boost to Economy

Jan. 3, 2020
Main topics include: 2020 Promise: Japanese Business Kicks off the Year of the Rat with Promise of Digital Innovation Boost; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Potato-Onion Bottleneck? Shinkansen Battle Produce to Decrease Travel Time Between Hokkaido and Tokyo

2019 Archive

Dec. 20, 2019
Main topics include: Buzzwords Year in Review: Rugby, a new emperor, new technologies, and demanding customers get the nod; SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; JDI Déjà vu: Japan Display Strikes Bailout Deal...Again

Dec. 6, 2019
Main topics include: To the Promise Land? Uniqlo enters Vietnam deeming SE Asia the "land of promise;" SoftBank Corner; Sunny San Diego Update; Omotenashi meets global logistics: Amazon to leave packages at the door in defiance of Japan's service culture

Nov. 22, 2019
Main topics include: Letter from the Director; SoftBank Corner; Toshiba Rising from the Ashes?; Sunny San Diego Update; Tech to the rescue of Japan's grandmas and grandpas!

Nov. 8, 2019
Main topics include: SoftBank Corner: Son, Misra and a Story in Hubris; Innovation and Technology Avengers Assemble!!; San Diego Startup Paves The Way To The Shore; The New Automotive Arms Race In Japan

Oct. 25, 2019
Main topics include: Facing Reality with Mixed Reality: Business Turns to Mixed-reality in Face of Labor Shortage; Softbank Watch: In Search of a Savior, WeWork Founder Finds a Billion Dollar Golden Parachute from an Unlikely Source; Readying for the Next Frontier: Qualcomm Earmarks $200 Billion for 5G Startups; Indispensable to the value chain, Apple infuses Japan Display with Capital after Failed Chinese Bailout

Oct. 11, 2019
Main topics include: Toyota Breaks from the Pack: Boosting Mid-career Hiring, Toyota Signals New Trend Penetrating Japan's Largest Firms; Softbank Watch: Going Back to its Roots, Softbank Facilitates Yahoo Japan's E-commerce Pursuit while on Data Pursuit of its Own; San Diego Startup Looks to Make App Creation Available for Everyone with New Billionaire Backing; Japanese Chemist Gets Nobel Nod for Invention at the Center of Modern Life and the Digitial Economy

Sep. 27, 2019
Main topics include: Dreaming of Traveling to Space, He Flew Too Close to the Sun: Zozo's Maezawa Steps Down Leaving Business Behind; San Diego's Qualcomm Leading the Charge on Smart City Innovation Debuting Smart Streetlights Water Meters and More; Unicorn Hunt: Japan's Biggest Firms Deploy Record-breaking Cash Holdings into Tech Start-ups; More than Beer, San Diego Becomes One of the Top 10 Coffee Cities in the U.S.

Sep. 13, 2019
Main topics include: Changing the Face of Transport by Removing its Face: Japan Tests Fully Autonomous Truck; Innovating for Food Security: San Diego Agriculture Startup, ZeaKal, Prepares for Global Growth Armed with New Funding; With New Government Backing, Geothermal Power in Japan is Set to Heat Up; For the 9th Time in 10 Years, UC San Diego Named Number One Public University for Research and Social Mobility.

Aug. 23, 2019
Main topics include: Japanese Funding Launches New US Unicorn as Japan Continues to Bet Big on Co-working, Funding WeWork Rival; UC San Diego Prepares to Innovate Reaching New Funding Heights Surpassing $2 Billion Funding Goal Three Years Early; Rakuten Boosts Cryptocurrency with New Crypto Exchange Mainstreaming Blockchain; and San Diego Tops Ranking for Best Cities for Female Entrepreneurs, Notching Second Spot

Aug. 9, 2019
Main topics include: Moonshot Innovation to be given Government Go-Ahead and Sponsorship; San Diego-based Rakuten Medical Closes Another Megaround of Funding for Cancer R&D; Fresh Tech for Keeping Food Fresh: Japanese Startups Innovate Natural Solutions for Food Preservation; and California's Largest Angel Investor Network, Tech Coast Angels, Reaches Record Heights

