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05/27/2011 11:44 AM     print story email story  

Japan 'Smart Town' Will Be Built by Panasonic and Partners News

Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) announced it would work with eight partner companies to build a "smart town" from the ground up in Japan.

Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST) will showcase a range of Panasonic's technologies that can provide a comprehensive solution to smart urban development.

Fujisawa City in Kanagawa Prefecture, situated about 50 km west of Tokyo, reached an agreement last year to build a smart town on the vacant lot of Panasonic's former factory site.

With project partners now in place, Panasonic hopes to open the city in March 2014.

The other participating companies are Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (MITSY.PK), Mitsui Fudosan Co. (MITSFF.PK), Nihon Sekkei, Inc., ORIX Corporation (NYSE: IX), PanaHome Corporation, Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Ltd. (UMI.DE) and Tokyo Gas., Ltd. (TKGSY.PK).

The developers, manufacturers and service providers will work together throughout each phase of the project, from master planning to actual operation of the town, which will be home to about 1,000 households.

Panasonic says it will apply its "smart" solutions for housing, buildings and the entire town, promoting widespread use of energy-saving devices and new solutions for energy generation, storage and management.

All the homes and buildings will be outfitted with solar systems and storage battery systems.

Accenture's role is to create the smart town concept, and design and promote the service model.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. will build the city infrastructure and real estate development.

Nihon Sekkei, Inc. will create a plan and landscape design for deployment of energy generation devices.

Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Ltd. will design smart town evaluation indicators to determine real estate values. The bank also plans to offer environmentally-conscious loans designed exclusively for the Fujisawa SST.

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. will introduce its household fuel cell systems.

Panasonic says it intends to replicate Fujisawa SST as a business model in other parts of Japan and overseas.

A group of US and Japanese companies announced a similar project earlier this month to be led by Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) on the Hawaiian island of Maui.



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