Wednesday, 5th January 2011
In Business In Japan,
Japanese pray for prosperous 2011
As 2011 begins in Japan, thousands have gathered to pray for a successful business year.
Reuters reports that many people visited the Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokoyo on the first working day of the year to pray for an improved economy over the next 12 months.
It is estimated that 70,000 attended the shrine, which is dedicated to a number of gods, to ask for good fortune and better luck in the Year of the Rabbit.
"Gloomy news is all we hear around us these days, so I wished that this year we'd get some bright and joyful news for a change," explained 46-year-old visitor Yoshiko Saeki.
The last 12 months have seen Japan's economy struggle to recover from recession and recent government data revealed a slow growth rate of just 1.1 per cent from July to September 2010.
Unemployment rates also remain traditionally high for the country, with the jobless rate in November staying at 5.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Kyodo News discovered that 76 per cent of Japanese firms believe the country's economy is "levelling off".
Written by Mark Smith.