Reports from Japan suggest U.S. real estate giant LaSalle Investment Management is joining forces with Tokyo Tatemono, whose core business is in real estate sales and leasing, to set up a special purpose vehicle to fund property acquisitions.

If reports are correct, it demonstrates LaSalle's efforts to step up its Japanese operations. At the start of the year, the firm announced plans to invest 100 billion ($961.3 million) in Japanese real estate over the course of 2005.

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