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Japan-U.S. Business Report

No. 350, November 1998

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American Companies in Japan


The group that runs the Asia Trade Center in Osaka has turned to Dallas- headquartered CROW HOLDINGS INTERNATIONAL (formerly Trammell Crow International) for assistance in managing and running its Town Outlet mall project. Scheduled to open in the spring of 1999 in ATC's underutilized building, the mall is expected to attract about 50 name retailers of clothing, sporting goods, outdoor gear and similar products. CHI's Tokyo-based Management Consulting unit will provide on- the-ground expertise to ATC. Management Consulting also could do double duty by helping ATC line up retailers since it represents American retailers interested in moving into the Japanese market. The Asia Trade Center was built in 1994 to promote imports.

Ground officially has been broken in Osaka for UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, INC.'s third theme park. Universal Studios Japan, set to open in the spring of 2001, is being built on 140 acres along the city's waterfront. It will be the focal point of a massive Osaka redevelopment project. The theme park will combine such popular rides and shows as "Jurassic Park - Ride," "Back to the Future - The Ride," "JAWS" and the "The E.T. Adventure" with new attractions designed specifically for Japan. Universal Studios Japan will be operated by USJ CO., LTD. The 39 shareholders of that company span Universal Studios, the city of Osaka and a cross section of corporate Japan, including HITACHI ZOSEN CORP., SUMITOMO CORP. and SUMITOMO METAL INDUSTRIES, LTD. The two existing Universal Studios theme parks are in California and Florida.

Just weeks after announcing plans for its third multiplex movie theater in Japan (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 349, October 1998, p. 15), AMC ENTERTAINMENT INC. revealed that it would build multiplexes at two additional locations. The AMC Maihama 16 Theater will be at Tokyo Disneyland in Chiba prefecture. Scheduled to open by the spring of 2000, it will include 16 auditoriums with a total of 3,500 stadium- style seats. The AMC Holiday Inn 18 Theater will be built next to the Holiday Inn hotel in Toyohashi, Aichi prefecture. Set to open in mid-summer 1999, it will offer 3,284 moviegoers the choice of 18 screens. AMC's first multiscreen theater in Japan, the AMC Canal City 13 in Fukuoka, opened in 1996. Its second location, the 2,664-seat AMC Nakama 16 in Nakama, Fukuoka prefecture, had a late November opening date.

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

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