Business Break & Measure for Measure

AirplaneTowards greener skies
Haneda is jumping on the eco-bandwagon: Tokyo Electric Power and trading house Mitsui announced that they will join forces and build a 2 megawatt solar system on the roof of the international cargo terminal at Haneda Airport, due to start in October 2010. The facility is predicted to generate 10 percent of the terminal’s electricity, and Tokyo Electric has reported the project will cut 850 tons of CO2 emissions annually. The move to solar power will be another boost towards the nation’s goal of cutting CO2 emissions per kilowatt-hour by 20 percent over five years, compared to 1990 levels. Unfortunately, this won’t do anything to curb skyrocketing ticket prices. Solar-powered jets, anyone?

Break Out Business
India: Negotiations are underway for a collection of apartments, restaurants and shopping malls to be constructed on the outskirts of New Delhi. In cooperation with Indian authorities, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai are making an effort to encourage Japanese SMEs (who are concerned over the quality of essential services) to set up in India.

Hainan Island, China: H.I.S Co., one of the biggest travel agencies in Japan, has established a travel agency on China’s Hainan Island—also known as Pearl Cliffs. In partnership with the Shanghai Airlines Group, H.I.S are hoping to attract Japanese tourists to the resort island, and is due to open in November.

Thailand: Costing 6.2 billion baht, or about 18.6 billion yen, Honda has recently opened up a new plant in Ayutthaya, Thailand. The unit will produce the Accord sedan, and hopes to double vehicle output capacity in Thailand to 240,000 units, the Japanese automaker said.

Saudi Arabia: Free use of offices and business advice will be given to Japanese firm who plan to start commerce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and The Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East are offering up to two months of services per company, out of their newly opened Business Support Office in Riyadh.



Mr. Postman—Give me that house!
In a bid to increase revenue sources, Japan Post Holdings Co. have announced that they are going to get into the property business. In cooperation with Mitsui Fudosan Residential Co., their first project will be a redevelopment of a 2,350-square-meter site in Tokyo’s Meguro ward, turning them into 50-60 housing units. Will this mean our postman can double up as our realty agent?

LED Video Displays in Shibuya


Analyzed for ads
Avix Inc., the maker of LED video displays used in commercial-use video billboards, are introducing a new technology that can evaluate and record information about the people who are looking at the advertisement. Software for cameras that are fitted onto the advertisement will be able to judge gender and age through a person’s face, in the hope of raising the utility value of outdoor advertisements. The first camera has already started being used in Shibuya.

JAL LogoMapping the way
Japan Airlines (JAL) has launched an English-version of its highly successful Tokyo JAL MAP. The service provides interactive information regarding shopping, sightseeing and hotels in the Tokyo area, making it easier than ever for international visitors to dress like Geisha in Asakusa and eat sushi in Tsukiji.

CarBaby’s got back
Toyota has developed the world’s first rear window curtain-shield air bag to protect back seat passengers in the event of a rear-end collision. The airbags are hidden in the top lining of the rear window, inflating in the shape of a curtain that becomes a protective barrier between the passenger’s head and the window. Toyota’s upcoming iQ micro car will be the first to see the new airbags, as the car’s lack of space between the backseat and rear window makes it the ideal guinea pig. Toyota wants to boost it’s safety reputation by installing side airbags as well in all of their models.

IPO Report
After a shockingly quiet summer, listings on exchanges have picked up. A few particularly interesting ones include Hulic Co., a privately held real estate company, is pending being listed on November 11 2008, on an undecided (although we hear they are aiming for the 1st section) of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). Investors may be reluctant to deal with this Tokyo-based company, as the real estate industry is facing a real battering in Japan, but there are rumors that Mizuho Investor Securities are already planning on buying up some of their shares.

Another interesting IPO, scheduled to start trading on November 5, is Naigai Trans Line Ltd., a Japanese warehouse operator specializing in international freight transportation. Using all five major domestic ports, the company deals with direct shipment to 24 countries, and 41 cities all over the world. Naigai has enjoyed a stable growth, with increasing exports to other Asian countries. They have also tried to offset the oil price hikes by including fuel surcharges within the selling price when sealing the contract. They are looking to list on the 2nd section of the TSE.

The TSE Mothers section for venture companies saw Linical Co. making a debut on October 27. The Osaka-based clinical testing service provider established itself in 2005 with nine employees, growing to employ 98 staff in just three years. The company is best known for its clinical trial monitoring and quality controls. It was also ranked 4th place in the ‘6th Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Japan Technology Fast 50’ list for biggest profit growth within Japan’s technology, media and telecommunications sector within the last three years. They are working towards placing Japan’s top ten pharmaceutical firms on their client list.


Measure For Measure

36The number of minutes it takes to get to Narita Airport from Tokyo on the new train line.

1018The number of companies that went bankrupt.

330,000The number of Foreign workers in Japan—the largest number ever to date.

150The number of Lehman employees that Nomura have hired.