Category Archives: BUSINESS

Japan to address the IP issue between large enterprises and SMEs

The previous article on possible revision of IP litigation system covered different positions taken by large companies and SMEs; – i.e SMEs asking for improvement of the status of patent holders and large companies wanting the maintenance of the status quo. Now another confrontation between them has been obtaining attention.

According to the document distributed in a government-appointed working group discussing the improvement of business conditions for SMEs or subcontracting companies, some experts in the field of antitrust and subcontracting law have brought up the issue of intellectual property rights and know-how having been siphoned from subcontracting companies into large companies in dominant bargaining position. In response to this suggestion, the government has started investigation through questionnaire and interviews with SMEs. The result of the investigation will be published in the first half of 2019.

The government has recently implemented the following measures for SMEs or start-up companies suffering from resource shortage. However, there’s no chance for them to use these measures, if they are deprived of invention rights.

  • IP Acceleration program for Startups (IPAS) to dispatch expert teams of intellectual property and business
  • Super accelerated examination to grant patents in about 2.5 months
  • JETRO Innovation Program (JIP) to support overseas development utilizing intellectual property
  • Reduction of examination request fee and patent fee by one third
By the way, there is a popular TV drama series in Japan – ‘Downtown Rocket’ which is a story of a struggling man who used to work as a researcher at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and now runs a family-owned factory that manufactures small engine, and also faces a patent issue. Sony and Panasonic were once start-up companies. Many Japanese as well as the government may now be expecting SMEs and start-up companies to create business success and develop the economy.

…continue reading

    

Sectoral labor income share dynamics: Cross-country evidence from a new dataset

Sectoral labor income share dynamics: Cross-country evidence from a new dataset

The study of the labor income share plays an important role in understanding the relationship between national income and personal income. However, most of the empirical studies on the labor income share are conducted at the country level, while the limited number of industry-level analyses focus primarily on advanced countries due to limited data availability.

In order to analyze the sector-level labor income share incorporating data from developing countries, we construct a new dataset at the 10-sector level.1 We collect information from three secondary data sources: the Groningen Growth Data Center 10-Sector Database, the Socio-Economic Account (SEA),2 and ILOSTAT.3 These datasets allow us to calculate the sectoral labor income shares for 53 countries across six regions.4 Of the countries, 20 are classified as developing countries.5 In this article, we would like to share the preliminary findings from the new dataset at the three-sector level to unveil the bigger picture.

In Figure 1, we show the unweighted regional averages of the labor income share in three broad categories.6 One must note that the numbers could be biased due to potential measurement error arising from sector-specific characteristics. For example, the labor income share could be overestimated for industries with many self-employed or seasonal workers, such as the agriculture and construction industries. This is because it is difficult to capture all the workers in such industries, and, as some studies suggest, in surveys, the self-employed tend to report incomes that are higher than their actual incomes.

Figure 1: Labor income shares across regions

Figure 1: Labor income shares across regions

Source: Authors’ calculations.

With these caveats in mind, we find that the tertiary sector offers the most generous rewards to labor. One exception is for the Europe and Central Asia region, where the secondary sector’s ratio of …continue reading

    

Greater Tokyo second-hand apartment prices increase for 71st month in a row

According to REINS, 3,225 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across greater Tokyo in November, up 4.2% from the previous month and up 11.1% from last year. The average sale price was 32,970,000 Yen, up 0.7% from the previous month and up 2.9% from last year. The average price per square meter was 508,200 Yen, up 0.5% from the previous month and up 1.2% from last year. This is a the 71st month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in sale prices.

1,616 second-hand apartments were sold in the Tokyo metropolitan area, up 6.4% from the previous month and up 6.9% from last year. The average sale price was 41,270,000 Yen, up 0.8% from the previous month and up 4.2% from last year. The average price per square meter was 684,700 Yen, up 1.1% from the previous month and up 1.7% from last year.

