Japanese Pets Eric Weiner reports despite enduring their worst recession in more than 50 years, many Japanese consumers are willing to spend gobs of yen on pets. Pet stores are enjoying a major business boom. Dogs seem to be the domestic animal of choice, so pet entrepreneurs are cashing in on all kinds of pet accessories, including doggie toothbrushes, conditioners and 85-dollar doggie kimonos. For busy urban dwellers, Sony has developed AIBO, a 25-hundred-dollar dog robot of uncertain gender. It can fetch a ball and bark, but AIBO is programmed never to bite the mailman.