July 26, 2019
Main topics include: A Record M&A Spree: Japan Overseas Acquisitions Surge 30% in First Half of 2019; Leading Fitness Innovation: San Diego Fitness Startup Booms with Apple Partnership; Cryptocurrency's Vanguard? Japan to Take Lead on Crypto, Bootstrapping Global Payment System; and New Startup Funding: Sony and Daiwa Plan $185 Million Fund to Target High-growth Startups

July 12, 2019
Main topics include: Mixing Business and Politics: Abe Dips a Toe in Global Protectionist Swing with Korea Chip Component Export Restrictions; San Diego Startup for "Indie Grocery'' Delivery Attracts $4 million in Funding; Pushing into China: Itochu Teams with Chinese Conglomerate to Entice Japanese Startups to Enter China; and San Diego Startups Continue Funding Growth Streak into 2019

June 28, 2019
Main topics include: At last a Japanese Commercial Jet? Mitsubishi to Acquire Bombardier Jet Unit; San Diego Bucks Global IPO Downtick with Another Strong Quarter; Tokyo in Paris: Japanese Menswear Designers Show their Dominance at Paris Fashion Week; and Drones to Make Fast Food Faster: Uber taps San Diego as Test City for Drone Delivery.

June 15, 2019
Main topics include: A Boon for Tech Talent Deals Blow to Seniority Wages as Sony Boosts Rookie Wages; Angel Infusion: San Diego AI Semiconductor Startup Lands New Funding to Revolutionize Chip Industry; Taking a Page from Big Tech's Playbook, Kirin Launches Beer Subscription Service; and Student Startup Synergy: UC San Diego's Rady Gets New Fintech Incubator.

May 24, 2019
Main topics include: A Green Tech Leader: Japan Set to Lead the Charge toward Hydrogen Power as Firms Innovate New Green Tech; San Diego's Newest Startup Accelerator is Making Sure that Nobody is Left Behind in San Diego Startup Boom; As Tourism Booms, AI-Powered Guides to Greet Tourists at Tokyo Station; and Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Opens New Global Research Center in San Diego to Capitalize on Life Science Prowess.

May 10, 2019
Main topics include: Growing Abroad: Japan Flexes Insurance Expertise and Finds New Demand as it Enters Nascent Myanmar Market; San Diego's Robust Year for Venture Capital Sows Seeds for Future IPO Successes; Japan Takes Leap in Private Space Race: Japanese Aerospace Startup Becomes Country's First Private Firm to Reach Space; and A Greener San Diego with a Japanese Assist: San Diego Teams with Sumitomo Electric for Next Generation Grid Optimization. 

April 26, 2019
Main topics include: Shuukatsu Shift: Fight for Top Talent Deals Blow to Traditional Recruitment Strategy to Favor Flexibility; Major Startup Merger: Connect San Diego fuses with San Diego Venture Group Creating New Powerhouse; Japan Finds Latest Unicorn in Cryptocurrency Startup as it leads the way on Blockchain; and Building a Smart City: Drones are responding to 911 calls in San Diego.

April 12, 2019
Main topics include: Ushering in Peace or Looking Back? New Gengo Hopes for (Ordered?) Harmony in Coming Era of Transformative Technology; San Diego Adds Another Fintech Unicorn to its Growing Stable as Kyriba Hits a Billion; Rakuten just made $2 Billion in Lyft Windfall Foreshadowing American Strategy; and San Diego Cements Status as Craft Beer Capital with New Museum of Beer.

March 29, 2019
Main topics include: As Speculation Swirls Around the New 'Gengo', Coders Prepare and Society Reflects and Looks Forward; Ditching Silicon Valley:, Maker of Self-driving Tech, Relocating to San Diego; Asia's Sweethearts Swoon for Japan as Tourism Reaches Record High; and San Diego Startup Surge: Record Number of SD Startups Vying for Venture Capital.

March 15, 2019
Main topics include: Womenomics happening after all? Japanese Financial Firms Hire Females for C-Suite; Apple to Create 1,200 Jobs in San Diego making SD its Newest Principle Engineering Hub; Is there any stopping SoftBank? Japanese Conglomerate to Launch $5 billion Latin America-focused Tech Fund; and Move than a Surfer's Paradise: Cardiff-by-the-Sea VC Firm Section 32 Raises $200M for Second Fund.

