鄭KIBA Is Going to Buzz This Fall

The year before last the Japan Audio Society (JAS) appointed Ryoji Menjo as its chairman and set about reform. Since April the JAS has completely swept away its old structure and begun making firm strides toward the future.

These moves also suggest that the future of the industry lies in shedding the old and developmentally changing and marching forward. It is an epoch-making event that no doubt will be talked about in the future.

This year the former Audio Fair = A&V Festa has changed its name to the Audio & Home Theater Fair in AKIBA 2009 and, realizing a long-cherished wish, will be held in the world-famous electrical town of Akihabara on November 13, 14, and 15.

Akihabara has achieved rapid development over the past few years as an information technology (IT) town and now attracts people from around the world. Access, especially by rail, is excellent, and as many as 150,000 people use Akihabara Station every day. Since the Tsukuba Express began operating, that number has continued to increase.

Large event spaces, such as the UDX Building, Fujisoft Building, Akihabara Daibiru Building, and Sumitomo Fudosan Akihabara Building, have been appearing one after the other, and lately the district can be said to have approached completion.

Last fall I walked with Mr. Menjo from Fujisoft Building in the direction of Sumitomo Building, which was then under construction. On the way there was the UDX Building and the Daibiru Building. We nodded in agreement that it would be good if the street were named after an event.

Akihabara has developed as an IT town, but I always thought that it would become a lively and enjoyable district by displaying the DNA that brought about its initial growth as an audiovisual mecca. Until now we have had trouble finding a venue for the festa. Unavoidably we had to hold it in Yokohama, and we had a hard time there. So being able to hold it in the bustling and environmentally ideal district of Akihabara as the Audio & Home Theater Fair in AKIBA 2009 is like a dream come true. My feeling now is that this is going to be a new beginning.

This outcome has been realized thanks to the enormous efforts of Mr. Kazushi Ono, chairman of the Akihabara Electrical Town Organization, Chiyoda-ku, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and others, and it definitely would not have come about without the superhuman activities of Mr. Menjo. Again I would like to express my deepest gratitude to them all. Ongen Publishing is determined to offer full backup and support through Phile-web, our other media, the events that we will sponsor, and all other possible means.

Companies that are considering exhibiting at the fair have it completely wrong if they think in terms of the old JAS structure and the festa as it was before. As I stated above, everything is going to change. The fair will launch a development that will definitely be continuing in 10 years’ time.

Furthermore, since purchases can be made nearby and since stores in Akihabara are linked, the fair will have increased depth, will become even livelier, and will attract greater attention. There will be a powerful effect on actual sales, and it also will play a role as a transmission base spreading out to the rest of the country. For example, the stamp rally will not only cover the venue in Akihabara itself but also spread out to stores and showrooms, museums, and other facilities in the vicinity. The fair will develop into an event that draws in the whole of the Tokyo metropolitan region.

Consumer sentiment remains weak, but the reality is that special demand has been bubbling since implementation of the eco-point system. Interest has been turning not only to eligible products but also to audio goods, and it has been announced that the worst of the recession is over.

Through the fair and related events, I am sure we can enliven the audio market this fall and expand the video equipment market, too. I am already looking forward to it.