Monday, August 29, 2011

China's Debt Addiction

Who is Beijing kidding with its chest-thumping economic lectures?

The Chinese government and its media outlets are using Standard & Poor's U.S. credit downgrade to give Washington a tongue lashing for its "debt addiction." And it's no surprise that Beijing would take the chance to score points domestically and rebuke the know-it-alls at the U.S. Treasury, having been on the receiving end of their hectoring for so long. 
 On the other hand, who are the Chinese kidding with their chest-pounding economic nationalism? A People's Daily commentary yesterday threatened to use China's holdings of U.S. debt as a "financial weapon" to deter arms sales to Taiwan. The official Xinhua news agency's Saturday editorial was a hilarious moral lecture, suggesting that an addicted America's ability to print dollars should be put under "international supervision." But if borrowing is really an addiction that has sapped America's self-discipline, China is both the pusher and a user.

The real reason Beijing is anthropomorphizing the bond market is to deflect domestic criticism over losses on the investment of its $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. Chinese are asking why Beijing continues to lend their wealth to Americans rather than using it on development at home. The question arises from a misconception that Beijing has encouraged, which is that the reserves represent the earnings of the Chinese people, their "blood and sweat."

The reality is less admirable. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) accumulated its forex reserves by borrowing yuan from the Chinese people. The U.S. dollar assets and yuan liabilities are roughly balanced on the central bank's balance sheet. If the U.S. government is addicted to debt, so is China's.

The purpose of that precarious balance sheet is to subsidize exports by keeping the yuan's value low and deferring inflation. An economy like China's that is enjoying rapid productivity growth would normally see rising real wages and hence benign inflation that would increase the cost of its exports. Because that process has been stopped, China's exporters remain competitive across a range of labor-intensive products such as shoes and garments in which the country no longer has a true comparative advantage.
Were the PBoC to stop buying U.S. Treasurys and other dollar assets, the result would be an immediate increase in the yuan's value.
The losses on U.S. investments as the yuan slowly appreciates are one part of the cost for the export-subsidy policy.

The Chinese economy has become dangerously dependent on exports and investment in future export capacity for growth. Unwinding that dependence and encouraging domestic consumption requires boosting household incomes, which have been depressed by low interest rates on savings—another cost of Beijing's policies. Chinese leaders have been talking about rebalancing the economy in favor of consumption for the better part of a decade, but that can't happen as long as they continue to accumulate reserves.
In the short term Chinese threats to stop buying U.S. debt are empty, since there are no other asset markets deep and liquid enough to absorb the purchases needed to keep the yuan stable. Were China to buy euros or yen in sufficiently large quantities, it would soon run into a protectionist backlash in Europe and Japan as those nations ran trade deficits. The U.S. willingness to run a persistent trade deficit is key to the dollar's status as a reserve currency.

In the longer term, the world should hope that China does stop buying U.S. debt and makes the yuan convertible. China's economic policy makers understand that they have to liberalize their financial system and integrate it into the world economy. But that also means freeing the system from Communist Party political control, as well as breaking with powerful state-owned enterprises that benefit from export subsidies and cheap credit. This makes agreement between President Obama and the tea party look easy by comparison.

The U.S. has certainly allowed unsustainable spending to continue too long. But the Chinese should refrain from self-congratulation.

They'll endure more painful withdrawal symptoms than the U.S. will when the PBoC ends its own unsustainable borrowing.


  英國歷史學家Julia Lovell博士推出新作《The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China》。她醉心中國文化,起了個中文名字叫藍詩玲,曾先後翻譯魯迅小說和張愛玲著作《色.戒》。

「鴉片戰爭」對現代中國歷史影響深遠,對香港的命運更是舉足輕重。鑽研中國近代史的英國歷史學家Julia Lovell博士的最新著作《The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China》,嘗試以嶄新思維和角度探討這場戰爭對現代中國的意義。作者選擇在香港這座被捲入歷史漩渦的城市為新書展開全球推介,並且於昨日(7月20 日)在香港書展舉行「Global Launch: The Opium War」分享會。  
  該分享會為香港書展的英文作家分享會系列揭開序幕,並邀得資深文化評論家陶傑擔任主持,以及《亞洲書 評》編輯Peter Gordon擔任嘉賓介紹講者。 

