Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Orix takes aquarium plunge


What do blubbery elephant seals, frail old folk and tranquil Japanese inns have in common?

They’re all things that one Japanese real estate developer has become familiar¬†with as it tries to expand its business from more traditional areas.

ARGENTINA ENVIRONMENTIn a bid to shake off the economic downtrun, Orix Real Estate is looking beyond sleek office buildings and swanky apartments, diversifying into properties such as aquariums, old people’s homes and “ryokan“.

“Don’t ask me about cap rates or development sites because I’m clueless,” Etsuaki Morikawa, who oversees the company’s business in these new sectors. “But you can ask me how to make fish tanks look more natural or attractive.”