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Tokyu announces new branch at Paradise Park

Posted by pakin On August - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Japan’s Tokyu Department Store has announced its first local expansion in 29 years by joining hands with MBK Plc to develop a new store at Paradise Park mall on Srinakarin Road.

The new department store, due to open next year, will cost 400 million baht, said Suvait Theeravachirakul, chief executive of MBK, a SET-listed retail and hospitality company.

Tokyu Department Store at Paradise Park will be a joint venture between Paradise Retail, a subsidiary of MBK that operates Paradise Park, and Bangkok Tokyu Department Store Co, each holding a 50% stake.

It will be the second branch of Tokyu in Thailand following its flagship at MBK mall.

MBK operates a diverse set of companies in Thailand, with an extensive track record in real estate, hotels and tourism, golf, food solutions and the financial sector along with its most familiar asset, MBK shopping centre.

Tokyu Department Store is scheduled to open its doors in Paradise Park in next year’s first quarter.

The two-storey branch will feature gross space of 13,165 square metres.

The department store will offer leading domestic and international brands and products to serve the strong purchasing power in eastern Bangkok, an area comprising 1.7 million households in 10 districts within a 10-kilometre radius of Paradise Park.

Apart from Tokyu, other Japanese retailers in Thailand including Isetan Department Store at CentralWorld, Tsuruha health and beauty store, the FamilyMart and Lawson 108 convenience store chains and MaxValu Supermarket owned by Aeon Group.

Competitor Central Pattana Plc (CPN), the SET-listed developer and operator of Central shopping complexes, plans to introduce the CentralPlaza Salaya branch next Tuesday.

CentralPlaza Salaya, the 25th branch under CPN and valued at 4.2 billion baht, is located on 68 rai and comprises 180,000 sq m of space.

It has 250 stores featuring popular Thai and international brands, with Central Department Store again a magnet.

CentralPlaza Salaya is described as a lifestyle shopping centre boasting an outdoor atmosphere. It offers parking for 1,600 cars.

MBK shares closed yesterday on the SET at 15.70 baht, down 10 satang, in light trade worth 211,000 baht.

CPN closed at 47 baht, up 50 satang, in trade worth 275 million baht.

TOKYO – Typhoon Neoguri slammed into the Japanese mainland Thursday bringing widespread flooding, ripping trees from their roots and leaving houses half-buried under mud, as tens of thousands were urged to seek shelter.

The storm, which has left several people dead and a string of damage in its wake, caused havoc in many small communities as residents struggled to keep waves of dirty water from destroying their homes.

More than 500 houses in several prefectures were flooded due to the typhoon and heavy rain, according to public broadcaster NHK, with about 130,000 households urged to seek shelter.

“Water kept gushing into the house no matter how hard we tried to pour it out. We kept shoving out water all night,” said a woman in northern Yamagata Prefecture, where humid air brought by the typhoon caused huge downpours.

Officials warned over the risk of flooding and landslides as powerful winds and torrential rain batter the archipelago nation, with local authorities urging half a million people to seek shelter in Okinawa earlier in the week.

Neoguri hit the mainland Thursday morning near Akune City on the southern main island of Kyushu, which is home to 13 million people and lies next to the country’s biggest island of Honshu where major cities including Tokyo and Osaka are located.

The typhoon had crossed Kyushu by late morning and was forecast to make a landfall on Honshu by Friday.

The storm’s ferocity slowed somewhat overnight, now packing gusts of up to 126 kilometres (80 miles) per hour as it moved east at 25 kilometres per hour.

Nearly 50 people have been injured in the wake of the storm, officials and reports said, while as many as five deaths have been directly or indirectly linked to the typhoon.

– Gushing water, violent winds –

More than 190 flights were cancelled while the government was expected to hold a disaster-management meeting over how to protect against the force of nature.

The typhoon is likely to reach areas near the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant by Friday morning. The site’s operator said workers were bracing for the storm.

“We are tying up cables and hoses… and making sure cranes and booms don’t fall,” a company spokesman said.

“We will also beef up patrols in areas where water could flow in,” he said.

The storm’s massive downpours present an extra headache for the plant where workers are locked in a daily struggle to contain huge amounts of contaminated water, used to keep the destroyed reactors cool, as well as tainted groundwater leaking into the sea.

The plant’s operator is currently building an “ice wall” — freezing the ground around the plant — to solve the groundwater problem, more than three years after the worst atomic crisis in a generation.

Rivers and creeks were flooded in Honshu, with a mudslide swallowing a house and killing a 12-year-old boy who was inside.

The giant wave of muddy water was caught on a dramatic government video played repeatedly during round-the-clock news coverage.

“Upon receiving an emergency call on a mudslide in Nagiso Town, police and paramedics rushed there,” late Wednesday, a local police official said.

“They pulled a mother and her three children out of mud and rubble… but a boy, 12, was confirmed dead at hospital,” he said.

A middle-aged man in the town told public broadcaster NHK that he went out to see a river in the neighbourhood late Wednesday as he heard what sounded like “an earthquake”.

