JIN-276 -- Slip Sliding Away -- Oil and the Dollar

========================================
J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:

T H E J @ P A N I N C N E W S L E T T E R

Commentary on the Week's Business, Technology and Cultural News
========================================
Issue No. 276
Thursday, June 9, 2004
TOKYO

Subscribe for FREE:
http://www.japaninc.com/newsletters/index.html?list=jin

CONTENTS

@@ VIEWPOINT: Slip Sliding Away -- Oil and the Dollar

=== Humans Evolve, So Does the Securitization Market ===
Keep Abreast of Developments in the Japanese Real Estate Market

The publisher of the Real-Estate Securitization Handbook 2003,
TP Publishing, has just released J-RED. This English language monthly on
the real estate sector in Japan is produced from a selection of translated
articles appearing in Property Management and Leisure Industry Data, both
industry leading publications from Sogo Unicom with a combined Japanese
readership of 43,000. Articles for J-RED are selected and edited in
consultation with current participants in the Japanese real-estate market,
focusing on the most relevant articles for foreign investors.

Order your subscription or request a free sample copy at
www.transpacific.jp/publishing

======================================
========= WIN A FREE TICKET! ==========
Economist Conferences'
FOURTH INTERNATIONAL JAPAN AUTOMOTIVE ROUNDTABLE
Which road now?
July 14th 2004, Tokyo
http://www2.economistconferences.com/doc/ap/jpauto04/i.htm

This is an exclusive opportunity for you to gain fresh insights into the
thinking of Japan's leading auto industry executives via serious debate,
audience interaction and networking.

Special offer exclusive for J@pan Inc readers!
Please register at:
http://www1.economistconferences.com/doc/asia/japaninc/japaninc.htm

==================================

@@ VIEWPOINT: Slip Sliding Away -- Oil and the Dollar

It never ceases to amaze us how seldom the issue of oil supply is
properly debated in Japan. Plenty of older business leaders remember --
and unremittingy refer to -- the miseries of the "oil shocks" of the
70s. But they do so with the clear implication that things are much more
stable now. In a sense, of course, they are right. Opec is an
altogether less truculent and reactionary organization than it used to
be, and the past two decades have been mercifully free of the sort of
fuel panics that had factories turning off the machines and worried
members of the public filling their bathtubs with gasoline.

But recent events have clearly shown that Opec doesn't quite have the
muscle it would like to believe it wields. The cartel has long abandoned
its ideal "price band" and has been forced to accept that oil speculators
now have a control over crude prices that exceeds Opec's short-term
ability to move the market with production rises and cuts. But what
does all this have to do with Japan -- a country that imports 100 percent
of its oil and relies heavily on the US to keep the overall flow of the
black stuff as smooth as possible?

There are two answers, and both of them suggest rather strongly that
Japan is paralytically terrified of $40-plus oil. The first response is
something we have written about on numerous occasions -- Japan's long-term
fascination with alternative fuels. Japanese car companies are
diverting enormous funds into research on fuel cells, and other
industries are looking at ways to have homes, offices and PCs powered
by hyrdogen. A vast trade conference on the subject is due to begin in
Tokyo next month.

More profound, however, is the whispering we hear from the Bank of Japan
(BoJ). The BoJ's multi-trillion yen efforts to support the dollar in favor
of Japanese exporters has now decisively ended. There were various reasons
why the manipulation had to end -- but there are fewer obvious explanations
for the Ministry of Finance's (MoF) total lack of reaction to the
suggestion that the dollar may soon plunge.

The real reason, we gather from the corridors of Nihombashi, is related
to oil.

The MoF has lost none of its drive to protect Japanese companies and,
therefore, the wider economy. At the moment, that means letting the
greenback slide. Cheaper dollars mean that the pain of buying dollar-
denominated oil is at least slightly assuaged.

-- The Editors

============= ICA Event ================
ICA June 17 Event - Special Double Header

PRESENTER: Greg Ascolese Principal, ABeam Consulting
TOPIC: Case Studies and Approaches for Implementing Customer
Analytics.
PRESENTER: Jenny Sutton Partner, ABeam Consulting
TOPIC: Extending the Life of Legacy Systems

RSVP required, complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
Date: Thursday, June 17
Time: 6:30 Doors open, sit down dinner included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members), Open to
all Foreign Correspondents' Club
http://www.fccj.or.jp/static/aboutus/map.php

====================================
=== Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar ===========
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 12 start-up companies in Japan will be
giving a English-language seminar and Q&A on starting up a company in
Japan. This is an ideal opportunity to find out what is involved, and to
ask specific questions that are not normally answered in business books.

Time/date: 10:30am, June 26th, 2004
Place: 7-8-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107
Price: 15,000 yen prepaid, 20,000 at the door
Included: Lunchbox, refreshments, handouts

Bookings: maria@japaninc.com, in English or Japanese.

========================================
========= Tennis Lessons ===========
FREE tennis lessons at Hilton Tokyo Hotel, Shinjuku! Want to play tennis
but don't know how to find a court in Tokyo? JINJI TENNIS CENTER provides
the ideal tennis environment for foreigners living In and around Tokyo.
For info on tournaments, specials For Kids, tennis equipment, ET Cetera.

click "English" for details.
http://WWW.JINJITENNIS.COM

================================
=============== For Rent =================
2 & 3 F Masonette Designer Mansion by popular young Japanese designer,
Tetsuka. Large Bed room, 1 living room + 1 LDK, Full Wall Closet,
counter kitchen, 4.7m height floor glass window facing rows of cherry
Trees. Natural wood flooring, warm flooring in both living and LDK,
glass door bathroom, designer equipped wash sink and lighting, 3
air conditioners included. 1 min walk from Marunouchi Hounancho Station.
Quiet residential area, 24-hour supermarket and family restaurant in
walking distance. Built in September 2002. Rent 280,000 yen
(including management fee), 2 months deposit and 2 months key money.

http://www.alpha-planner.co.jp/honan/layout/2_g.html
Email: dino@be.to
=======================================
=======================================
SUBSCRIBERS: 16,321 as of June 9, 2004

EDITORS
Written and edited by Roland Kelts and
Leo Lewis (editors@japaninc.com)

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER JAPAN-SPECIFIC NEWSLETTERS:
http://www.japaninc.com/subscribe_news.html

UNSUBSCRIBE
To unsubscribe from this newsletter, click here:
http://www.japaninc.com/unsubscribe_news.html

ADVERTISING INFORMATION
To advertise in this newsletter, contact:
ads@japaninc.com

GET THE MAGAZINE
Subscribe at:
http://www.japaninc.net/mag/subs.html

FEEDBACK AND PROBLEMS
We welcome your viewpoint:
editors@japaninc.com
(NB Please do not reply to this newsletter -- it's outgoing only,
so we won't get it!)

TECHNICAL PROBLEMS:
webmaster@japaninc.com

(C) Copyright 2004 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.

business