Lovell博士在分享會上表示,英國劍橋大學的資料庫是其中一個她搜集資料的地方。由於中國和英國的資料 記錄不盡相同,說法亦各有差異,所以必有 一方在捏造事實。她需要徹底分析兩國保存的文獻,猶如偵探把各方的所謂證據抽絲剝繭。她說:「中國的文獻記錄做得相 當清楚,而英國文獻以維多利亞式手寫字 體書寫,所以並非易看」。她坦言,在搜集和分析資料的過程中,感受到鴉片戰爭對中國人構成的恥辱,令身為英國人的她 感到蒙羞。 

根據歷史書籍記載,時任英國駐 華商務總監查 理·義律爵士(Sir Charles Elliot)因協助英商販運鴉片而導致中英貿易糾紛升級,引發「鴉片戰爭」。陶傑指出,義律爵士常被中國人指為「鴉片戰爭」的始作俑者、大英帝國的魔 頭、首位侵略中國的人,但Lovell博士對義律爵士有不同的看法。她說:「儘管他被視為中英貿易糾紛及『鴉片戰 爭』的幕後黑手,但義律爵士是厭惡英商的 自由主義者,是一個有血有肉的人物,並討厭『鴉片戰爭』,他只不過是代罪羔羊而已。」 

Lovell博士又認為,山高皇帝遠,在清朝道光皇帝 的御書中可見,他對「鴉片戰爭」的來龍去脈似乎不太清楚,對形成一場戰爭的糾紛毫無頭緒,反映時任臣子設法 蒙蔽主上。 

談到「鴉片戰爭」對中國的歷史含義,Lovell博士認為這場戰爭對中國本身和其國家身份意義重大,它代表 現代中國悲劇和國恥的序幕,也構成中國當代文化和當代政治的面貌。對中國人來說,「鴉片戰爭」是西方陰謀的記印,提 醒著他們西方國家不可信。 

英國歷史對「鴉片戰爭」的釋義截然不同;Lovell博士說,英國認為這是一場文明開化和捍衛自由貿易的戰 爭。英國洋行Jardine Matheson在「鴉片戰爭」中發了大財,為了把其行為合理化和道德化,Jardine Matheson在英國進行反中國運動,並把中國形象妖魔化。電影《The Yellow Peril - The Mask of Fu Manchu The Yellow Parole》(1932)是一部描繪「鴉片戰爭」的影片,但從西方觀點出發,它更帶有種族歧視的色彩。由此可見,西方不斷扭曲「鴉片戰爭」的真正面 貌。 

第22屆香港書展一連七日(7月20至26日)於香港會議展覽中心舉行。今年書展以「從香港閱讀世界.在閱 讀中發現自己」為主題,共有526家參展商參展,配合近300場文化活動、合共約150位來自不同領域的講者,詳情 請瀏覽香港書展網頁: 

鴉片戰爭 陶傑

今天書展第一炮,石破天驚,請來英籍女性漢學者藍詩玲( Julia Lovell)講座新著「鴉片戰爭」。主辦當局,十分勇敢。

為什麼?鴉片戰爭由所謂「愛國主義」的角度,重複得都打呵欠了,這個話題,在今日中國人社會, 言必咬牙切齒。言必「船堅炮利」和「國耻」之類的情緒名詞。史學之中,還沒有由女性講過,而且是英國的知識份子。



第二,中國是一個龐大的市場,十九世紀之前,中國人自己也種鴉片:陝北、雲貴、新疆。為什麼東印度公司的鴉片可以傾銷?因為英國人的貨品,價 格和供應穩定,提煉的品質精良,沒有加三聚氰胺,沒有加工業染料,沒有假冒,是品牌保證,就像今天的英國寄宿學校,中國人有了點錢,都要把子 女搶着往英國送。

第三,賣鴉片的東印度公司,即渣甸洋行的前身,只是生意人,並不是中國人想像的那樣,是英國政府侵華的先頭部隊,沒有一套大計,先把中國人的 體質搞垮,再由帝國主義派兵。東印度公司壟斷了鴉片的提煉和運輸,西向則輸貨歐洲,東進則中國大市場,像今日英美煙草的萬寶路,中國大陸有得 賣,香港便利店有得賣,炎黃子孫抽,美國的白種人也抽,十分正常。

這樣講,並不是說賣鴉片是一場善舉不必以非黑即白的中國式思維急於控訴。只是講出事實。歷史學家的職責,是講事實,分析背景 ,更不是一 面倒的洗腦,不必對某些人脆弱而長期不穩定的心靈或情緒負有呵護或安撫之責。

