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No. 365, February 2000

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American Companies in Japan


The enormity of the problem of contaminated soil and groundwater in Japan provides virtually unlimited opportunities for companies with expertise in environmental site investigation and remediation. One such firm is GREGG CONETEC INTERNATIONAL, LLC of Signal Hill, California. It is providing its cone penetration testing technology to RAITO KOGYO CO., LTD., a civil engineering company that is moving into the environmental cleanup business. Gregg's CPT process determines the extent of subsurface contaminants by driving into the earth a probe known as a cone penetrometer that is equipped with continuous data-logging devices and attached to a series of steel rods. In addition to CPT technology and equipment, Gregg will supply Raito Kogyo with truck-mounted hydraulic rigs for obtaining soil, vapor and water samples using conventional hollow-stem augers or the direct-push technique.

Marina operator BELLPORT GROUP, INC. is moving into the Japanese market in partnership with NISHIDA TEKKO CORP., a manufacturer of floodgates that also has a marina division. Their proposed Tokyo-based company, in which the Newport Beach, California firm will have a one-third interest, will target the 100 or so marinas in the country that can accommodate 50 or more boats. Many of these are losing money, but BELLPORT JAPAN CO., LTD. believes that it can turn them around by using BellPort's managerial expertise. The joint venture's first project, though, will be running a marina under construction in Uto, Kumamoto prefecture.

JUPITER COMMUNICATIONS, INC., which quickly has made a name for itself as an authority on Internet commerce, has tied up with the investment arm of HIKARI TSUSHIN, INC. to bring its research and advisory services to Japan. The two will form a Tokyo joint venture in which the New York City-based firm will have slightly more than a 50 percent share. The partners will develop their own analytical resources so that the advice they offer companies on Internet commerce strategies is tailored to local market conditions. They also will have a dedicated sales force. Jupiter's research services are provided primarily through subscriptions. It also stages executive forums, something that the company hopes to do in Japan.

The subsidiary of technology sector tracker GARTNER GROUP, INC. is diversifying. It will offer a service that helps businesses analyze the benefits and the costs of outsourcing various operations. At the same time, the Stamford, Connecticut company hopes to line up as clients companies that provide outsourced services. It will provide them with insight on market trends and help on marketing strategies.

An exchange rate of ¥105=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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