Teiko Kudo has come a long way from her days at a Sumitomo Bank branch in the 1980s, when clients often asked her to hand the phone to a male loan officer because she was a woman. Last month she became the lender’s first female top manager, promoted to a level shared by 88 men.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been urging Japan’s companies to spend their growing piles of money to bolster the country’s economy. Toyota Motor Corp., with cash swelling to about $37 billion, is beginning to comply.
Bank of Japan officials are concerned that cooler-than-normal weather triggered by El Nino this summer will curb spending and weigh on an economic rebound after a sales-tax increase, according to people familiar with the matter.
NTT DoCoMo Inc., the only major Japanese carrier not selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone, is trying to stem market-share losses by using its own voice-recognition app to woo the nation’s fastest-growing demographic: the elderly.