TT-537 -- Publishing the ACCJ Journal, ebiz news from Japan

* * * * * * * * * T E R R I E 'S T A K E * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd.

General Edition Sunday, October 11, 2009 Issue No. 537


- What's new
- News
- Candidate roundup/Vacancies
- Upcoming events
- Corrections/Feedback
- News credits

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Japan Inc., the publisher of this newsletter, is in both
the print and online publishing businesses. It will be of
no surprise to readers to hear that both types of media
have been under pressure, largely due to three major

1. The post-Lehman recession. Our publications have more
than 10 sales people visiting a database of around 5,000
different advertisers. What we are finding is that there is a
palpable fear in the marketplace that we're about to enter
a second and more severe down leg in the recession.
Once the shoe drops in the stock markets that the first-world
governments have spent all their current and future cash on
stimulus packages, and they're out of ammunition, panic
may spread again as it did last year. This fear is causing
all advertisers and their customers to cut back in their
marketing spending. Estimates are that overall media ad
spend in Japan fell 9.7% in the first half of this year.
That money which did get spent, went to leaders and niche
operators in each audience segment. Smaller operators with
no clear differentiator are getting squeezed out of business.
This has major repercussions for Dentsu and other
ad companies and of course for all forms of media.

2. Transition to online. For a number of years now, there
has been a movement of paying readers from paper to online
sources. This phenomenon hasn't stopped people from
buying/receiving paper publications, because paper is such
a convenient medium, however, it does mean that more and
more audience time is spent online and so the advertising
is going there as well. The result is that more and more
paper publications are having to go free -- which is
something we've been doing for a while now, and of course
to go online.

3. Changing sources of income. Because advertising spending
is down, and advertising is typically (but not always) done
by companies, online publishers are turning to making
money off their audiences instead. Some do it through
subscriptions, some through events, and others through
services (business and personal match-making, for example).
This change in revenue sources is already happening in the
USA in the recruiting media industry and we expect that in
Japan there will be a broad clash between the start-up online
firms who already have the technology down pat, and the
media groups who still own sizable audiences and seeing the
writing on the wall. In recruiting, think of a battle between
En-Japan versus the Mainichi Shimbun. Recruit of course
already owns assets in both sectors -- it is one very smart

This is all going to get very interesting. Indeed, Rupert
Murdoch's News Corporation has already announced a tie-up
with Softbank Investment to bring the Wall Street Journal
online to Japan later this year. So the question of whether
or not online charged content will be successful in Japan
will soon be answered. Right now, Japanese media companies
believe that news in particular cannot be sold online --
except possibly in small innocuous bites at JPY300/month on
your keitai. We hope the WSJ proves them wrong.

[Continued below...]

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In the online media sector, the move from ads to content is
well highlighted by the social networking websites.
Operators DeNA and Mixi are playing catch-up to upstart
Gree in trying to move from ad-generated revenue to
audience subscriptions (for games). Both companies are
launching a serious effort to ramp up their games
capabilities and recently DeNA bought a U.S. firm called
Aurora Feint, for its iPhone SNS platform-games connecting
technology. Billions of dollars are at stake in this
sector, and the companies involved know that they have to
move quickly.

Against this background of change and upheaval, Japan Inc.
is pleased to announce that it has won the rights to
publish the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ)
Journal, the flagship publication for Japan's largest foreign
business organization. Given that the Journal is a niche paper
publication, it might seem that our bidding for the rights to
publish the Journal is counterintuitive. However, we believe
that precisely because of the many changes going on in
the media industry, publishing the Journal actually represents
a sound business decision.

1. Brand counts.
As mentioned, the ACCJ is by far the largest foreign
business community in Japan, with approximately 3,000
members and more than a 1,300 companies represented. By
virtue of its size and energy compared to other business
groups, the ACCJ is an entity that has the history, the
experience, and consequently the reputation, to lobby at
government level. It punches well above its weight through
its regular output of highly professional opinion papers
that are thoroughly read by the Japanese ministries and are
often acted upon. A brand like the ACCJ engenders respect,
trust, and expectation -- all of which rub off on the
Journal publication and provide a stimulus for strong
content and subsequently relatively low-volume but
high-quality advertising. Advertisers want to be
associated with success.

2. Community counts.
Japan is a tough market, and foreign companies have learned
that collaboration sometimes leads to better competitive
edge -- exemplified by the Pharmaceutical, Medical
Instruments, and Banking sectors. The ACCJ provides
communities for such business sectors to network, gather
information, trade opportunities, and to lobby, thus making
it a compelling business activity. Members feel good about
being part of the ACCJ, and Journal documents this --
stimulating more membership to these communities, and thus
earning goodwill. This goodwill in turn translates into
opportunities to create audience-generated revenue.

