Category Archives: BUSINESS

Details released on planned redevelopment in Akasaka 7 Chome

More details have emerged of a possible high-rise apartment tower to be built in the Akasaka 7 Chome address. The Akasaka 7 Chome 2 District Redevelopment may include a 46-storey apartment building on the western side of the site with a maximum height of 157 meters, along with a 5-storey commercial/retail building on the eastern side of the site.

A town planning decision is expected within the year. Construction could begin in 2021 with completion by 2025. There may be around 700 apartments in total.

Participating developers may include Nomura Real Estate, Nippon Steel Kowa Real Estate and Shimizu Corporation, with Nihon Sekkei taking part in the planning process.

The property is located just south of Aoyama-dori Street and the Akasaka Imperial Estate, and just east of the Canadian Embassy. It is a 6 minute walk from Aoyama Itchome Station. A 43-storey, 157 meter tall condominium, Park Court Akasaka The Tower, is located to the east.

Location

7-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Source: The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun, June 6, 2018.

…continue reading

    

Implementing the global trade rules

Author: Roberto Azevêdo, WTO

The rising trade tensions of recent months have grabbed the headlines — and rightly so. But what you don’t often hear about is how well the global trading system has performed over the years. You could argue that global trade governance has actually been the quietest success story of the post-war era. It’s important to remember what we could stand to lose if the current tensions lead to an unmanageable escalation of tit-for-tat trade policy actions.

Delegates arrives for a special meeting of the General Council Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation at the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva, 27 November 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse).

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The multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organization (WTO), has been very effectively doing the job that it was created to do for many years. It has secured a foundation on which countries can base their economic planning with confidence — so much so that countries sometimes appear to take the stability and predictability of the trading system for granted in their economic planning. I deal with trade ministers on a daily basis, but it’s rare that I have a finance minister on the phone asking about the outlook for the global trading system. It is assumed that the system is a simple fact of life. Yet with goods and …continue reading

    

Regional leadership needed to save trade regime

Authors: Mari Pangestu, University of Indonesia, and Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

The world in which Asia Pacific economies operate is changing. Two main forces are driving this change — one ‘top-down’, the other ‘bottom-up’.

The top-down force is the emergence of a world with a larger number of key economies. In recent decades, growth rates around the world have diverged. For much of Asia, this has meant dramatic improvements in incomes and a huge reduction in the number of people living in poverty. It has also meant a new order among countries — a multipolar world.

US President Donald Trump is seen speaking on a screen during the US–ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines, 13 November 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst).

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The bottom-up force is the change in the way production is organised, driven by progress in communications and information technology. Technological improvements have shifted the location of production, with production processes becoming increasingly fragmented across countries. The nature of work and the composition of skills within economies have changed.

Given the new order of production and trade, the Trump administration’s mercantilist focus on reducing merchandise trade deficits will end up hurting the United States, as well as disrupting global production networks.

As trade flows change, pressure for domestic structural change can arise. In the United States, a decline in support for international trade and openness has been exacerbated by a lack of adjustment support for geographically concentrated …continue reading

    

Japan to consider expanding design protection

Japan may expand design protection beyond definition of ‘design’ in the design law.

As previously

  • Projection design that is design of image projected on a wall, the human body or the like
    • Spatial design such as interior and exterior design of buildings or stores

    The Japanese design law provides definition of ‘design’, and it is associated with an ‘article’. Regarding the projection design, the current definition of ‘design’ does not include design which is displayed elsewhere than a device (See Article 2 (2)). Also, real estate including buildings is not interpreted as an article in Japan. Therefore, the change of definition of ‘design’ is required to protect such projection design and spatial design.

    Article 2 (1) “Design” in this Act shall mean the shape, patterns or colors, or any combination thereof, of an article (including a part of an article, the same shall apply hereinafter except in Article 8), which creates an aesthetic impression through the eye.

    (2) The shape, patterns or colors, or any combination thereof, of a part of an article as used in the preceding paragraph shall include those in a graphic image on a screen that is provided for use in the operation of the article (limited to the operations carried out in order to enable the article to perform its functions) and is displayed on the article itself or another article that is used with the article in an integrated manner.

    In addition, the report suggests to amend the design law to improve protection of a series of designs for a product, considering brand function of design. The right picture shows a series of Sony’s digital cameras which was used as an example for discussion. The current design law provide the Related Design system to allow the respective registration of similar designs, …continue reading

        

    Japan’s nuclear reactors can power US–Asian security

    Employees of Kyushu Electric Power restart operations inside the central control room at Sendai nuclear power station in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan, 11 August 2015, in this photo released by Kyodo. Japan switched on a nuclear reactor for the first time in nearly two years on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to reassure a nervous public that tougher standards mean the sector is now safe after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Mandatory credit (Photo: Reuters/Kyodo).

    Author: Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute

    In April, Japan’s nuclear power plant export policy faced a new crisis. Itochu, a major Japanese company, decided to withdraw from a nuclear power plant project in Turkey due to the rising costs of nuclear plant safety measures.

    After the 2011 earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, most nuclear plants in Japan have not been re-started. As a result, the only market for Japan’s nuclear industry is overseas. But if a major company like Itochu cannot find sufficient economic benefit in foreign markets, it is questionable whether Japan’s nuclear industry remains viable.

    A shrinking nuclear industry will affect Japan’s foreign and security policy since it removes the three major benefits that Japan’s nuclear plants have historically delivered.

    First, nuclear power has given Japan a steady energy source with which it could develop its economy. Nearly all of Japan’s oil energy is generated from imported oil, and this is true historically as well: in 1973, more than 75 per cent of Japan’s energy consumption was generated from oil. After the 1973 and 1979 oil price shocks, Japan substantially buttressed its energy supply by increasing oil stockpiles, diversifying sources of fossil fuel resources and finding new energy resources such as renewable energy and methane. Increasing the share of electric power generated by nuclear plants was an important element of these changes. Just before the 2011 earthquake, nearly 30 per cent of electric power in Japan was generated by nuclear plants. That number dropped to nearly 0 per cent after the earthquake.

    Second, Japan’s nuclear industry has saved Japan the cost of protecting its primary maritime trade routes. More than 80 per cent of Japan’s imported oil comes from the Middle East. This number has not changed after the 2011 earthquakes. It is worth bearing …continue reading