CNBC Asia: Sun 31 Jan, 2016
METRO TV:Sun 31 Jan, 2016
USTREAM: Tue 2 Feb, 2016
NIKKEI CNBC:Sun 31 Jan, 2016
At first glance, Fukunaga Print is a run-of-the-mill printing shop. But, in fact, this printer of name cards and certificates boasts some of the best paper processing techniques in Japan. Still, with people using less and less paper, the printing-related business has slumped. While rivals cut costs to almost break-even levels and engage in price wars to survive, the company has gone against the trend of the times, focusing less on efficiency and more on quality.
Our Takumi this time is a man who has been making the centerpiece of bicycle tires, “the axle”, for the past 60 years. Against the wave of cheaper components from overseas, it is the only remaining axle maker in Japan. How was he able to stay standing? The secret was a revolutionary product he developed.
Dream Weavers *
The president of Fukunaga Print is the second generation, taking over the reins from the founder. Applying his experiences in an entirely unrelated industry, he began developing an original brand. In his younger days, he actually worked in the apparel industry and decided to adopt that business model. Teaming up with outside designers, the company started making all types of paper-based products such as interior items and even artwork. We learn about the survival strategy of a neighborhood printing shop.
WORLD BUSINESS SATELLITE
Recently, a megaphone with a translation function called “Megaphone Yaku” was unveiled at Narita Airport. It automatically translates spoken Japanese into English, Chinese and Korean. We put the spotlight on the intensifying competition in the voice translation business.
WORLD BUSINESS SATELLITE
”Classic hotels” with architecture from before the Second World War are growing in popularity. With foreign tourist arrivals on the rise, how will these established hotels draw in customers? We report on their latest strategies.
Our Takumi this time is the developer of a device that automatically pumps air into bicycle tires while pedaling. Bicyclists no longer need to deal with the troublesome task of pumping air into bicycle tires. What secret is hidden in this device?
The Current *
For fermented foods microbes such as molds, yeasts, and bacteria are necessary. One of them is called “koji” which is essential in making miso and sake. The current this week will tell a story of food fermentation that supports Japanese cuisine.