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Takashi Yuasa (湯浅 卓, Yuasa Takashi, born on November 24, 1955 in Tokyo) is a Japanese lawyer (admitted in Washington D.C., but not in Japan) and television personality. He belongs to the Horipro (Hori Productions) talent agency.
He attended Shirogane Elementary School, Azabu High School, in Tokyo, and graduated from the Department of Law at the University of Tokyo in 1979. He claims to have graduated with "the top results ever achieved" in his department. He received an LL.M. from UCLA Law School in 1984.
During the sale of the Rockefeller Center in New York City, he acted as a lawyer for the Rockefeller family (however, he was not the head of the legal team). As a result of his efforts, he says, Mitsubishi Estate paid approximately 1.5 times the amount it planned for the land, and he received a large sum in return (the precise amount was not revealed).
However, many raise doubts about these claimed achievements. A large team of lawyers and accountants was formed to handle this contract, which was concluded in 1985. (The actual sale occurred in 1990.) However, Yuasa attained his credentials as a New York lawyer in 1984 (as can be seen from the records listing New York lawyers), just one year before this massive contact was concluded. As he was not qualified as a lawyer in Japan, he was a novice lawyer fresh out of law school. This raises the question of how much authority one rookie 29-year-old lawyer was given.
He has stated that Mitsubishi's purchase of the Rockfeller Center for such a large amount of money, convinced of the myth that land prices would rise ever higher, contributed to the turning point that was the bursting of Japan's economic bubble, and that the eventual stock price crash proved that there was excessive asset inflation in the economy.
In Wall Street, he has a large amount of work with companies related to the Texas oil market, such as the Rockefeller Group and ExxonMobil, which lean very much to the conservative side, and is therefore at a distance from the Morgan Group, which leans towards the Democratic Party.
In recent years he has taken an interest in the acquisition of oil fields, but due to the above, he has few contacts related to the Dubai crude oil market and the North Sea blend market, where supply volumes are stabilizing, and so has met with difficulties.
From the late 1990s onwards, he has grown to be a more important figure due to the prevalence of hedge funds which have taken root in the oil market. Dealing with hedge funds, an area where he has a great deal of influence, is also an important part of his work with oil markets, but the facts above again present an obstacle to him here.
Until recent years, his work was to provide defences against commentators who saw the futures instruments of hedge funds as the cause of increases in oil prices. However, there is information indicating that, in the face of the confusion starting to occur in the Dubai crude oil market, which affects Japan most, he has received requests to turn his attention away from his main area, the Texas oil market, towards trends in Asia and the Middle East, areas in which he has been weaker, and deal in financial products and investment consulting. He is currently looking into a strategy for dealing with this field, has held private discussions with the financial commentator and Meiji University professor Masaru Takagi, and has sometimes written his own commentary on the outlook in the field in financial magazines.
In the debate on the Livedoor takeovers, he took a stance criticizing the techniques of Lehman Brothers, a company who he had dealings with before, starting when he moved his Asian branch office to Hong Kong and then back to Tokyo, and he spoke on the illegality of the practice of after-hours trading by Livedoor. While the general American view was that this was exploiting a loophole in the law, he took the stance that it was illegal.
He also severely criticized the poison pill approach to hostile buyouts, as used by Fuji Television Network and Nippon Broadcasting System when they exchanged rights to buy new stock. He stated the opinion that in the end, both of them had obtained little, either in quantity or quality, and that their actions were the epitome of an American-style money game.
His hobbies include dance and opera, and is often asked to sing. He participates in opera together with the pianist Ayako Uehara, the Art critic Yuki Yamashita (Tokyo Research Institute for Cultural Properties) and the actress Misa Uehara.
Truth or nonsense?
- He had a tough time being chased by beautiful women on the West Coast.
- The world's most instantly charismatic men are Brad Pitt, Sanma Akashiya and yours truly, Takashi Yuasa.
- His version of the American Dream is firstly, to become the American president, secondly to get to the top of an America megabank, and thirdly to be Takashi Yuasa.
- He has never taken a job for less than 70 billion yen.
- He came to make media appearances through his relationship with Horipro. He has had a financial consulting contract with the production company since the 1990s, and has a close relationship with the CEO, Shingo Oda. He has also been friends with the CFO, Kazuki Hori (who is also COO), since they studied in America together. His humorous way of talking led to a plan for him to appear on television, and he then rode the so-called "lawyer boom," to where he is today.
- The reason for his in-depth knowledge about foreign celebrities is that the consultant work carried out for these celebrities when they come to Japan is carried out at the agency to which he used to belong. The person currently responsible for the PR at this agency is Florent Dabadie, and Yuasa has a teacher-apprentice relationship with Yoon Son-ha, who also belongs to the agency.
Regular television appearances
- Quiz! Hexagon Konya wa quiz parade Quiz! Hexagon II (Quiz Hexagon! Tonight's a Quiz Parade! Quiz Hexagon II)
- Shimada kentei!! Kokuminteki senzai nōryoku test (The Shimada exam!! The National Potential Quotient Test)
- World records
- Cream Stew no tarirariraan (Cream Stew's Tallylallylaah)
- Do night
- Ichiban! Express (First Express!)
- Tokoro-san no gakko de wa oshiete kurenai sonna tokoro! (Tokoro's That Thing They Don't Teach You in School)
Other specials and guest appearances
- Asa made nama terebi "Gekiron! Honto ni NO to ieru ka!? Nihon" (Live TV Till Morning) - "Fierce Debate! Can Japan really say No!?"
- Nōnai esute IQ sappli (Brain Makeover IQ Supplement)
- Odaiba Akashiya jō (Akashiya Castle, Odaiba)
- Waratte iitomo
- All star kanshasai (All Star Thanksgiving Festival)
- Zen'in seikai atarimae quiz (The Quiz Everyone Ought To Get Right)
- Tamori no Japonica Logos (Tamori's Japonica Logos)
- Sanma no Manma (Sanma and Manma)
- Gokigen yō (How Do You Do)
- Gachinko shichōritsu battle (All-Out Ratings Battle)
- Cocorico million kazoku (Cocorico's Family of a Million)
- Sekai maru mie! Terebi tokusōbu (The World Uncovered! TV's Special Investigators)
- Takeshi/Itsumi no Heisei kyōiku iinkai (Takeshi and Itsumi's Board of Modern Education)
- "Wall gai ban - sekai to nihon no yomikata - kongo jūnenkan naniga okiru ka" (Wall Street edition: Reading Japan and the world - What will happen in ten years' time?) - published by PHP Kenkyūjo
- "America ni ashita wa aru no ka" (Is there a tomorrow for America?) - published by PHP Kenkyūjo
- He has written many essays and commentaries for economics texts from the Nihon Keizai Shimbun and books related to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
- Computer Data Base Protection - The Impact of Japanese Legislative Developments on United States and Japanese Copyright Laws (in English)
1. 9 Fordham Int'l L. J. 191 (1985–1986)
- Profile by Horipro (Japanese)