Apologies: Blog is moved

September 14, 2007

I have moved Tokyotronic to Blogger.com.

The new URL for my blog:


My sincere apologies to the people who already subsribed.


Club Penguin-Scale Acquisition in Japan

September 11, 2007

Livedoor (Japanese only), THE Internet company in Japan, is set to sell its shares of its software sales subsidiary Yayoi (Japanese only) later this month to MBK, a quite famous private equity fund active in Japan, China and South Korea.

MBK is pumping a whopping 71 billion Yen into the deal. That is 624 million USD! MBK will borrow a portion of the sum from Swiss financial powerhouse UBS.

Livedoor bought Yayoi in 2004 for 20 billion Yen (158 million USD) – not a bad deal, indeed. Previously, Yayoi was a Japanese subsidiary of American accounting software giant Intuit (known particularly for Quicken). Insiders think it is likely Yayoi will go public in the near future.

Virtual world Club Penguin was sold to Disney last month for an estimated 700 million USD, creating a huge buzz not only in the Internet business world. With Livedoor receiving roughly 90% of this huge sum, you can see a) the Japanese web business is not about peanuts at all and b) outside this country almost no one notices deals even of this size.

Japan plans to reinvent the Internet

September 11, 2007

This first blog entry already deals with a hot topic, Japan eyeing a post-Internet network.

Two weeks ago, the Japanese communications ministry (総務省: Soumusho) said the new technology is a must regarding current security issues and quality problems on the web. The new Internet architecture is planned to be brought into commercial use in 2020.

According to communications minister Yoshihide Suga cooperation between various academic, governmental and business organizations will begin as early as this fall. The budget for the project is not yet fixed. The Japanese fiscal year begins on April 1st, 2008.

Hmmm, what can we expect from this? Although Japan used to be No. 1 in the mobile Internet field (I used NTT Docomo’s excellent imode service for the first time in early 2000!), the country never was never really able to penetrate and set standards in foreign markets.

Maybe all this will change especially since Japan is open this time to cooperate with other countries including the US. The new network is planned to cope better with breakdowns, viruses and spamming. Moreover, the Japanese would like to ensure faster data transmission. Sounds good to me.

The political and economic intention behind the project is clear: Japan stands out as a pioneer in internet architecture and related hardware and software businesses here can enjoy a much-needed improvement in global competitiveness (more on this at a later time).

The media here (TV, online, print) reported in-depth about the planned post-Internet network. I will keep you up-to-date.