News Mash-up: Japan

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. retain / rɪˈteɪn  / (v.) – to continue to have or keep

    After winning the final game, the popular football team retained its championship title.

  2. indicator / ˈɪn dɪˌkeɪ tər / (n.) – something that tells or shows the condition or situation of something

    A low unemployment rate is usually an indicator of a good economy.

  3. round out / raʊnd aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to complete something

    After performing in twelve countries, the band rounded out their tour by performing in Tokyo.

  4. outsell / ˌaʊtˈsɛl / (v.) – to sell more than another product, business, company, etc.

    Smart TVs tend to outsell regular flat-screen TVs these days.

  5. profitable / ˈprɒf ɪ tə bəl / (adj.) – describing something that makes money easily

    Delivery services have become profitable during this pandemic.


Read the text below.

Tokyo keeps 3rd place in global city ranking

Tokyo ranked third after London and New York in an annual Global Power City Index report released Nov. 24, retaining the position for the sixth consecutive year thanks to greater work flexibility amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top five cities remained unchanged in the latest report, compiled by the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies, but the pandemic had a significant impact on some indicators, such as tourism and working styles.

London finished in the top spot for the 10th straight year, while Paris and Singapore rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth place, respectively.  (The Japan Times)

Toyota dethrones GM as US sales leader

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. outsold General Motors Co. in the United States in 2021, marking the first time the Detroit automaker has not led U.S. auto sales for a full year since 1931.

Toyota sold 2.332 million vehicles in the U.S. in 2021, compared with 2.218 million for General Motors, the automakers said on Jan. 4.

Last year was marred by a shortage of semiconductors used heavily in vehicles, forcing automakers to focus on their most profitable models.

GM had been the largest seller of vehicles in the U.S. since 1931, when it surpassed Ford, according to data from industry publication Automotive News. (Reuters)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Tokyo ranked third after London and New York in an annual Global Power City Index report, which reflects the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of global cities. How important is it for a city to be included in a report like this? In your opinion, can reports like this encourage cities to improve (ex. economically, environmentally)? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If you could live in any city in the world, where would it be? Would you rather live in a city or a rural area? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. outsold American brand General Motors Co. in the United States in 2021. In your opinion, is it a good thing if a foreign brand outsells a local brand? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What brands that originated in your country have become popular overseas (ex. Uniqlo, Nintendo)? Why do you think they’ve become popular? Discuss.