The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan



press-1Casino Complex Plans Major Investment
The head of MGM Resorts International has said the company plans to invest about ¥1 trillion to build a first-class resort in Japan when and if the law permits (, September 9).

James Murren, MGM CEO, said, “We believe that the [Japanese] market could be the second largest in the world,” next to Macao.

Murren has been to Japan six times so far this year, to assess potential sites for the planned complex in various cities.

In Tokyo, he has targeted the current site of the Tsukiji fish market, which is set to be relocated next year.

He also visited Osaka and spoke to Governor Ichiro Matsui about the company’s aspirations to develop an integrated resort complex that incorporates aspects of Japanese culture, and which utilizes the latest technology for high energy efficiency.

US Company Consults on Fukushima Toxic Leaks
The Japanese government is consulting with a Utah company to help address radioactive leaks at Fukushima (Deseret News, August 22).

Cross Marine Projects is one of several global companies consulted for a solution to the roughly 72,000 gallons of radioactive water that daily leaks into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Cross has proposed injecting hydrogels into cracks in the soil that would harden to form a barrier wall. The technology is one the company has used for several years.

President Jim Cross said it would be more durable than the ice barrier the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. have been testing in recent months. Plus, he claims his technology would cost only a fraction of the $450 million estimated for the ice wall.

Domestic Leader Building Defense Arm
Fujitsu Ltd. has announced its acquisition of a US defense technology company (The Japan Times, August 26).

GlobeRanger Corp., based in Texas, makes a radio frequency identification system for managing information on various weapons.

Fujitsu is looking to enter the US national security market, following the loosening of regulations on Japan’s export of weapons and related technologies in April. In fiscal 2013, Fujitsu conducted about ¥40 million in transactions with the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

The electronics maker has reportedly also set its sights on the global defense industry beyond US and Japanese borders. In the UK and Australia, it currently conducts defense-related operations through subsidiaries.

press-2Mobile Alliance Sees Bright Future
A US-based phone carrier has been taking a page from Japan’s book to expand its product offerings, according to a company official (PC Magazine, August 27).

Sprint, which was acquired by parent company SoftBank in 2013, is working to bring more Japanese items to US consumers. In mid-August, Sprint began offering Sharp Co.’s Aquos Crystal phone to its US customers through a joint process with SoftBank.

Collaboration between the provider and its Japanese parent has given both businesses access to new suppliers and more negotiating power, according to Sprint’s head of product development.

Now the US company is looking at not only SoftBank’s relationships with phone makers, such as Sharp and NEC, but also the possibility of offering its customers other devices, such as phone cases and security cameras, which are sold through SoftBank in Japan.

Nanosheets Could Help Burn Victims
Researchers from Japan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have made great strides in the use of nanosheets for treating burns (The Malay Mail Online, August 17).

Addressing the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, Japanese scientists presented a novel way—using biodegradable nanosheets—of protecting burn victims from bacterial infections.

Tests have shown the sheets block common bacteria for three days before renewed application is needed. This reduces the frequency with which wounds would require dressing.

The MIT team introduced biodegradable nanosheets that allow controlled delivery of topical drugs. This would make possible the targeted treatment of one area of the body, while preventing the exposure of vital organs to drugs.

Researchers in both countries are now planning large-scale animal and safety tests.

Nations Fare Well in Economic Poll
A recently released economic survey has ranked the United States third and Japan sixth in terms of economic competitiveness (BBC website, September 2).

The Global Competitiveness Report 2014–2015, published by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, lists the same 10 countries in the top 10 spots for the third consecutive year, although their rankings are slightly different.

Japan beat Hong Kong and the Netherlands this year to move up two spots, while the United States leapfrogged Finland and Germany to achieve third place.

Switzerland took first place in the poll, followed by Singapore. There are a dozen factors in the assessment, including institutions, infrastructure, health and education, market size, and macroeconomic environment.

press-3NFL Coach Signed by Kyoto University
A former National Football League (NFL) player has signed on as the new linebacker coach at Kyoto University (The Japan Times, September 1).

Adam Seward says he has wanted to live in Japan since his days at the University of Nevada. He previously coached football in the country while working to earn his Masters of Business Administration.

Seward played in the NFL for five seasons from 2005, and had previously worked at NFL representative offices in Mexico and China.

The university’s team, the Gangsters, was prominent in the Japanese college football scene in the 1980s and early ’90s, winning six Koshien Bowl national championships. However, the team has not done well in recent years.

Kyoto University’s head coach Daisuke Nishimura said, “If he remains with us, we want him to be our defensive coordinator next year.”

press-4Virtuoso Air Guitarist Claims 2014 World Title
A Japanese woman has beaten the former world air-guitar champion, who hails from the United States, in the 19th Air Guitar World Championships (Deutsche Welle, August 30).

Nanami Nagura, whose stage name is Seven Seas, took the crown from last year’s winner, Eric “Mean” Melin, at the tight competition held in Finland. She is also the Japanese national champion.

Nagura was chosen after a third-round “air-off” with second-place winner Matt “Airistotle” Burns, who is the 2014 US champ. The two finalists had only one chance to hear the song “Sweatmaster” before beginning their performances.