Growth of Zipcar into Tokyo: A Global Economic Case Study

Prior to examining our research and introducing Zipcar as a firm, it is important that the reader of these findings understand the concept of car sharing, as well as its historical context. In theory, the first informal experiment with car

sharing was a 1948 project known as Selbstfahrergenossenshaft, conducted as part of a housing cooperative in Zurich. However, the resemblances of the modern car share concept were first introduced to the world in the 1969 Witkar project. Translated from Dutch into “White Car,” Witkar was the evolution of Amsterdam politician Luud Schimmelpennink’s “White Bicycle” program which he had introduced nearly a decade earlier. In this revolutionary experiment, hundreds of bicycles were painted white and situated around the city of Amsterdam. Anybody had the right to borrow one; they could retrieve any white bicycle they saw in the city, ride it, and then simply leave it at their destination. The hope was that the project would reduce the reliance on automobile travel within the city limits, and carried with it a great level of trust in its users. After being elected as mayor of Amsterdam, Schimmelpennink introduced Witkar, which were a fleet of three-wheeled electric vehicles. There were thirty-five vehicles situated in five different centers around the city. The concept of Witkar, as is the concept of modern-day car sharing, was that members were given a key to the vehicles which they could pick up and return at the location closest to them. While technology has made many advances, especially with the advent of the Internet, this basic principles of the program remains the same. The 1980’s and 1990’s saw a great deal of innovation and global expansion of car sharing. At the turn of the millennium, car sharing was introduced to America by our firm, as well as our largest competitor, Flexcar, who began operations in Portland, Oregon. At the present time, car share operators are based in seventeen countries around the world. In North America, fifty-seven cities are host to forty-five hundred vehicles which are available for use by one hundred and fifty thousand members. As a concluding remark, it is important to distinguish the difference a car share operator and traditional car rental companies. Two distinguishing factors of car sharing are; first, that the vehicles are situated in central locations dispersed around a city, and second, vehicles can be reserved by the hour. As it will be explained latter, car sharing and car rental are two entirely different concepts with two entirely different target markets.

Zipcar – A Brief Overview
Zipcar was founded by Robin Chase and Antje Danielson in the June of 2000, in Boston, Massachusetts. Toronto became the first international city which Zipcar served, beginning in May of 2006. Zipcar currently operates in fourteen states and provinces, as well as London in the United Kingdom. Please refer to Exhibit 1 in the Appendix for a full list of cities where Zipcar operates. Currently, Zipcar is not only the largest car share operator in North America, but in the entire world; with a fleet of twenty-five hundred vehicles and a membership of ninety-thousand. Robin Chase was succeeded by our current CEO, Scott Griffith, in February 2003. For a further listing of our corporate team, please refer to Exhibit 2 in the appendix. Zipcar is the only car sharing operator that has achieved profitability in all markets in which it operates, and has maintained said profitability since July 2004. A further discussion of the financial position of our firm and enviormental factors will be discussed later in these findings. Also in 2004, Zipcar launched its Zipcar for Business (Z2B) program to provide transportation options for businesses around the country, including Whole Foods and Krispy Kreme. Around this time, Zipcar also began a series of successful strategic alliances with universities around the country, offering student discounts and conveniently situated cars on college campuses.

Zipcar – An Explanation of our American Operations
Zipcar works on a membership bases. The initial membership fee for our U.S. operations is $100 and there is an additional annual membership fee of $50. Rental rates then start from as low as $7.50 per hour or $56 per day. After completing their application, a member will receive a “Zipcard” in the mail. This revolutionary card not only serves as proof of membership, but also as an unlocking device for all of the vehicles within the Zipcar fleet. There is a mechanism hidden in the windshield of each vehicle; when a member waves his or her card near the windshield the door is unlocked, and the member will find the key to the vehicle inside waiting for them (attached to the steering wheel via a tether to discourage theft and lost keys). The Zipcar fleet has twenty different models to choose from, depending on the city, with choices including, BMWs, Volkswagens, Toyotas, and more. A member must logon to the easy to use Zipcar website to reserve a vehicle. While reservations are accepted up to one year in advance, many users simply reserve their vehicle minutes before use. On the website, a member is presented with a map of their city showing the exact location and model of cars available to them for the date and time they request. The member then reserves the car for the duration requested, and a charge is automatically placed on their account for that reservation. Included in the rental rate is one-hundred and twenty-five miles of driving as well as the price of gas. Inside each vehicle is a gas card, which a user can use as payment at a gas station when the fuel gauge drops below one quarter of a tank. All of the vehicles are visited by cleaners once a week, as well as being cleaned on an on-demand basis when a car is reported dirty. Furthermore, each vehicle in the fleet is replaced every one to two years, depending on the make and model, to ensure a modern and up-to-date range of vehicles from which to choose. Zipcar is an industry leader in technology and amenities for its drivers; each vehicle is equipped with XM Satellite radio.

