From the Editor

Back to Contents of Issue: May 2001

Our Web site is putting our magazine to shame of late. Thanks to the heroic efforts of our talented online team -- Akane Shimizu, Maxim Maltesky, and Kwok Lui -- has become a major online destination for news and commentary on technology and business in Japan. Laying out a magazine feature article using Web tools is no easy task, and our Web team does it beautifully every month. Our page views are soaring, our email newsletters are spreading like wildfire, and the feedback to our site has been tremendous. When you look at how expensive it is to produce, print, and distribute a paper magazine, it's easy to see why a lot of new content providers take the online-only route. And with our site getting so much attention ...

But I know a lot of you like to plop down on the sofa with this portable, light-weight paper-based format. I'm the same way. For me, nothing beats the touch, feel, and even smell of printed publications. Still, I must admit to reading more and more publications through AvantGo on my Palm PDA, which is particularly convenient on the subways and trains here in Tokyo. We're working now to deliver our content to handhelds. Our weekly email newsletters in particular would be well suited for PDA reading. They include:

  • Gadget Watch: covering the latest cool stuff in Japan
  • Wireless Watch: commentary on the week's wireless news from Japan
  • The J@pan Inc Newsletter: commentary on the week's business and technology news.

Free, they're great ways to keep up to date with tech happenings in Japan. And they all have that J@pan Inc feel to them.

Perhaps a reminder of what we're all about is in order.

At its core, J@pan Inc is about technology innovation in Japan. Specifically, it covers the products, companies, and people behind such innovation; more broadly, it touches upon related topics, such as VC funding, cultural trends, and academia-industry cooperation. Our mission is to cover these matters objectively, without preference, exaggeration, or boosterism.

Japan's prolonged recession is leading to government deregulation, a more flexible and transparent corporate culture, and changing attitudes in society toward entrepreneurialism. The nation's technology innovation, already cutting-edge, is increasing thanks to more entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and meritocracy-based work environments in which good ideas survive and flourish. Fresh concepts and entirely new industries are being born in Japan.

The wireless Web is a perfect example: Large companies like NEC and NTT DoCoMo are creating new handsets and services available only in Japan, and young Japanese startups like Cybird and Open Loop are devising unique m-commerce and security business models that can be found nowhere else in the world.

Japan is a test bed for the world's digital, robotic, and wireless future. Anyone involved in technology -- in any field, in any country -- will benefit from following Japan's high-tech developments. That's what J@pan Inc is for. Whichever medium you choose to access it through, we hope you find it to be a valuable, entertaining, and enlightening source of information.

Enjoy this month's issue!


p.s. We bid a fond farewell to Kwok Lui, our Web director. He was instrumental in getting our Web site to where it is today, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

The online education system studybox was introduced, not developed, by J-Cast. (Radar Screen, page 72, April 2001.)

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