November 2008 Issue

November 2008November 2008

On the Cover:

HIGH EXPECTATIONS
MICHAEL ALFANT’S FUSION SYSTEMS TAKES ON ASIA

INSIDE
- THE RETURN OF JAPAN TO WALL STREET
- WHAT’S NEXT IN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS?

IT SPECIAL
- NEW MEDIA AND THE AKIHABARA MASSACRE
- TOKYO’S HOTTEST WEB INNOVATORS

November 2008
No. 82


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Magazine:

Publisher's Message: Liquid Assets

Terrie LloydTerrie LloydBy Terrie Lloyd

Lehman’s dealmakers continue to slip through Nomura’s fingers.

What a tumultuous month October was—the world stood at the edge of a precipice in terms of a major recession, or possibly even a global depression, and November promises just as much action. We went from having four major independent US securities firms to now having none.

Magazine:

Editor's Message

Michael CondonMichael CondonBy Michael Condon -- October continued what September started with the global financial meltdown, as it’s now being widely called, spreading even further afield. The big news in Japan being the Japanese megabanks, such as Nomura and Mitsubishi UFJ Group (MUFG), buying into Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley respectively. Also the Tokyo Stock Exchange continued to make headlines around the world, fluctuating wildly, mainly in the downward direction.

Magazine:

Letters

As someone who has worked in the manufacturing industry here for almost a decade, I am increasingly worried by the continued increases in the cost of raw materials. On reading the article “Steelmakers unite” in the October issue of J@pan Inc, it made me realize just how much Japan can be held ransom to those who mine the minerals we need to survive.

Magazine:

Business Break & Measure for Measure

Car Toyota has developed the world’s first rear window curtain-shield air bag to protect back seat passengers in the event of a rear-end collision. The airbags are hidden in the top lining of the rear window, inflating in the shape of a curtain that becomes a protective barrier between the passenger’s head and the window.

Magazine:

Trends: CScout Japan

DogBy Nikolai Proske - CScout Japan

Pets get their own signature style

Dog lovers in Japan are notorious for accessorizing and spoiling their pooches. Now it’s possible to customize a personal hanko—personal stamps registered by individuals to serve as their signature—with a graphic of your pet!

Magazine:

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Retail Focus: Smart Cards

Convenience stores see the highest volume of smart card users.By Sarah Noorbakhsh

The plastic revolution continues.

In almost any busy retail space, a harmony of blips, beeps and hums can be heard as customers slide cards and mobile phones across the colorful pads of smart-card readers to pay for transactions.

Magazine:

The Deal: Right Place, Right Time

James GowJames GowBy Shaun Davies

The sale of currency trading Website FXOnline to IG Group will come to epitomize the dream of the foreign entrepreneur in Japan.

Magazine:

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Technology: I Want My 1seg TV

Robert SanzaloneBy Robert Sanzalone

If Japanese consumers don’t even really want TV on their cellphones, why has it been such a hit?

Magazine:

Edge of Communication -- Executive Interview: Frank Sanda

Frank SandaFrank SandaBy Chris Betros

Frank Sanda founded Japan Communications Inc. as the world’s first Data Mobile Virtual Network Operator (D-MVNO).

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