Build first, money later – Japan’s smart city conundrum

04 June 2020 - 12:00 am UTC

Faced with an aging population and corporate earnings under pressure due to COVID-19, Japan is doubling down on plans to develop and export super-sized smart cities across Asia. But investors there are finding no easy answers to the problem of monetization, reports Hiroyuki Kachi

By the Takeshiba waterfront in downtown Tokyo, where cruise ships sail out to Tokyo Bay, a new global headquarters is being built for mega-conglomerate Softbank.

The building will form part of the “model case” smart city Softbank is developing with real estate partner Tokyu Land to trial the use of augmented reality, virtual reality, 5G, robotics and drones to detect everything from suspicious people to changes in temperature.

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