March 1, 2019
Main topics include: 'Made in Japan' Goods to Make U.S. Blitz through Amazon with Help from Regional Banks; New Robot Ruler: Qualcomm Builds First Robot Platform to Guide everything from Autonomous Cleaners to Robot Dogs;
Less Convenient Konbini? 7-Eleven Owners Request Shorter Business Hours; and San Diego Matures becoming the Country's Third Largest Biotech Hub as Rapid Growth Continues.

Feb. 15, 2019
Main topics include: Unleashing a FinTech First, Japan's Largest Bank to Launch Blockchain Payment Network; San Diego’s Biotech Startup Scene Quietly Builds Steam for The Year of the Boar; The Perfect AI beer? Artificial Intelligence Threatens to Disrupt Japan’s Brewing Industry; and
Autonomous Trucking Startup becomes San Diego's Newest Unicorn.

Feb. 1, 2019
Main topics include: San Diego Startup Accelerators Pick Up Speed as New Groups Form and Existing Groups Attract Fresh Funds; A Stimulating Supplement: More Japanese Companies Hunt for Talent Overseas to Stimulate Talent at Home; Fueled by a Pet-Loving City, San-Diego Startup PetDesk attracts New Funding creating New Business Model; and Japanese Comedy Just Got More Robotic? Traditional Japanese-style Comedy Meets AI for a Robotic Makeover.

Jan. 18, 2019
Main topics include: Revolutionizing the Internet of Things: San Diego Semiconductor Startup Wins $30 Million Backing from Amazon and Samsung with Battery-free Micro-sensor; Crypto's New Commander: Japan's Leading Cryptocurrency Regulator Expands Membership Increasing Clout; Coworking Boom: San Diego Startup Growth Drives Coworking Demand to New Heights as Local Startup Attracts Fresh Funding; and AI Meets HR: Japanese Firm Hopes AI Holds the Key for Better Employer-Employee Relations

Jan. 4, 2019
Main topics include: Silicon Valley's Shepherd: Softbank Driving the Largest Deals in the Valley; New Year, New Funding: San Diego Tech Startups Start 2019 with Fresh Funding; An Assist for Driver-Assist: Japan Eyes Tax Breaks for Driver-Assist Cars; and LOVOT the Pet Robot: AI-enabled Pet Robots go on Sale in Japan.

2018 Archive

Dec. 21, 2018
Main topics include: That’s right: “Sodanē” wins Top Buzzword for 2018; In San Diego IPOs are a Go: 2018 Marks Record Year for Market Debuts; A Younger Keidanren? Amazon Japan and Mercari Bring New Japan to Business Lobby; and Scoot Over, Make Room: San Diego is Latest Battleground in E-scooter Turf War.

Dec. 7, 2018
Main topics include: UC San Diego and GPS Team with Famed Sci-Fi Writers to Imagine the Policy Problems of the Future; San Diego-based to Open an Office in Japan; Turning the Page: Japan’s Last Pager Service Ends after 50 years; and Tsinghua University Investment Unit to Back Japanese High-Tech Startups.

Nov. 23, 2018
Main topics include: JFIT Director & GPS Students Explore the Japanese Bureaucracy and Ministries through the Lens of Shin Godzilla; World Trade Center San Diego and Local Congressman Lead Trade Mission to Japan; Awash in Money, UC San Diego Enjoys a Golden Age in Research; Work Begins on New Biomass Power Generation Plant in Japan.

Nov. 9, 2018
Main topics include: JFIT Launches 2018-2019 Japan Discussion Group Series; Silicon Valley Venture Capital Looks to San Diego as the City continues to Blossom as Tech Hub; Japan Weighs Construction of $7 Billion International Linear Collider as Scientists and Potential Suppliers Push for Innovative Site's Construction; and San Diego and Local Tech Incubator CyberTECH Launch Smart City Competition for Startups.

Oct. 26, 2018
Main topics include: How Well is Japan Prepared for the Big Data Revolution? JFIT to Co-host Joint DIJ-NIRA Big Data Workshop in Tokyo; JFIT Executive Manager Takashi Kiyoizumi to Speak on the Social Implementation of Health Innovations at Kanagawa Health Innovation Symposium; NASA Looks to Japan: Japanese Startup iSpace Tapping Apollo-era Expertise to Build Lunar Landers for NASA; and A "Hotbed for Tech Startups": UCSD Tech Accelerator Receives $1 Million Boost.

