Winter 2006 Issue

Winter 2006Winter 2006

On the cover: Performance Creates Value
ValueCommerce's Brian Nelson Tells How it is Done

Winter 2006
(December 2006)
No. 70

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Message from the Publisher

Terrie LloydTerrie LloydBy Terrie Lloyd

This Year has been a banner year for Japan. After something like 14 years of near recession, the country has discovered that there is such a thing as rebirth. Exporters are experiencing massive profit growth, and are busy reinvesting in plant, M&A, and R&D.

Watching TV last night reminded me, though, that this rebirth could be temporary. I can’t help noticing that Shinzo Abe, the nation’s new PM, is no Junichiro Koizumi. Maybe it’s just the foreigner in me, but I liked the way Koizumi jousted with the establishment and threatened the nation’s many cozy self-interest groups. I just don’t see that in the Abe government, so one wonders whether the period of reconstruction is now over. If it is, then that means the opportunities for foreigners will decrease as well, as the wagons are circled for the next down curve.


"The 2007 Problem"

By Burritt Sabin

Tokyo’s hotel market near saturation

The Tokyo hotel industry is facing a crisis dubbed by the blogosphere the “2007 Problem,” in short, the entry into the market of a slew of luxury hotels by the end of 2007.


Tips for Finding an International School

Tips for Finding an International SchoolBy Willhemina Wahlin
Experience is the best teacher.

There’s no doubt that placing your child in a Japanese school at a young age will be a valuable experience for them, immersing them in Japanese language and culture, but this can be tougher on older children with no Japanese skills. As excellent as many Japanese schools are, a sharp jump in the incidents of bullying are off-putting for many foreign parents, who are increasingly turning to international schools to provide a more familiar environment for their children.


International Schools Directory

The choice of schools will always depend on the needs of your child and what is available in your area, but with this list of the Tokyo area, we hope to make the search just that little bit easier. While there are many International schools in Japan that cater to native speakers of other languages, we have limited our list to English-language and bilingual schools in Tokyo.


Japan Third Party - The Value of Being Bilingual and Bicultural

Kazuaki MoriKazuaki MoriBy Jack Beazly
How a niche player has worked its way into the Japanese back offices, with the help of some of the world’s best-known technology brands.

When most people think of outsourcing, their thoughts quickly turn to Ross Perot and the massive outsourcing business he formed as the EDS Corporation out of Plano, Texas. Indeed, in terms of size and singular focus, EDS was the first and still one of the best examples of the outsourcing concept. Born in 1962, the company offered American companies and various arms of the US government, including the military, a new way to cut costs in non-core areas of expertise, namely IT infrastructure and services. It was a powerful vision and today, EDS is still a major vendor of outsourced services to GM, as well as being the second largest IT services outsourcing company overall in the world, after IBM’s Global Services operation.


The Ghost is in the Details

By Emily Kubo

The problem of ghostwritten MBA applications in Japan.

In March, 2002, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business expelled a student due to graduate in the spring. The unidentified student was purportedly removed because of “material misrepresentation” in his application. In plain English, he had submitted a fraudulent application.


The Tyler Foundation

The Tyler FoundationThe Tyler FoundationBy Kim Forsythe
Cricket stars gather for leukemia fundraiser.

Once there was the sweetest, smiley-est of toddlers–Tyler Ferris. There was just one problem. Tyler had a very aggressive and difficult-to-cure form of leukemia. In spite of nearly two years of treatment, including a bone marrow transplant, Tyler’s short life ended in June of 2005. His parents, Mark Ferris and I, Kim Forsythe, reeling from the unacceptable loss of our baby, took the only action we thought was acceptable to us, and created an NPO to provide support for kids and their families who face a similar experience.


Brian Tannura, Pioneer of the Vending Machine Nation

Brian TannuraBrian TannuraBy Burritt Sabin

Japan has the world’s highest vending machine density, with one machine for every 23 people, according to the Vending Machine Manufacturers Association. If ever there was an example of a saturated market, surely this is it.


The Hay Fever Man

Nobuyuki MatsuiNobuyuki MatsuiBy Jack Beazley
Photocatalysts do more than clean windows and toilets.

Like this writer’s own 9-year old daughter, many kids in Japan suffer from hay fever or related allergies such as asthma. Every spring and sometimes in the fall as well, their eyes go red and itchy, their mucous membranes swell up. Each day starts with a sore throat and runny nose, not to mention, on really bad days, the pounding headaches. As parents, we can’t help feeling slightly helpless when hay fever hits (“kafunsho” in Japanese), and dream of finding a solution to the problem.



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