JIN-235 -- New Crimes and the Old Economy

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. 235
Wednesday, July 16, 2003


++ Viewpoint: New Crimes and the Old Economy

++ Noteworthy News
-Japan's "God of Poverty"

============================= EVENT ==================================
G-MAC's "BPM/BPO Forum 2003"
Date: July 23rd
Location: Aoyama Diamond Hall (Tokyo), Japan.

This one day forum provides a better understanding of BPM/BPO with
its concentrated agenda. Invited guest speakers will give their
domestic & global outlook on BPM/BPO initiatives.

Also, leading solution providers will be presenting free Workshop
sessions presenting products & services in designing and implementing
a BPM/BPO strategy.
Tel 81-3-5805-6070, email: info@gmacjapan.com www.gmacjapan.com

++ Viewpoint: New Crimes and the Old Economy

Rattling home from work last night on the Chuo line, we spotted an odd sight:
A woman in her late thirties -- well-dressed, Louis Vuitton bag, et cetera --
was peering intently through one of those magnifiers that jewelers use for
close-up work.

Curious as to why she should have chosen the bumpy train ride home for such
an intricate operation, we inspected a little closer and the result was even
weirder. She was looking through the device at the screen of her mobile phone,
which turned out to be displaying a photograph of a page from the latest edition
of DIME magazine. The camera function on her top-of-the-line cellphone was
of such a high resolution that she could (with the help of the magnifier) read
the fashion pages perfectly on the mobile's tiny screen.

Opening the evening paper, we see that we are not the first to spot this new
trend. Bookshops and magazine stores across the capital are up in arms,
claiming that the practice of photographing magazine pages is tantamount to
shoplifting -- and that they have no idea how to stop it.

Voila! A brand new crime created, like so many others before it, by the march
of technology. But dig a little deeper, and there is something unique and very
revealing about this latest bit of illegality -- technically a copyright incident,
with a bit of gray-area larceny thrown in. You might think that we've been
here before with the likes of Napster, but this really is different. With Napster,
for example, the incentive to download music for free was huge -- CDs are
cripplingly expensive, and the forms in which Internet music can be downloaded
are convenient.

Snapping pages of a magazine, however, involves an entirely different set of
issues. This woman (and we suspect most of the neo-shoplifters) could easily
have afforded the 200 yen cover price for DIME, and the paper product seems
a lot easier to read than a mobile screen (which had her squinting like a

So: why does she prefer to read that way?

The simple answer is that a mobile phone is actually a very useful thing to
have on a train journey (to send and receive messages, play games, check the
weather -- and look at pictures), so why clutter her lovely handbag with a
magazine if she can have the fashion pages in a more compact form? As you look
around the train carriages here, it is immediately obvious that mobiles are
taking over from reading material of any type as the diversion of choice.

But a more complex analysis suggests an interesting clash of old and new media
forms. There are plenty of "keitai magazines" that supposedly offer fashion,
gossip, news and more through the mobiles. But what the "digital shoplifting" craze
really proves is this: online-only products have still not managed to recreate
the cachet of the printed page. People want print -- even if they have to take
a picture of it.

Long live the old economy.

--The Editors

"Camera phones cross moral, legal lines"

============================= EVENT ==================================
Mapping the road ahead
July 17th 2003, Tokyo

Join senior decision-makers and discuss the best strategies for
reversing the slide and to debate new directions for the industry.
Meet industry leaders from Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor,
BMW Japan, Volkswagen Group and many more...

A special 10% discount is applicable for J@pan Inc readers.
When you register, simply quote "E3C" when you receive your
J@pan Inc discount. Register online at:

(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

** Japan's "God of Poverty"

In Brief: Japan's economic tzar is taking the political heat again.
Members of Japan's opposition party submitted a censure motion against
Heizo Takenaka on Tuesday, calling him "the god of poverty" for creating
the current state of the economy. Opposition leaders cited high levels
of unemployment, company failures, increased suicides and low share
prices. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi promised to vote the censure

Commentary: We predicted in our January 2003 issue that this would be
the year of Takenaka's trial. Takenaka was rumored to be headed out of
public service and into American academia in a report published in the
New York Times last month. Koizumi's office issued a vehement denial --
and Takenaka himself threatened to submit a formal "objection" to the
Times' editors. Far as we know, no "objection" was submitted. And since
then, the NYT has lost some serious credibility and the Japanese economy
has actually shown some signs of life. Takenaka was instrumental in the
Resona rescue-plan -- and we bet he'll hang in there.

"Japan's economic tzar under fire"

"Takenaka's Trial", J@pan Inc, January 2003.

============================= EVENT ==================================
"Informal business networking event over drinks and light buffet.

Date: Friday July 18th 7PM

Share Ideas and Resources. Look for Cooperation/ Partnership.
Meet the creators of www.TokyoNOOK.com (a creative way to target businesses
in Tokyo). Meet innovative companies such as www.Dynamicweb.jp a content
management solution from Europe which is splashing into Japan.
Earlybird discount. www.international-promotion.com or
contact paul@next-unit.com - 03-5774-1456"

============================= EVENT ==================================
ICA Special Summer Networking Party - Open to all
Come and network with Tokyo's top IT and Business Professionals.
Date: Thursday, July 17, 2003
Location: Quest Bar in Roppongi -
3F, 5-3-1 Roppongi
(one block from Almond down the hill)
Tel: 03-5414-2225
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Cost: 2,000 yen all you can drink
(Draft Beer, Bottled Beer, House Wine, Soda, and Juice).
RSVP Not Required
SUBSCRIBERS: 7,259 as of July 15, 2003

Written and edited by Leo Lewis and Roland Kelts (editors@japaninc.com)


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