January 2000 Issue

On the cover: Yoshitaka Kitao of Softbank and E*trade Trading covers: This month we offer a buy and sell option. Which did you get?

January 2000
No. 3


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January 2000 Issue

Features

  Blowing Out the Walls ...with a Big Bang
E*Trade Japan was established early last year as a JV between Softbank and U.S. online securities trade giant E*Trade. Since then, a growing number of competitors have entered the fray, and the chances that any one player will dominate appear slim.
 
 
  Betting the House?
Mutual funds go online in Japan (Part 1)
New risks and new returns for household investors and financial houses
 
 
  Soho-Seeding the Field
The Soho Center Nurtures a New Crop of Entrepreneurs
 
 
  Interview
Finance in the Third Millennium, according to ING Barings' Rike Wootten
 
 

News & Info

  Mothers: Caring for Internet Infants in Japan
The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) launched a new stock market for venture companies called Mothers (Market of the High-growth and Emerging Stocks), in November 1999.
 
 
  Bullish on Japan.com
When one writes on foreign companies in Japan, it is easy to invoke that popular metaphor of "Black Sheep" out on the horizon, thwarting long-standing trade barriers, real or imagined. When one writes on the American securities and brokerage firm Merrill Lynch, with asset totalling more than $1.5 trillion, one might as well skip the "Black Ship" idea and consider it an armada.
 
 
  Mobile Carriers Go Java
As of November 1999, NTT DoCoMo had won more than 2 million subscribers for its i-mode telephone system-the world's first Internet services package offered via cellular phone. Attracted by this Net-savvy and affluent subscriber base, content providers have been rushing into bed with NTT, and by November 10, some 250 official and over 2,470 unofficial websites were i-mode enabled.
 
 
  Goldman Sachs: Impressing Impress
Goldman Sachs made its first equity investment in a Japanese company in October 1999, selecting impress, a leading publisher of technology - and entertainment - related print and online magazines in Japan, as the recipient of some JPY 1.1 billion.
 
 
  Sakura, Fujitsu Move Virtual Banking Ahead
The country is holding its breath for the birth of Japan's first virtual bank, scheduled to take place in 2000.
 
 
  Battle for the High-Speed Access Market
The telecoms' battle over providing high-speed Internet access has heated up, with the main front now shifting to the local telecommunications market.
 
 
  AIBO Wags the Dog
You probably think of robots as machines that do some kind of useful work. AIBO the dog, however, does nothing of the kind. It sits, walks, wags, and plays-it even learns and grows (not physically, of course). Certainly not very useful, but this little guy's cute as a mechanical mutt can be.
 
 
  Bringing Japanese Women's Sites up to Speed...
"Many women have a balancing act to perform-kids, work. The Net is the single technology that talks about shaking up the business environment for them," says Janet G.H. Ang, director, sales operations, Asia Pacific IBM. "The Internet is actually helping to level the playing field in many aspects for women." Launched on September 2, 1999, womenjapan.com is a coming-of-age site for the Japanese Internet.
 
 

Columns

  VALLEY VIEW
Finding the right VC
 
 
  INSIDE EYE
American road kill on Japanese information superhighway (Part 2)
 
 
  Joi's Diary
Swapping tips and arranging bits
 
 
  VENTURE WATCH
Don't miss Japan's venture boom
 
 
  Logon
Japan's telecom infrastructure good? Opportunities abound
 
 

Research

  Statistics
(PDF-formatted file, Acrobat 4.0 or later required)
Internet malls.
 
 

Shorts

  Japan Studies -- Entrepreneurial Encounters
The decline in the rate of entrepreneurial startups in Japan has led to much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the media on how Japan is falling behind in the entrepreneurial race, especially versus the U.S. Opinions on the perceived causes of this are many-deficiencies in the educational system, societal constraints, lack of entrepreneurial spirit among Japanese, unfavorable banking practices, overly restrictive government regulations, a lack of funding, and so on.
 
 

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