Category Archives: BUSINESS

120m tall office tower for Shibuya Station area

A 120-meter tall office tower is planned for a site just behind the Shibuya Hikarie building in central Tokyo.

The 30 billion Yen (approx. 278 million USD) project will see the construction of a 23-storey office building with a total floor area of 44,000 sqm (approx. 473,000 sq.ft). Construction is scheduled to start in late 2020 with completion by May 2024.

The building will be about 60 meters shorter than neighboring Shibuya Hikarie (180m tall). It will replace the Shionogi Shibuya Building – a 13-story building built in 1980, along with three other smaller buildings. This building was designed by Sakakura Associates architects and engineers. When new, it was considered a great example of energy and resource-saving design. The V-shaped building with windows focused towards the center courtyard was intended to reduce direct solar radiation.


2-17-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

The Shionogi Shibuya Building. To be demolished.
The Shionogi Shibuya Building. To be demolished.

Source: The Daily Engineering & Construction News, July 10, 2019.

…continue reading


The Best Way to Transfer Money to Japan

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Being the international cheapo that I am, I’ve battle-tested all sorts of methods and means of transferring money to Japan. In this article, I chronicle the results of my quest. NB: If you’re a tourist looking to exchange foreign cash for yen, go to this article. If you’ve been here for a while and want to send your yen home, check out our transferring money out of Japan article.
tl;dr: One of the cheapest and best ways to transfer money to Japan is the OFX currency exchange provider. Bonus: Sign up here and mention Tokyo Cheapo—they’ll give you a special account with NO transfer fees. Cheapo win!
Jump to:

Using banks to transfer money to Japan
PayPal & remittance services
The cheapest way to transfer money

The post The Best Way to Transfer Money to Japan appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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Recent IP activities of Japanese companies

Japan Patent Office (JPO) published an annual report on July 12 2019. According to the report, 313,567 patent applications were filed in Japan in 2018. And, 253,000 patent applications among them were filed by domestic applicants. It slightly decreased than last year.

As you may know, Japanese companies have been reducing investment in Japanese patents. However, my more serious concern is that they have been not increasing investment in patenting in foreign countries either, while increasing foreign sales. The chart shows the transition of foreign patent filing number and the foreign sales of Japanese companies.

In fact, Japanese companies have not increased investment in intellectual properties, despite the increasing importance of IP being recognized in the world. Under such circumstances, the number of IP professionals in Japan is decreasing as well. This means that many IP departments of Japanese companies may have failed to demonstrate enough existential value of themselves.

This report also shows the utilization of Japanese patents. The utilization ratio in 2017 is 48.4%. This includes licensing to other parties. So, more than half of Japanese patents are not utilized. Also, it states that 37.0% of patents are maintained only for defensive purpose, and they are not used by themselves or other parties. As a result, the remaining 14.5% of patents are maintained for nothing. IP department must be asked for an explanation on that by their higher management sooner or later. Then, such patents may be withdrawn or put in the market.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post, I’d appreciate it if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on social media. Thanks! …continue reading


New Project Launch! Uniting Lovers of Japanese Songs! Creating a Dazzling International Red-White Singing Festival, and Joining Together with Those All Over the World!

The International Red-White Singing Festival project has finally launched! The project is looking to raise money to create a pre festival party the day before. This party will allow for the participants to relax and get to know their fellow musicians, creating an opportunity for new friends and ties to be made! The money will also be used to bring three winners from auditions in Bali, Cebu, and Taiwan to Japan to participate in the festival! The Organising Committee for the International Red-White Singing Festival 2019 are looking to make this year’s event the best it can be!

▽Project Page URL:

■Project Information

・Funding Period: Friday July 19th 16:00~Friday August 23th 23:59

・Target Amount:1,000,000

・Returns :International Red-White Singing Festival 2019 Tickets (Special Seating available!) /Original Goods / Digital Commerative Photo Book

・Project Creators: International Red-White Singing Festival 2019 Organising Committee

▽International Red-White Singing Festival Homepage:

▽Official Facebook Page

■About the International Red-White Singing Festival

Starting in 2011 after the Tohoku Earthquake that hit in March the same year, the International Red-White Singing Festival is a contest where foreigners (visitors or those living in Japan) sing Japanese songs while Japanese people sing songs in foreign languages. This event was made with the goal of using song to help people understand each others language, culture, and way of life!


JAPANKURU FUNDING is a Japanese based crowdfunding site, that allows for the project page to be curated in 3 different languages, English, Japanese, and Traditional Chinese. This allows for funding to …continue reading


The Art of Settai in Japan


Settai is another side of business in Japan.

Following my post about The Art of Nomikai in Japan, I am gladly bringing you all you need to know about Settai!
Settai or 接待 means “Business entertainment” (the two characters mean basically “to connect” and “to entertain or to practice hospitality or play host”).
It related to a business practice where a company will invite another (client or potential client) to spend a time together which should bring the two (or several) entities closer.
As this post might be very long as it is related to a very specific matter of business relationships between companies, I decided to divide it in several parts.

The types of Settai:

In a Settai, either you are the guest or the host.
  • A Settai is not necessary a 1 to 1 relationship and is not necessary a president to president relationship.
  • You can have a sales person inviting a sales person from his supplier or client.
  • You can have a distributor inviting a supplier and a potential client to make a smooth relationship for a future deal.
  • So basically it can involve several peoples inviting several peoples. (or several companies inviting several companies)
  • Whatever the rank the Settai will remain the Settai.
I will first explain what you have to expect if you are the guest and so invited by a company (either your customer, your supplier or another business relationship).

The typical Nagare (or 流れ) or the typical “flow” of a Settai:

First the invitation:

You will be invited to a Settai either by e-mail, phone or in more formal cases, you will receive a formal letter or postcard indicating the time and place.
(you can expect your team to have “pre-meetings” about this… you can read about meetings in Japan too here)
In some cases you will be expected to meet directly at the venue, in other cases …continue reading