While some sectors remain cautiously quiet, real estate in Japan has remained dynamic and vibrant—particularly from the point of view of foreign investment. Last year Morgan Stanley bought 13 ANA hotels and most recently they purchased Citibank’s Tokyo headquarters. In March this year, GE’s property division were reported to be looking at investing US$10 million into Japanese real estate while Goldman Sachs has also been aggressive in acquiring real estate related products and companies.
Our cover feature on the Capital Services Company is a tale of real estate success in the Japanese market. Meanwhile, Brad Frischkorn dissects Japan’s exposure to subprime and gives analysis of real estate as a financial product in Japan. The third article related to our feature is Anna Kitanaka’s article on architecture and the regulatory and social forces that shape Japanese design and construction.
This issue’s coverage of SMEs and entrepreneurs includes an interview with the young CEO of a user interface design company, YAPPA, and we also speak to a man who has invented a wheel that can be rolled up stairs! Furthermore, as part of our mission to reach out into the local foreign community and encourage young business talent, we are proud to publish an article written by a group of students from Temple University, Japan Campus, who won a business writing competition hosted by J@pan Inc. It was exciting to work with Temple students and we think you’ll agree that the article makes excellent reading.
In the lifestyle section ‘Culture & Context,’ writer Tim Coghlan is not very impressed with Japan Fashion Week while Andrew Cockburn brings our attention to Shikoku’s Kagawa prefecture as a beautiful and culturally rich travel destination. Finally, you have most likely noticed that J@pan Inc is enjoying a modernized design template from this issue and this is in preparation for our July issue, which will be our first edition as a monthly magazine for a few years—we thank our readers and sponsors for their support and are excited about the prospect of publishing on a monthly basis.
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