April 2000 Issue

On the cover: "Without the challenge there is no fun. So I continue to enjoy my life and see what I can do." -- Tatsuyuki "Ted" Saeki

April 2000
No. 6


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April 2000 Issue

Features

  Japan's Female Netpreneurs
Businesswomen in Japan haven't made the kind of progress their US counterparts have, but here are some who have made significant inroads using the Internet.
 
 
  Small Money Chips In
The remarkable story of how an unlikely collaboration between a Colorado Springs entrepreneur and a maverick R&D manager from Matsushita developed ferroelectric random access memory for cell phones -- and how it led to smaller handsets around the world.
 
 
  How to Invest in Japanese Stocks
You kept asking for it, so here it is: How to invest in Japanese companies online. Good luck!
 
 
  Interview: Tatsuyuki Saeki, Nasdaq Japan CEO
A perfectly timed interview: the man in charge of Nasdaq Japan -- the mere idea of which has created heaps of change -- gives us the lowdown.
 
 

Filter

  Mitsui: Collecting E-firms, Not Art
In the 1980s, Japanese corporations rode a bubble of hot air around the globe in search of art masterpieces with which to adorn their vaults. It was the era of Michael Crichton's Rising Sun, when the Japanese seemed to rule the world. Some of those same powerhouses are still collecting, but the target is no longer artwork -- it's e-companies.
 
 
  Birthing Tech Talent in Japan
With the Net boom, Japan desperately needs more IT professionals.
 
 
  Memory Cards Still Taking Shape
The memory card looks to be the next hot media device: no bigger than a rice cake, it can store an impressive amount of data -- including songs and videos -- and be easily swapped among various devices.
 
 
  Birthing Bean Counters in Japan
With the Internet economy taking off and various financial and legal barricades being removed, there's a seemingly insatiable appetite among corporations for Western-trained bean counters.
 
 
  Domestic Airlines Deregulated
It's been pointed out elsewhere that just as the supposed paperless office led to more paper being used, the virtual office has led to more flights being booked.
 
 
  Eat and Meet
In the quiet Tokyo neighborhood of Yoyogi-Uehara is a California-style restaurant called West Park Cafe.
 
 
Japan's Patent Office Thinks Net
The Patent Office Catches Up With The Net
 
 

People

  Kobo Inamura
Why are we covering an MPT bureaucrat? Because he's trying to get some strategic vision about the telecom revolution into the heads of bricks-and-mortar political dinosaurs.
 
 
Vaughan Tebbe
ShoppingTheWorld.com's CEO was in Tokyo recently on business. What's she up to?
 
 
Bob Delaney
He's a representative director of the Kyocera Goldman Sachs fund, which is planning to sink JPY 30 billion into high-tech startups in Japan. We ask him what he and his colleagues are looking for.
 
 

Columns

  Joi's Diary
Maybe we shouldn't try to educate the politicians about the Net. They might screw things up instead of helping.
 
 
  The J-Files
Low-ranking samurai Sakamoto would be flattered to know his approach to life has a following in corporate Japan.
 
 
  VENTURE WATCH
You'll be seeing more of this: a Bit Valley startup takes on Silicon Valley.
 
 
  VALLEY VIEW
The government's incubator efforts should be applauded, but only private incubators can offer IPO expertise.
 
 

Research

  Japan Studies
The first female governor elected in Japan. Women being promoted to board level at major Japanese companies. Women entrepreneurs featured in magazines (including this issue). Are these the harbingers of a major attitudinal shift in Japan in regard to the status (as opposed to numbers) of women in the workforce? Or are these events simply statistical aberrations given lots of media play because it makes good copy?
 
 
  Is MET's Corp. a Good Long-Term Bet?
On February 18 MET's Corporation became the third company to list on Mothers, the new market for high-tech ventures created by the Tokyo Stock Exchange last December. It was a strong debut, with the shares in bid-only status in first-day trading. (A thousand shares were offered in an IPO underwritten by Kokusai Securities.) But is this stock a good long-term bet?
 
 
  Yahoo Japan Tops JPY100M per Share, but Yahoo Cares?
When Yahoo Japan's stock broke through the JPY 100 million per share barrier in late January, newspapers, TV shows, and other mass media in Japan acted like it was a world first. But was it really something to get all hot and bothered about?
 
 
  Statistics
(PDF-formatted file, Acrobat 4.0 or later required)
Japan's online speciality shops
 
 

In Parting

  Art Department
Chilled -- Computer Soup
For many, Bit Valley brings to mind techno music, young Japanese, Shibuya noise overload, and manga and videogame hyperactivity. But try imagining instead late afternoon winter sun on the enclosed deck of a rooftop cafe, blankets, portable heaters, ambient music, minimalist trumpet, mellow yellow. That's Computer Soup live.
 
 
  Blowfish
Tea for toupee. In Japanese, the term for hair dyed with a brownish tinge is referred to as chapatsu, literally, "tea hair." Does it turn you off? When the Tokyo metropolitan government popped this question to a group of adults, a full 54 percent gave a resounding "heck no." Broken down by specific replies: "It's OK as long as it's not too conspicuous" (27 percent); "It doesn't concern me one way or the other" (21 percent); and "It's OK because it's in vogue" (54 percent). Those who preferred any color as long as it's black came to 36 percent.
 
 

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