Oct. 12, 2018
Main topics include: In Boon for Blockchain Research, Tech Giants IBM and Intel Fund Launch of UC San Diego's New Blockchain Research Lab; Softbank in Talks to Up its Bet on Office Space Startup WeWork; San Diego-based Life Science Giant Illumina Board Member Frances Arnold Shares in Nobel Prize Win; and NTT Data Invests in Plans to Develop AI-backed Medical Diagnosis Service Globally.

Sept. 28, 2018
Main topics include: In Historic First, Japanese Rovers Land on Asteroid with Mission to Provide Clues to the Origins of the Universe; Venture Capital Looks Beyond Silicon Valley and Finds Life (and Profits) Outside the Bay Area; Despite High Costs, Japan's Paper Industry Bets They Can Help the Environment and their Bottom Lines with Plastic Substitutes; and Japan and Dubai Ink FinTech Agreement to Improve Cooperation on Innovation and Regulation.

Sept. 14, 2018
Main topics include: Driven by Semiconductors and Manufacturing, Japan's Capital Investment Marks 7th Straight Quarter of Growth with New 11-year-high Growth Rate; In a Boon for Innovation and University – Business Collaboration, $65 Million is Pledged for Drug Development Partnership with UC San Diego; Japanese Chipmaker Renasas to Acquire US Rival IDT in $7.2 Billion Deal as it Looks to Cement its Position in the Market for Connected Car Technology; and Ajinomoto Althea Opens New Manufacturing Facility in as it Marks its 20th Year in San Diego. 

Aug. 31, 2018
Main topics include: A Global Academic Powerhouse: UCSD Named World's 15th Best University, as Todai Named Best in Asia; JFIT Executive Manager Takashi Kiyoizumi Headlines LINK-J reception on Fundraising of Early Stage Life Science Ventures and US Angel Investment; Venture Capital Investment into San Diego more than Doubles in 2018; and Toyota Doubles Down on Driverless Cars with $500 Million Investment in Uber Partnership.

Aug. 14, 2018
Main topics include: UCSD Ranks 2nd in Ranking of Best Value Colleges; Japan Pushes for more Cashless Payments, as Amazon and Softbank vie to Lead the Way; Facing Stricter Regulations, Airbnb and Real Estate Japan Team Up to Promote Home Sharing; and After Years of Losses, Struggling Japan Display Bets on Smart Helmets and Mirrors.

Aug. 3, 2018
Main topics include: Better Politics? There's an App for that! Bringing Politicians Closer to Constituents through their Phones; Y2K All Over Again: Emperor Akihito's Abdication and a New 'Millennium Bug'; In Wake of Failed NXP Merger, Qualcomm Unveils 5G Electronics and Claims Big Strides; and Lixil Partners with UNICEF and Simplifies its Luxury Toilets to Save Lives. 

July 20, 2018
Main topics include: A 16-Year Failure to Launch: Walmart Looks to Cut-and-run and Exit Japan with Seiyu Sale; Startups get a Boost: Venture Capital to San Diego Startups Surges; Urban Fatigue for Rural Revitalization? Are Japanese Youth Yearning for the Countryside?; and Ordering Luck with Shooting Stars on Demand: Tokyo Startup Plans 2020 Meteor Shower.

July 6, 2018
Main topics include: Japan takes Lead on Policy for the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'; Zozo seeks to Upend Bespoke Clothing Industry with a Polka-dot Bodysuit; Scooter, Personal Assistant, or Best Friend: Chiba Team unveils AI powered Kangaroo-like Transforming Robot; and
By Pitting Virus against Bacteria, UCSD takes the Lead on Fighting Drug-resistant Bacteria.

June 22, 2018
Main topics include: Mercari Makes Japan's Largest Tech IPO in Two Years and Sets Sights on the US; Silicon Valley-style Coding Boot Camps Seek to Bring Japanese Software Development up to Global Standards; From Failing Mall to Startup Hub: Downtown San Diego's Horton Plaza to be Converted into Unique Office Space; and Suit-style Work Wear to Change the Image of Blue Collar Work?