藍氏「鴉片戰爭」,行文雍容而平實,以國際貿易的角度來講一件世界文明史上的小小的衝突。特府不是說,要增加國際視野,培養獨立思考,要有另 類思維嗎?這本英文的「鴉片戰爭」,就是對一伙葉公好龍的流氓或膽小鬼的挑戰。

Sunday, August 28, 2011

KCPO:- Stuck In The Mud - 8/29/2011

As discussed here last week the market got stuck again. Both the Stochastic and MACD seem to be turning the corner, but so far both stay positive. The ADX has gone flat, confirming the current lack of trend.

But I remain mildly bullish as the bullish divergence stays intact. I would continue to place more weight on the buy side.


The weekly chart stays about the same as the previous week. The MACD continues to fall while the Stochastic is still struggling to go above the 20's signal line. But a new item here is that the ADX has just begun to rise, with prices below the bottom Bollinger Band and a falling MACD, I would be careful as the market may take another plunge. 

On the near term, I am still a bit on the bullish side of this market. But of course I would need to see a confirmation before jumping in. And I think we would only see something concrete after everybody coming back after the long holiday ahead.

FKLI:- The Bears Attack - 8/29/2011

I have got the confirmation to sell again on last Monday when Stochastic turned negative and price closed below the lower Bollinger Band. But I only manage to get to enter the actual trade on Wednesday when price went below Monday's signal day low. By then, we have all the indicators gone negative, price went below the bottom Bollinger Band and most important of all is that the ADX has begun to rise again.

Place stop at 1463 or 2 days high plus 2 points.

The weekly chart just gone more bearish as the Stochastic has crossed below its 50's signal line and the MACD crossed down its zero signal line. Both are confirming a more solid bearish market. Prices remain below the bottom Bollinger Band which is also a bearish confirmation. The weekly ADX continues to rise confirming the current sell trend is intact.

This week is crucial as the month is coming to an end. The closing price will make or break the monthly chart as discussed here last week. If price closes below its recent fractal point and the upper Bollinger Band, together with a negative MACD and Stochastic, they could be the beginning of the end for this market. Personally with the long holiday coming on, I am very doubtful the market will be able to close back up in a strong manner.

Our equities market once again show another kisah benar to us that no matter how "strong" a company's fundamentals are, during a panicky market situation, these counters shares will still get dump off too. How CIMB shares price sunk last week is a perfect example.Meanwhile both the DJIA and USD seem to be getting ready for something big to happen. You should keep an eye on both of them in the coming week. For any drastic move by them would bring fore new directions in EUland market and their currencies.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Supremes' and Temptations' 50th Anniversaries


Original Supremes Member Mary Wilson And The Temptations To Perform Together For The First Time In Decades

LOS ANGELES--In honor of the 50th anniversaries of The Supremes and The Temptations, two of popular music's most celebrated and socially significant singing groups, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), which manages the classic recorded catalog of Motown, announced today it will mark the historic Detroit label's musical achievements with a series of key CD and DVD releases this fall in both physical and digital formats that will incorporate rare tracks and long-awaited previously unreleased footage of the two groups.

In addition, for the first time in decades, original Supreme Mary Wilson and the Temptations will perform together for a select group of key activities with details to be announced shortly.

Both The Supremes and The Temptations started out together as members of teen "brother-sister" groups, eventually signing recording contracts with Motown in 1961, which launched careers that changed not only the sound and style of pop music but smashed racial and cultural barriers in America and around the world. Their songs defined a generation: The Supremes with "Baby Love," "Stop! In The Name Of Love" and "Love Child," and The Temptations with "My Girl," "Get Ready," and "Cloud Nine." They also recorded together, hitting with "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," and co-headlined two groundbreaking TV specials.

During the tumultuous Sixties and early Seventies, the Temptations moved smoothly from classic love songs to songs of relevance, approaching topics otherwise missing from pop singing groups. At the same time, The Supremes notched breakthroughs for African-Americans and for African-American women on stage and on television. Both groups brought people together, no matter their race, becoming more than merely the most successful vocal groups of their time but cultural icons. Both are inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and unanimously hailed among the greatest artists of the rock era.