The Project – Japanese Expansion
With our continued success in North America, and our recent achievement in the United Kingdom, we at Zipcar believe it is time to expand into the Japanese market. While a successful concept in Europe and North America, car sharing has had limited exposure to the Asian market. The city of Singapore is the only Asian city which has car sharing, operated by Whizzcar. The following pages will illustrate why we have chosen the city of Tokyo in Japan as the next market for us to enter. We believe, as the world’s largest car share operator, we will be able to establish ourselves as a brand in the growing Asian market and benefit from many first-mover advantages.

We are going to enter the market in Tokyo through a transnational strategy because it combines both a global and multi-domestic strategy. While much of our service is standardized, there are still several factors which must be adapted to satisfy the specific needs of the culture and market in Tokyo. One important adaptation comes from the fact that the issue of global warming is of growing concern in a city known for extensive gridlock. Additionally, Tokyo sees fuel prices a dollar per gallon more on average than in American cities. As a result we will service the market with only fuel efficient hybrid vehicles. This will satisfy the environmental concerns of our market base, while at the same time keep our own fuel costs extremely low as a hybrid, on average, receives fifty miles to the gallon of gasoline. Furthermore as a car share operator, our product is actually reducing the total number cars on the road and in the United States research has shown that car sharing has served as a substitute for many people to car ownership. For instance, if there is 1% of the population using car sharing, a definite minority, the number of cars owned and on the road will be reduced by 2%. Specifically, we plan to purchase only the Toyota Prius. The decision of this specific hybrid vehicle is the result of two major factors. One is that the real estate expenses constitute a large portion of our annual expenses. The Prius is a relatively small vehicle, requiring only twelve square meters of land to house the vehicle. The other reason is that Toyota produces the vehicle in Japan, which will keep transportation costs down, and has pledged to increase production of the vehicle, which over time will result in its further decease in price.

We will enter the market through a subsidiary established by a Greenfield investment. This decision is two-fold, first there currently is no car share operator thus making a strict acquisition impractical. Second, a subsidiary established through Greenfield investment will allow for our firm to build a unit in Tokyo which is able to differentiate itself from U.S. operations and satisfy local responsiveness. Through this strategy we will still be able to transfer the facets which serve universal needs such as our core competencies, business model, and technology platforms; yet still will be able to adapt such aspects as pricing, corporate culture, and customer relationship management, establish a subsidiary and to achieve success, we are going to alter our service to Japan’s preferences. Upon our entrance into Tokyo, Zipcar will clearly face many first mover advantages because our car sharing is a new concept in Japan. Typically car services in Japan rent out their service on a daily basis.

Cultural Factors and Adaptations to Service the Market
In Japan, there are certain times when vacations are concentrated, such as the Golden Week, New Years, and the Bon Festival. As a result, the transportation systems in Tokyo and around the country see an influx is usage. This is perceived by our firm in two ways; either we will see an increase in our product as more people travel or we will see a decrease during this time period as residents require less temporal modes of transportation. As this concept has yet to be tested in the market, the evaluation of these two outcomes must be taken in our first year of operation. If we find an increase in usage, the following year we can increase prices during these time periods, however if we see a decrease, in the following year we can experiment with longer duration rental rates for those specific times only. Another factor to consider is the strong sense of ownership which Japanese hold. As a result, it may be initially difficult to foster a sense of joint ownership.

