Category Archives: BUSINESS

Vigilance and civic responsibility critical to East Asia’s success

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike announces the three-step road map for the easing of measures against the new coronavirus at the Tokyo Metropolitan government office in Tokyo, Japan, 22 May 2020 (Photo: Reuters/Yoshio Tsunoda/AFLO).

Authors: James Hou-fu Liu, MU, Chan-Hoong Leong, SUSS, Shu-yi Huang, NTUH, Sylvia Xiaohua Chen, HKPU, Hoon-Seok Choi, SKKU, Susumu Yamaguchi, UTokyo, I-Ching Lee, NTU and Yumi Inoue, CUHK

The COVID-19 outbreak that started in China’s central Hubei province is devastating the global economy. Yet some of China’s major trading partners — Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan — are avoiding the high levels of infection and death that plague China’s two largest trading partners in the United States and the European Union.

China has been more successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 than the United States and many EU member states. Singapore is also doing well, despite early exposure to the virus. The reasons why these diverse East Asian societies are slowing or stopping the spread of COVID-19 provide lessons for other countries. Observers suggest that their relative success is due to a cultural emphasis on collective interest and deference to authorities on matters of national interest.

In China, the spread of COVID-19 from a wet market with wild animals for sale demonstrates the continued challenges to China’s regulation of such food markets. Some local government officials suppressed early notification reports and COVID-19 was not officially announced until 31 December 2019.

This delay contributed to a major outbreak requiring the central government to take heavy-handed measures. China locked down Wuhan on 23 January 2020 and tried to prevent travel during Chinese New Year. Social distancing was imposed and the country’s resources were mobilised to fight the outbreak. These efforts flattened the infection growth curve by February and reduced new cases to a trickle by March.

Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 was exceptionally fast. Its experience of being shut out of the World Health Organization during SARS led to the creation of a …continue reading


The ARGYLE aoyama opens

On June 19, the 20-story mixed-use redevelopment of Aoyama Bell Commons reached completion. The 90-meter tall building, named the ARGYLE aoyama, includes office, hotel and retail.

The office space on floors 5 to 15 is already fully leased. One of the office tenants, WeWork is leasing four floors. Restaurants and retail on the 1st and 2nd floors opened on July 1st. Tenants include TEAPOND and Paul Stuart. Floors 3, 4, and 16 ~ 20 will contain the 42-room THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL, operated by Plan Do See, and scheduled to open in August. Rooms range in size from 32 ~ 61 sqm, while nightly room rates will range from 60,000 ~ 120,000 Yen. The top floor will have a rooftop restaurant and bar.

Mitsubishi acquired the former Aoyama Bell Commons building and land in 2015. A floor-area ratio allowance was granted to the project, increasing the FAR from 675% to 850%.


Kita Aoyama 2 Chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Source: PR Times, July 1, 2020.

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The post The ARGYLE aoyama opens appeared first on JAPAN PROPERTY CENTRAL.

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100-yr old post office listed for sale for 1 million Yen

A former post office in Kagoshima Prefecture has drawn a lot of buzz online for its charming appearance and low price, with buyer inspections already fully booked for the rest of July.

The former Kago Kinzan Post Office originally opened in 1904 but was possibly rebuilt sometime in the 1920s or 1930s. It was in use until 1981 when a new post office was built just down the street.

The 300 sqm parcel of land is listed for sale for 1 million Yen (aprox. US$9,300) with the old post office building thrown in for free. While the purchase cost may be low, it requires as much as 5 million Yen (approx. US$47,000) in repairs and renovations to make it habitable. It was occupied for a few years after its closure in the 1980s but has been sitting unused by the owner ever since.


— りっか@REHOME DELI. (@licca_898) June 28, 2020

Kinzancho is a small mountain village about a 15-minute drive from Makurazaki City. It has a population of just 170 residents as of 2015, although that number may have shrunk further since then. Makurazaki City has a population of 20,700 residents. The city population has been in decline since reaching its peak of 35,500 residents in 1955.


Kinzancho, Makurazaki City, Kagoshima Prefecture

Source: MyNavi News, July 2, 2020.

Sustainable development is key in responding to COVID-19

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Author: Aekapol Chongvilaivan, ADB

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments should spare no effort to strengthen public health systems and shield the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable. But for developing countries, fiscal and borrowing headroom were already limited before the outbreak. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should therefore be integrated into fiscal stimulus to bring about a swift, sustainable and resilient economic recovery. This will ensure fiscal responses achieve sufficient bang for their buck.

In light of the pandemic, fiscal policy must strike two goals at the same time — flattening the COVID-19 curve and limiting the economic fallout from the pandemic. Governments around the globe have been swift in ushering in much needed stimulus through public health spending, social assistance and financial support to shield businesses and workers from the economic shocks unleashed by the pandemic. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that these policy responses could reduce economic losses experienced by developing countries in the Asia Pacific by 30–40 per cent — the equivalent of US$4.1–5.4 trillion in economic damage avoided.

While the full extent of the health and economic impacts are yet to be seen, fiscal space and borrowing headroom are not without limits and will, sooner or later, be exhausted. As the pandemic unfolds, accommodative fiscal stances will become more difficult to sustain. This race is a marathon, rather than a sprint.

The COVID-19 pandemic could undo progress made in poverty reduction in developing countries. In Southeast Asia, it is estimated that the pandemic could see the poverty rate, which was forecast to decline to 15.2 per cent in 2020 in the absence of COVID-19, rise to 18 per cent. This will propel 18 million more people into poverty. Disruptions to supply chains, restrictions on …continue reading


Tokyo Apartment Sales in June 2020

The following is a selection of apartments that were reported to have sold in central Tokyo during the month of June 2020:

Building Sold Price
(USD/sq.ft) Days Listed Discount
Park Court Aoyama The Tower (2017)
/sq ft
102 0%

Park Court Aoyama The Tower is a luxury condo with an iconic curved exterior. Off-the-plan sales began in late 2016, with the building selling out just upon completion in December 2017. The average price when brand new was around 2,800,000 Yen/sqm. There were 11 sale listings in the 163-unit building as of June 2020 with an average price of 3,277,000 Yen/sqm. The average asking price of an apartment over 100 sqm is around 4,125,000 Yen/sqm, and 2,793,000 Yen/sqm for apartments under 100 sqm. This has been the only publicly reported resale in this building to date in 2020. The average resale price in 2019 was 2,660,000 Yen/sqm.

Brillia Towers Meguro (2017)
/sq ft
107 1.7%

Brillia Towers Meguro is a multi-tower high-rise office and residential complex located on the eastern side of Meguro Station. When new, apartments on floors 30 and above had an average price of 2,435,000 Yen/sqm, while lower floors were priced around 1,700,000 ~ 2,010,000 Yen/sqm. The building was completed in December 2017. As of June 2020 there were 6 apartments listed for sale in the 940-unit building. The average asking price is currently 2,268,000 Yen/sqm, while the average apartment size is 66.71 sqm. The average sale price to date in 2020 is around 2,123,000 Yen/sqm, up 3.1% from 2019 (2,060,000 Yen/sqm) and up 10.6% from 2018 (1,920,000 Yen/sqm). This was a corner apartment on a high floor.

Ebisu Garden Terrace (1994)
/sq ft
1 5.3%

Ebisu Garden Terrace Ichibankan is a 32-story apartment …continue reading