Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance will no longer decide on intra-company transfers without employees’ consent by 2026, in an attempt to improve job satisfaction and recruit younger talent. The new rule will apply to its 6,000 Global Course employees.
Google and Microsoft are entering the AI-powered search market, with Google launching “Bard” and Microsoft integrating ChatGPT into Bing. The companies aim to provide better online search experiences using AI technology, with Microsoft also investing in OpenAI. The competition in the search market signals the increasing importance of AI in the industry.
A Tokyo branch of the national convenience store chain Lawson is donating food that is past its sell-by time to a cafeteria that serves children from needy families. This addresses the issues of food loss and children going hungry due to poverty.
Recently, advertisers are more frequently hiding their identities by disguising ads as “personal recommendations” for products or services on social media platforms and elsewhere. The Consumer Affairs Agency released a report calling for regulations, including clear labeling of ads so as not to deceive consumers.
The president of the operator of Kappa Sushi, the smallest of Japan’s “big four” conveyor-belt sushi chains, was arrested on suspicion of stealing data from a rival, Hama-sushi operator Zensho Holdings. He is a former executive at the latter company, and is accused of copying trade secrets such as wholesale seafood prices.
The operator of the mobile carrier “au” will cut millions of customers’ bills to make up for disrupted service last month. Besides the inconvenience of being unable to communicate or receive data, the disruption meant users could not make emergency calls, prompting discussion of technical changes to address such situations.
After a 2021 amendment, the Elderly Employment Stabilization Law calls on companies to make efforts to employ workers until age 70, with the goal of shoring up Japan’s dwindling workforce. Efforts are only mandatory until age 65, but 25 percent of employers are complying by re-employing retirees or abolishing retirement ages.
A court ordered the operator of Tabelog, a popular website that rates restaurants based on aggregated user reviews, to pay 38.4 million yen in compensation to a Korean barbeque chain. The plaintiff claimed Tabelog’s proprietary algorithm automatically downgrades chain restaurants, and that its monthly customers fell by over 5,000 as a result.
Yahoo Japan is a rare Japanese company in that it embraces remote work and flexible schedules, and it is about to loosen its policies further. From April its employees, 90% of whom work remotely, will get more generous commuting allowances for when they need to come to the office –– even when that requires flying. The company’s goal is to diversify its workforce in terms of both location and lifestyle.