Real Estate: Rising Sun in Manhattan

Rising Sun in Manhattan

It is hardly headline news anymore when a Japanese company opens a plant in an American town to make television sets or trucks, cars or VCRs. Recently, though, Japanese firms have been taking on a new mantle, this time as big-time U.S. landlords. Last week Mitsui Real Estate Development snapped up one of the best-known office towers in the U.S., paying $610 million for the Exxon Building.

The deal almost matches the acquisition of Los Angeles' ARCO Plaza by Shuwa Co. of Tokyo in September for $620 million. Shuwa also recently purchased New York City's ABC building (price: $174 million). Japanese...

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