Japan Watch

When it comes to the adoption of new technology, (eg, robotics and digital money), Japan is usually ahead of other countries. It’s also leading the trend demographically. The rapid ageing of Japanese society is a sign of things to come for regions like Europe. Japanese firms are now fighting to keep hold of retirees as labour shortages start to really bite.

Another new trend in Japan – which is also emerging in the US – is the huge boom in emergency kits and so-called FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) products. These are products such as mobile phones and radios that can be manually charged (i.e. wound up) and emergency survival products such as cookers and water filters. For example, one of the big sellers in Tokyo currently is a series of maps to help you find your way home after an earthquake.

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