The Pulse - The word on the Street from the heart of Tokyo

Back to Contents of Issue: March 2003

China Surpasses Japan as PC Market
IN BRIEF: China was the world's second biggest market for personal computers in the last half of 2002, according to International Data Corp. China jumped ahead of Japan, which held the No. 2 spot behind the US for the first half of last year. In the last six months of 2002, 6.3 million PCs were shipped in China and 5.7 million were shipped in Japan.

...COMMENTARY: It was just a matter of time -- China became the world's largest market for cellphones in 2002 as well. But China's rise indicates a new stage for Japan. The graying, more niche-oriented Japan is likely to often be overlooked as China's IT infrastructure grows by leaps and bounds.

Secom, Chiba Police Use GPS Technology to Nail Stalkers

The Chiba prefectural police have begun using a system developed by Secom that allows the victims of stalkers to press a button on their PDA or cellphone when they feel they are being stalked. The police would then be notified via GPS technology of the victim's whereabouts. So far the police have lent three handsets to women who had reported having trouble with stalkers.

Breaks to go to Investment Funds 
IN BRIEF: The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is set to extend preferential tax and regulatory treatment to investment funds pouring money into corporate reconstruction, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported. Plans call for exempting such funds from tax payments. Funds buying financial claims against struggling companies or extending bridge loans to them will also be eligible for tax-exempt status.

...COMMENTARY: So-called buyout funds are located mostly in tax havens outside Japan. As Japan's recession continues, METI's plans are likely to spur the emergence of more such funds in-country. 

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