3. Moving online.
One area not developed fully for the Journal as yet is its
potential online. Apart from our own Japan Inc. magazine
(which continues on as an online publication), there really
is no strong English-language periodical representing
foreign business in Japan, and so foreign firms wanting to
do business here struggle to find information that will
support a senior management case to release funds to
even make the first trip. However, the fact that there are
thousands of successful foreign firms already here as
members of the ACCJ, this will, once discovered by others
online, become a powerful tool for biz dev teams abroad
to look at getting in and trying for themselves. And FDI
is good for all of us. Therefore, one of our priorities will be
to get the Journal's substantial volume of content into a
proper SEO-friendly framework and let Google and Yahoo
crawl and index it. Where there is segmented online
traffic there will be strong down-stream business

If you are not a member of the ACCJ, perhaps in these
difficult economic times you should reconsider. You don't
have to be an American to join, and although the primary
objective of the ACCJ is to promote the interests of
American companies in Japan, there is enough mass and
influence inside the ACCJ for people of all nationalities
to find opportunities. Thanks to its comprehensive members
directory, hundreds of events a year, and self-selecting
nature (the fees are not cheap), it is a business networker's
paradise. We can safely say that there isn't another
foreign business organization in Japan that gives smaller
or new-to-Japan companies such great access to the leaders
of major Japan-experienced multinationals as does the ACCJ.

Anyway, from late December, Japan Inc. will launch its
first issue, the January edition, of the ACCJ Journal. We
are seeking input from both advertisers and people wanting
to contribute content to the publication. You can reach the
ACCJ Journal team at

Waiver: the opinion above are our own and do not represent
the views of the ACCJ.

Lastly, while we're talking about monetizing the audience
rather than running ads, don't forget that our sister company
Metropolis has a fantastic Halloween Party lined up this
year. Learning from last year, when 2,400 people showed up
unexpectedly, the Metropolis folks are keeping numbers at
a comfortable but energy-generating 1,500 people this time
around. The event will be at A-Life in Roppongi, on October


For over 20 years we have watched the good works of The
Japan Helpline, run by Ken Joseph. Always there 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year, they have been there for the
International Community with help ranging from emergency
assistance to help with day to day problems.

Ken regularly copies us on the many appeals they get from
foreigners all over the country, having personal crises and
begging for help. Ken selflessly responds to each person
and works through their problems -- seeing the police,
talking to immigration, landlords, and embassies, arranging
repatriation of coffins and belongings, and much more

It's a thankless task, and recently with the financial
crisis the donations to The Japan Helpline have fallen
dramatically. In times like these when things are tough, we
need The Japan Helpline even more. But they rely 100% on
private donations to keep going.

So we appeal to our readers to join us in being one of
their "One Hundred Club" members. If just 100 people sign
up to give 3,000 yen per month to Ken's team, they will be
able to cover their costs.

To donate:
Your support keeps The Japan Helpline going.

...The information janitors/


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+++ NEWS

- New debt relief program
- Google starts selling web apps subscriptions
- P2P developer acquitted in the High Court
- Anti-flu suit
- Versace to shut down in Japan

-> New debt relief program

Financial Services minister Shizuka Kamei has said that the
government will introduce legislation to provide a
proactive debt relief program for struggling small and
medium-sized companies. The program will involve the
government allowing companies to seek a moratorium on debt
from lenders, in return for repayment guarantees offered to
cover defaults. The bill will give companies five years to
repay their loans and other debts, subject to monitoring by
the government. ***Ed: Although this program will help many
zombie companies to continue doing business before going
under with even more debt in five year's time anyway, at
least it will help keep more people employed. This also
takes us to the question: is it cheaper/better for a government
to let companies go under and pay unemployment benefits,
or to put those employers on drip feed so that they can keep
their workers on board?** (Source: TT commentary from, Oct 10, 2009)

-> Google starts selling web apps subscriptions

Google is following in the footsteps of by
selling subscription-based web apps in Japan. The company
announced its foray into the Software as a Service (SaaS)
market this week, by saying that it has received orders
from travel company JTB, baby goods maker Unicharm, and
toilet maker Toto -- for many thousands of apps licences.
Google is charging JPY6,000 per worker per year for email
and 25GB of storage, a surprisingly low price that makes it
easy for Japanese firms who want to do away with their
Microsoft Exchange Server installations to do so. (Source:
TT commentary from, Oct 9, 2009)

