Publisher's Message -- No Point Standing Still

Terrie LloydTerrie LloydBy Terrie Lloyd

There are still plenty of venture capital firms making moves.

As well as market entry consulting services, J@pan Inc magazine’s parent company, Japan Inc. Holdings (JIH), also provides advisory services for foreign and Japanese firms looking for investors and venture-mezzanine funds. Even now, JIH is active in the market and so is in good shape to be able to comment on the current trends in the venture capital and lower-end private equity markets. The prognosis is that while VC money for most sectors is still hard or getting harder to find, two interesting new types of investor have started emerging over the last six months


From the Editor

Michael CondonMichael CondonBy Michael Condon

As the concrete and iron of Tokyo starts to melt into the summer haze it’s the bulls that are coming out of hibernation. They didn’t quite make spring, but we are starting to see some now. After six months of doomsday proclamations, the chief economists of some banks, and their brethren who watch from the relative safety of academia, are starting to hint that we may be able to see some improvement soon.


Trends -- Reality Bytes

Cyber figure ARisCyber figure ARisBy Michael Kerferl, CScout Japan

Augmented reality (AR) is a marketer’s dream, and it is about to hit home.

As digital devices become a more integrated part of everyday life, we live much more of our social lives in digital spaces: writing blogs, sharing photos and generally linking to new information. What happens when we start to live our real-world lives through a digital filter?



Executive Interview -- Mark Loomis

Mark LoomisMark LoomisBy Chris Betros

Staying in for the long haul in one of the world’s most lucrative cosmetics markets.

Times may be tough for the economy in Japan, but women still want to look their best. One company helping them to do that is multibrand cosmetics powerhouse, Estée Lauder KK, which has had a presence in Japan for 42 years.


Executive Interview -- Adam Salzer

Adam SalzerAdam SalzerBy Chris Betros

Surviving in the new economic world order

Amid the ongoing economic crisis, many companies are being forced to restructure themselves. Some do it well, while others flounder. Specialists are often called in to help. One of those specialists is Salzer Consulting, a Hong Kong-based company with offices in Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.


Technology -- Out of the Ether

Illustration: Cloud ComputingBy Rob Churcher

Nagano-based server company JMF is using cloud computing to provide cheap, eco-friendly solutions to clients

It’s a simple and yet complex concept - a virtual server. The idea of pulling out the clunky piece of hardware that is at the heart of a business’ information processing system and surrendering it to the ether can be a difficult proposition for some business owners. “Cloud computing” is becoming more of a buzz word as Internet infrastructure rapidly improves around the globe and desktop and mobile devices increasingly piggyback processing power that exists elsewhere.


Executive Interview -- Shingo Hoshino

Shingo Hoshino, FX consulting director at Currency Online.Shingo HoshinoFX consulting director at Currency Online

Currency Online was established as Elldridge Lynch in New Zealand in 1986 and since then has offered businesses and individuals an easy and secure way to exchange currencies and arrange payment to accounts worldwide. We have a branch office in Tokyo to better serve individuals and companies in Japan who have a need for foreign currency.


The Economy -- The Big Slip

Illustration of a car in the dark in front of a wall.By Edward Hugh and Claus Vistesen

What has happened to Japan’s economy?

Japan’s economy just does not seem to be able to catch a break at the moment. GDP contracted at an annual pace of over 15.2 percent in the first three months of this year, while industrial output fell by over 34.5 percent following a contraction in exports which was nearer to the 40 percent mark.



Defense -- Crossing the Line

Aircraft Carrier MSDF HyugaAircraft Carrier MSDF HyugaBy Alex Calvo

Should Japan have aircraft carriers?

Aircraft carriers have been for the last few decades almost the exclusive domain of the United States, which has a total of 11, one of them based in Japan. Although a reduced number of countries, like France and Britain, or nearer to Japan, Thailand and India, have some of the smaller variety, Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force doesn’t have any such ship, and their construction or purchase abroad is not included in current naval plans.


Entrepreneurism -- Business From the Ground up

Sales department manager Masayo NamikiMasayo NamikiBy Michael Condon

For young foreigners in Japan, Sakura House may seem ubiquitous, but it remains a small business at heart

During the numbing hangover of the post-bubble days of the early 1990s, a real estate man found himself wandering the streets of Tokyo looking for direction. In the mid-1980s, land in Ginza was said to be priceless while real estate in the remainder of Tokyo, wasn’t far off. But when the party was over at the end of the bubble era, the prices of overvalued properties came crashing down.



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