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Value Golf (

We continue on with our series on Japanese companies that are yet to go public and which we believe will do well over the next couple of years. We encourage readers interested in either doing business with these companies or with interest to invest, to contact the foreign liaison team at TNP Partners (see contact details below).

Even after 14 years of recession and tales of bankrupt golf courses and massive buy-outs by Goldman Sachs and Lone Star, in fact, golfing in Japan is alive and well. Estimates are that there are about 13,400,000 golfers in Japan and that the size of the golf-related industry is about 2 billion yen. The total number of visitors to all the nation’s golf courses last year was about 88,580,000.

Clearly then, the golfing business is making a come back. With the recovery of the economy and trickle down of company profits to employees, we expect golf course attendance to improve by at least 10% this year, making Goldman, Lone Star, and anyone else who picked up golf courses cheaply in the last 3-5 years look very good when their golf subsidiaries start to list – which actually, Lone Star will do on December 15th with Pacific Golf International Holdings KK. The valuation of the new company will be a cool US$310 million, resulting in a 50% profit (our estimate) on the listing.

Similar to general travel, the internet is playing a greater role in the life of golfers. Right now, golf course bookings through the Web are a mere 5% of the total bookings, but expectations are that this will grow rapidly as the convenience of booking tee times and memberships manifests itself through competition for slots that will inevitably occur now that the economy is recovering.

One company which is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the recovery is Value Golf. This company specializes in the planning, production, and publishing of a free golf newspaper “Value Golf”, as well as producing online golf content, operating an Internet golf course booking web site, and running a golfers’ call center. The founder and CEO is Michio Mizuguchi, who learned the trade of how to create compelling content and distribute it at the hands of the masters – Recruit. He worked in the highly successful Jutaku Joho print and online group in Recruit, which covers the competitive housing sector.

After leaving Recruit, Mizuguchi joined one of Japan’s major publishing companies, to publish a free newspaper for golf bookings, a business that he later negotiated the rights to and has spun off into his own business. The training at Recruit was invaluable, and Mizuguchi has been able to develop both the content and the distribution network to build Value Golf into a print run of 200,000 copies a month and currently the company is the industry leader in call-in and online golf course bookings. His business takes in about 15,000 reservations a month, and has a membership (as of September 2005) of 38,633 golfers.

Value Golf only does golf. As such it has stayed very focused and after just one year of operation has established a distribution network for its magazine of 1,300 outlets in the Kanto and 700 in the Kansai. It receives advertising and bookings information from 700 golf courses in the Kanto and 200 in the Kansai, and it takes online reservations operation for more than 170 cooperating golf courses in both East and West Japan.

More information about Value Golf is available from Yutaka Shibata, Manager of Corporate Communications at Tsunami Network Partners. TNP is one of Japan's largest independent venture capital funds and is invested in over 35 early-stage companies with technology and innovative business practices comparable to that of Value Golf.

Terrie Lloyd
・・・Investor in Training/


Team Tokyo Forex Weekly
November 24, 2005

Thursday November 17
It has been a hectic week of ups and downs so this weeks article is brief and to the point, watchout nextweek when my schedule settles after my move to Saitama.

Yen remains supportive above a 27 month low against the dollar. The markets buzz of a possible re-evaluation of the Yuan due to President Bush's visit. Which was denied by the Peoples Bank of China. The yen was boosted by a Japanese Ministry of Finance report of more foreign investors to buy more Japanese assets. The factors took the USD from 119.58 down to 118.50 against the Yen.

A US 2 year High against the Euro fell to a low US116.00.

Pound steadied on news of UK retail sales increasesed by .2% in October from the previous month then slumped to a two year low against the US dollars US171.00 following the quarterly publication of the Banks quarterly inflation report. The Central Bank down graded it's growth and inflation projections and revived expectation of another interest rate cut to come as soon as February.

Here is some commentary

USD/JPY Nov 23 2005
USD/JPY failed to break above 119.55 resistance again and sharp sell off from yesterday's high has pushed USD/JPY now to below 4 hours 55 EMA and getting near to mentioned cluster support of 118.26 (50% retracement of 116.86 to 119.55 at 118.21).

Our view remains basically unchanged so that current up trend is still in good shape as long as118.21/26 holds and rally in USD/JPY should resume after current range trading. But a break below 118.21 will suggest the whole rally from 108.75 may have made a top already and risk further pull back towards 116.86 support first.

From a bigger picture, USD/JPY is now getting to some important medium to long term resistance. Firstly, there will be 100% projection of 101.65 to 113.74 from 108.75 at 120.84. Then there will be long term pattern resistance at 120.71. Also, it's now getting very close to long term falling trend line (from 147.68, 1998 year high to 135.20, 2002 year high) which is now sitting at 121.51. Hence, we should be seeing continuous loss of momentum as USD/JPY approaches these levels and a sharp reversal could happen in the coming weeks.


Even though dipped further to 1.7065, strong rebound in late NY session indicates cable's decline is not ready to resume and it's still being bounded within consolidation pattern from 1.7097. Cable is now pressing previously mentioned cluster resistance of 1.7257/61(38.2% retracement of 1.7515 to 1.7097 at 1.7257, 23.6% retracement of 1.7793 to 1.7097 at 1.7261).

Back to the view in our weekly report, break of 1.7257/61 will encourage further rebound but upside should be contained by next cluster resistance of 1.7355/63 (61.8% retracement of 1.7515 to 1.7097 at 1.7257, 38.2% retracement of 1.7793 to 1.7097 at 1.7261). and bring resumption of medium term decline. Below 1.7174 will suggest the rebound from 1.7065 has ended.

From a bigger picture, ideally, we'd like to see the rebound/consolidation to be followed later by a break of 1.7049 level for resumption of medium term down trend from 1.8498 to projection target of 100% projection of 1.8498 to 1.7390 from 1.7902 at 1.6794. But a strong break above 1.7355/63 will muddy up this medium term bearish picture.

Editor : Jason Bainbridge



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(The above TTS Exchange Rates has been brought to you by the courtesy of GoLloyds TSB)
The above rates were posted at 10:09 on Friday, November 18, 2005 and are valid for funds received before 3:00 pm on Friday, November 18, 2005. All funds received after 3:00 pm are remitted the following day at the following day's exchange rates. The exchange rates provided are intended only as a guide. The Bank reserves the right to apply a different exchange rate if the market is particularly volatile.


No events this week.


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Disclaimer: This commentary is designed to help foreigners living in Japan understand the financial and investment opportunities available to them. It is NOT intended to constitute professional financial advice or an inducement to purchase the services and products mentioned. A condition of subscribing to this newsletter or reading this web site is that any actions taken by readers as a consequence of reading this column shall be the sole responsibility of the reader and no liability, implied or otherwise shall be assumed by Lloyd, Japan Inc. Communications, or other business entities related to either person.

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November 24, 2005 | Permalink


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