Although this certainly is one side of the issue, we can see the other side as well. It coincides with the Japanese curiosity of new products and technology. The fact that we will be using only hybrid vehicles, coupled with the introduction of a revolutionary concept to the market, we believe will attract first-time users. Then our new users will realize that our system is more convenient and less costly than car ownership or other alternatives of transportation. As a result, we suggest modifying the pricing structure of initial membership fees. While in the United States first time users face an upfront cost of $150 before becoming a member, we plan on cutting this in more than half and making these charges total 8400 yen, or the current equivalent of $70.

Human Resources
Our human resource structure revolves around three distinct employment fields, strategy and operations, maintenance and cleaning, and customer service. We are convinced that it is to our benefit if we hire local employees to service the strategy and operations aspects of our firm. While main strategic decisions will remain centralized at our corporate headquarters in Boston, we will still require a local staff to implement a locally responsive marketing campaign and place our vehicles in the most efficient places in the city. Other functions of our local employees will include the coordination of membership registration, working with local business and universities to create partnerships, and working with our local suppliers and governmental officials to build strong successful relationships. Our maintenance and cleaning functions will be more efficient if they are outsourced because our small fleet does not precipitate owning our own maintenance facilities. Similarly, because most of our business is conducted via our internet portal, we anticipate a low level of customer service inquires. Thus, we feel that this function will be more efficiently served through outsourcing as well, with our local employees serving as an intermediary.

As a new company and entirely new concept, the marketing function is very crucial to the success our company. We plan to place advertisements in local newspaper, sports daily magazines, radio ads, and on the internet. Advertising in local newspapers will prove less costly than placing ads in major newspapers and many Tokyo residents read such mediums just as often. Such examples include, Tokyo Shimbun, Nikkan Sports, Sankei Sports, and The Daily Yomiuri. We will also purchase ad space on popular search engines such as Google, since our service is accessed through the internet. Moreover, we shall not forget to market Zipcar through transit advertising. This is because our product will serve as in one function as an alternative to public transportation and because railroads are the main means of transportation in Tokyo, over 21 billion passengers annually.

Target Market
Our intended target market will be city residents in the age group of eighteen to thirty years old. The main reason for this decision is that it models our current model. Furthermore, this age group is one which has a disposable income which would allow for the cost of our product, but may not have such income to constitute car ownership. Additionally, our product services the needs which many in this age group may have such as running errands, visiting friends and relatives, and taking day trips. As a consequence of the population density and road congestion of Tokyo, many residents don’t own a car. However, outside of the city public transportation is inconvenient, thus making Zipcar an ideal solution to short-term suburban travel. Also, because our product relies heavily on computer literacy, it is important that our customers have access to computers and are familiar with its use. This age range successfully satisfies that condition as the generation that came of age during the advent of the internet. Finally, this age range represents almost twenty-five percent of the population of Tokyo, thus creating a large population for a market base.

One manner in which we will approach this target market is by translating a successful partnership program which has been established in our U.S. operations. As will be discussed in the following section, Tokyo is home to a large student population. In the United States, Zipcar has partnered with over thirty universities to bring our service to students at a discounted cost. Currently, through this partnership, Zipcar has acquired and maintained fifteen-thousand members, representing one-sixth of our entire membership. Zipcar allows students to leave campus and accomplish things they would be unable to do with public transportation such as run errands or go on an interview. Furthermore, data from our U.S. partnerships have shown that universities who utilize our program are able to limit the number of parking spaces required, which is especially important because of the high level of commuter students in Tokyo. Thus, the situation is win-win for all parties involved, thus making it a program which is easy to sell and establish.

Why Japan?
Japan is an extremely prosperous country with the world’s second largest economy, only behind that of the United States. The nation is home to a sophisticated consumer base which has a high level of purchasing power and disposable income. The average Japanese household has the equivalent of over $100,000 in savings, and a disposable income of $4,100 per month. Japanese consumers spend hundreds of billions of dollars in consumption of goods and services on an annual basis. Additionally, Japan is the U.S.’s fourth largest trading partner, thus making it a relatively easy market to enter because of favorable trade and regulation agreements. In recent years, the Japanese government has launched an ambitious program to improve their business environment and increase the use of information technologies throughout Japanese society, all of which will open up more opportunities for U.S. suppliers of services such as ourselves. As mentioned earlier, Singapore is the only Asian city in which car sharing is currently available, thus leaving open a tremendous opportunity to capture other markets on the continent. We see our initial introduction into Tokyo not only as a means for development in a single city, but as a base to launch further expansion in Asian markets in the future. This is an extremely important fact as countries such as China, Mumbai, and others in the region, are expected to see tremendous growth in the coming years. Our presence in Tokyo will allow Zipcar to begin to move down the experience curve in adapting our product to Asian culture and create brand recognition of our firm. Furthermore, our initial membership and annual fees create switching costs; thus capturing the initial market will make it difficult for a competitor to come in and take away from our customer base.

