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Japan Property Advisors K.K., a Tokyo firm specializing in multinational corporate real estate transactions, has been acquired by locally based Cushman & Wakefield Inc. The new firm, to be known as Cushman & Wakefield K.K., will be headed by JPA’s former president, William Krueger, an American who is being billed as the first Westerner to be licensed as a real estate agent in Japan.

In an exclusive interview, John Coppedge, C&W’s executive managing director of international services, told GlobeSt.com that, “for the past five years we’ve embarked on a very aggressive campaign to increase our international capabilities.” He notes that the Tokyo market is the third largest in the world among cities, and that the company expects it to grow it into the top 10% of its revenue producers.

The initial focus will be on office space. “We’ll get into industrial and retail markets, but not during the first 12 to 18 months,” Coppedge says. Tenant rep services will be a big part of the business at the outset, as will the investment side of the business with US clients and later with Japan investors. Now, the Japanese are disposing of American properties, but when the cycle changes they’ll become acquirers, he says.

Cushman & Wakefield has opened offices in China, Singapore, India, Bangkok and elsewhere in Asia. Why has it taken so long to make a move into Japan? “Basically, it was more challenging,” he says. “It was one of the more important countries, and it took us longer to be sure we had the right people.”

So, what markets beckon now? The firm’s global plan has basically been accomplished, according to Coppedge. Companies in countries where C&W already has a presence may be acquired, he says, but Japan is the last major country where it plans major inroads.

But the firm’s achievement of a global presence hasn’t left it without competition, and Coppedge names Jones LaSalle Lang and CB Richard Ellis as prime business rivals on the international stage.

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