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Why foreign private equity funds cannot make the big deal in Japan

TOKYO -- Private equity first made Japanese headlines in 2000, when Ripplewood Holdings of the U.S. bought the nationalized Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, now Shinsei Bank.

Seibu Holdings, which introduced this new type of train in January, is ready to go public again.

     The floodgates had not exactly been opened, but a number of overseas investment funds followed Ripplewood to Japan. In 2004, the Carlyle Group was part of a joint venture that acquired DDI Pocket, a wireless carrier whose technology never really caught on, for 240 billion yen ($2.35 billion). DDI Pocket later became known as Willcom.

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