Tokyo was chosen as the base for our Japanese operations because of an analysis of country, technological, and product factors. Tokyo is a metropolitan prefecture that consist twenty-three special wards, the Tama Area and several small islands, with an overall population of 12.54 million. This constitutes about 10% of the total population of Japan, making it the city with the largest population among the nation’s forty-seven prefectures. Additionally, it is the most densely populated prefecture in Japan. This is important because our business model relies on placing the vehicles in various sites around the city, yet they must be convenient to the locations of our users. The nominal GDP of Tokyo is $1.315 trillion and an unemployment rate of fewer than 4.5%, which is actually lower than that of most developed countries around the world. Tokyo is the center of Japan in many ways; it is the national center of government, business, higher education, information technology, media, and culture. These locational externalities will serve as a resource to our growing firm. Our presence in such a city will allow the firm to interface with Japanese customers, obtain market information, and build and maintain relations with important Japanese governmental ministries. Furthermore, the literacy rate of Tokyo residents is around 99% for those older than fifteen years of age. This ensures an educated customer base, which not only ensures us of a population which will be able to utilize and understand our product, but also serves as confidence that the Japanese market will continue to thrive and grow into the future. In addition, Tokyo currently has the largest metropolitan economy in the world, and is the major international finance and trade center. Furthermore, the number of colleges and universities of Tokyo dwarfs that of anywhere else in Japan. As it was mentioned earlier, as in our U.S. operations, we believe a large core of our customer base will be university students. The most well known center for higher education is the University of Tokyo, which houses a student body of thirty-thousand, both graduate and undergraduate. In the city of Tokyo, there are a total of over fifty universities, with a total student population of over one million. Finally, the technological infrastructure of Tokyo rivals that of any major worldwide city. There is sufficient bandwidth capabilities, computer literacy rates, and internet access for our web-based reservation platform to be transferred with ease.

Trade and Regulation
Since a foreign national will be the manager of our subsidiary In order for Zipcar to operate in Japan we will need to obtain a visa with a valid passport. To obtain the visa, we will need to apply for Certificate of Eligibility submitted to Immigration Bureau in Japan. By the regulations of the Japanese government, we are subjected to pay Japanese taxes affiliated with our company. We are accountable for corporate inhabitant tax and corporate enterprise tax (JETRO), refer to appendix for the actual tax amounts.

Application and Registration Process
As a new company in Japan, Zipcar will need to register itself with the local government. The cost for the application fee is 21,000 yen and registration is 66,000 yen. It can take as little as three months to file the application, however in most cases it usually takes closer to six months for examinations and an additional two months for registration. Therefore, on average it will take a total of eight months to complete the process, thus we must plan our entrance time frame accordingly; either beginning the process before entrance or establishing the subsidiary with the understanding that operations will not begin until approximately eight months after arrival. Refer to Exhibit 3 in the appendix to see a diagram of the application and registration process.

Japanese and U.S. Relations
The U.S. constantly urges Japan to expand its market to foreign investment. On July 1, 1996 Japan signed the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement in an effort to increase the opportunities for foreign firms and boost international competition in government procurement in Japan. In a recent article entitled, “U.S. Treasury official urges Japan to allow entry of more foreign Firms”, a senior U.S. Treasury official encourages Japan to continue to open its market because it will benefit its economy. The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe accepts the advice and expects to establish new investment opportunities and promote competition (Klug).