June 8, 2018
Main topics include: Falling Icon? Karaoke Chains Struggle to Find Profits; Self-driving Vehicles in Tokyo for the Olympics?; What you've been waiting for? Japanese Firm Debuts "Umbrella Drone"; and Sharp to Save Toshiba's Money-losing Signature PC Bra

May 25, 2018
Main topics include: San Diego Economy Continues to Improve; Suntory to Discontinue Another Whiskey Line as Demand Continues to Grow; Japanese Drone Deliveries Scuttled for Now; and Grandesign Relocates HQ to Downtown SD.

May 11, 2018
Main topics include: JFIT Conference on AI and the Digital Disruption Probes the Future of Humanity; Recruit Acquires Glassdoor for $1.2b; UCSD Develops Biosensor to Fight Substance Abuse; and SD Named Test Sight for Drone Deliveries.

April 27, 2018
Main topics include: Airbnb Faces Tightened Restrictions in Japan; Amazon/Whole Foods Launch 2-Hour Delivery in SD; OECD: Half of all Jobs Threatened by Automation; and GPS Study Finds: Anyone Can Innovate.

April 13, 2018
Main topics include: Q1 2018: SD Startups Raise More with Less; Japan Discovers "Near-Infinite" Supply of Rare Earth Minerals; Japanese Wine Makers Harness Big Data; and Japan Deemed a Cryptocurrency Hub.

March 30, 2018
Main topics include: Cryptocurrency and AI Excite at Slush Tokyo; SD Leads US Cities in Solar, Named Top "Energy Forward" City; Japan Launching Supercomputer for Advanced Nuclear Fusion Research; and Japanese Companies Investing Directly in Startups.

March 16, 2018
Main topics include: Japan Remembers 3/11, Tohoku Continues to Rebuild; 2017: Japanese Firms Rival EU, US in ROE; Japanese Venture to Build 80 Hydrogen Fuel Stations by 2022; and UCSD, Lyft Agree to Partnership.

March 2, 2018
Main topics include: Foreign Policy Magazine Ranks UCSD one of the World's Best for International Relations; Nissan Testing Driverless Taxi in Yokohama; Japan's Ongoing Struggle to Increase Women in Upper Management; and Twitter Use Surges in Japan.

Feb. 16, 2018
Main topics include: Ignite: UCSD's 2-Day Innovation Conference; New Drug Could Kick the Flu in a Day; Takeover Threaten's SD's "Flag”; and UCSD Innovator Recognized for Contributions to High Density Hard Drives.

Feb. 2, 2018
Main topics include: Fujifilm to Acquire Xerox in $6.1 Billion Deal; No. of Foreign Workers in Japan Hits New High; Japan's LINE to Open E-Currency Exchange; and UCSD Opens New Aerodrome for Drones.

Jan. 19, 2018
Main topics include: SD Venture Funding Tops $1.9B in 2017; Japanese VC Investments Up 27x in 5 Years; New Ceramic Could Revolutionize Transportation Industry; and Tokyo Plans for EV Charging Station Subsidy.

Jan. 5, 2018
Main topics include: 2018: The End for Japanese Deflation?; Docomo to Offer Free SIM Cards to Foreign Visitors; Dealmaking at "$1 Billion per Minute”; and Bon Appétit: 50 New San Diego Restaurants to Try in 2018.

2017 Archive

Dec. 22, 2017
Main topics include: "Kita" Assigned Kanji of the Year; Japan Seeks to Lure Foreign Talent with Startup Visas; San Diego's Crown Bio Acquired by JSR; and Tokyo Lawson's to Automate Checkout.

Dec. 1 (read here)
Main topics include: JUMP: Helping One Woman at a Time; Rakuten Invests Big in SD Cancer Startup; Tokyo Puts More Michelin Stars on its Map; and Closing Theme Park Goes Viral.

Nov. 9 (read here)
Main topics include: Qualcomm-Broadcom Merger May Be Largest Ever; UCSD Preps for Carbon Neutrality by 2025; Sony to Sell New Breed of Electronic Dog; and UCSD Driving Smart Car Research.

Oct. 27 (read here)
Main topics include: JFIT Welcomes 1st AIM Program Participant; Cyber Genius Awarded for Talents; San Diego 4th Best for Startups; and Glimpse of the Future at Tokyo Motor Show.

