Some of the Blueface Team are just back from a visit to Japan, to meet with our partners Panasonic, along with some other key players in the Japanese Telecom industry.
To say we were overwhelmed by our welcome and the hospitality shown by our hosts is an understatement.
Some quick facts – Tokyo’s economic impact is bigger than New York and London combined. Based on GDP, it has an economic value of about USD 2.2 Billion, compared to 1.3Bn and 0.6Bn for New York and London respectively. Tokyo’s population including the suburban area is enormous – 37.1 Million people and growing. The central business district in Tokyo increases by approximately 3.3 million people during the business day. Its total area is about the size of Wales….
If you think that the property bubble in Ireland was bad, this might give some comfort – apparently during the Japanese Real Estate bubble the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was worth more than the entire state of California!
Tokyo is probably the cleanest city I’ve ever seen – every road and pavement looks like that have just been laid, and there is hardly any litter in sight. Every wall, every street corner seem squeaky clean. Smoking is banned on the street although not in bars! Roadworks are apparent but the repairs are seamless – not a bump in sight. The subway and metropolitan public transport is incredibly efficient and clean, and punctual of course.
Our meeting with Panasonic was in Fukuoka, a 2 hour plane journey from Tokyo, and we were there two days after arriving in Tokyo. We got to see the latest Panasonic telephones and meet the whole team to discuss developments and how we could work together to provide the best IP telephony experience possible.
We were then accompanied back to Tokyo and brought to the Panasonic experience centre – Panasonic’s view of future technology along with some existing high tech including a very interesting fuel cell for domestic use, and a kitchen of the future which prepared meals like a professional chef – straight off the (holo)deck of the USS Enterprise!
A big thanks to everyone in Panasonic for hosting us, to Hiroshi for his kind hospitality, to Enterprise Ireland for arranging such productive meetings and to all our new friends in Japan. We can’t wait for our next trip…