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No. 350, November 1998

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Japanese Companies in the US


Japan's biggest residential mapmaking company, ZENRIN CO., LTD., acquired INTERSTATE AMERICA INC. from Canada's SOUTHAM INC. for roughly $1.8 million. Norcross, Georgia-based IA is the publisher of four travel resource directories for transportation industry professionals and the general public. It also provides ITS (intelligent transportation system) data for mapping software and in-vehicle navigation systems, a field into which Zenrin is aggressively moving (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 338, November 1997, p. 7). The Fukuoka prefecture company hopes to use IA to expand U.S. sales of map-based information products and services.

Management consultant D. BRAIN CO., LTD. and Manhattan's ROBERTS MITANI & CO. have formed a partnership to help entrepreneurial Japanese firms with promising technologies to expand into the American market. The Tokyo company will identify candidate start-ups. If they are interested, the New York City partnership and Roberts Mitani will advise them on doing business in the United States and provide support, including recruiting executives. The two partners are prepared to help 10 businesses in the first year of their tie-up.

A second code-sharing arrangement has been forged between the airline industries of Japan and the United States. ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS CO., LTD. and UAL CORP.'s United Airlines will code share on 391 weekly flights. The arrangement initially gives Japan's largest domestic carrier access to Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Nevada, Miami, Orlando, Florida, Phoenix, Arizona, San Diego, California, San Francisco and Seattle, while United now can offer the destinations of Fukuoka, Nagoya, Okinawa and Sapporo to its customers. JAPAN AIRLINES CO., LTD. and AMR CORP.'s American Airlines were the first transpacific carriers to announce a code-sharing deal (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 342, March 1998, p. 10).

An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.

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