Category Archives: BUSINESS

Tokyo apartment sale prices increase for 58th consecutive month

According to REINS, 3,304 second-hand apartments were sold across greater Tokyo in July, down 0.9% from the previous month but up 3.6% from last year. The average sale price was 31,600,000 Yen, down 0.06% from the previous month but up 5.4% from last year. The average price per square meter was 494,800 Yen, down 0.3% from the previous month but up 4.5% from last year. This is the 55th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in sale prices. The average building age was 20.89 years.

In the Tokyo metropolitan area 1,722 second-hand apartments were sold, down 1.6% from the previous month but up 8.2% from last year. The average sale price was 38,640,000 Yen, showing no change from the previous month but up 3.1% from last year. The average price per square meter was 656,100 Yen, up 0.9% from the previous month and up 3.3% from last year. This is the 58th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in prices. The average building age was 19.64 years.

Central Tokyo’s 3 wards

In central Tokyo’s 3 wards of Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato, 220 second-hand apartments were sold, down 3.9% from the previous month but up 7.3% from last year. This is the 11th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in transactions and is the highest number of reported transactions for the month of July seen since record-keeping began in 2008.

Monthly transactions in July:

  • 2017: 220
  • 2016: 205
  • 2015: 165
  • 2014: 124
  • 2013: 141
  • 2012: 114
  • 2011: 119
  • 2010: 109
  • 2009: 135
  • 2008: 119

The number of new listings was down for the 9th month in a row with 1,154 apartments listed for sale in July, down 15.4% from last year.

The average sale price was 58,890,000 Yen, up 5.6% from the previous month and up 9.0% from last year. The average sale price per square meter …continue reading


The invisible Japanese

Author: David Chapman, UQ

There are approximately 3000 children born in Japan each year that are bureaucratically, administratively and legally invisible. Many of these invisible children grow up to be invisible adults and spend their lives on the periphery of Japanese society, unable to participate as full citizens. Referred to as mukosekisha, the ‘unregistered’ are not recorded on the household registry.

Household registration is the definitive mechanism by which legal status as a Japanese national is determined. It also mediates individual legal status through the family unit.

Women holding their mobile phones are silhouetted as they walk on an overpass at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, 5 November 2015. (Photo: REUTERS/Yuya Shino).

For the unregistered, there is no established link between the individual and the state and no legal connection to family members. As a result, they have no or limited access to services such as education, welfare and insurance. Medical care is severely compromised. The ability to obtain a driver’s licence, a passport and the right to vote and to own or rent property becomes difficult, if not impossible.

Without legal status, the unregistered are also generally disadvantaged financially because they cannot legally work. They are open to exploitation as their ability to exercise democratic rights is compromised. People in this position are also often impacted by stigma and prejudice, making their situation isolating and difficult …continue reading


Luxury condo to replace Yoyogi Terrace Apartment block

Foretseine, a subsidiary of Mori Trust, will be demolishing the vintage Yoyogi Terrace Apartment rental building in Shibuya and replacing it with a luxury condominium.

Details on the project, including the construction schedule, have yet to be announced, but it is expected that the new building could be completed by 2020.

Although pricing is a long way from being announced, apartments in a new high-rise condominium under construction 300 meters north of this site were priced between 1.2 ~ 2.5 million Yen/sqm when they went on sale earlier this year. The building is 18 months from completion and is already 70% sold out.

Yoyogi Terrace Apartment was built in 1980 on the 5,750 sqm site of a former traditional Japanese-style restaurant. Many of the original features of the original garden and restaurant entrance gate have been preserved. Apartments were considerably spacious in size, and appealed to both expats and Japanese. The property is located in a quiet neighbourhood just 550 meters west of Yoyogi Park and a 5 minute walk from Yoyogi-Koen Station.

Apartments ranged in size from 56 ~ 266 sqm and rents ranged from 280,000 ~ 1,160,000 Yen per month.

Demolition of the building is expected to be completed by the end of January 2018.


1-32-27 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Source: The Kentsu Shimbun, June 12, 2017.

…continue reading


How Silicon Valley is losing the Battle for Asia

How much are western companies willing to get along with governments?

The majority of the 4 billion people living inside a circle encompassing China, India, NE Asia and SE Asia—over half the world’s population—have not yet grasped the internet, but most of them will have within the next decade or two. How they do so, on what terms, and through which platforms, will go a long way to defining the winners and losers of the next wave of the web, and actually the very nature of the internet itself. So can we ask the question: how well placed are Silicon Valley companies to benefit?

The battlefield is a diverse patchwork of countries with distinct languages and cultures, varying degrees of connectivity infrastructure, diverse digital media landscapes, and contrasting political regimes with business environments that range from: mature but essentially open (Japan), barely connected and hence, in theory, up-for-grabs (India), effectively protected (South Korea), and outright walled off (PRC).

Against this vast and diverse tapestry of peoples and places, one of the biggest challenges for Silicon Valley folks is that not enough of them would find the title of this article absolutely preposterous. Having lived in “Asia” for 14 years, I find the very idea of Western minds attaching a single word to everything bundled into this mega-region increasingly absurd.

As I think the following case histories suggest, despite the relative ease with which the dematerialised nature of the web has allowed Silicon Valley’s star companies to scale-up faster than any others in history (Google became the world’s most valuable company in under 19 years), in order to play a big role in the future of the web in Asia, these companies will need to differentiate, decentralise and delegate control like never before, and hence become truly global in nature. Some will manage this feat, others will not, and we have already got some good …continue reading


Sankei Building to enter Kyoto machiya hotel business

The machiya townhouse before renovations.

On July 27, The Sankei Building Co., a Tokyo-based real estate company, announced that they will be entering the Kyoto machiya hotel business. Their first property is a traditional machiya merchant residence located a kilometer from Nijo Castle that is scheduled to open in April 2018.

The two-story wooden residence has a total floor area of 196 sqm (2,109 sq ft) and can accommodate up to 10 guests. Nightly rates are expected to be around 10,000 ~ 20,000 Yen per guest.

Sankei will rent the property from its owner and restore it. They plan to have several machiya-style hotels open by 2020.

In May, lingerie company Wacoal Holdings announced a similar venture, with a goal of managing 50 machiya guesthouses in Kyoto over the next five years.

The Sankei Shimbun, July 27, 2017.
Travel Voice, August 3, 2017.

…continue reading