Back to Contents of Issue: April 2004

It's April. We're stoked. And we're just getting started.

Forget New Year's Eve: In Japan, the new year launches now. For schoolchildren, university students, freshly minted salarymen and office ladies -- and even street-beating hacks and laptop addicts like us -- April means change.

Change is usually difficult ... or disastrous. But we're stoked about this one.

The issue of JI you hold in your hands debuts a new look, a new vibrancy and a ripe audacity that is already driving us forward into uncharted territory. With our small army of deft pros spread across this archipelago (you'll find award-winning scribes in these pages), we've got Japan's biggest and most compelling domestic business stories covered -- whether they're surviving the snows in Hokkaido, stirring in the sands of Okinawa or soaring forth from the brains of the nation's whiz-kid animators and games makers. And our savvy team on the ground here in Tokyo is hunkered down in the city's thoroughfares and alleyways to register the latest buzz from the bastions of tech, branding and corporate enterprise.

In fact, one of our new sections (others are forthcoming) is called just that -- Buzz: a streetwise roundup of what you need to know about the most current currents running through this city and beyond. Next you'll find G-spot -- yeah, we know how stimulating the latest gadgets and gizmos from this land can be, especially when paired with expert advice on how to use them, why to own them and what they actually look and feel like.

One of our central missions has been to fly high and low, East and West in delivering to you a more holistic vision of today's Japan. We trek from slums to corporate boardrooms; we feature bulletins from Roppongi (just blocks down the road) and from on-site writers in New York and Los Angeles; we track down the presidents of Honda and Toei -- and trace the trans-cultural corruption defining the world of the now.

It's April. We're stoked. And we're just getting started.

Roland Kelts, Editor

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