Economy / Business

  • "Niseko Stand Mori Deai", a bar offering a plentiful array of foods and beverages from Shiribeshi

    Hotel and restaurant proprietor Daiichi Kaikan (Kutchan) opened a bar called "Niseko Stand Mori Deai" in the Susukino area of Sapporo. The bar features a plentiful selection of items produced in th...

  • The Niseko international resort area has entered into its second winter under the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is no hope for a resurgence of overseas tourists after the sudden drop, energetic real estate investment is continuing unabated. "H2 Group" is a real estate company in Kutchan that has engaged in development of the first condominium facilities for the Niseko area and launched into a business merger in November 2020 with a high-end accommodation facility managing company based in Hong Kong. We spoke to Simon Robinson (60), the president of "H2 Group", about the current situation in the region and his vision for a post-pandemic Niseko.

  • Ohta Seiki is a manufacturer of "Monster Wolf" wild animal repelling devices in the town of Naie in Central Hokkaido. It is currently developing a new self-propelled model that can move around fields on four legs. Their goal is to warn away wild animals like deer and bears more effectively than traditional stationary models and achieve a higher repellant effect. They hope to conduct field tests in farmland in 2022, and are displaying a devotion to actualizing "robotic countermeasures for damage from wild animals."

  • Salmon fisherman Maruko Mizuki from the Utoro area of Shari in Eastern Hokkaido is growing in popularity on social media. He has approximately 20,000 followers on the video posting app "TikTok", where he uploads videos introducing the appeal of the fishing industry and fish. He has become so popular, he opened his own seafood processing shop. He has also appeared as a fashion magazine model, and expresses a strong desire, "To show the young generation the fun of the fishing industry and the deliciousness of Shiretoko fish."

  • Heating equipment and humidifier manufacturer PS Kogyo Sapporo Factory (Kitahiroshima City) was selected as a national green factory to win the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award (METI Minister Award) for this fiscal year. The award was recognition for PS Kogyo's status as a "Factory in a Forest", the result of their planting and maintaining some twenty thousand trees on the ten-hectare factory property for a half-century since 1973, the year after their factory launched. This is the 11th METI Minister Award for a Hokkaido site.

  • Nippon Paper Industries Co. — touted for its high-quality “Kushiro brand” paper used for newspapers and magazines — ended 100 years of production at its paper mill in Kushiro, Hokkaido, in September, shifting its primary business to thermal power generation.

  • On October 11, Ishiya President Ishimizu Hajime announced that Ishiya will open up their first foreign confectionary store on December 29 in Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Tourism demand has shrunk during the COVID-19 pandemic, and amidst doubts over recovery for a domestic market centering on souvenir sweets, Ishiya is hoping for new opportunities in Dubai as a country that leads the world in vaccine rollout speed and has eased travel restrictions as well.

  • A Russian folk art exhibit and market started on August 23 at the Japan-Russia Friendship Hall in Northern Hokkaido's Wakkanai City. The folk art items were imported via a cargo charter ship connecting Wakkanai to Sakhalin, on its first run this year in July. A bounty of items including unique nesting "matryoshka" dolls and traditional crafts painted in the colorful and traditional "khokhloma" style is expected to attract many visitors.

  • The first voyage of this year’s Wakkanai-Russia-Sakhalin cargo ship charter project being undertaken by the ‘Wakkanai-Korsakov Regular Route Usage Promotion Council’ made up of local governments and economic organizations in northern Hokkaido, has arrived at the port of Wakkanai.

  • A "Selection Sale" auction for one year old horses was held in Hokkaido Market in Central Hokkaido's Shinhidaka City on July 27. The overall sales as well as the per-horse average selling price and sale rate were all record breakers, displaying a clear energetic boost.