newsninja comments

Posted in: X Japan to make U.S. debut at Lollapalooza in August See in context

for a bit of introspective escape on a rainy day - check out the X-Japan "BALLADS" album... it rocks.. well, actually it isn't rock... nor what you typically expect from X... it ballads i guess you would say... some emotive stuff... talented pianist (and a moving singer) is Yoshiki... i stumbled across this gem - suggest people actively seek it out... worth having in the collection...

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Posted in: Japan: A paradise for entrepreneurs See in context

tokkim: are you not remixing & confusing your own Qs from above? - the Qs, i believe as written were 1. name 7 foreign run companies providing market-entry services 2. name a company owned by non-Japanese targeting the Japanese... times come & go, just as companies do, but I would confidently say that the guy(s) who started each of those of FXO, VC & OLM have a bunch of cash as a result... yeah - Tokyo is a hugely concentrated market, but the foreign community is really quite small, so the 6-degrees of separation "rule" is more like 2 or 3 here ! i've been here for quite a few years so would say we have met around the traps... trust your current venture is tracking well and the entrepreneurial spirit alive and kicking... or at least youre having fun plotting the next next thing... which is also half the fun of it...

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Posted in: Japan: A paradise for entrepreneurs See in context

of course you can do it all by yourself... but when time is money and you have many things to get done and need to get to market asap, to have an expert save you time & hassle, and so you to concentrate on your real strengths and do the marketing, product development & sales etc etc your business needs, these guys are a great source of headache relief, and most of them know and communicate the "value-add" tips... *** here are 10 (in no particular order), and I do know the presidents of all these companies:

proworks consulting 2. solid japan 3. ascendant business solutions 4. j-seed 5. htm 6. linc media 7. roundupkk 8. foreya partners 9. jmc consulting 10. QCIC consulting ***a couple of examples of businesses started by non-Japanese that targeted Japanese: FXOnline (& subsequently sold for $100s of MM of $s) 2. Oak Lawn Marketing (ditto to a $300MM sale of 51% to an NTT group) 3. ValueCommerce (ditto the huge IPO & part yahoo acquisition)...

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Posted in: Japan: A paradise for entrepreneurs See in context

a japanese lawyer (likely a judicial or administrative scrivener), will just execute on what you tell them (and if you don't know what you need, then this is a challenge!), and will in almost every case without fail - never offer any pro-active advice or explain alternate A or B etc to you, nor tell you the obstacles you will face in just a week out etc... go to a small bi-lingual consultancy that have a foreign national resident as the interface and a J-scrivener & team behind them... that way you will know (by way of example of many) to file the "initial tax return" within the first 3 months of incorporation (allows you to carry forward a loss for 7 years, to file a simplified consumption tax return etc), that shibuya tax office is probably not as quick to audit as the minato-ku tax office, that it will likely take at least 3 months to get a recruitment licence and the details of the processes to get that (including the online registration to attend the licensing seminar), and the floor space and separate area for a mtg room needed etc, the work rules, the implications down the track of an investor/business manager visa (yes, you can get one extended even if the company is just 1 year old and has made a loss)... the reason that people give up is part of why it is a paradise (believe that is part of what the author was saying)... & this is why a number of small bi-lingual consultancies headed up by foreigners are doing so well here in J-land (i can name at least 7 - many of whom are my close friends)... if you are dealing with J-scriveners / lawyers etc... NEVER ASSUME THEY HAVE GOT YOU COVERED - ASK and KEEPING ASKING, AND THEN ASK AGAIN... what if this, what if that... they will almost never be forthcoming... and this can have huge broadsides down the track...

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Posted in: Japan: A paradise for entrepreneurs See in context