Oct. 13 (read here)
Main topics include: UCSD Alum Awarded for Stretchable Battery; Japan Launches High-Precision GPS Satellite; Japanese Firms Pan for Modern Day Gold; and Bot Battle Scheduled for Next Week.

Sept. 29 (read here)
Main topics include: 2020: Japanese Banks Consider Minting E-Currency; 
San Diego Beer: Best in the US?; and A Guide to Japan's Snap Election.

Sept. 14 (read here)
Main topics include: Stem Cells - "Made in Japan”; Back to School '17: UCSD Gets Good Grades; and Japan Struggles to Kick Habit Before 2020 Games.

Aug. 25 (read here)
Main topics include: 2011 GPS Fellow Taro Kono apptd. Foreign Minister of Japan; Samsung partners with Takeda Drug R&D; Housing crisis for foreign workers in Japan; and UC San Diego hits $1.16B research record.

Aug. 10 (read here)
Main topics include: UC San Diego's DT "Innovation" Housing; Japan Display Inc.'s OLED Woes; Nidec to sell factory automation systems; and Monozukuri: The world's best fidget spinner.

July 20 (read here)
Main topics include: GPS Students Take Japan; SD Ranked Top Booming Start-up City; 
WeWork launches Japan Co-Working; and Japanese Seaweed: Invasive but Welcomed.

July 5 (read here)
Main topics include: SD Company gets first local AV permit; SD is #1 in Nation for Craft Breweries; Japan is latest to enter Asian space race; and Japan Eliminates Bitcoin Consumption Tax.

June 13 (read here)
Main topics include: SD #4 in National Biopharma Ranking; SoftBank buys Alphabet's Boston Dynamics; Move over Tokyo's Lowrider time; and Japan building world's fastest Supercomp.

June 6 (read here)
Main topics include: Over 29K Jobs Added in SD this Year; Local Biotech receives $3M for CF Research; MUFG to help bring Plug and Play to Japan; and First F-35 Manufactured in Japan Unveiled.

May 30 (read here)
Main topics include: China Closes in on SD Biotech Firms; SD is #8 in U.S. Clean Power Production; TPP Negotiators to Meet in Japan in July; and Amazon Nixes Pricing Clause for Vendors.

May 23 (read here)
Main topics include: SD Startup Aira raises $12 mn Series B; Japanese Firms discuss IoT Data Exchange; Toyota, MUFG join Blockchain alliance; Kickstarter Launches in Japan.

May 16 (read here)
Main topics include: Local Genome Startup Raises $22 mn; EY Announces SD Entrepreneurship Awards; Fujitsu to release emotion-sensing Robot; and A Robot to Curb Elderly Driver Accidents.

May 9 (read here)
Main topics include: SD Welcomes non-stop Frankfurt flight; Triton Entrepreneur Night: Event Wrap-Up; Sony's Planned Re-Launch of OLED TVs; and Nissan launches Pickup Production in China.

May 2 (read here)
Main topics include: JUMP: Inspiring One to the Next; Kyoto Prize Laureates in SD Last Month; Bitcoin Spike Stemming from Japan; and Labor Shortage spurs increase in FT Hires.

April 25 (read here)
Main topics include: San Diego Biotech Sector at the Forefront; A Physician-centered Wearable Device; OLED iPhone to change game for Japan suppliers; and Japan Post could report $364M Net Loss.

April 18 (read here)
Main topics include: SD Company Develops Smartphone Blood Sugar Monitor; Japanese Pilot wins SD Red Bull Air Race; 7/11 & Others to Introduce Self-Checkout; and Japan Farmers turn to Biogas Production.

April 11 (read here)
Main topics include: San Diego Claims #1 Spot for Solar; UCSD's public-private research vision; An Update on Japan's Startup Environment; and Son vs. Bezos: E-Commerce Race in India.

April 4 (read here)
Main topics include: Local School offers free Software builds; 900,000 Graduates started work Monday; METI to address Big Data in new guidelines; and Rakuten launches 'free' gaming platform.

March 21 (read here)
Main topics include: UC San Diego: Let there be Sight; Toshiba Memory Bidding War Intensifies; UNIQLO takes internship program on a drive; and The History behind SD's Cherry Blossoms.

