You've Got DoCoMo!

An interview with @Asia Inc. CEO Paul Anders Schwamm on the long-term implications of the tie-up between AOL Japan and NTT DoCoMo.
by Daniel Scuka

Paul Anders Schwamm is CEO of @Asia Inc. (, a fast-growing leading developer of Asian-language Web sites. The company's site was recently selected by Lycos as the best bargain-related site in Japan. We asked Schwamm about the strategic implications of the recently announced tie-up AOL Japan and NTT DoCoMo. -- Daniel Scuka

August 2000 Issue

On the cover: Money.
You know, the stuff that makes the world go round and second round and third round.

August 2000
No. 10

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August 2000 Issue


  The Diverse Face of Japanese IT
Foreigners in Japan have long done the "three Ds": the dirty, the difficult, and the dangerous. Now add another D: the digital.
  VC Roundtable Discussion
What do these guys want, anyway? We asked, they came, we gave 'em some coffee, and they told us.
  VC Money
Make no mistake: there's loads of it in Japan, and more loads of it are on the way. It's all in search of tech ventures in the world's biggest economy and biggest online nation outside the States.


  Cash, Credit, or Keitai?
Will Japan's keitai users start to think of their cell phones as wallets? Companies like Citigroup, Sony, and NTT are already banking on it.
  Business Advice From People Living Here
The Japan Market Entry Competition gives companies invaluable business advice from foreigners who live in Japan.
  JPNIC Rethinks Weird Domain Name Rules
Being incorporated overseas is generally sufficient for doing business in Japan. But if you want a domain name, you'll have to register your business in Japan. Oh, and you can never sell or buy a domain name. And you can only have one.
  News Bites
On NTT DoCoMo's international moves, Pro Tect's system for controlling vending machines via cell phones, MIDI and the keitai, and a new fax-to-email service called F Mail.
  Handspring Takes on the Net Phone
How will PDAs like the Handspring mesh with Japan's keitai culture?


Stella Kaoruko
She uses her spiritual powers to advise some of Japan's most powerful businessmen and politicians. She uses her business savvy to make a mint over the Net.
Yoshihiro Tashiro
His first Web attempt was essentially a finance textbook online. Problem: users never came back. Now he's got a better idea with J*investor.
  Takashi Hara
The president of Vagabond knows full well the power of email newsletters in Japan. His Internet content company specializes in meru maga.


  The J-Files
About 400 years ago the English foolishly ignored local advice and focused their efforts on breaking into China instead of the Japan market. What's the right move now?
  Joi's Diary
Eventually people will realize they don't want to spew their data into cyberspace for any large entity to compile profiles from.


  Japan Studies
What do Japanese perceptions of the military balance of power in Asia have to do with the New Economy? Read on.
(PDF-formatted file, Acrobat 4.0 or later required)
On ecommerce revenues, Internet usage, number of online shops, Net users by age, cell phone subscribers, and a convenient way to keep it all in perspective.


  Winning the Japanese Domain Name Game
Darshaun Inc. isn't exactly the next Yahoo, but it's carved out a curious little niche in Japanese domain names.
  Mini-Stocks for the Mini-Investor in Japan
Mini-stocks, ADRs, and covered warrants: they're all ways to get around the absurdly high stock prices on Japan's markets.
Japan's Stock Market Oddities Explained
Why is Japan's stock market so, well, freaking weird? Mike Yoshii and Kouji Ishikawa of White & Case explain.

In Parting

  A terrific restaurant
Round Up
Places to go and things to do.
  Art Department
Enjoy some intense visual overload at Digital Image Gallery 2000.
The ideal boss? Seiichi Hoshino, the Chunichi Dragons baseball manager, who regularly slaps players around in the dugout.

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Always Remember the 80-20 Rule

Foreign companies have made a great contribution to Japan's economy and society for decades, and the best is yet to come. But to be successful, you have to make some changes, and that's a lesson that each generation has to learn the hard way.
by John R. Malott

John R. Malott was a noted "Japan Hand" during three decades of service as a U.S. diplomat. He now resides in Southern California and can be reached at

The Digital Divide Goes Global

At first glance, Japan seems an unlikely candidate to lead an effort to close the "global digital divide." So what do the Japanese know that the rest of the world doesn't?
by John R. Malott

Tech Incubators Could Reboot Japan

Affiliation with large firms will always carry cachet in Japan, but smart startups looking for seed money will turn to VCs and incubators, especially foreign ones that can take them global.
by Louis Ross