Junko's Feed
Dec 13, 2013

Soccer-From Tokyo banker to J.League mascot: the birth of Koyanon

HIROSHIMA, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Kaoru Koyano’s unlikely career arc has taken him from dark-suited investment banker to plum-purple professional sports mascot. In between, he was called in to fix the balance sheet of the hottest team in Japanese soccer, Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

When Sanfrecce sealed their second straight J.League title earlier this month with a 2-0 win over Kashima Antlers, Koyano took the field to hold up the banner for fans alongside fist-pumping players, the culmination of an unlikely year of reinvention.

Nov 27, 2013

Hot springs are passe: Japan’s tourist towns covet casinos

OTARU/SASEBO, Japan (Reuters) – Ageing and shrinking, Japan’s country towns want to gamble away their economic and demographic woes.

With lawmakers planning to submit legislation soon to open Japan to casino gambling, likely in time for the 2020 Olympics, several small cities, hot spring towns and tourist destinations are pushing to get one of the coveted licenses.

Nov 24, 2013

Bureaucrats seek to pick winners with $1 billion ‘Cool Japan’ Fund

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s industry bureaucrats once guided the nation’s world-beating drive to export cars and electronics.

Now that Toyota and Sony have been household names worldwide for decades, the government wants to make sure the rest of the world buys Japanese sake, sashimi and anime.

Nov 13, 2013

Lone Star wins right to buy Osaka train, warehouse operator-sources

TOKYO, Nov 13 (Reuters) – U.S. distressed asset investor
Lone Star Funds has won the right to buy the Osaka Prefectural
Urban Development Co, half-owned by Japan’s Osaka prefecture,
for 78 billion yen ($783 million), two people with direct
knowledge of the transaction told Reuters on Wednesday.

Lone Star outbid its peer, Fortress Investment Group
, and a local railway company, Nankai Electric Railway Co
, to buy the company that runs train lines and a
commercial trucking distribution center, the sources said.

Nov 8, 2013

Japan’s biggest property developer teams up for possible Tokyo casino

TOKYO, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Japan’s biggest property developer
Mitsui Fudosan Co has joined forces with media firm
Fuji Media Holdings and builder Kajima Corp to
develop a proposed casino and resort complex in Tokyo.

After more than a decade of lobbying by lawmakers, a bill to
legalise casino gambling is seen as having a decent chance of
passing next year with the business-friendly Liberal Democratic
Party in power and after Tokyo won the bid to host the Summer
Olympics in 2020.

Oct 1, 2013

Tokyo developer uncorks apartment building for wine lovers

TOKYO, Oct 1 (Reuters) – For those who have trouble finding
space for a large wine collection, a new apartment block in
Japan with an in-house cellar and a visiting sommelier could be
the perfect place to live.

The aptly named Wine Apartment in Tokyo’s posh Shibuya
district features a temperature- and humidity-controlled room in
the basement for 10,000 bottles. Each of the 18 units comes with
a wine fridge for 26 bottles and a rack for glasses.

Oct 1, 2013

SoftBank’s Son buys Tokyo Tiffany building for $326 million: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – The billionaire founder of tech and telecoms group SoftBank Corp (9984.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bought Tokyo’s landmark Tiffany Building for 32 billion yen ($326 million) in one of the priciest property deals in recent years in Japan, underscoring the recovery in the real estate market.

Masayoshi Son, ranked Japan’s second-richest man by Forbes, outbid sovereign wealth funds and Japanese corporations for the 10-storey glass structure in Tokyo’s Ginza luxury shopping district, which was put on sale by Asia Pacific Land, people with direct knowledge of the transaction said.

Sep 19, 2013

Japan land prices fall at slowest pace in five years as deflation eases

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s land prices fell the least since the global financial crisis in the year to July 1, while commercial land in the three biggest cities rose in value for the first time in the same period, the latest signs that deflation is easing its stubborn grip on the country.

Land prices nationwide fell 1.9 percent, narrowing from the previous year’s 2.7 percent decline and the smallest drop since 2008, a government survey showed on Thursday.

Sep 13, 2013

KKR mulls teaming with Japan state fund on Panasonic unit stake: media

TOKYO (Reuters) – KKR & Co LP is considering teaming up with a state-backed Japanese investment fund to secure a stake in Panasonic Corp’s healthcare business, media reported, although people familiar with the matter said the U.S. firm has not approached the fund yet.

A purchase, which could be worth $1.5 billion, would mark the private-equity firm’s largest investment in a Japanese company. Last year KKR sought a controlling stake in chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp but lost out to a group led by the state-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan.

Sep 9, 2013

As Japan property rebounds, investors court more risk, push out of Tokyo

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – A rebound in Japan’s real estate market over the past year is driving offshore investors and investment trusts to take on more risk by buying older office buildings built during the boom of the 1980s and properties far from Tokyo’s prime commercial districts.

The result has been a marked increase in deals in markets like Fukuoka, Japan’s seventh-largest city, where foreign investors have bought four office buildings and retail properties this year compared to only one deal in the previous two years.