JIN-187 -- A Decade of Battling NTT -- Koichi Suzuki in the Spotlight

J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
T H E J @ P A N I N C N E W S L E T T E R
Commentary on the Week's Business and Technology News

Issue No. 187
Thursday, July 3, 2002


++ Viewpoint: A Decade of Battling NTT -- Koichi Suzuki in the Spotlight

++ Publisher's Note

++ Noteworthy News
- Toyota to be First to Market with Fuel Cell Car
- Koizumi Carves out a Compromise with LDP on Postal Reform
- Number of Japan's Internet Users to Jump 50 Percent in Four Years

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++ Viewpoint: A Decade of Battling NTT -- Koichi Suzuki in the Spotlight

Koichi Suzuki is not afraid of a good fight. In fact, for the past 10 years,
he's been doing battle with heavyweight champ NTT. Suzuki is the man in
charge of Internet Initiative Japan, the company that helped introduce
the Internet to Japan a decade ago and that continues to keep companies linked
to the Net in the broadband era.

On paper, IIJ, as the company is known, is no match for NTT. IIJ has sales
of around $300 million a year. NTT? More than $90 billion last year. IIJ group
companies have about 1,000 employees; NTT has about 200,000. Yet as Henry Scott-
Stokes shows in his feature "Man with an Edge" in the July issue of J@pan Inc,
Suzuki and IIJ have held up admirably against the colossus.

But it hasn't been easy. As recently as May 21, IIJers were on the edge of
their seats, wondering if a massive bank loan would come through. It did --
a six-year loan worth about 15 billion yen. Analysts have been relatively
optimistic about the company's fate since then, even as its sister company,
Crosswave, traded in New York at the dangerous $1 level.

Crosswave and IIJ aren't exactly household names in New York. Look for them
to list closer to home, perhaps even in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy
the profile of Suzuki and his business in our latest issue, now available online
or at local bookstores.

-- Bruce Rutledge

Link (password protected):

++ Publisher's Note

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The latest issue of J@pan Inc magazine is now available online!
Click here for the lowdown: http://www.japaninc.com/contents.php?issueID=38

Subscribers can access our hot-off-the-press features, including:

- Martha, Wal-Mart and the Next American Invasion
Martha Stewart's empire is reeling under the weight of a stock scandal.
Roland Kelts explains why Japan is looming larger in her future and how
other American retailers like the gigantic Wal-Mart aim to shake things
up in Japan.

- Wireless China: Japan + 400 million
NTT DoCoMo's European partners are bullish on Japan's favorite
business model, but a web of regulations and a bit too much hype may
stand in the way.

- Man with an Edge
Ten years after helping introduce the Internet to Japan, IIJ's
Koichi Suzuki is still fighting NTT. Henry Scott-Stokes wrings out
a few home truths.

J@pan Inc: www.japaninc.com
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** Toyota to be First to Market with Fuel Cell Car

Extract: Toyota plans to sell its fuel cell hybrid car to businesses
and research centers by the end of the year, making it the first carmaker
with a fuel cell vehicle on the market. The automotive industry is
focused on fuel cell technology, which uses clean-burning
hydrogen to power cars, and the fact that Toyota moved up its release of
the FCHV-4 by a year to 2002 is significant. While carmakers, including
Toyota, say they don't see fuel cells being used widely to power cars
until 2010 or so, within the industry there is a fierce race to get the
new engines in cars and on the market sooner than that. In the early
stages of this race, Toyota is out in front.


"Power, Style, and (Cough) Smog" from January 2002 issue of J@pan Inc


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** Koizumi Carves out a Compromise with LDP on Postal Reform

Extract: Late on Tuesday, prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and the
ruling elite of the LDP completed a compromise on a package of
bills to set up a public corporation to handle postal deliveries,
Reuters reported. The compromise spelled the end to any claim
Koizumi had to being a rebel within his own party.

Koizumi's long insistence on privatizing postal services fizzled
when he agreed to tight restrictions on any private firm delivering
the mail. Yamato Transport, which would benefit from real reform
of the mail delivery system, said the latest compromise means "increased
regulation," not deregulation.

The weak compromise on postal delivery reforms does not bode well for
those interested in reforming the postal savings system, analysts said.
One analyst told Reuters that the LDP old guard just hopes to keep Koizumi
popular but not very effective.

Reuters wire

"Running on Empty" from May 2002 issue of J@pan Inc

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++ Number of Japan's Internet Users to Jump 50 Percent in Four Years

Extract: A government white paper says Japan can expect the number of people
using the Internet to jump from 55.9 million at the end of 2001 to 87.2 million
in the next four years. The report says that in 2001 an additional 8.9 million
users began accessing the Internet. The fastest growing group of users were those
using high-speed connections -- that group numbered 3.9 million in March, which
represents a fourfold rise over the year earlier.


"Broadband Wars" from the December 2001 issue of J@pan Inc

SUBSCRIBERS: 5,748 as of July 3, 2002

Written by Bruce Rutledge (bruce@japaninc.com)

Edited by J@pan Inc staff (editors@japaninc.com)


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