> I ended up writing our pages in UTF-8 which solved the problem and met our
> needs.

Yep. This is generally the best approach.

> I was left wondering what benefit Shift-JIS brings that UTF-8 does not?

On the web, nothing. Shift-JIS is a nasty legacy encoding that should die ASAP.

Unfortunately, there are still some Japanese mail services (we noticed Yahoo!
Mail in particular) that cannot display mail sent in UTF-8. If you have your
web system send Unicode mails automatically, some Japanese readers will just
get gibberish. Shift-JIS and ISO-2022 are more widely supported in mail, for