azzassa, it seems what you did not do (or pay a decent consultant for) is research and advice... license & correct visa requirements are just part of the process, no different from getting a drivers licence, or setting the legal business activities your company will be permitted to undertake as per listed in the articles of incorporation, or how to act as the sponsor of the initial incorporation of the entity and then to get the visa sponsorship etc... its not really that different here as to any other company around the globe, and you don't need to bribe anyone... you just need to combine a bit of street smartness and research and that is half the initial battle... never be afraid to keep asking is that all, is that all, is that all...you have to just learn what questions you need to be asked, and keep asking and then ask again... jetro & other institutions bend over backward to attract entrepreneurs, as do some of the regional business parks, likewise the trade arms of the embassies... there are a swag of small bi-lingual consultancies that you can outsource this to also... that said, and what i agree with you is that being an entrepreneur can be lonely, aside the financial isolation, the family stress and the potential social risk you may expose yourself to, you as the head of the company, can't put on anything but a brave face infront of any employees you have, even if you don't know what you are doing or have no cash to pay the bills...you have to seek outside mentors to get you through the doubts or to bounce ideas off... before you quit the high-paying job, ask the bank for an increase in your credit card limit... when you play football, you just have to know how and when to pass the ball, and when to concede a free kick or lay a tackle... well, China - sounds cool... i just hope the legal framework is as stable and easy to work under as it really is here in J-land... researching the regulatory landscape prior is important, just as per you research the potential need for the product or service you will offer and the competitors already in your target market segment... having worked both as an entrepreneur here myself and at a consultancy that assisted over 50 start-ups with their needs, perhaps it is just from experience and a few initial mis-understandings, that i say Japan isn't that difficult at all... scars are good... fail earlier to be successful sooner etc... best of it for your China business venture

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Posted in: Japan: A paradise for entrepreneurs See in context

According to METI: 99.7% of Enterprises in Japan are classified as SMEs

yes, some are ma & pa shops, but it shows even amongst Japanese, that many are entrepreneurs, and not just big company e'ees. (albeit this data a touch old now:) http://www.chusho.meti.go.jp/sme_english/index.html i personally know & have worked with many of the foreign "entrepreneurs" here in Japan, including the author, and can say that once you know how to deal with the regulatory side, company set-up, taxes etc, this is a great market in which to be a forward thinker, and for all the reasons he briefly lists (in this what was possibly just an intro article as part of a series?)... some foreign multi-million dollar (exit-value) success stories include sales of: Fusion Systems, Japan Market Intelligence, ValueCommerce, Oak Lawn Marketing, just to name but several... if you've got an idea - and you are here - go for it! sure there are obstacles, but that's why others will potentially give up... suggest any would be entrepreneurs also check JETRO website as a good starting point

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Posted in: Model citizen See in context

absolutely CLASSIC ! the attitude on her face is just - PERFECT... like any catwalk waif only 200x the "i give a dam" impact factor ! awesome...

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Posted in: Architecture in Japan See in context

Yes, people here tend to get easily "blinded & hoodwinked" by "names"... and even the so called & supposedly different "designer mansions" i have looked at when seeking a room with a bit of creativity here are well, in reality, no more than the standard rectangular room with almost zero (original design or interesting thought on how to add a bit of style or flair put into them), and thus just a trendy marketing label! - anyway - all rooms/mansions need to be "designed", so why call it a designer mansion anyway?... my childhood "cubby-houses" were more imaginative than almost anything i see here!

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Posted in: The office: As viewed from the other side of the big desk See in context

well, yes, not perfect, but as a light-hearted read and a bit of escapism from the daily grind of the office, it wasn't actually that bad a read i thought... certainly not deserved of the comments above in my OCB view.. its easy to knock without providing something positive back to the authorship / readership... would hate to be your "worker or secretary" - infact i wouldn't if that was how you talked to people, would definitely turn the situation and give you those famous words of Trump - Boss "Your Fired"!... - So, anyone for coffee ???

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Posted in: Burn your copy of 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' See in context

5SpeedRacer5 : the references to religion & book burning are purely symbolic here - Mr. Sweet even says as much... the article is about keeping an open mind and continuously moving on to a higher plateau of re-invention & development - just as the great religions of the world prescribe... After I re-read the article (3x) and my initial shock and WTF wore off, I found this an excellently scripted self-improvement article. THE SPECIFIC REFERENCE you may be offended by is HIGHLIGHTED BRILLIANTLY BY THE FACT THAT a website (assumingly) put out & run by Buddhists refer to the exact quote that likely offended you, and explains Zen Master Linji's "Kill Buddah" quote (yes, this was said by a Zen Master): http://www.dailybuddhism.com/archives/670

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Posted in: Burn your copy of 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' See in context

David, I enjoyed reading your article. Thanks. My philosophy also encompasses the desire to continuously re-invent myself - in thinking & in action... sometimes this does not necessarily make me the easiest person to work with as I continuously question people or situations with "why", and desire to put new ideas into action, thereby "pushing" people out of "comfort-zones"... but I've found that over time, almost all people come to understand, accept & even thank me for doing so, and that my intentions were not that of a personal challenge or afront to them, but as a genuine interest to know more, to do the things we are doing better and to make a difference, at least as much as one can, for myself AND for them. Leading & inspiring for net good. The interesting part is that once they "get it" it becomes fun along the way for them too... as you say - humans are chaotic & creative ! Love it - look forward to reading more...

