Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 356, May 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


Trader SUMITOMO CORP. and its PRESIDIO VENTURE PARTNERS U.S. venture capital arm joined another venture capital fund in providing a total of $6 million in financing to HURRICANE TECHNOLOGY. This New York City-based start-up describes itself as a pioneer in using the Internet to give companies a fully integrated system for managing their brand assets and licensing operations and to help them create business-to-business networks worldwide. Hurricane's suite of products does this by integrating workflow operations across Web sites, intranets, extranets and legacy systems.

Two name companies that have developed technologies that each hopes will become the standard for delivering CD-quality music over the Internet while preventing illegal copying have decided to make their competing standards compatible. The collaborators are SONY CORP. and INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. The consumer electronics giant's OpenMG and Magicgate technologies are designed to thwart unauthorized copying and playback of digital music on PCs and audio players and recorders, respectively. These standards will be made interoperable with IBM's Electronic Music Management System. which, in addition to featuring copyright- protection technologies, includes tools for selling and downloading music from the Internet.

New features have been added to Job Management Partner 1, HITACHI, LTD.'s workload management suite, that will allow companies to harness the power of their Netscape browser to automate and manage computing tasks in distributed Unix and Windows NT environments. The JP1 suite provides job scheduling, batch management, event management, remote management, software distribution and network print services. Each component works with a Netscape browser-based Integrated Manager, which monitors, schedules, starts and stops processes. Hitachi's software products are sold in the United States by HITACHI COMPUTER PRODUCTS (AMERICA), INC.

Hoping to get a jump on the competition, NEC CORP. is prepared to spend as much as $83.3 million over the next two years and detail about 200 people at its NEC SYSTEMS LABORATORY, INC. unit to the development of a next-generation Unix- based accounting system for financial institutions, especially small and midsized ones. To coordinate this undertaking, NEC has established the NEC Financial Solution Center at its San Jose, California subsidiary. Integral to the project's goals is a system that is relatively inexpensive and that can be installed in a fairly short time.

NICHIMEN GRAPHICS INC., one of the leaders in the three-dimensional content creation market, and VIEWPOINT DIGITAL INC., the publisher of the world's largest 3D digital content library, have combined forces to deliver Nendo & LiveArt SE Workshop. This package of easy-to-use and powerful 3D modeling and rendering tools makes 3D accessible to a broad range of PC users since it costs under $100. That price includes 50 3D models. An extended library of 250 additional 3D models can be bought for $130. Nichimen Graphics is a NICHIMEN CORP. company. Viewpoint Digital is a subsidiary of COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC.

In another collaboration, DAIKIN U.S. COMTEC LABORATORIES, best known as the developer of the Scenarist DVD authoring and premastering system, and INTERACTUAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC. of Mountain View, California, which specializes in technologies that enhance the playback of DVDs on PCs, have brought out Scenarist Enhanced DVD Kit. This package for enhanced and hybrid DVD software production combines such Daikin DVD tools as Scenarist, Informer and ROM Formatter with development tools for creating Web-enabled DVDs based on InterActual's PCFriendly DVD software. Novato, California-based Daikin is in charge of worldwide distribution of Scenarist for parent DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, LTD.

ATLUS CO., LTD., the company behind the Print Club personalized photo sticker machine, has upgraded its Irvine, California office to a subsidiary to distribute game software for the home market. The firm's lineup includes its own products as well as those licensed from American developers. .....In what industry watchers say is a rare instance of cross-licensing among companies in the arcade game business, SEGA ENTERPRISES, LTD. has given ATARI CORP. rights to software that allows players to change the vantage point from which he or she views a game. In return, the Sunnyvale, California company has awarded Sega rights to its technology for minimizing the idle rotation of the steering wheels on arcade game machines. Analysts note that Sega has been very aggressive recently in trying to protect its intellectual property rights.

An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report. aaaaa

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