March 14 (read here)
Main topics include: SD Amongst 'Happiest' Places to Live in U.S.; Will Toshiba be Delisted?; Japan's Ibiden to be Apple's First 100% Clean-Energy Manufacturer; and San Diego & Yokohama: Life Science Sisters.

March 7 (read here)
Main topics include: Startups Moving to SD - and they Love it; UC San Diego Champion for Upward Mobility; BOJ Study: Cash Dependent Japan; and Honda's Minicar No.1 for 3 months straight.

Feb. 28 (read here)
Main topics include: San Diego: 1st large-scale IoT "Smart" City; UC San Diego helped with NASA Discovery; Panasonic Seizes Solar Opportunity; and Working Women & Wine Consumption: A Positive Correlation in Japan. 

Feb. 21 (read here)
Main topics include: The Science of DNA Origami @ UC San Diego; SoftBank to buy Fortress Investment Group; Japan Manufacturing Increasing Activity; and NY Times thinks SD is a Vacation Paradise. 

Feb. 14 (read here)
Main topics include: Innovation the Airport??; SD Tech Wages better than SV, says Study; Flexible Screens in Your Home Next Year; and Japan's Big Push for the Hydrogen Auto. 

Feb. 7 (read here)
Main topics include: Qualcomm & TDK's Joint Venture; Trending in Japan: Solar & Renewables; Samsung looks to Murata for Batteries; and Kakehashi: A Student's Take on Japan. 

Jan. 31 (read here)
Main topics include: JFIT Special Spotlight: Yoriko Kawaguchi; Kakehashi: Building a U.S.-Japan Bridge; Toshiba to Exit Nuclear Plant Business; and Salk Institute: Fountain of Endless Youth? 

Jan. 24 (read here)
Main topics include: TUC San Diego Leads Rare Cancer Study; Tokyo: First in Global Women's Marches; Sharp Invests $570M in OLED Production; and Latest Labor Reform Proposals.

Jan. 17 (read here)
Main topics include: Takeda invests in SD Biotechs; the Japan labor ministry pushes 'Premium Friday' campaign; the Pentagon targets Japanese companies for new technology; and Toyota Takes the AI & Robotics plunge.

Jan. 9 (read here)
Main topics include: New Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty; the Legendary Japanese Turntable; CyberTECH, San Diego's Unique Tech Incubator; and California's Cannabis Culture.

Jan. 2 (read here)
Main topics include: Nikkei's Highest Close in 20 Years; Kanji of The Year - Gold (金); San Diego Recognized for Tech Jobs; and What to Watch in 2017.

2016 Archive

Dec. 26 (read here)
Main topics include: New Tie Ups in Self-Driving Cars; Qualcomm's New 5G Tech; Casinos Legal in Japan; and Super Mario Run Sets Download Record.

Dec. 19 (read here)
Main topics include: More Start-Up Money in Japan; San Diego Veteran Start-Ups; Bay Area Firms Heading to San Diego; and Shigetaka Kurita: Father of the Emoji.

Dec. 12 (read here)
Main topics include: Softbank's $50 Billiion Move; Hydrogen Innovation in San Diego; Stronger Dollar - Weaker Yen; and Who wouldn't want this puppy?

Dec. 5 (read here)
Main topics include: JUMP: Helping One Woman at a Time; ANA: Latest Space Tourism Competitor; Japan Inc. and S.V. Innovation Tourism; and A Miyazaki Successor in the Making?

Nov. 28 (read here)
Main topics include: The Fukushima Disaster's Snowballing Costs; Veggie Delivery Services on the Uptrend; Domino's Japan Tests Reindeer Delivery; and San Diego: The Life Sience VC Magnet.

Nov. 21 (read here)
Main topics include: The Autonomous Driving Race Tightens; Hitachi Reveals Lensless Camera; Japan's 2016 Top Buzzword Candidates; and Japan's Untapped Economic Potential.

Nov. 14 (read here)
Main topics include: Rakuten's Growing Finance Business; Dentsu Offices Raided by Ministry Officials; Why Honda chose Tokyo over Silicon Valley; and Fujitsu may merge with Lenovo PC Unit.

Nov. 7 (read here)
Main topics include: Dr. Kohara talk on Sino-Japanese Relations; Silicon Valley Accelerator Calls SD Home; MGM Resorts Sets Sights on Japan; and The Japanese Entrepreneurship Gap.