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PRESS | MEMBER NEWS

JANUARY 2015

New Hotel in NahaPress1
Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced a franchise deal in Naha, Okinawa, for a property to open in late 2015 (press release, December 9).

The Hyatt Regency Naha will be the first hotel from the brand on the island of Okinawa. The property will be located within walking distance of Kokusai-dori, the city’s primary entertainment district. It will comprise 294 guestrooms, four food and beverage outlets, meeting space, a fitness center, and an outdoor swimming pool.

Citing a rise in inbound tourism to Japan, Hyatt entered into the franchise agreement with a subsidiary of Ken Corporation, Ltd., which also owns a Hyatt in Guam.



Tech Show Draws a CrowdP1010182
Some three dozen US companies were represented at SEMICON Japan, the largest international exhibition of semiconductor materials (press release, December 5).

The Japan conference is one of eight global shows set up by the San Jose-based SEMICON association. The 2014 event was the 38th edition of SEMICON Japan, with companies such as Cisco Systems, Inc., IBM, and Intel Corp. hosting annual booths.

Commercial Service–Japan (CS-J) co-organized two multi-speaker panels on the Internet of Things and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).



¥1 Billion for N-cleanup
A California company has received a ¥1 billion grant to demonstrate its nuclear waste-removal technology for possible use at Fukushima (Business Wire, November 30).

Kurion, Inc. received the funds from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The company specializes in the removal of tritium, a water contaminant that is difficult to treat and can spread easily if it escapes into the air.

The particle has been at the core of debates on how best to manage the growing volume of irradiated water at the inactive Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. This deal is Kurion’s fourth major project at the Fukushima site, with a specified completion date of March 2016.



RE/MAX Eyes Women, Elderly
RE/MAX Holdings Inc. is targeting housewives and retirees for home buying as it enters the Japanese market (wn.com, November 27).

The Denver-based company began its Japan operations on December 1, and is looking to capitalize on Japan’s housing market recovery. Land prices in the nation’s three largest metropolitan areas have increased for a second year, since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in 2012.

RE/MAX was launched in 1973. It is known for its commission-based business model, which it is implementing in Japan, where the real estate brokerage market still comprises a majority of agents who are paid a salary.



Automakers Go WestPress3
Three Japanese car companies significantly increased production at their US plants in 2014, abandoning or downsizing domestic factories (CNBC, December 5).

Nissan Motor Co.’s factory in Mississippi has become the new worldwide production base for its 2015 Murano. Before, the vehicle was made in Kyushu. Nissan now produces 85 percent of the cars it sells in the United States in North America.

Toyota Motor Corp. builds nearly 70 percent of its vehicles sold in the United States in North America, while about 95 percent of the vehicles Honda sells in the country come from a network of factories in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Honda produces more automobiles in the US than in any other country.