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PRESS | US–JAPAN NEWS

June 2014

United to Begin Daily San Francisco–Haneda Flights

Press-1United Airlines is to launch daily nonstop flights between San Francisco and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport), effective October 26, subject to government approval (Japan Today, May 14).

Haneda Airport will be the 10th trans-Pacific destination served nonstop by the US airline from San Francisco, and the carrier’s third new Asia-Pacific airport, after Taipei and Chengdu, for this year.

“We are excited about adding Haneda Airport to our global route network,” said Jim Compton, vice chairman and chief revenue officer of United Airlines. “By providing nonstop service from our San Francisco hub to both Tokyo airports, we will maximize choice and convenience for customers traveling from across the Americas to Tokyo, and to points beyond on our joint-venture partner, ANA.”

The flight schedules enable customers to use convenient public transportation between Haneda Airport and central Tokyo and Yokohama.

With the introduction of the new route, United will now operate a once-daily service between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

The airline also operates daily services to Tokyo/Narita from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/New York, Washington D.C., Honolulu, Guam, Inchon, and Singapore.

US Companies Among Top Five Best Employers

According to Randstad Holding’s global survey, General Electric (GE) is the fourth-most attractive company for which to work, while Coca-Cola is fifth (Nikkei Asian Review, May 8).

Respondents believe GE offers job security, attractive career opportunities, and good training, while Coca-Cola boasts stellar financial health and a strong management team.

German automaker BMW took the top prize, dominating such categories as competitive salary and benefits, working environment, and strong management, while Sony received high marks for its interesting job content. Third-ranked Samsung Electronics of South Korea was also recognized for its interesting job content.

Randstad surveyed about 200,000 men and women, aged 18 to 65, in 23 countries and regions. Respondents were asked to choose from a list of 50 companies that meet certain criteria, such as wide-ranging global operations.

Best Western Group Opens 184-Room Nishi-Kasai Hotel

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A US hotel chain has expanded its portfolio of hotels in Japan with its second hotel in Tokyo (Japan Today, May 12).

Located in Edogawa Ward, Best Western Tokyo Nishikasai is minutes away from Nishi-Kasai Station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line.

“With convenient links to Tokyo’s main business district and excellent facilities for the corporate market, we expect this superb hotel to be extremely popular with Japanese business travelers,” said Glenn de Souza, Best Western’s vice president of international operations for Asia and the Middle East.

“Connections to the lively retail and entertainment districts of Marunouchi and Ginza, as well as nearby attractions such as Tokyo Disneyland, make Best Western Tokyo Nishi-Kasai an excellent option for Tokyo’s rising number of leisure visitors.”

Set in a modern nine-story building, Best Western Tokyo Nishikasai offers a choice of 184 guest rooms, which feature flat-screen LED TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. In addition, the hotel has a meeting space for up to 80 delegates.

Japan became Best Western International’s first destination in Asia when, more than a decade ago, the company launched its first hotel in the country.

Ship Wows Crowd Near Golden Gate

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One of Japan’s largest sailing ships drew crowds in San Francisco’s Bay Area as it was opened to the public on May 4 (The Asahi Shimbun, May 6).

Anchored in the Port of San Francisco, the Kaiwo Maru is owned by the National Institute for Sea Training, an affiliate of the transport ministry that conducts maritime training.

The Kaiwo Maru measures 110 meters in length and weighs 2,556 tons. The massive vessel, powered by 36 sails and two diesel engines, has been in service since its maiden voyage in 1989.

The ship arrived in San Francisco on May 2, having traveled nonstop across the Pacific after leaving Tokyo on April 5. The ship carries a crew of 158 seamen, comprising marine navigation and engineering trainees, as well as instructors.

Tokyo Disney Resort Eyes Growth

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The operator of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea hopes to invest about $5 billion to expand its portfolio of amusement parks and other businesses (Asia Travel Today, May 7).

Oriental Land’s 10-year plan will involve expanding the Tokyo DisneySea site to occupy unused land that it owns. In addition, the operator plans to completely renovate the attractions at neighboring Tokyo Disneyland, and will consider entering into new tie-ups outside of the theme-park and hotel industries.

Oriental Land will focus on attracting middle-aged and elderly visitors who have extra time and money, as well as foreign tourists in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The operator said it hopes to maintain an annual target of 30 million visitors by maximizing the theme park’s core values.

Firms Plan 3D Memory Chip Joint Effort

Electronics giant Toshiba Corporation and SanDisk, a US manufacturer of flash memory storage solutions and software, plan to invest billions of dollars in improving Toshiba’s capacity to produce more advanced memory chips.

The innovative flash memory devices will be able to store more than 60 times the amount of data held in current ones, without an increase in product size.
The two companies plan together to invest about $5 billion in Toshiba’s fabrication facility in Yokkaichi City, central Japan. The plant is scheduled to begin mass production of the advanced chips in 2016.

Toshiba has the second-largest share of the global flash memory market, because of the growing demand for smartphones and tablets. Company officials foresee even greater future demand from big-data-related businesses for its state-of-the-art product.

Japan Rugby Union Inks Deal with New Team Sponsor

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Specialist recruiter Robert Walters Japan K.K. has signed an agreement with the Japan Rugby Football Union to become the official supplier for the men’s and youth (U23–U19) Japan National Rugby team (press release, April 14).

The Japan National team actively competes on the global stage and will be participating in the 2015 World Cup in the United Kingdom with a vision to internationalize Japan Rugby.

The 2019 World Cup, to be held in Japan, should also give a tremendous boost to the national team and the popularity of the sport within the country.

According to a company spokesperson, Robert Walters Japan supports specialists with a global mindset and helps international and Japanese companies hire outstanding talent and build world-class teams. Thus, they strongly identify with the union’s global vision and decided to support the team by becoming the official supplier from April 1, 2014.