Junko's Feed
May 13, 2014

Michelin-starred Japanese chef fears loss of simple, traditional food

TOKYO (Reuters) – At his three-star Michelin restaurant in Tokyo, Yoshihiro Murata serves elaborate 12-course meals of delicate Japanese food. But his real passion is to make sure simple, traditional food is passed on to the next generation.

Japanese food is now widely available around the world, and “washoku” – traditional cooking – was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO last year. But Murata fears that even though sushi has become universal, appreciation for Japanese food is declining in its homeland.

Apr 9, 2014

GIC to buy Tokyo property for $1.3 bln from Lone Star-sources

TOKYO/SINGAPORE, April 9 (Reuters) – Singapore state
investment firm GIC Pte Ltd will buy a Tokyo property
from U.S. investment fund Lone Star Funds for some 134 billion
yen ($1.3 billion), the highest price since Japan’s real estate
market recovery accelerated last year, three people with direct
knowledge of the sale told Reuters.

Lone Star had put up the property, called Meguro Gajoen, for
auction late last year for at least 96 billion yen. The property
comprises a complex of office towers, with the Japanese unit of
Amazon.com Inc its main tenant.

Mar 28, 2014

Sekisui House agrees to buy Tokyo property for $720 million: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sekisui House Ltd (1928.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is buying an office tower in central Tokyo for 74 billion yen ($720 million), as property prices rise to levels that allow lenders to recoup losses from a bust that followed the global financial crisis.

The Osaka-based home builder has agreed to buy the 20-storey, 41-year-old Kokusai Akasaka Building in an upscale commercial and business district, according to four people briefed on the deal. The tower is largely occupied by affiliates of NTT DoCoMo Inc (9437.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Japan’s largest mobile phone operator.

Mar 18, 2014

Land prices in Japan’s big cities rise for the first time in 6 years

TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) – Land prices in Japan’s largest
cities rose for the first time in six years in 2013 while
declines slowed in the rest of the country, data showed on
Tuesday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s loose-money policies
spurred asset purchases.

Commercial land prices in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya rose 1.6
percent on average, reversing a 2012 fall of 0.5 percent, while
residential land was up 0.5 percent, compared with the previous
year’s 0.6 percent decline, according to a survey released by
the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Mar 14, 2014

Yoshinori Sato: the man behind the Japanese arms race

KURASHIKI, Japan (Reuters) – Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka, the New York Yankees’ latest big-money signing, have much in common.

They enjoyed hugely successful high school and professional careers in Japan, both winning the Eiji Sawamura Award for the top starting pitcher and earning multiple All Star call-ups before signing mega-deals in Major League Baseball.

Mar 2, 2014

Insight – Abenomics struggles to deliver Japan public works boom

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Tokyo asked for bidders to build what is expected to be the world’s largest fish market on the city’s vacant eastern edge there were no takers.

In a graphic illustration of how the hopes for “Abenomics” are falling short, the city was forced to raise by two-thirds its budget for the project to more than $1 billion (597 million pounds) before some of Japan’s top construction companies stepped forward.

Mar 2, 2014

Abenomics struggles to deliver Japan public works boom

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Tokyo asked for bidders to build what is expected to be the world’s largest fish market on the city’s vacant eastern edge there were no takers.

In a graphic illustration of how the hopes for “Abenomics” are falling short, the city was forced to raise by two-thirds its budget for the project to more than $1 billion before some of Japan’s top construction companies stepped forward.

Feb 25, 2014

In Japan, Goldman, Fortress scout for runway, solar, infrastructure deals

TOKYO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc is
considering putting money into a major Japanese airport, the
latest foreign investor to eye infrastructure projects as Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to open up the market.

The U.S. bank may invest in New Kansai International
Airport, a regional hub in Osaka bay and the country’s
fifth-largest airport by passenger traffic, once operating
rights are put up for sale, said Ankur Sahu, co-head of
Goldman’s Asia-Pacific merchant banking division.

Feb 14, 2014

Cerberus sells Tokyo land parcel to Shimizu for $127 mln-sources

TOKYO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Cerberus
Capital Management LP has sold a 1,900 square meter
block of land in Tokyo’s posh Aoyama shopping district to
Japanese general contractor Shimizu Corp for 13 billion
yen ($127 million) as the U.S. investment fund tries to recoup
gains from its Japanese assets.

The land was owned by Cerberus’ fully owned real estate
developer, Showa Jisho Co, and is located in the area that
houses such global luxury brands as LVMH, Bulgari and
Celine. It currently is used as a parking lot.

Feb 13, 2014

Equis Funds to invest $500 mln in Japanese solar projects

TOKYO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Alternative energy investment firm
Equis Funds Group plans to raise $500 million over the next year
to fund solar energy projects in Japan where the use of
renewable energy is expected to at least double over the next 15
years.

Equis has already collected funds from foreign investors
keen to tap a rare opportunity to invest in Japanese
infrastructure, a sector largely financed by domestic
corporations, company partner Adam Ballin said on Wednesday.