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Highlights: August 2004 Issue

Piggybacking on Machine Exports: The Schneider Electric Story

France's giant Schneider Electric views Japan as a key source of engineering solutions and technology exported to foreign-based plant facilities.  And Schneider focuses on opportunities where it can differentiate its offerings and avoid cut-throat price competition for its electric and industrial control products.  For companies like Schneider, Japan is the source of much of its worldwide business, and being known to key players in Japan is crucial.  That's also why it acquired a Japanese company and worldwide leader in industrial touch panels, Osaka-based Digital Electronics, in 2002.  Get another view on Japan's technological leadership and the direction of those companies building plants around the world, by reading this in-depth profile.

A Specialist Offers Advice: "The Soil Contamination Law in Japan: One Year Later"

It may not be sexy or entertaining, but tremendous changes are being wrought in Japan by changes in environmental regulations.  The 2003 Soil Contamination Law has given local governments the ability to investigate, and if necessary order the remediation of, a wide variety of industrial and commercial sites that, in the words of our specialist contributor this month, "present a huge potential liability to the real estate, financial and corporate sector in Japan."   Whether or not you think your company understands the ramifications of this law, reading this primer will put your company on the path to minimizing its potential costs over the next few years. 

A Well-Known Brand Seeks a Larger Share of Mind: The Lego Japan Story

Denmark-based toy maker Lego is well-known in Japan and has always had a core following for its unique construction toy play sets.  But the advent of competition from video, internet and character toys, as well as Japanese knock-offs of its own toys, has changed the way it must compete in Japan.  Now Lego is fighting for share of mind not only among children, but among parents as well as teenagers, the future parents.  Smartly setting itself up for steady future growth, the story of Lego in Japan is a story for anyone interested in growing their business in tough consumer goods segments.

Japan Insight: Get the Scoop

Local film commissions promote Japanese locations, but do they actually help film producers?; More on the meaning of Mitsui's investment in Quintiles Japan; Nihon Unisys' projects reflect the diversity of its business; Etc.

From the Editors

Retiring business owners...the next wave of change for Japan

Plus much more...

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