JIN-263 -- The Kids Are All Gone

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, Technology and Cultural News
Issue No. 263
Thursday, February 26, 2004

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@@ VIEWPOINT: The Kids Are All Gone

============ OUT NOW! ======================

In the MARCH issue of J@PAN INC magazine:

Is Kohei Minato for real? For 30 years, the maverick inventor has
been toiling away on his masterpiece: a magnetic machine that produces
more power than it uses. Now the orders are rolling in and investors are
salivating. We visit his backstreet Shinjuku laboratory to find out why.

Since 1997, Tokyo Designer's Week (TDW) has been marrying commerce
to art in boffo exhibitions bringing together international designers
and top-shelf corporate sponsors. As the organizers gear up for their
2004 festival, Roland Kelts speaks with participants both homegrown and
from afar.
READ IT HERE: http://www.japaninc.com/article.php?articleID=1299

>> Is TOKYO REAL ESTATE undergoing a REVIVAL? -- Or are massive
developments in the center of the city dragging down the value
of the fringes?

>> KDDI and DOCOMO show you the latest in cellphone shopping.

PLUS: this month's killer gadget gizmos, investing as the yen soars,
the latest consumer surveys, and ... forget the Oscars! Tarantino,
Coppola and Cruise have done it here -- and we'll show you
how to shoot your own movie in Japan.

Out NOW at (better) newsstands, and online at:

Check us out!
Temple University Japan will hold an information session for its top-
ranked Executive MBA program at its Minami-Azabu campus on February 28
at 11 a.m. This will be the final information session for classes
beginning in May 2004.

Applications are due April 1. The Financial Times ranks Temple as one
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Web: www.tuj.ac.jp/emba
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@@ VIEWPOINT: The Kids Are All Gone

Yes, we all know by now that the Japanese population is aging fast, so
is there really anything that exciting about just-released statistics
proving that fact yet again? Probably not, but sometimes just the plain
facts in front of our faces provide their own reason for concern.

Those statistics first: in a delightful little report released today by
the Japanese police, it turns out that in 2003, the number of driver
license holders aged 65 and older topped that of those aged 16 to 24
for the first time ever. The boys in blue added (presumably for the
benefit of magazine feature writers with not much in their notebooks)
that there were four driver license holders aged 100 or older, and that
the oldest was a 104-year-old man in Miyazaki Prefecture -- who
STILL drives. (Our gentle advice: steer clear of him.)

A cunning analyst might draw a few conclusions about the future of the
domestic auto industry. It is well known that older drivers change their
cars less frequently than younger ones, so it's not impossible to
forecast some sort of deleterious long-term effect.

All this makes for interesting speculation -- but nothing really prepares
one for the shock of going to Ueno zoo on a weekday.

When we turned up last week there were plenty of animals, but stunningly
few kids. Ten years ago, weekdays at Ueno zoo were actually more
crowded than weekends -- parties of school children from Tokyo thronged
the place, and they were even shipping in children from suburban Chiba,
Saitama and other nearby prefectures.

But now, explained a forlorn-looking zookeeper, there are about half as
many child visitors as there were ten years ago. That is not because
zoos are any less popular (certainly not judging by the expressions of
the scattered kids who were there last week), but because of the
declining birthrate issue dogging Japan.

As for the economics: Ueno zoo, it turns out, is in real financial
trouble. The dearth of kids at the gate means that zoo authorities
have to go cup-in-hand to the Tokyo metropolitan government for cash,
just to keep the pandas and baboons fed.

And the problem is not restricted to zoos. Theme parks, museums and
other child-oriented businesses are really feeling the pinch. The fact
that dating Japanese couples in their 20s seem to enjoy the same leisure
activities that 10-year olds delight in (collecting fluffy toys,
taking print-club pictures) should not disguise the crunch.

Japan needs more kids.

-- The Editors

Stay Competitive -- RELOCATE

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If it operates in Tokyo -- the world's MOST expensive city --
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================= EVENT =====================
G-MAC's "5th Annual Japan's Int'l Banking & Securities System Forum 2004"
Date: March 18 - 19
Location: Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)

This two-day forum provides a better understanding of front, middle
and back office systems with its concentrated agenda. Invited guest
speakers will give their domestic & global outlook on STP/ Banking
&Securities initiatives.

Also, leading solution providers will be presenting free Workshop
sessions presenting products & services in designing and implementing
a front/middle/back office strategy.
Tel: 81-3-5805-6070, email: info@gmacjapan.com, www.gmacjapan.com
Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo -- March Seminar

Ms. Ruriko Nomura is the President of Hopes Inc., a frontier company
aiming to establish an educational consulting field. Her presentation
is entitled: "Starting a Business Without Capital."
Come out and learn about the opportunities in the Japanese business
world that she discovered.

Date: Tuesday, March 2. Language: English
http://www.ea-tokyo.com Email: info@ea-tokyo.com
SUBSCRIBERS: 13,882 as of February 26, 2004

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


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