Zipcar will be entering Tokyo as an innovative and new concept, thus there are no direct competitors which already fulfill the need our service provides. With that being said, there are three categories of industries and firms which will indirectly compete with our product and thus are worth being discussed and examined. These three categories include car ownership, car rental, and public transportation. Briefly, as mentioned earlier, utilization of our service can very realistically serve as an alternative to car ownership. In fact two studies in the United States have shown that under moderate to average use, car sharing will prove less costly then ownership. This is especially true in Tokyo, a market with extremely high fuel, real estate, and tax prices. While our pricing strategy does not consider ownership as a competitor, it is a note to bring out in our marketing strategy and campaigns. For instance, because land is scarce in Japan, there is a high cost for parking. Individuals are often asked to show proof of owning a parking permit before a car sale can even be approved. Consequently, many residents do not own a car.

The second indirect competitors are car rental agencies. It is again important to clarify the differences, both operational and target market, between traditional car rental firms and Zipcar, a car sharing operator. The two primary distinguishing factors are that our vehicles are available for use on an hourly basis, rather than a daily minimum, and our vehicles are centrally located in various sites around the city, rather than centrally located near an airport. The target market of most car rental agencies are tourists who are visiting Tokyo for a minimum of one day, not the residents who live in the city as is our target market. Major international car rental companies which operate in Tokyo include Budget, Avis, and Hertz. Additionally, leading Japanese car rental companies which also operate in the city include Eki Rent-a-Car system Co., Ltd., Nissan Rent-a-Car, Nippon Rent-a-Car, and Orix Rent-a-Car. They operate hundreds of outlets across Japan, offering cars in all sizes and, in some cases, large vans, buses, and RVs. Average rental prices at these firms in Yen for a twenty-four hour period, with unlimited mileage are as follows; Sub-compact for 5,000 – 11,100, Compact for 9,000 – 13,500, Intermediate for 14,000 – 30,000 and Standard 29,500 – 31,000. These prices played a significant role in the hourly pricing structure we ultimately decided on for our service.

The final indirect competitor for our product is the public transportation systems. Tokyo has a dense network of train, subway and bus line, which are the most convenient means for moving around central Tokyo (see Exhibit 4). However, again the target market of this transportation mode differs from ours. The user base of people traveling within Tokyo using our service will be limited to those needing trunk space or the other conveniences of their own vehicle. Our product is more geared towards those users who will be leaving the city limits of Tokyo, where mass transit lines are less convenient and available. It is still important to note transit costs in the city; one unlimited ticket costs 1580 Yen, which includes all subway lines Toei and Tokyo Metro and JR trains in the central Tokyo area on one calendar day. It is also valid on buses and streetcars operated by Toei.

Pricing, Cash Flow, and Net Present Value Analyses
This concluding section of the report will discuss the pricing plan of our product as well as a full cash flow and net present value analysis. Please refer to exhibit 5 which shows a complete cost break down of costs and revenues for the first two years of operation. There are a few assumptions our team has made based on the market and economy data we have collected in order to correctly project the following figures. First, based on the population, market size, U.S. operations, cultural factors, and economic position of the city’s residents we predict to garner a membership of 200 new members within our first year, followed by an additional four hundred members in our second year as our concept continues to grow and catches on. As a result of this projection, we plan on purchasing thirty vehicles in our first year to service our members. An additional vehicle purchase of the same amount will occur at the beginning of year two. In our cash flow analysis you may notice that depreciation of the vehicle value is not taken into account. This is because, as mentioned previously, our plan is for each vehicle to be overturned for a new one every two years. Not only will this ensure a fleet which is modern and appeals to our customers, but we also believe the cost of replacement will be offset by other costs. Japan regulates two different taxes and fees which apply to cars older than two years which total near 120,000 yen, which is close to $1,000. Additionally, our own maintenance and cleaning costs will remain reduced as we will only be servicing a newer fleet of cars. Since this analysis only covers the first two years of operation, the overturn of the vehicles are not reflected, however, the resale value will be credited towards the purchase of the new vehicles. A final assumption which the analysis took was the current Dollar/Yen exchange rate of 119.5 ¥/$. Our exposure to exchange rate risk is limited only to the remittance of earnings at year end due to our strategy holding a new subsidiary. Still to counter this risk, we plan on purchasing currency options which will give us the right, not the obligation as if we had instead purchased futures, to exchange our yearend figures at a locked in rate. As a result, please note that all following statements of currency will be denominated in Yen. For the conversion into dollar amount, please again refer to Exhibit 5. The cash flow analysis to follow will now proceed in the following three categories: set-up costs, first year annual costs, and first year revenues.