“I saw rocks nearly two metres (six-foot) big rolling down… I cringed at the sight as it was the first time I’ve seen something like that,” he said.

By Thursday morning, police and municipal officials said two elderly men were found dead in irrigation ditches in the northeastern and southwestern part of the country.

A 62-year-old man knocked off his boat in rough waters in southwestern Kochi Prefecture, while NHK said an 81-year-old fisherman died in Kumamoto prefecture on Kyushu.

The newly established Kantana Japan Corporation has been called a historic joint venture between the Japanese media empire and a leading Thai entertainment company.In this exclusive interview with The Nation, Surachedh Assawaruenganun, chief executive officer for film business at Kantana Group, reveals that his company aims for a deeper collaboration with its Japanese counterpart through film co-production and intellectual-property (IP) development in order to penetrate the global market further.

Why did your company decide to form a joint venture with Nippon Television Network Corp and Nikkatsu Corp in Tokyo?

I would say that it was quite long story. Early last year, Nikkatsu, which is the most famous filmmaker in Japan, visited our facilities as it explored opportunities to expand its business in Southeast Asia. At that moment, we acknowledged that Kantana Group was not the only option for this big Japanese movie-maker, as there were many potential choices in this region. After that, we held talks with them several times and made sure we shared a global vision, so we decided to establish Kantana Japan Corp in Tokyo last week.

What is your global vision?

Kantana Group wants to be an international entertainment conglomerate, not only in outsourcing services for international film production. Currently, Kantana Group manages more than 10 animated movies a year and offers post-production service to clients from 30 to 40 countries. We want to have deeper collaboration with international media companies for co-production as well as content distribution.

After long communication with Nikkatsu, we found that it wants a foothold in this region via different levels, including outsourcing, co-production and copyright distribution, on top of receiving orders throughout Japan for computer-graphics production in Thailand. Meanwhile, Kantana Group will offer the best-quality service for the Japanese partner, while Nikkatsu will bring more assignments from its clients in Japan.

Given your proven record in terms of regional projects in the past – Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster”, which was a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar contender, is one example – why do you need this joint-venture partnership?

Under registered capital of 100 million yen [Bt32 million], Nikkatsu holds 51 per cent of the total shares while Kantana Group has 39 per cent and Nippon TV 10 per cent. This is a long-term commitment. We aim to create films, television content and IP together and help each other to sell and distribute the content across the Asia-Pacific region in the near future.

In addition to this long partnership, even before the establishment of the JV, Kantana Group joined forces with Nippon TV to co-produce a Japanese game show called “Tore” aired on the Modernine TV channel since January.

To prepare for this new business from Japan, what needs to be done by Kantana Group?

We foresee that there is more room to grow for film production from pre- to post-production service in this region, as Asean, with about a 600-million population, will become a single market next year. Because the economies in the US, Europe and Japan take time to recover, major companies like entertainment giants are eyeing emerging markets like China, India and Asean countries.

To respond to this increasing demand, the company, not surprisingly, spent more than Bt200 million on new digital equipment, film and TV production technology and facilities for animation last year.

Not only do Nikkatsu and Nippon TV seek business partners in Thailand to explore opportunities to expand their business, but other Japanese media companies are doing the same. What is the benefit they hope to get from the Thai film and TV industry?

Thailand offers many things such as creative ideas, great talent, and good-quality service with affordable costs. I would say that film and TV production costs in the Kingdom average about 30-50 per cent less than in Japan.

A bridge to Fukuoka

Posted by pakin On July - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Low-cost carrier Jetstar Asia is now operating no-frill flights between Singapore and Fukuoka, the first low-cost carrier to connect these two popular cities in Southeast Asia and Japan’s South.

The new daily flight, on an Airbus A320, offers cheaper air travel and prompt service. Fukuoka, a youthful and friendly city, is the gateway to Kyushu Island and famed for its beautiful women “Hakata bijin” and hearty egg noodle “Hakata ramen”. Visit www.Jetstar.com.

An elephantine task

Jahn, the award-winning restaurant of the Conrad Koh Samui Resort & Spa, has introduced a new coffee menu featuring the Black Ivory Elephant Coffee. As the only purveyor on the island of this coffee, diners will be among the most privileged to savour one of the world’s most interesting coffees. The Black Ivory Elephant Coffee is created through a process whereby the coffee beans are naturally refined by Thai elephants at the Golden Elephant Triangle Foundation in Chiang Saen, northern Thailand.

Khon Kaen on demand

AirAsia has increased the flight frequency on its Don Mueang-Khon Kaen route to four daily flights. Departures are at 7am, 12.30pm, 4.40pm and 7.20pm and the return flights leave Khon Kaen at 7.55am, 1.20pm, 5.35pm and 8.15pm. Visit www.AirAsia.com.

Japan in the summer

The summer 2014 edition of the Visit Japan Travel Fair takes place Central Plaza Grand Rama 9 shopping mall from July 27 to 29. Focusing on independent travellers, the fair has everything you ever needed to know about travelling through Japan from rail passes to guesthouses, air ticket and food. Thai celebrities will be on hand to share their experiences. Visit Facebook.com/visitjapanth,

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