Category Archives: BUSINESS

Japanese universities to acquire stock option rights as IP license fees

Previously on this blog, we featured a

When talking about licensing revenues of universities, Japanese universities are often compared with American universities. Then, Japanese universities’ low income is considered a problem. In fact, American universities earned USD 2,562 million in 2016, according to University Network for Innovation and Technology Transfer (UNITT). On the other hand, Japanese universities earned JPY 4.53 billion (about USD 41.2 million). There is a big gap between them. However, it is not simply because of the talent shortage.

Law Revision to Encourage Universities to Hold Shares and Stock Option Rights

In January 2019, a revised law on revitalizing science and technology and innovation creation has become effective. This revision makes it easier for national universities to hold shares and stock option rights. The universities have usually demanded cash payments, when someone tries to start a business using patented technologies of a university. Thanks to the revised law, they will be able to expect great return on the success of the licensee companies. Hopefully, it may reduce the gap between Japanese and American universities.

Japanese Universities’ Declining Ability to Research

However, in fact, Japanese universities face a more serious problem than low licensing revenue. It is a decline in ability to research. We see the decline in the international status in terms of both quality and quantity of research papers, and the stagnation in international joint papers. If they cannot produce excellent research results, either IP strategies or IP management have little or no meaning. So, it is urgently necessary to develop a solution to solve this problem.

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Monex Activist Forum notes part 1

The post Monex Activist Forum notes part 1 appeared first on Active Investing.

Monex Activist Forum May 19, 2019 Belle Salle Akihabara background: Monex Group (Tokyo: 8698; best known for its eponymous online securities brokerage in Japan and TradeStation in the U.S.) hosted the activist investor forum — focused of course on investing in Japan — and its choice of venue was wise in terms of it having…

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Heritage-listed merchant house in Kyoto up for sale

The heritage-listed Watanabe Residence in Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture, is listed for sale for 25,800,000 Yen (approx. 235,000 USD), leaving locals concerned about its fate. The 150-year old merchant house is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property.

The two-story machiya-style merchant house was built around 1870 for a shipping agent. The main house has a total floor area of 142 sqm (1,523 sq.ft), which is considerably large for a machiya of this style. The earthen-wall storehouse in the middle of the property is also heritage listed, and was built around the same time. A second warehouse, with brick foundations, adjoins Takano River at the rear, providing a glimpse into the former cityscape of this port district.

The house was heritage listed in 1998. It was in use as the office of a building material supplier until they closed in 1999. In 2001 it was put up for foreclosure, with a local resident acquiring the property. It has changed hands several times since then.

The house was listed for sale in late 2018. Several inquiries have been made. The seller hopes to find a buyer willing to continue to preserve and maintain the historic building.

There are no restrictions limiting the sale of Tangible Cultural Properties in Japan. However, the Agency for Cultural Affairs does require notification of a change in ownership.


Takeya, Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture

Source: The Kyoto Shimbun, May 21, 2019.

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Price-earnings ratio across Tokyo sees slight increase in 2018

In 2018 the price-earnings ratio (PER) for brand-new apartments in greater Tokyo was 24.96, down from a record high of 28.66 seen in 2016 but up slightly from 24.49 seen in 2017. Almost 80% of the districts around train stations had PERs of over 22, while just 2.5% had PERs of under 18. A high PER means a low rental yield.

The average price of a brand-new 70 sqm (753 sq.ft) apartment across greater Tokyo was 73,440,000 Yen in 2018, up 9.9% from 2017 and up 22.4% from 2016. The average rent of a similarly sized new apartment was 241,631 Yen/month, up 7.4% from 2017 and up 37.6% from 2016.

Shibuya provides lowest rental return

The Shibuya Station area had the highest PER in greater Tokyo with a ratio of 41.21. The average price of a new 70 sqm apartment was 175,930,000 Yen, while the average rent was 355,738 Yen/month. This results in a gross rental yield of around 2.4%.

In second spot was Motomachi-Chukagai Station in Yokohama with a PER of 40.66, and an approximate gross rental yield of 2.5%. A new 70 sqm apartment had an average price of 120,420,000 Yen.

Gaienmae Station, located between Omotesando and the new Olympic Stadium, had a ratio of 37.52, and an average gross yield of 2.7%. This station was the most expensive across greater Tokyo for a new 70 sqm apartment, with an average price of 186,190,000 Yen.

Aoyama Itchome Station’s PER drops by half

Aoyama Itchome Station recorded a PER of 45.26 in 2017, putting it in top spot. In 2017, a recently completed luxury high-rise (Park Court Aoyama The Tower) propelled the average new apartment price to 209,260,000 Yen. This area has very few sites available for residential developments, resulting in only some smaller, low-rise apartments hitting the market in 2018. The average price …continue reading


Home fire insurance premiums to rise 5 ~ 9% this year

Japan’s big four insurance companies are planning to increase home insurance premiums from October this year. This will be the first increase since 2015 and is the result of large typhoons and heavy rainfall events in 2018 that saw large payouts.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance will be increasing premiums by an average of 6 ~ 7% nationwide. Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance will be increasing rates by 5 ~ 7%, while Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance will increase their rates by 6 ~ 9%.

Fire insurance premiums vary depending on where exactly the property is located, the type of structure, age, and level of coverage. It is usually optional. One exception is when a mortgage is used, in which case the bank will usually require that the borrower take out fire insurance on the property. Many insurers provide simulations on their websites to provide a general idea of annual insurance premiums.

Source: The Nikkei Shimbun, May 8, 2019.

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