Our largest initial outflow will be the purchase of thirty new Toyota Priuses at a per vehicle cost of 2,000,000 Yen. With the purchase of a new vehicle in Japan also comes two compensatory taxes; an acquisition tax which is five percent of the vehicle value and a weight tax which for a vehicle the size of the Prius is estimated at 56,700 Yen per vehicle. Also being included as an initial cost is our expected marketing expenses for the first year, which we have dedicated seven percent of our first year’s revenue towards. In our second year of operations we will decrease this amount to five percent and include it within our annual costs. Similarly, our office lease for the first year has been included in our initial costs, but will be included as an annual expense during the second year of operations. A final initial expense will be translating our technology over to Tokyo and purchasing the necessary servers and other technology infrastructure for our web-based platform to perform.

Our largest annual cost will be the real estate leasing required for parking our vehicles. As mentioned earlier, real estate in Tokyo is extremely expensive. In Tokyo as of 2006, the cost of rent can range from 4,160 yen/m^2 in Tameike Sanno to 6,039 yen/m^2 in Shiodome. To estimate the price of our real estate expense, we have taken the average of these two figures as our base cost. The dimensions of each vehicle allow for a twelve-square meter plot of land to house a Prius. Thus, each vehicle will cost 60,000 Yen to park around the city. Each plot is also susceptible to a 1.7% annual real estate tax. Our most volatile expense is of course fuel prices. As a result of our decision to use only the Prius, we are much less susceptible to the changes in fuel prices. Our expected cost of fuel is based on an estimated average utilization rate of seventy-five miles per day, thus requiring one and a half gallons of gasoline per day. The estimation is also using the current price of fuel in Tokyo which is four-hundred and sixty Yen. Other expenses include human resource costs, insurance and vehicle taxes, maintenance, and administrative and miscellaneous costs. Our human resource costs include payment to our three full-time employees, paid at the average annual salary in Japan which is 3,786,080 Yen per year. Additionally, we plan to pay our full-time manager close to double that amount, 7,000,000 Yen. There are two types of insurance in Tokyo: Automobile Liability Insurance (Jibaiseki Hoken) and Voluntary Automobile Insurance (Ninni Hoken). Automobile Liability Insurance protects against claims for liability from auto accidents including death or injury. This type of insurance includes legal defense and pays the person enough to settle claims against the insured person. Voluntary Automobile Insurance is an optional insurance policy that includes medical coverage for injuries of the insured person and collision protection which covers repairs. This type of insurance also covers a person’s car from theft and any type of non-accidental damages. As a result of the nature of our business model, we must purchase both types of insurance for each vehicle.

The pricing strategy of our firm was decided as follows. As mentioned earlier, our initial fees will be lower than those in our U.S. market to entice people to experiment with our system who may be otherwise opposed to joint-ownership. Our hourly rental rate was decided upon as a result of traditional rental car firm rates in the region, our U.S. pricing model, and a price which would enable us to profit from normal operational estimates. The final rate decided upon was 1,000 Yen per hour. Our revenue projections are based on a fifty percent utilization rate, meaning that we estimate, on average, each vehicle be will used twelve hours of the day, for each day of the calendar year. For a further explanation of year two projections, again please refer to Exhibit 5.

According to Exhibit 5, you will notice we expect to produce an operational profit in our first year; however after factoring in initial expenses we will exhibit a modest negative cash flow. Yet, after only our second year of operations, we expect a positive net income. Furthermore, we anticipate our Net Present Value of investment, discounted at ten percent, to be almost 9,000,000 Yen in our second year of operation.

Works Cited
Kageyama, Yuri. “Japanese automakers pull ahead while Big Three slash and crash.” Montreal Gazette 11 April 2007, Final Ed.: B8. Factiva. 15 April 2007

Klug, Foster. “U.S. Treasury official urges Japan to allow entry of more foreign firms.” The Associated Press 17 April 2007. Lexis Nexis. 23 April 2007

Laws & Regulations on Setting Up Business in Japan. 2005. JETRO. 13 April 2007.

Trade Promotion and Advertising. 2006. U.S. Commercial Service. 19 April 2007.