Set for release September 13 (digital) and October 25 (CD):

· Diana Ross & the Supremes / 50th Anniversary: The Complete Singles 1961-1969, a 3-disc set featuring every A- and B- side from their beginning, when they were known around Motown as the "no-hit Supremes," through their record-breaking triumphs, their 12 No. 1 hits, ending with their extraordinary decade-ending smash "Someday We'll Be Together."

· The Temptations / 50th Anniversary: The Complete Singles 1961-1971, a 3-disc tribute to the original classic Temptations lineup, featuring every A- and B- side from their beginning, through their respective triumphs, including "My Girl," "I Can't Get Next To You" and "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)," closing with the departures of original members Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams.

Releasing in November:

· More Hits By The Supremes: Expanded Edition, a limited edition 2-CD set featuring the original hit album, first issued in 1965, newly remastered in both original mono and stereo, plus two more albums' worth of unreleased and rare tracks from the "girls" in their prime. It's another in a continuing series of expanded versions of the group's original classic albums available on Motown/

Complementing the above CD releases will be The Best of The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show (1 DVD) and The Best of The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show (1 DVD), as well as Motown Gold From The Ed Sullivan Show (2-DVD), all being released on September 13, which feature beloved appearances on the original Sunday night program by both groups. All three DVD collections are packed with classic Motown performances culled from the groundbreaking Ed Sullivan Show, taped live between 1964 and 1971, and all footage has been fully restored with the addition of never before released footage.

The relationship between Berry Gordy's Motown label and The Ed Sullivan Show made music and television history. Showcasing the latest label release on CBS on Sunday nights was a defining way to expose Motown's artists and boost the show's ratings as well, bringing the "Motown Sound" to living rooms across America. One great Motown group after another was introduced on Sullivan's show, which averaged 35 million viewers, and his brief chats with the artists led to a greater acceptance of African-American performers by the general public.

Today, The Temptations and The Supremes continue to be an essential component of the Motown legacy. The Temptations' recent DVD release, Get Ready: Definitive Performances 1965-1972, is currently double platinum, and their recent ICON CD has already sold more than 100,000 copies. The Supremes' DVD release, Reflections - Definitive Performances 1964-1969 is now platinum. Fifty years since the group's first crossed Motown's threshold, original fans as well as new fans confirm with steady sales that the true artistry and talent of the Temptations and The Supremes is ageless and timeless. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nick Ashford dies at 69: Motown great co-wrote 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'

Nick Ashford, who wrote many Motown classics with his wife Valerie Simpson, died Monday. He was 69.

Ashford & Simpson — you can't think of one without the other — penned and produced almost all of the '60s hits for Motown's Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, including Ain't No Mountain High Enough, You're All I Need to Get By, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing and Your Precious Love. They also wrote hits for Chuck Jackson, The Shirelles, Maxine Brown and the Fifth Dimension.

Ray Charles' 1966 No. 1 R&B hit Let's Go Get Stoned was their breakthrough record. They would later write and produce Diana Ross' biggest solo hits, including her signature Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand). They also wrote Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman, which was later recorded by Whitney Houston.

Though they had initially performed together in 1964 as Valerie & Nick, after meeting a year earlier at Harlem's White Rock Baptist Church, they didn't fully break out as R&B stars until the late '70s and '80s with songs like Don't Cost You Nothing, It Seems to Hang On, Found A Cure, Street Corner and Solid. They generated excitement onstage with the tall, leonine Ashford trading harmonies with the sultry Simpson.

Ashford, who was born in Fairfield, S.C., and raised in Willow Run, Mich., had originally aspired to be a dancer.

The couple, who had been married since 1974, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. They recorded eight albums for Warner Bros., including four that went gold, five with Capitol and two independently. Their last album, 1996's Been Found, was a collaboration with poet Maya Angelo.

They continued to perform sporadically and frequently hosted events at their New York restaurant, Sugar Bar.

Recording artists Nick Ashford (L) with wife and
            writing partner, Valerie Simpson. Ashford died Monday after
            battling throat cancer, he was 69.

  Nick Ashford (L) with wife and writing partner, Valerie Simpson. Ashford died Monday after battling throat cancer, he was 69.

Nick Ashford, who with his wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown's most powerful love duets, died Monday in a New York hospital.

He was 69 and had been undergoing radiation treatments for throat cancer.

Ashford and Simpson wrote Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell "Ain't" songs, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," along with "You're All I Need To Get By."

