January 2005 Issue

On the cover: The Rise of Eizo Kobayashi How investing is a becoming Itochu's new business line

January 2005
No. 62

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January 2005 Issue


  The Rise of Eizo Kobayashi
Can Eizo Kobayashi, CE0 of the mammoth Itochu Corporation, build a sustainable business from his new investment strategies?


  Localization Services From a User's Point of View
Localization is a vague, all-encompassing word that can mean anything from moving the steering wheel of a car from one side to the other to changing the formatting for a telephone input box. But perhaps the most common perception of localization is actually wrong. "The biggest mistake is for people to think that localization is just taking a product and translating it," says Ulrich Henes, founder of the Localization Institute, a business that provides information and teaches the science of localization.


  A Marriage Maestro Wed to Innovation
Tokyo businessman Masahiro Hirose is a bit of a maverick. He runs one of Japan's most innovative wedding planning and production agencies, yet secretly he yearns to be a politician.


  No Terra Firma
An earthquake of magnitude six on the Japanese scale rocked central Niigata Prefecture, on the coast of the Sea of Japan, on October 23. David Boudreau, a software-consultant based in Nagaoka City, filed this first-hand account of the earthquake. The photos appear courtesy of the Nagaoka Shimbun

Art Project

  Embracing the Silent Voice of Secret Script
In feudal China women were fettered by brutal marriages and foot bindings and deprived of education. Those repressive conditions were perhaps one reason that several hundred years ago women in Hunan Province miraculously developed their own script, Nushu, literally, "woman's writing." This script gave them a method of self-expression and the means to write letters and poems to alleviate loneliness and foster solidarity with others of their sorority.


  The Compleat Education
International schools in Japan are selective, and the types of students who attend these schools you perhaps will not find in Belchertown or Hicksville USA.

Real Estate

  Tokyo's Office Stock Vulnerable in a Major Quake
Niigata prefecture, a mountainous region about 125 miles north of Tokyo, was struck by the nation's deadliest earthquake since 1995 on Oct. 23. The quake struck in Niigata at 5:56 p.m. local time, registering a magnitude of 6.5 as measured by U.S. Geological Survey seismologists. The area was shaken by aftershocks the day after, including one with a magnitude of 6.1. The series of quakes, the biggest since the Kobe earthquake, killed 39 and injured more than 2,100.


  When Gold Turns to Fool's Gold
Let's see a show of hands: how many of you have struggled with one or more buchos (division heads) during your stay in Japan? Be sure to include those in your own company, your suppliers and your clients...Uh-huh, just as I expected--everyone can share a story (or seven), from the mildly annoying to the I-am-outta-here-tomorrow, deal-breaking, bad bucho.

Letter From Ireland

  Japanese Getting into the Brogue
A refubrished Georgian period house, a moment's walk from leafy Stephen's Green in Dublin, Ireland, is not where you would expect to find teachers giving English conversation lessons to students in Japan.


  Secondhand Alchemy
JAPAN'S obsession with the latest consumer products, coupled with its throw-away culture and tightening government regulations, has created an entire industry around recycling and exporting "junk." The most notable segment of this industry is the secondhand car industry.


  Entering the Japanese market
Triangle Technologies assists relatively mature technology-based ventures in penetrating the market in Japan. Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Triangle's CEO, discusses the benefits of doing business in the Japanese market and the steps that high-tech companies should take to realize a successful market entry.


  In the Eye of a BrainStorm
Several hours before the doors opened on Neuroscience 2004, the San Diego Convention Center took on the feeling of a university campus at midterms.

Investor Insight

  Scandals Are a Feature of the Landscape, But Small Cap Stocks Are the Real Investment Story in Japan
This has strengthened overseas calls for better disclosure, better corporate governance and more comprehensive corporate social responsibility--which are being heard and generally responded to by Japan's regulators, the exchange authorities, and Japan's multinationals.

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