Category Archives: BUSINESS

China–US trade agreement now harder but not impossible

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, shows the way to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, center, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, 1 May 2019. (Photo: Andy Wong/Pool via Reuters).

Author: Wang Yong, Peking University

China–US trade negotiations broke down unexpectedly in May 2019. The United States government was ridiculed into launching an all-out war on private tech companies like Huawei. The economies of the two countries and the global economy are predicted to suffer greatly as a result. So, why did negotiations fail this time?

By the end of April, President Trump and the US media had impressed upon global observers that China and the United States were about to reach an agreement on trade. President Xi was invited to Washington in late May in line with this posturing.

Beijing had very few words to say about the invitation and there was no suggestion that this series of talks would end after the scheduled meeting. Beijing has hardened its negotiating position since March 2019 and is demanding that discussions take place on more equal footing. Domestic politics will play a big role in the final stages of the negotiations.

After the collapse of the 11th round of trade talks in Washington, Vice Premier Liu He emphasised that any agreement must be equal and mutually beneficial. China will not compromise on principles, he argued.

Three core concerns must be resolved if these talks are to be successful moving forward. First, tariffs imposed must be cancelled. Second, volumes of Chinese purchases must be realistic. The two sides have reached a consensus on the number of purchases made in Argentina and this number should not be changed at will. Third, the balance of the text in the proposed agreement must be improved such that it better reflects the equal footing upon which both Washington and Beijing meet on matters of trade.

In addition to these three points, China is increasingly disappointed with the lack of progress on the larger goals of these negotiations. Through the signing of the …continue reading


Japan IP High Court rules standard for calculating damages in patent infringement case

On June 7 2019, Japan Intellectual Property High Court ruled standard for calculating damages, especially deductible expenses, in a patent infringement case on carbonated pack cosmetics. Below is the summary of the decision.

1. Presumed damages

Japanese patent law provides provisions to make it easier for patent holders to prove the amount of damages. One is to regard “the amount of profit earned by the infringer”as the amount of damages of the patent holder (Article 102, paragraph 2).

Profit earned by the infringer

Here, the court ruled that “the amount of profit earned by the infringer”is the marginal profit which is calculated by deducting “the expense which is additionally required by production and sales of infringing products and which is also directly relatedto such production and sales of infringing products“from the infringer’s sales of such infringing products.

Expense to be deducted

Regarding the expense to be deducted, the court ruled that such expense includes raw material expenses, purchasing expenses, and transportation expenses for the infringing products, while it should not include personnel expenses, transportation and communication expenses for administration departments.
In this case, the following expenses were argued.

  • Personnel expense for researchers in R&D department
  • Personnel expense for part-time employees
  • Outsourcing research expense
  • Expense for free samples and samples to distribute in exhibitions
  • Advertising expense
  • Purchase expense for the products in stock

Then, the court ruled that part of outsourcing research expense and advertising expense fall into the expense to be deducted. However, other expenses were not recognized as the expense to be deducted, because the defendant failed to show enough relation with their infringing products.

Override of Presumption

By the way, the court described the possibility of the presumption of damages being overriddenwhen there is a circumstance that hinders a legally sufficient cause between the infringer’s profit and the patent holder’s damages.Such a circumstance includes;

Geisha Japan Brings a New Project to Japankuru Funding! Raising Money to Help Foreigners Join in with Maiko Culture!

As the amount of people visiting Japan and Kyoto increases, the interest in different parts of Japanese cultural points also increase. With this, more people wish to participate in these events such as Ozashiki Asobi, which is a banquet or party where guests can watch Maiko and Geiko perform, play games and have interesting conversations.

One problem that faces foreigners that come to Japan is that in order to join such events, you need to have both an understanding of Japanese, and to have also had the experience of attended such an event. Many establishments have a [No First Timers] rule which potentially closes the restaurants off to many visitors from abroad.

Geisha Japan and Maiko Club are looking to change this by creating special events that allow for visitors to Kyoto to participate. At the current time they have a foreign interpreter on hand, but this will soon change as this person returns back home. Geisha Japan are therefore looking to bring in more English speaking staff to allow for foreigners to be able to participate.

The project can be found at:

Creating the Chance for Foreigners to Learn and Understand about the Traditional Maiko Culture! Creating an English Support System so Visitors can Enjoy the Special Culture!

Project Page

They are looking to raise money via crowdfunding to raise money to bring in English speakers so that they can carry on offering special events for foreigners that wish to join in and learn more …continue reading


Is Furano the next Niseko?

As land values in Niseko skyrocket, investors have been shifting their attention to more affordable ski locations around Hokkaido. One of those destinations is Furano which is seeing an influx in foreign investment and foreign tourists. Located 110 kilometers north-east of Sapporo, or a 2-hour drive, the city is becoming increasingly known for its high-quality powder snow.

In 2017, foreign tourists spent 131,637 nights in Furano, up 270% from 2012, and up 2200% from 2003.

It wasn’t that long ago that the city’s high season was summer when its famous lavender fields are in full bloom. But, with the growth of foreign ski tourists the high season has switched to winter. Unlike other ski towns, Furano attracts tourists all-year-round. A TV drama called Kita-no-kuni-kara set in Furano that aired from 1981 to 2002 helped cement its appeal both in Japan and in other countries where the program aired.

A search of property titles showed as many as 50 lots in the Kitanominecho district near the ski slopes are owned by foreigners. This neighborhood is mostly smaller lots filled with pensions and private homes. As the original pension owners and operators reach retirement age, they are selling off their operations creating opportunities for new, enterprising owners. This is a similar phenomenon to what Niseko went through in the 1990s.

Hong Kong developer Zekkei Properties is building a 33-unit ski-in-ski-out condo in this district. Completion is expected in 2020. A 72 sqm apartment in this development is priced at approximately 121 million Yen (around 1.1 million USD), which is not too different from apartment prices in central Tokyo.

Source: Nikkei Style, June 4, 2019.

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Biei Project hits 200% success

After just a week and a half, our Biei project has hit 200%! We are so grateful to all the people that are showing their support! We can’t believe that so many people are getting behind us and it shows us that the area is important to everyone that has heard of it!

We are excited to see what the future holds for the project as we have over 25 days left!

For those of you that haven’t seen the project yet please go check it out and back the project and share with all your friends!

Protecting the Countryside, Creating Harmony Between Visitors and Farmers! Making Biei the Best Place it can be!

…continue reading