Mike Smitka has followed the industry (and the Japanese economy) for 30+ years. David Ruggles has worked in every phase of the retail side: new and used, sales and management, and consulting in both the US and Japan. Go here for links to Smitka's course blogs and research.
I've been quoted several times this past week. See for example the following May 7 Bloomberg story but note I'm unsure how long the link will work. A nearly identical version appears here on the (Bloomberg) Business Week site.