Doing Business in Japan: A Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies. 2005. STAT-USA . April 17th, 2007

Information on Japan Page. 2005. All About Teaching English in Japan. April 12th, 2007

Japan’s Family Custom. 2005. AsianInfo. April 12th, 2007

NPO Originated Car Sharing. April 7th, 2007. Think the Earth. April 20th, 2007.

Tokyo-Basic Information. February 12th,2007. April 13th, 2007

University Partner Program. 2007. Zipcar, Inc. April 29th, 2007

Zipcar for Universities. 2007. Zipcar. 10 April 2007.

Flowchart: How to Start a Business in Japan

Flowchart: Application and Registration Process

Tax burden on corporate income
Brackets of taxable income Up to 4 million yen 4 million yen
to 8 million yen Over
8 million yen
Corporate tax
Inhabitant taxes
(1) Prefectural
(2) Municipal
Enterprise tax 22.00%

5.00% 22.00%

7.30% 30.00%

Total tax rate 30.80% 33.10% 44.79%
Effective tax rate 29.33% 30.85% 40.87%

Per capita levy on corporate inhabitant tax
Capital amounts Employee number Per capita levy
Over 5,000,000,000 yen – Over 50 3,800,000 yen
Over 1,000,000,000 yen Or under 5,000,000,000 yen Over 50 2,290,000 yen
Over 5,000,000,000 yen – Or under 50 1,210,000 yen
Over 1,000,000,000 yen Or under 5,000,000,000 yen Or under 50 950,000 yen
Over 100,000,000 yen Or under 1,000,000,000 yen Over 50 530,000 yen
Over 100,000,000 yen Or under 1,000,000,000 yen Or under 50 290,000 yen
Over 10,000,000 yen Or under 100,000,000 yen Over 50 200,000 yen
Over 10,000,000 yen Or under 100,000,000 yen Or under 50 180,000 yen
– Or under 10,000,000 yen Over 50 140,000 yen
– Or under 10,000,000 yen Or under 50 70,000 yen

Exhibit 1

Major JR train lines in Central Tokyo
The map below shows Tokyo’s major railway stations and the five JR lines that are most relevant to people who travel within central Tokyo.

Yamanote Line
Circle line that connects all major city centers.
Keihin-Tohoku Line
Runs parallel to the Yamanote Line on the eastern half of the circle.
Chuo/Sobu Line
Runs across the Yamanote circle (local slow service).
Chuo Line (Rapid)
Runs across the Yamanote circle (rapid service). Connects Tokyo and Shinjuku.
Saikyo/Rinkai Line
Rapid service parallel to the Yamanote Line on the western half of the circle. Connects to Daiba.
Tokaido Shinkansen trains stop at Tokyo and Shinagawa, while bullet trains to the north stop at Tokyo and Ueno.

Tokyo’s subway network is operated by two companies, the Toei Subways with four lines, and Tokyo Metro (formerly known as Eidan Subways) with eigth lines. Together, they densely cover central Tokyo, especially the area inside the Yamanote circle and the areas around Ginza and Shitamachi.
Note, that at their terminal stations, the trains of some subway lines continue to operate on the tracks of different companies on suburban train lines. For example, the Chiyoda Subway Line is directly connected with the suburban Odakyu Line at Yoyogi-Uehara Station, and some trains on the Hibiya Subway Line continue to run on the tracks of the Tokyu Toyoko Line at Nakameguro Station.

Other railway companies
Most other railway companies, besides JR East and the two subway companies, connect Tokyo with the metropolis’ outer regions and surrounding prefectures. Their lines typically start at one of the stations of the JR Yamanote Line. Many of the private railway companies also operate department stores usually at their train lines’ major stations.

Tokyu Railways
Serving southwestern Tokyo and Kanagawa.
Tobu Railways
Serving Saitama and Tochigi.
Connection to Nikko.
Seibu Railways
Serving the Tokyo Tama Region and Saitama.
Keio Railways
Serving the Tokyo Tama Region.
Odakyu Railways
Serving Kanagawa.
Connection to Hakone.
Keisei Railways
Serving Chiba.
Connection to Narita Airport.
Keikyu Railways
Serving Haneda Airport and Kanagawa.
Tsukuba Express
Connecting Akihabara with Tsukuba City, Ibaraki.