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No. 357, June 1999

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American Companies in Japan


CONSTRUCTION AND REAL ESTATE

Reports out of Japan say that the property investment arm of CB RICHARD ELLIS, the world's top real estate services company, will tie up with big condominium contractor DIA KENSETSU CO., LTD. to build condos. The prospective partners hope to capitalize on what many experts believe is the bottom of residential land prices. If the reported joint venture is formed, the Los Angeles company will be the first major foreign company involved in the residential or commercial construction business from the development stage. Earlier this year, CB Richard Ellis significantly strengthened its position in Japan by making the country's largest real estate services company part of its global network (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 353, February 1999, p. 16).

Time-share operator SUNTERRA CORP. apparently plans a two-pronged approach to the Japanese market. In addition to building or buying resort facilities and selling shares to individual owners, the San Mateo, California company will acquire underutilized properties run by financially struggling companies for their employees and open them to the public after renovation. Informed sources estimated that as many as five of the six or seven resorts Sunterra opens this year will fall into this category. The target vacation sites are within a three-hour drive from central Tokyo. Sunterra currently operates four time-share properties in Japan.

An exchange rate of ¥122=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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