The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

ACCJ Chapter | Chubu

November 2013
Event celebrates teamwork and contributions to chapter’s first position paper

By Jonathan Hobbs
Photos by Andy Boone

The Chubu Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) held a Future Forum on September 19, at the Hilton Nagoya hotel.

The September gathering was held to discuss with local government organizations the release of the chapter’s first position paper. Entitled Nestled in the Heart of Japan, the Chubu Region Stands Poised at the Crossroads of a Bright Future, the publication was produced with the combined efforts of the ACCJ; the Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is the local branch office of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; and the Greater Nagoya Initiative, a Japanese local revitalization scheme.

Hosted by the chapter’s External Affairs Committee (EAC), the Future Forum panel discussion was preceded by speeches from Larry Bates, ACCJ president and general counsel of GE’s Global Growth and Operations, Japan; and Harry Hill, chair of EAC and president & CEO of Oak Lawn Marketing, Inc. Both speakers extolled the importance of the teamwork and contributions that led to the publication of the inaugural ACCJ Chubu position paper.

The panel, moderated by EAC Vice Chair Darrell Harris, comprised Ryosuke Ohashi, director-general of METI’s Economic Policy; Masaaki Ogawa, managing director and secretary general of the Chubu Economic Federation; Prof. Nobutaka Odake, Department of Civil Engineering and Systems Management, and the Department of Techno-Business Administration at the Nagoya Institute of Technology; and Steve Burson, vice president, ACCJ Chubu Chapter.

The panelists discussed the platforms put forward in the position paper, namely, the benefits the region offers local and overseas businesses in terms of the high quality of life, low costs, and the importance of small-to-medium-sized businesses to economic growth.

Additional topics included refining methods of attracting foreign direct investment, as well as the importance of the contribution of women to the local workforce.

The debate was concluded by Masaaki Ogawa, who spoke about preparations for business opportunities, since the new Linear Chuo Shinkansen will provide a direct, efficient link between Tokyo and Nagoya.



Jonathan Hobbs is secretary of the External Affairs Committee, ACCJ—Chubu and a patent lawyer at Hobbs & Associates (