|Even as the number of stores specializing in anime
and video games increases, Akihabara as a whole is still dominated by electric
appliances and computers, and many young people come seeking parts with which
to build their own computers. In order to make use of what have been the strengths
of the area to date, redevelopment efforts are underway to make Akihabara into
an IT hub. This redevelopment is taking place on the 16,000 square meters of land
formerly occupied by the Central Wholesale Market. Two high-rise buildings will
be completed by March 2006, forming what will be called the Akihabara IT Center.
With more than 700 companies in the area developing software, conducting Internet-related
business, or providing data-management services, Akihabara is already ground zero
for IT in Japan. Once the center is completed, though, plans call for bringing
in more software-related businesses and joining hands with universities to promote
further development. With the prevalence of computer companies and shops in the
area, Akihabara already has an environment conducive to IT. Foreign corporations
are beginning to move into the area, and several years from now Akihabara will
probably look quite different than it does today.