They also had a long singing career, scoring their biggest chart hit with 1984's "Solid (As a Rock)" and later settling into a long run at clubs and cabarets.

They also owned several restaurant/clubs, including the 20/20 on W. 20th St. and the Sugar Bar on W. 72nd St.

They were a DJ team for several years on WRKS (98.7 FM), playing the kind of music they wrote and sang.

Ashford, a tall imposing man whose signature hair was long, was known as a gentle presence in the music business.

Nickolas Ashford was born in South Carolina and grew up in Michigan. He moved to New York in the early 1960s with $57 in his pocket, hoping to make it in show business.

He was attending Harlem's White Rock Baptist Church when he met Valerie Simpson, a New Yorker who sang in the choir and also had musical ambitions.

They recorded together briefly and unsuccessfully in 1964 as "Valerie and Nick," but had more success with writing songs - which at first, said Ashford, they sold for $75 apiece.

Their first big hit was Ray Charles's "Let's Go Get Stoned," which hit the top 10 on the R&B charts in 1966, and soon after they signed to Motown.

Besides songwriting, they also produced most of Diana Ross's first three solo albums and worked with artists that included Teddy Pendergrass, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson and Chaka Khan.

Ashford did a few solo projects, including some unsuccessful singles and the very successful production of the 1968 Supremes/Temptations collaboration "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me."

Still, he and Simpson remained a team, and they got married in 1974. They had two daughters.

They had disco-era hits with "Send It" and "Street Corner" and wrote "I'm Every Woman," which Whitney Houston sang in "The Bodyguard."

Simpson, who did most of the composing while Ashford wrote most of the lyrics, later said it was "like pulling teeth" to get him to write "I'm Every Woman," but that it was worth the effort.

Ashford later had a few acting roles, including The Rev. Oates in "New Jack City."

His and Simpson's songs have been sampled in recent years by artists like 50 Cent. They received a writing credit for Amy Winehouse's 2007 "Tears Dry On Their Own" because so much of the melody was lifted from "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." 

As Performers

Ashford & Simpson's career as recording artists actually began in 1964, when they recorded "I'll Find You" as "Valerie & Nick." This was followed by several obscure singles Ashford recorded on the Glover, Verve and ABC labels such as "It Ain't Like That", (later recorded by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas), "California Soul" and "Dead End Kids" backed by his own version of "Let's Go Get Stoned". After concentrating on working with other artists, Simpson was the featured soloist on the songs "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "What's Going On" on the Quincy Jones albums Gula Matari in 1970 and its follow-up, Smackwater Jack. Simpson subsequently recorded two solo LPs for Motown: Valerie Simpson Exposed in 1971, and, the following year, the album Valerie Simpson, which included the single "Silly Wasn't I," which was sampled on 50 Cent's "Best Friend" from the movie Get Rich or Die Tryin'. The song was also sampled by 9th Wonder on Murs's "Silly Girl" in the album Murray's Revenge. Ashford & Simpson were featured singing selections from Simpson's solo albums on the PBS TV show Soul!, hosted by Ellis Haizlip in 1971. They left Motown in 1973, after the albums Simpson recorded for the label received poor promotion and the company refused to release an album of the two of them recording a collection of their most famous songs for other artists.

In 1974 Ashford & Simpson got married, and they resumed their career as a duo with the Warner Bros. album Gimme Something Real. This was followed by the hit singles, "Don't Cost You Nothin'," in 1977, "It Seems To Hang On" in 1978, "Is It Still Good to Ya" in 1978, "Found a Cure" in 1979, "Street Corner" in 1982, and their biggest hit, "Solid", which they recorded in 1984.

In 1978, they were featured as vocalists, along with Chaka Khan, on the hit single "Stuff Like That" from Quincy Jones' Sounds... And Stuff Like That album and contributed to the writing of the soundtrack to The Wiz.

Simpson appeared (with Melba Moorman) as part of the "Blood, Sweat & Tears Soul Chorus" on the band's Al Kooper led debut, Child Is Father to the Man.

On his own, Ashford produced, along with Frank Wilson, the mammoth hit "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me", which was recorded by Diana Ross & the Supremes in collaboration with the Temptations in 1968. He also appeared in the movie New Jack City (1991), as Reverend Oates, an ordained minister who was part of Nino Brown's entourage.