Central Tokyo’s 3 wards

In central Tokyo’s 3 wards of Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato the average sale price was 65,080,000 Yen, up 0.5% from the previous month and up 3.4% from last year. The average price per square meter was 1,121,500 Yen, down 1.8% from the previous month but up 1.1% from last year. 187 apartments were reported to have sold, up 13.3% from the previous month but down 0.5% from last year. The average building age was 18.17 years.

Source: REINS, December 10, 2018.

…continue reading

    

Singapore’s leadership one step ahead

Author: Michael Barr, Flinders University

After years of winnowing through candidates, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has anointed Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat as his successor. Back in 2016 there were six candidates for the role but one by one they were removed from contention, mostly by mechanisms in the form of gifts from the Prime Minister. One of the stronger candidates, for instance, was unexpectedly made Speaker of the House, which put him out of contention.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives at the ASEM leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, 18 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman).

” data-medium-file=”http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-400×268.jpg” data-large-file=”http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-600×402.jpg” title=”Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives at the ASEM leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, 18 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman).” src=”http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-400×268.jpg” alt=”Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives at the ASEM leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, 18 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman).” width=”400″ height=”268″ srcset=”http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-400×268.jpg 400w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-150×100.jpg 150w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-768×514.jpg 768w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-600×402.jpg 600w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-300×201.jpg 300w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-100×67.jpg 100w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-27T063917Z_1786067452_RC19468B4110_RTRMADP_3_SINGAPORE-POLITICS-500×335.jpg 500w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px”>

There is no formal process of selection and the decisions are made behind closed doors, with narratives about the selection process generated retrospectively. The trigger for the final declaration of Heng Swee Keat as the designated successor was his election to the rather obscure position of First Assistant Secretary-General of the ruling People’s Action Party. This election was initially greeted as an indicator that Heng Swee Keat was merely the front runner to be next prime minister but in the space of a day it morphed into a declaration of succession.

Heng Swee Keat was already known to be Lee Hsien Loong’s favourite even before 2016. When Heng Swee Keat suffered a stroke during a Cabinet meeting in May 2016 and spent six days in a coma, it was universally accepted …continue reading

    

Favourable currents for ASEAN–China relations in the South China Sea

Author: Sam Bateman, University of Wollongong

Despite increased friction between the United States and China, on balance, positive developments in the South China Sea outweighed negative ones this year.

Members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and navy hold Chinese flags during the opening ceremony of the first China-ASEAN Maritime Exercise in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, 22 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Stringer).

” data-medium-file=”http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-400×274.jpg” data-large-file=”http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-600×412.jpg” title=”Members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and navy hold Chinese flags during the opening ceremony of the first China-ASEAN Maritime Exercise in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, 22 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Stringer).” src=”http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-400×274.jpg” alt=”Members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and navy hold Chinese flags during the opening ceremony of the first China-ASEAN Maritime Exercise in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, 22 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Stringer).” width=”400″ height=”274″ srcset=”http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-400×274.jpg 400w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-150×103.jpg 150w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-768×527.jpg 768w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-600×412.jpg 600w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-300×206.jpg 300w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-100×69.jpg 100w, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-10-23T025745Z_1652071135_RC130D985B60_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-ASEAN-500×343.jpg 500w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px”>

The Single Draft South China Sea Code of Conduct Negotiating Text (SDNT) was adopted in August by the foreign ministers of ASEAN and China. The SDNT includes proposals for areas of cooperation and for dispute prevention, management and settlement mechanisms in the South China Sea among the parties.

While the SDNT is a major step forward, several points of contention remain, including the geographic scope of the eventual Code of Conduct (COC), preferred dispute settlement mechanisms, and details of resource exploration and development. Final agreement on an effective COC still seems some way off.

Still, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has committed Beijing to completing negotiations on the COC within three years. The chairman’s statement of the 33rd ASEAN Summit in November notes that ASEAN member states welcome the improving cooperation between ASEAN and China, and are encouraged by the …continue reading