Mitsubishi to Develop Marunouchi-Inspired District in Myanmar

April 21, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. spearhead / ˈspɪərˌhɛd / (v.) – to organize and lead something, especially a project or movement
Example: A non-government organization spearheaded the river clean-up project.

2. prominent / ˈprɒm ə nənt / (adj.) – leading, important, and well-known
Example: Their family is one of the most prominent people in the city.

3. mixed-use / ˈmɪkstˈyus / (adj.) – describing an area or a building that has more than one function, which may be a combination of business, residential, or commercial
ExampleMixed-use condominiums are popular among people who seek convenience.

4. skyscraper / ˈskaɪˌskreɪ pər / (n.) – a very tall building that is usually used for commercial or business purposes
Example: His office is on the 50th floor of a skyscraper.

5. influx / ˈɪnˌflʌks / (n.) – the arrival or inward flow of people or things, especially in large amounts
Example: The summer season brought an influx of tourists to the beach.


Read the text below.
Mitsubishi Estate Corp. is spearheading a real estate development project worth ¥50 billion, or approximately $400 million, in Yangon [yang-GON, GAWN], Myanmar.

The project aims to develop a 40,000 square-meter land near a central train station in Yangon by turning old office buildings into skyscrapers. New commercial and residential buildings like hotels and apartments will also be established in the area.

The project draws inspiration from Mitsubishi’s work in developing Tokyo’s Marunouchi, one of Japan’s most prominent business districts.

Marunouchi, once an undeveloped field covered with plants, has gone through a drastic transformation since Mitsubishi bought a huge part of it from the government in 1890. The 120-hectare land is now a world-class business center boasting more than a hundred buildings that house as many as 4000 companies.

In recent years, projects aiming to redevelop Marunouchi have been enacted, with Mitsubishi being a key developer. These projects include the replacement of old office buildings with mixed-use skyscrapers, which have both offices and commercial facilities like stores and restaurants.

Mitsubishi hopes to apply similar changes to Yangon, which is an emerging business district in Myanmar. Many office buildings have risen in the district in recent years, as more companies venture into business in Myanmar. The influx of foreign investors is a result of the country’s liberation from almost half a century of dictatorial government that isolated Myanmar from the rest of the world.

Mitsubishi’s project aims to address the shortage in office spaces that came with the rise of new businesses in the country. It also aims to introduce Mitsubishi’s approach to urban development, which the company also hopes to introduce in other Southeast Asian countries.  

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you like to live in a business district? Why or why not?
·         What is the advantage of introducing lifestyle facilities (e.g. malls, gym, etc.) in business districts?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some companies make high investments in foreign countries?
·         How do foreign business investments in a city affect the community that lives in it?

April 21, 2016