Simpson's brothers were in the record business as well: Ray Simpson replaced Victor Willis in the Village People and their brother Jimmy Simpson, produced the group GQ, (who had big hits with "Disco Nights" and "I Do Love You"), and was in great demand as a mixing engineer during the disco era.

Japanese Grandpa Porn Getting Hot

Besides his glowing complexion, Shigeo Tokuda looks like any other 74-year-old man in Japan. Despite suffering a heart attack three years ago, the lifelong salaryman now feels healthier, and lives happily with his wife and a daughter in downtown Tokyo. He is, of course, more physically active than most retirees, but that's because he's kept his part-time job — as a porn star. 

Shigeo Tokuda is, in fact, his screen name. He prefers not to disclose his real name because, he insists, his wife and daughter have no idea that he has appeared in about 350 films over the past 14 years. And in his double life, Tokuda arguably embodies the contemporary state of Japan's sexuality: in surveys conducted by organizations ranging from the World Health Organization (WHO) to the condom-maker Durex, Japan is repeatedly found to be one of the most sexless societies in the industrialized world. A WHO report released in March found that 1 in 4 married couples in Japan had not made love in the previous year, while 38% of couples in their 50s no longer have sex at all. Those figures were attributed to the stresses of Japanese working life. Yet at the same time, the country has seen a surge in demand for pornography that has turned adult videos into a billion-dollar industry, with "elder porn" one of its fastest-growing genres. 

Tokuda is rare among Japanese porn stars in that his name has become a brand. The Shigeo Tokuda series he has just completed portray him as a tactful elderly gentleman who instructs women of different ages in the erotic arts, and he boasts a body of work far more impressive than most actors in their prime. 

Tokuda's exploits have proved to be a goldmine for Glory Quest, which first launched an "old man" series, Maniac Training of Lolitas, in December 2004. Its popularity led the company to follow up with Tokuda starring in Forbidden Elderly Care in August 2006. Other series followed, and soon elder porn had revealed itself as a sustainable new revenue stream for the industry. "The adult-video industry is very competitive," says Glory Quest p.r. representative Kayoko Iimura. "If we only make standard fare, we cannot beat other studios. There were already adult videos with Lolitas or themes of incest, so we wanted to make something new. A relationship between wife and an old father-in-law has enough twist to create an atmosphere of mystery and captivate viewers' hearts."
Director Gaichi Kono says the eroticism of elders is captivating to younger viewers. "I think that, as a subject, there is this something that only an older generation has and the young people do not possess. It is because they lived that much more. We should respect them and learn from them," says Kono passionately. 

But Tokuda stresses the appeal of his work to an audience of his peers: "Elderly people don't identify with school dramas," he says. "It's easier for them to relate to older-men-and-daughters-in-law series, so they tend to watch adult videos with older people in them." The veteran porn star plans to keep working until he's 80 — or older, as long as the industry will cast him. Given the bullish market for his work, he's unlikely to go without work. 

"People of my age generally have shame, so they are very hesitant to show their private parts," Tokuda says. "But I am proud of myself doing something they cannot." Still, he says, laughing, "That doesn't mean that I can tell them about my old-age pensioner job."
Japan's adult-video industry is believed to be worth as much as $1 billion a year, according to industry insiders, with the largest video-store chain Tsutaya releasing about 1,000 new titles monthly, while the mega adult mail-order site DMM releases about 2,000 titles each month. Although films featuring women in their teens and 20s are the mainstay of the industry, a trend toward "mature women" has become evident over the past five years. Currently, about 300 of the 1,000 adult videos on offer at Tsutaya, and 400 out of the 2,000 at DMM, are "mature women" films. 

Ryuichi Kadowaki, director of Ruby Inc., which specializes in mature-women titles, says that when the company started offering the genre a few years ago, the term referred to actresses in their late 20s, and that last year it was expanded to those in their 70s. The company believes the advantage of mature titles is their enduring appeal. "Adult videos with young actresses sell well only in the first three months after the release," Kadowaki explains. "On the other hand, mature-women films enjoy a steady, long-term popularity, which after 10 years or so might lead to a best seller." And then there are the cost savings. A popular young actress can earn up to $100,000 per film, while a mature actress is paid only $2,000.
The market for elder porn has doubled over the past decade, according to Kadowaki. "In view of [Japan's] aging society," he adds, "I think that in the future, we will see a steady increase in demand."