1/24 Galaxy New: Japan To Close Record Number Of Coffee Shops In 2021; Price Increases For Passenger Car Tires, Influenced By Soaring Crude Oil Prices

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1. CCP Virus (COVID-19) Infections Exceed 50,000 for the Second Day

TV Asahi reported that according to the summary by ANN, the number of new cases reached 52,500 on the 23rd, and the number of seriously ill patients increased by one from the previous day to 13, with no deaths announced. The number of newly infected people has reached a record high in 9 prefectures, including 3,794 in Kanagawa and 2,382 in Chiba Prefecture. In Tokyo, the number of newly infected people exceeded 9,000 for the third day in a row, with 9468 new cases confirmed.

2. Prefectural Governors Differ on Anti-Infection Measurements

According to Yomiuri news on 23rd, the government began to adjust the “Anti-infection measures” to Ishikawa and Kagoshima prefectures and will decide on the 25th. The anti-infection measures are currently being applied to 16 prefectures. When combined with Hokkaido, Osaka, Fukuoka and other prefectures that have already decided to apply the measures, the total number of prefectures to which the measures will be applied will increase to 32. According to Sankei news, the debate among experts on how to deal with the Omicron variant is in a state of confusion. In addition, many governors have rushed to the government to request the application of “anti-infection measures” while several governors have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the measures. The government has taken a wait-and-see stance, and its countermeasures seem to be in a state of stalemate. 

3. FSA Introduces Common Index to Compare Foreign Currency Insurance Investment Status

According to NHK news on 23rd, The Financial Services Agency (FSA) has decided to introduce a common index for foreign currency-denominated insurance that will allow each financial institution that sells the product to compare its investment status. This is aimed at strengthening efforts to protect customers, as there have been troubles over the risk of loss of principal. FSA is planning to introduce the index in the spring of this year or later, after requesting companies to disclose their investment status and other information.

4. Department Store Sales up Slightly, but down 20% After Pandemic

According to Jiji Press on Jan 22, it was learned that nationwide department store sales in 2021 were reaching 4.4 trillion yen, about 200 billion yen more than the previous year. However, compared to 2019 (5,754.7 billion yen), this was a drop of more than 20%. While the number of customers was sluggish, sales were boosted by high-priced products such as watches, jewelry, and luxury brand goods. A major department store said, “Wealthy people who couldn’t afford to go on trips were buying these products.

5. Price Increases for Passenger Car Tires, Influenced by Soaring Crude Oil Prices

According to NHK on Jan 23, Bridgestone Corporation, the largest car manufacturer in Japan, has decided to raise the prices of its products shipped to dealers in April this year. The price increase is the first in two years and eight months, and is 7% for passenger cars and motorcycles, and 8% for trucks and buses. According to the companies, the price of naphtha, the raw material for synthetic rubber, is rising due to soaring crude oil prices. In addition, major paper manufacturers will raise the price of tissue paper one after another due to soaring raw material prices, and food prices are also scheduled to rise, which will further increase the burden on household budgets.

6Record Number of Coffee Shops Closed in 2021

The number of coffee shops closing or dissolving in 2021 reached 100 for the first time, a record high, according to a survey by Tokyo Shoko Research. In addition to competition from major coffee chains and “convenience store coffee”, the recent sharp rise in the price of imported coffee beans has also been a blow. The pandemic has changed lifestyles, and demand for coffee for business meetings, “killing time,” and “studying” has also decreased. With more and more people working from home, demand is not expected to recover, and the possibility of bankruptcies due to lack of breath as well as business closure is increasing in 2022.

【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】
Translator: Tagomi
Proofreading: Seentiz Homma (帆間知津)

Disclaimer: This article only represents the author’s view. Gnews is not responsible for any legal risks.

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