Junko's Feed
Jul 29, 2015

Tourism boom drives Japan to convert offices into hotels

TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) – Record tourists to Japan are
stretching the ability of hotels to accommodate them in a sector
constrained by high costs, forcing developers to think out of
the box for means to quickly increase lodging options without
breaking the bank.

Japan is on target this year to beat the record 13.4 million
visitors in 2014, helped by a weak yen and easier visa
requirements for some Asian countries. The government is aiming
to attract 20 million visitors by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the
Olympics, to revitalise the world’s third-biggest economy.

Jul 29, 2015

Nomura’s quarterly net profit more than triples on stocks boom

TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) – Japanese brokerage Nomura
Holdings’s first-quarter net profit more than tripled
as strong demand from customers to trade domestic stocks boosted
its commissions.

But, like for many of its global peers, weak fixed income
trading operations hurt Nomura’s wholesale business. The tough
market conditions that led to the fixed income weakness could
impact Nomura’s stated plans to turn its overseas business
profitable this year.

Jul 26, 2015

Tokyo office rents crawl to four-year high, new units on horizon

TOKYO (Reuters) – GRAPHIC: Tokyo office rents: link.reuters.com/hag35w

Tokyo office rents have climbed to their highest since April 2011 as the economy gathers steam and demand for office space increases. But property analysts say the growth in rents is small and will be capped by imminent launches of new office towers.

Average rent for prime office space in Tokyo rose 4.8 percent to 17,401 yen ($139) per tsubo, or 3.3 square meters, in June from 16,607 yen a year earlier, according to broker Miki Shoji. But rents are not rising as fast as expected by real estate research firms – a sign that the government’s stimulus policies have yet to filter through the entire economy.

Jul 13, 2015

Top chefs change places in worldwide kitchen swap

TOKYO (Reuters) – David Kinch, the chef-owner of Manresa in Los Gatos in California, prepared dinner in a kitchen at Narisawa in Tokyo. Meanwhile, Narisawa owner Yoshihiro Narisawa was cooking at Attica in Melbourne.

Kinch and Narisawa were among a collective of 37 top chefs who participated in the Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle, traveling to different countries to cook in someone else’s kitchen, preparing an eight-course menu using local ingredients for one evening.

Jul 1, 2015

Japan’s priciest land plot hits 22-yr high even as national prices slip

TOKYO, July 1 (Reuters) – Japan’s priciest plot of land hit
a 22-year high even as nationwide prices notched a seven-year
slide, widening the divide between major cities and the outlying
regions, a government survey showed on Wednesday.

A block in Tokyo’s Ginza district containing the posh
Kyukyodo stationery shop rose 14 percent last year to 27 million
yen a square metre ($21,000 a square foot), the highest for any
plot in Japan since 1993, the survey by the National Tax Agency

Jun 5, 2015

Trip Tips: Japan hotels offer tight space for a tight budget

TOKYO, June 5 (Reuters) – With Japan’s tourist numbers and
hotel prices on the rise thanks to a weaker yen, developers are
getting creative with a new niche line in stylish but cheap
accommodation in bunks, cabins and pods of all shapes and sizes.

Even a tiny double room in a hotel with limited service can
set you back 30,000 yen ($240) a night in central Tokyo these
days. But if you look a little more, you can bed down in comfort
for a mere fraction of that.

Jun 2, 2015

PAG close to selling Daimler Japan properties in $800 mln deal-sources

TOKYO, June 2 (Reuters) – Hong Kong-based investment firm
PAG is in the final stages of selling for at least 100 billion
yen ($800 million) properties it bought from Daimler AG’s
Japanese truck business, people with knowledge of the
matter said.

The deal to sell the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp
properties is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks,
the people said, without giving any details on the prospective
buyers. The sources declined to be identified due to the
confidentiality of the process.

May 26, 2015

Cerberus, Bain sell stakes in Japanese companies as market soars

TOKYO, May 26 (Reuters) – U.S. buyout funds Bain Capital and
Cerberus Capital Management sold big stakes in two Japanese
companies as the stock market surges – taking profits and
avoiding an expected bout of volatility if the U.S. Federal
Reserve raises rate later in the year, investors said.

The buyout specialists’ sales came as the market
capitalization of shares listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s
main board hit a record high last week, surpassing the previous
peak hit in December 1989, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deployed
pro-growth economic policies to boost investor sentiment.

May 22, 2015

Orix only confirmed bidder for Kansai airport rights after more drop out

TOKYO, May 22 (Reuters) – Orix Corp and partner
Vinci SA are the only firms to have placed a confirmed bid for
$18 billion rights to run Japan’s Kansai International Airport
after people involved in the process said four additional
companies including Mitsubishi Corp had dropped out.

A tepid showing for the marquee project on the last day of
bidding may bode ill for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s effort to
involve private companies in major infrastructure projects.

May 20, 2015

Japan bidders tepid about Kansai airport, casting doubt on Abe asset sales

TOKYO, May 20 (Reuters) – Days before the sale of Kansai
International Airport closes, just one Japanese company has
pledged to bid, casting doubt on a marquee project in Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe’s effort to involve private companies in
major infrastructure projects.

The 10-month initial bidding for the rights to run Japan’s
fifth-busiest airport is meant to start a wave of public-private
partnerships to attract investment to Japan, chip away at the
government’s massive debt and introduce more market rigour to
infrastructure management.