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What better way to use your hard earned Japanese skills than making friends all over the world while avoiding being crushed to death by spiked ceilings or knocked into a bottomless pit? Japan-based educator and PhD student James York knows a thing or two about learning a language. As well as having passed the toughest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, he’s also an assistant professor at a Japanese university where he teaches English.


 
 
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Sony, which made its name as the electronics company that produced the Walkman portable music player and Trinitron television, is straying further from its roots into real estate. On Thursday, the firm said it’s venturing into the real estate brokerage business in Japan, hoping to create new revenue as it continues to struggle with losses from its flagging consumer electronics businesses.


 
 
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After decades drowning in deflation, Japan’s property market is re-emerging, with average prices for new condos in Tokyo hitting levels not seen since 1992, the Real Estate Economic Institute said this week. If the trend continues and broadens, it could mark a turnaround in the long-dormant financial fortunes of the world's third-largest economy. Such a turnaround is long overdue: Japan’s real estate prices have been falling for nearly 25 years. From 1990 to 2002, falling real estate prices swallowed an estimated $9.3 trillion of the nation’s wealth, according to the Nomura Research Institute.


 
 
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Junichiro Asami gave up a stable job to join a group of Japanese entrepreneurs building businesses based on 3D printing, showing the sort of pioneering spirit Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes can revitalize a calcified economy. Whether these entrepreneurs can lay the foundations for a new era in Japanese products though may depend on whether Abe can tear down barriers in a wider business culture that shuns risk and supports the status quo.


 
 
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The number of new condominiums put up for sale in Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures rose 16.4 percent in June from a year earlier to 4,007 units, a research agency said Wednesday. The average unit price fell 1.1 percent to ¥44.58 million in the greater Tokyo region, the Real Estate Economic Institute said. 




 
 
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Japan is poised to overtake Germany and Italy to become the world’s second-biggest market for solar power as incentives starting July 1 drive sales for equipment makers from Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. to Kyocera Corp. Industry Minister Yukio Edano set today a premium price for solar electricity that’s about triple what industrial users now pay for conventional power.


 
 
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Just when you thought there was no more commercial land left on which to build in Downtown Tokyo, here comes Japan Prime Realty Investment Corp. with an announcement of a planned 47 story, 2.13 million square-foot office complex on a little more than 2.5 acres.

 
 
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As Japan continues to rebuild after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami, one company has developed an ingenious new method to protect homes from the shaking—let them ride it out on a cushion of air. The technology is already being implemented all across Japan – at 88 sites, to be exact (based on company data as of 06/2011). Air Danshin Systems Inc. was originally established in 2005 to market and sell the technology, which was invented by a man named Youichi Sakamoto.


 
 
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Makers of Sanshu Kawara roof tiles in Aichi Prefecture have been boosting production since the March 11 disasters to meet huge demand spurred by the reconstruction drive. Sanshu Kawara is the brand of roof tiles made in the cities of Takahama, Hekinan and Handa. The tiles have been manufactured in this region, which has the right kind of clay, since the Edo Period.

 
 
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TIS&Partners has developed a construction material called CO2 Structure, which hardens quickly and delivers 2.5 times the tensile strength of concrete. "When CO2 is blown into silica, it instantly converts the silica into a material as hard as brick. And a brick can be formed in a little less than a minute. That's what's special about this material.