- Associated Press - Monday, September 13, 2010

UNDER PRESSURE: Hitachi Ltd.’s new president, who is seeking to transform one of Japan’s biggest companies, says the strong yen is squeezing business.

THE CONSEQUENCES: A strong Japanese currency is a major issue for big exporters like Hitachi, whose overseas profits take a hit when the yen rises.

THE BACK STORY: Hiroaki Nakanishi’s comments come a day before a ruling party leadership election, as veteran lawmaker Ichiro Ozawa challenges Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Whoever wins must find a way to energize an economy facing slowing global growth and a strong yen that threatens to undermine Japan’s export-driven recovery.