As you might have noticed, Tokyo is decorated with Christmas baubles already and you feel the pressure from retailers to invite you in and buy presents for Christmas. I'm almost starting to feel oppressed by all the illuminations and Christmas songs -- it's so commercial. Still, I guess that after a decade of low consumer spending, this is the one season where retailers actually have a chance of making some decent money.
According to Ministry of Administration, the retail sales have dropped every month for the last 3 months, about 1.4% less than last year for October -- indicating that the "great Japanese recovery" is not so great. The total sales were about JPY10,472,000,000,000 -- which is quite a large number! Oh, that's about $100 billion for those of you still used to thinking in dollars.
Well, despite my misgivings, maybe I can contribute just a tiny bit to the economy -- and buy myself a gift for Christmas! That Apple iPod Mini looks kind of cool.