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Posted in: Chasing the cherry blossoms Part II See in context

This seems like its going to be a great story to follow - much more than a bike ride looking at petals... a whole examination of the country and the people... the psyche and many of the weird and wonderful things I have come to love about Japan... where potentially we are all peddling madly to get on the economic "get-yen-in-pocket-front", albeit to have it elude us just like the fleeting blossoms oft do... escaping our hands as it flutters by... anyway - hopefully there will be some drunken "blue-sheet" seated laughs along the way too so as to help us forget about the red yen blues... too bad my bike has a puncture... deflated & out of wind... just like the economy... & my ban account...

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Posted in: Tokyo Girls Collection See in context

37y.o - & last year... s/he won "Transvestite Miss World 2009"... this could just be the hidden secret gem & future "leading export" item in the arsenal that helps the Japanese economy recover... the "win" at the TMW09 also came with a gift certificate for "surgical procedures" - albeit i believe he had already "addressed" the issue, so to speak... usually has a brimming smile on her dial...

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Posted in: Food for thought – future of food See in context

i believe that if land is left vacant in certain "ku-s" the owners of the land are taxed in some additional and rather un-appealing way (as if all taxes aren't already unappealing!)... and that there is some tax benefit/break etc from paving over the land and in turning it into a car park... even if only temporarily... go figure ! & that is why there are not many "vacant lots" left as just sand or grass... perhaps some legal eagle amongst us can confirm or refute, so that we will all know why, as per Joni Mitchell sang, "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot"!!

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Posted in: Wipeout See in context

ouch - better put some ice on that bruise ! great shot...

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Posted in: Shampoodle See in context

MORNING DOG BREATH with a GASTLY NATTO twist thrown in for good measure ! poo-poodle to that!

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Posted in: Soak me See in context

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jigokudani_Monkey_Park

worth a trip - albeit you don't get to dip your feet... this is a planet of the apes (Tim Burton edition) scenario... man plays second fiddle here...

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Posted in: Cost-cutting hits TV stations See in context

looks like those bony "no-tarentos" have been avoiding the food at the TV stations for years already!... then you have the big dude in the overalls (Ishii), who goes "mai-u" to everything he stuffs in his mouth - eating freebies in external restaurants - looks like he discovered where the bread was buttered, so to speak, a few years back... oh, no more backroom snacks - poor souls, how can they possibly survive and be expected to perform... no wonder the TV shows are generally so devoid of anything of interest and the ones that draw in the most "stars" are those "travel around the countryside and stuff your face" and go "oishii" based shows... they genuinely are hungry !!!

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Posted in: Happy birthday Moe! See in context

fits lovely with the season at hand... & why a 30y.o "talento" is in need of a birthday makeover... - in Japan there is a saying along the lines of she's "Xmas Cake" - as in, left on the shelf after the 25th and no one wants it... meaning, if they aren't married off by 25, they have little hope of being so... albeit with the above "presents" i am sure there will be a long list of "I want one of those" submitted to Santa for the 25th... ho ho ho...

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Posted in: Hot tub See in context

a new 7/11 ODEN offering perhaps???

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Posted in: Shinjuku Christmas See in context

for those who are feeling suicidal and can't find the story... first there was yellow peril, then the threat of the reds, then came the green revolution and now we have the deep blue... and for those of you who saw the movie of the same name - you will know he joined the dolphins and left the earth... suicide by drowning perhaps? http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/more-tokyo-train-stations-start-using-lights-to-stem-suicides

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Posted in: Shinjuku Christmas See in context

the blue lights... its to stop the suicides - didn't you read the other JT article? interestingly enough - those blue lights to stop the suicides were at the train stations... go figure... go toot toot... go commute !!!

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