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TOKYO-Locally based Nippon Express Company Ltd. has preleased a 221,500-sf distribution facility that will be developed near here by San Francisco-based AMB Property Corp. Nippon Express is Japan’s largest freight forwarder.

The industrial logistics facility is located in Kashiwa, Japan, approximately 23 miles (37 kilometers) from central Tokyo. The property sits adjacent to the Kashiwa Interchange, which provides direct access to central Tokyo via the Joban Expressway and to Narita International Airport via Route No. 16. Construction is expected to begin in first quarter 2006. Completion is projected for the fourth quarter of 2006.

AMB Property Corporation has about 3.6 million sf of distribution facilities in Japan and 118 million sf worlwide. In addition to its first foray into Kashiwa, Nippon Express leases four AMB properties in North America.

Earlier this year, the AMB formed AMB Japan Fund I LP, a joint venture with 13 institutional investors, in which the company retained a 20% interest. The 13 institutional investors have committed $436 million (Yen 49.5 billion) for the remaining interest. AMB contributed to the fund $106.9 million in operating properties, consisting of six industrial buildings, aggregating approximately 900,000 sf.

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