Wednesday, March 16, 2011

U.S. REITs Nervously Watch Japan

As the world watches events unfold in Japan, and our hearts go out for the Japanese people affected by homelessness, cold, hunger and the fear of what is happening at a badly damaged nuclear power plant, business still plods on.

And U.S. REITs are nervously watching the island nation and its ability to climb up from the abyss of this disaster. True, Japanese REITS have been hammered far harder, but American real estate investment trusts have significant financial commitments in Japan.

Time will tell, but the devastation is significant there. I know people who have family there. They are safe and did not lose their home -- they live in Tokyo -- but uncertainty over the nation's infrastructure, and the ability to obtain vital needed services is top of mind.

The Japanese people are resilient, but it will take time. For now, most critical is getting the power plant situation under control even as rescue workers continue to search for possible survivors.

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