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In recent years, a considerable number of examples of successfully monetized smart city businesses have emerged, particularly in Europe and the US. In Japan, however, very few examples of monetized, sustainable smart city businesses exist. The failure to find a business model that can be monetized would be a major problem for both companies and local governments. In order to help tackle this issue, Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) lawyers Yaeko Hodaka and Keisuke Misuda, together with the World Economic Forum (WEF), prepared a video titled “Smart City Business Models: Factors Hindering Sustainable Commercialization and How They Can Be Overcome.”

This 45-minute video features Yuta Hirayama, Project Leader of the Smart City Team from the World Economic Forum Japan Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with WEF C4IR Fellow Yaeko Hodaka acting as moderator and Keisuke Misuda participating as a project finance expert.

The video covers topics such as:

  • Current situation in Japan and best practices from overseas
  • Factors hindering monetization (e.g., allocation of initial costs, preconditions for joint use of infrastructure, etc.)
  • Feasible solutions

Watch the video (English subtitles available):


Yaeko Hodaka has over 25 years of legal experience in the areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and reorganization, internal investigation, litigation and dispute resolution. She is a partner in the Corporate/M&A Practice Group, with a focus on the automotive sector and serves as the Regional Chair of Industrial, Manufacturing and Transportation Group in Asia Pacific.


Keisuke Misuda is a member of the Finance & Projects Group and Real Estate groups at Baker McKenzie's Tokyo office. He advises clients on project finance, real estate transactions, securitization of real estate and other assets, M&A and other corporate transactions.

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