A Word from the Publisher

Back to Contents of Issue: January 2002

by Terrie Lloyd

It is surprising that, although on a given day almost half of all Japan's stock is traded by foreigners, Japanese companies as a whole have a dismal awareness of the information needs of this important group of investors. To the average Japanese CEO, foreign investors are a necessary evil of the market: asking for too much information, hopping in and out of the stock at the drop of a hat, and being hard to identify.

J@pan Inc's Investor Insight is out to change this perception. With the events of the last 12 months, Japanese companies are being dragged into the global economy and are being forced to participate in the information market if they don't want their stock prices killed. The problem is, though, that Japanese corporations' investor relations usually extends only as far as a phone call to Dentsu, to make an annual report or Web site. So while it's easy to spend $200-300,000 on a glossy publication, unfortunately the foreign investor universe is not a convenient group that you can just mail out materials to and expect results from. Rather, this group is small, fragmented, feisty (meaning inured to IR hype), and convinced that its research is better than anything that a company could provide by itself or with Dentsu's help.

That is where Investor Insight comes in. We're not trying to replace an institutional investor's own research. Instead, we want to set the tone and the scope for the Japanese market. We see our role as filling in the gaps: entertaining, predicting trends, spotting future players, and generally taking the pulse of the new economy. Our hope is that by virtue of our positioning and editorial style, we can overcome investor resistance to fluffy numbers and gushing IR statements and create a channel of media that is acceptable to foreign investors.

What we need from you, our gentle readers, especially those of you who are in fact foreign investors -- is for you to let us know who you are, and to help us distribute the magazine to both yourselves and your colleagues on a regular basis. By allowing us into your pool of information resources, we will be in a position to monitor and edit the good stuff that is coming out of Japan and separate it from the hype. We want to make it easy for you by offering a free copy* of J@pan Inc on a quarterly basis -- each time we publish our Investor Insight special. Just contact Megumi Omori at megumi@japaninc.com to place your order. We even ship it to you free of charge.

-- Terrie Lloyd (Publisher, Japan Inc Communications KK)

*You must be a fund manager, portfolio manager, or analyst to qualify.

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