Category Archives: BUSINESS

Kyoto’s most expensive apartment building is almost sold out

Kyoto City’s most expensive apartment building since 1995 is already close to selling out prior to the start of official sales. 90% of the apartments in The Kyoto Residence Gosho-Higashi have already been pre-sold to buyers, with the remaining 4 units offered in the first round of public sales held on October 13th. The four apartments are priced from 105 to 157 million Yen (approx. 935,000 ~ 1,400,000 USD). With an average price of around 1,600,000 Yen/sqm (approx. 1,325 USD/sq.ft), this is the most expensive apartment building to go on sale in the city since 1995. It has beaten a previous record set in 2015 by The Parkhouse Kyoto Kamogawa Gosho-Higashi which had an average price of between 1,300,000 ~ 1,400,000 Yen/sqm when new.

The smallest unit to go on sale is a 67 sqm (720 sq.ft) 2 bedroom apartment priced at 105 million Yen.

The luxury residences are located on the eastern side of the Imperial Palace grounds and 600 meters from Kamo River. This is the first freehold condominium to be developed on the eastern edge of the Imperial Palace in over 29 years.

The 5-storey condominium is due for completion in February 2019. Apartments range from 53 ~ 197 sqm (570 ~ 2,120 sq.ft). Residents will have access to bilingual concierge services provided in conjunction with the Kyoto Hotel Okura. The concierge can help to arrange for catering, car hire, sightseeing, linens and bed-making, house keeping, and shopping for / stocking apartments before residents arrive.


Somedonocho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City

Source: Keihan Real Estate News Release, October 11, 2018.

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The Terrifying Beauty of Uniqlo’s Robotic Warehouse

Japanese retailing giant UNIQLO opened their Ariake offices back in 2015 but the warehouse was plagued with problems and inefficiencies. So the company committed to overhaul the warehouse, which was unveiled last week. The result, in which 90% of the warehouse workforce was replaced by robots, is equally beautiful and terrifying. In the video above […]

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How to save the world trading system from Trump

Author: Mari Pangestu, University of Indonesia

Despite expectations that the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates, capital flows to the United States have led to the appreciation of the US dollar against most major currencies.

Workers work near a Harley Davidson motorcycle at a garage in Bangkok, Thailand, 28 June 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha).

The hardest hit countries are Argentina and Turkey, which are experiencing fiscal issues complicated by their political situations. Brazil, South Africa and the emerging countries in Asia have also been affected — albeit at a lower rate of depreciation of their currencies in the 10 to 12 per cent range. Even Australia and China have experienced depreciations of around 8 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

The level of depreciation experienced by different economies reflects how investors perceive their different fundamental macroeconomic conditions, especially the level of their current account and fiscal deficits and policy outlooks.

The rising US dollar raises questions about the capacity of emerging economies to service their dollar-denominated debts and the vulnerabilities this could expose in their financial systems. Even if the current economic conditions point to a low potential for contagion from Argentina and Turkey, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde recently warned that ‘these things could change rapidly’. The uncertainty that already exists is a clear and present danger.

The uncertainty in the world economy has been increasing since Brexit and the election of President Trump in 2016, and in 2017 as the United …continue reading


Japan’s strategic choices set to influence global policy outcomes

Author: Editorial Board, ANU

More than any other nation, Japan understands how economic prosperity and political security are best guaranteed by a rules-based, multilateral global trading system. Isolated from the Asian continent in the Pacific, its foolhardy quest for prosperity and security through imperial conquest in the interwar period is a bitter reminder of the costs that fracture of the order which the United States and its allies built after World War II will bring.

Factory workers assemble Toyota 86 rear-wheel-drive sports cars at Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd’s Gunma Main Plant in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, 16 March 2012 (Photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai).

For a country with no hinterland and limited resource endowments, there is no comfortable retreat to less dependence on global trade. The economic costs of anything remotely like self-sufficiency would be very high — estimated to reduce living standards in Japan to roughly what they were immediately after the war when people were starving and begging in the streets. The costs of managing political relations to procure supplies and access markets in such a world would be even more burdensome, in terms of political dependency on powers big and strategically placed to press for economic favours.

More than other defeated powers (Germany and Italy, nested as they are in continental Europe) understanding and appreciation of the post-war Bretton Woods-inspired global order is lodged deeply in …continue reading


Greater Tokyo second-hand apartment prices increase for 69th month in a row

According to REINS, 3,244 second-hand apartments were sold across greater Tokyo in September, up 40.9% from the previous month and up 0.7% from last year. The average sale price was 32,920,000 Yen, down 0.8% from the previous month but up 2.0% from last year. The average price per square meter was 513,900 Yen, down 1.4% from the previous month but up 1.4% from last year. This is the 69th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in prices.

1,673 second-hand apartments were sold in the Tokyo metropolitan area, up 41.1% from the previous month but down 0.8% from last year. The average sale price was 41,350,000 Yen, up 1.0% from the previous month and up 4.7% from last year. The average price per square meter was 694,300 Yen, up 1.6% from the previous month and up 3.6% from last year.

In the third quarter of 2018 transactions of apartments priced over 70 million Yen increased by 9.4% from the same period in 2017.

Central Tokyo’s 3 wards

In central Tokyo’s 3 wards of Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato, the average sale price was 61,910,000 Yen, down 7.3% from the previous month but up 0.3% from last year. The average price per square meter was 1,098,800 Yen, down 7.9% from the previous month and down 2.2% from last year. The average age of an apartment sold in September was 18.84 years, 2.8 years older than the average in August, which may account for the lower average sale price.

193 apartments were reported to have sold, up 55.6% from the previous month but down 5.4% from last year.

Source: REINS, October 10, 2018.

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