New York Times reporter. Foodie, bookworm. Part of Pulitzer Prize winning & finalist teams,'13 &'12. Ex-Tokyoite, LSE grad. Kobe born & raised.

Hello, Japan's Champion Speaking ... — At the All-Japan Phone-Answering Competition, thousands of office workers compete for recognition as a paragon of courtesy, pleasantry and efficiency.

Compound in Takata Airbags Is Inquiry’s Focus — For nearly two decades, Takata has struggled to tame an inexpensive but unstable compound thought to play a central role in airbag ruptures that are linked to at least five deaths and dozens of injuries.

Thanksgiving Weekend Sales, at Stores and Online, Slide 11 Percent — Have Americans finally had enough of Black Friday madness? Sales, both in stores and online, from Thanksgiving through the weekend were estimated to have dropped 11 percent, to $50.9 billion from $57.4 billion last year, according to preliminary survey results released Sunday by the National Retail Federation.

Black Friday Sales Slip as Discounts Start Earlier — Even as more stores opened their doors on Thanksgiving, hoping for a jump start to the holiday season, an initial reading suggested that combined sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday fell 0.5 percent from the same period last year.

Early Shoppers Line Up for Black Friday Deals — Snow fell and temperatures dipped into the low 30s outside a Target and Best Buy just outside Boston. But they were there: the loyal customers of Massachusetts, where Blue Laws bar retailers from opening on Thanksgiving, who waited until 1 a.m. Friday to start their holiday weekend shopping.

Early Shoppers Queue Up, and Analysts See Some Stellar Deals — Work crews were still cleaning up confetti from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when the lines began forming outside the storefronts in Herald Square. Some shoppers were there for the sales, starting across the nation earlier than ever this year. Others were there just to revel in the spectacle of what many retailers are now calling "Gray Thursday."

Honda Failed to Report Defects’ Full Human Toll — Honda Motor, already facing rising scrutiny over its handling of defective airbags, grossly underreported to federal regulators the number of deaths and injury claims linked to possible defects in its vehicles for more than 10 years, the Japanese automaker disclosed on Monday.

Takata’s Switch to Cheaper Airbag Propellant Is at Center of Crisis — The new airbag propellant was supposed to be the next big thing for Takata in 1998. An engineer for the company, Paresh Khandhadia, declared it "the new technological edge" in an interview with a trade magazine then. Based on a compound called tetrazole, it was seen as a reliable and effective compound for inflating airbags.

Defective Takata Airbag Grows Into Global Problem for Manufacturer — SIBU, Malaysia - Law Suk Leh, late in her pregnancy, was driving in the industrial outskirts of this steamy riverside city when her 2003 Honda City collided with a turning car. Her airbag's inflater ruptured on the July evening, spraying metal shrapnel into her neck.

Regulators Call for Takata Airbag Recall to Be Extended Nationwide — Federal auto safety regulators on Tuesday called on automakers to conduct a nationwide recall of vehicles that contain driver's side airbags made by the Japanese supplier Takata. The nationwide move urged by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationwould expand a recall that has been limited to two states and two territories associated with high humidity.
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Dec 17, 2014

@xeni I'm glad you're out there defending celebrities (only joking, will un-RT)

Dec 17, 2014

Uhh.. MT @praddenkeefe I predict a revival of 80's RISING SUN-style movies in which the enemy is Japan. No fear of cyber reprisal.

Dec 17, 2014

RT @praddenkeefe: Weird footnote: in 2011, so as not to offend China, MGM reshot its RED DAWN remake, changed villain to...North Korea…

Dec 17, 2014

This is crazy - why not? MT @Variety Sony has decided against releasing #TheInterview in any form, incl VOD or DVD

Dec 17, 2014

RT @WIRED: Update: We've changed the headline on our story to "The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy"

Dec 17, 2014

RT @SominiSengupta: So what can U.S. do to N. Korea in response to Sony hack? Options are limited by intl law:…

Dec 17, 2014

FWIW, The Interview trailer… Hey, Japanese audiences would have approved: Seth Rogen says Sea of Japan, not East Sea

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