-> P2P developer acquitted in the High Court

After having the threat of jail hanging over him for 3
years since he was found guilty by the Kyoto District Court
of criminal violation of copyright laws, the developer of
Winny, a highly popular P2P program that allows users to
share files, was acquitted of the same charges by the
Osaka High Court this week. The Hight Court gave three
reasons for Isamu Kaneko's acquittal:
1. The software was not written with the primary intention
of allowing software piracy.
2. The software was distributed randomly, which means that
Kaneko could not have been complicit in actual individual
cases of copying -- per Japan's law on that subject.
3. Kaneko demonstrated that he was against illegal
file-sharing when he exhorted users not engage in such
activity. (Source: TT commentary from, Oct 9,

-> Anti-flu suit

If you're worried about catching swine flu, and you're
male, then maybe you should consider buying Haruyama
Trading's new anti-virus suit -- which does NOT come with a
breathing apparatus. Rather, the suit is made with embedded
pathogen-busting Titanium Dioxide, which the company says
will retain its protective properties even after repeated
washing. ***Ed: Ti02 is already widely used in toiletware and
other surfaces where bug-busting properties are desired --
but it is hard to say if the level present in the suits
will have that much of a protective effect.** (Source: TT
commentary from, Oct 7, 2009)

-> Versace to shut down Japan operations

As a sign of the Japanese consumers' move away from luxury
brands, in light of the on-going recession, apparel maker
Gianni Versace says that it will close down its Japan
operations by the end of year. The company shuttered its
three company-owned stores in July, and is moving back to
a distributor model to sell its products -- something it
stopped doing after believing it could do a better job on
its own. Versace has been in Japan since 1981. (Source: TT
commentary from, Oct 6, 2009)

NOTE: Broken links
Many online news sources remove their articles after just a
few days of posting them, thus breaking our links -- we
apologize for the inconvenience.

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=> BiOS, a Division of the LINC Media group, is actively
marketing the following positions for customers setting up
or expanding in Japan, as well as other employers of


BiOS is currently looking for skilled helpdesk staff to
work on site in the exciting and growing operations of
one of our newest customers, a large multinational
medical company. We require both level 1 and level 2 so if
you are looking to use your knowledge to get experience on
a helpdesk, or looking to upgrade your helpdesk career,
this is the role for you. Duties range from standard help
desk receipt of calls and incident logging to the
resolution of issues and ad-hoc desk side support. This is
a varied and engaging role for you to really get in to.

As this is a predominantly customer-facing role you will
need to have excellent communication skills, never-failing
enthusiasm, and a go-getter/can-do attitude. You will be
helping people out with each and every call, so as well as
your excellent attitude, a few years experience in a
similar operation would be required. If you can show
certification such as an MCP or something similar, this
will help your application.

Remuneration is JPY3m – JPY5m, depending on your experience
and technical level.


- Sales Manager, intnl sw co., JPY7m - JPY8m + incentives
- Service Delivery Mgr, user support, JPY13m – JPY15m
- IT Support Analyst, Tokyo Law Firm, JPY3.5m – JPY5m
- FileNet Architect, European Insurance, JPY6m – JPY7.5m
- Helpdesk Engr, American investment bank, JPY4m – JPY4.5m

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There is a lot of freedom and trailblazing involved which
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Do you want to get hands-on experience learning how to do
business in Japan? Then, attend one of the Japan Market
Expansion Competition (JMEC) information sessions listed
below and find out how. All sessions are free, but
registration is required.

Register online at

The deadline to apply for the program is October 23, 2009.
For more information, please visit

- Thursday, October 15th, 7:30-9:00pm,
Temple University Japan Campus, Mita Hall room 503

- Tuesday, October 20th, 8:15-9:15am*,
Temple University Japan Campus, Azabu Hall, room 212

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Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar 17th of Oct, 2009

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involved, and to ask specific questions that are not
normally answered in business books. All materials are in
English and are Japan-focused.

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Speaking at MIDEM/MidemNet
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Speaker: Eiji Sasahara, Ph.D., MBA (plus 2 more speakers)
Topic: Cloud Computing Enables Consumer-Centered Healthcare

Details: Complete event details at
(RSVP Required)

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009
Time: 6:30 Doors open, Buffet Dinner included and cash bar
Cost: 4,000 yen (members), 6,000 yen (non-members)
Open to all: at The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan



In this section we run comments and corrections submitted
by readers. We encourage you to spot our mistakes and
amplify our points, by email, to

*** No feedback this week.

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trends in Japan, each beautifully designed full-color issue
brings you in-depth analysis of business, people and
technology in the world's second largest economy.

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