Business has been lean over the years for many horse breeders in Hokkaido, Japan's leading horse-producing prefecture, as the popularity of horse racing declines. But breeders now see a ray of hope in China where an increasing number of wealthy citizens are aspiring to become horse owners, thus acquiring a new status symbol.
On the 17th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, a 26-year-old man looks on his life in retrospect to find that what encouraged him to work hard over the years was a single gift that his parents gave him before they lost their lives on that horrible day.
Credit card companies are enhancing the services they offer overseas travelers in a bid to solicit new members and encourage use of their cards amid a boom in foreign trips due to the rising yen. Among such services, customers of Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos Co.'s Platinum American Express Card now don't have to take their heavy winter coats with them when they travel to a warm destination between Dec. 1 and the end of March.
Two municipalities seeking to promote themselves as ''meccas'' for manga comic enthusiasts are stepping up their efforts to discover future master artists and develop a thriving local industry by organizing festivals and providing opportunities to meet professional artists.