The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

The opportunity to advocate for solutions that foster a healthy business climate in Japan is one of the most important benefits of ACCJ membership. In recent years, ACCJ White Papers, Viewpoints, and Doorknocks have had a clear impact on regulation and policy that directly affect member interests in areas including financial services, healthcare, women in business, and the internet economy.

Our growth strategy recommendations have undoubtedly impacted Abenomics, notably in the area of corporate governance. Most recently, our advocacy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the DC Doorknock was met with high praise from senior officials in the United States government. We found an unprecedented number of Members of Congress eager to engage with us on this issue.

One of my goals this year is to ensure that our advocacy efforts more fully represent the interests of our diverse membership. In particular, I want to support advocacy on behalf of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In 2010, our Growth Strategy Task Force White Paper identified SMEs as a key engine of growth in Japan, an assessment reflected in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Third Arrow structural reform proposals.

Yet, SMEs continue to face significant challenges in the Japanese market. These challenges include issues related to taxation, financing, labor mobility, and resource mobilization. The Growth Strategy Task Force White Paper revealed key issues that impact SMEs and recommended a number of solutions.

Much has changed since 2010. In particular, the current Japanese government’s greater receptivity to pro-growth ideas offers a fresh opportunity to update and expand our earlier recommendations. To accomplish this, we are launching an SME Task Force that will develop a new advocacy document focused on SMEs. The Task Force will also lead advocacy efforts to promote implementation of a new set of recommendations.

Over the next few months, ACCJ members will have multiple opportunities to share ideas and support the SME Task Force in identifying advocacy issues. We welcome input from the full range of members, as we know that all companies, large and small, have a stake in improving the SME environment in Japan. I ask for your support and active participation in this important Chamber initiative.

2016 Kumamoto Earthquake:
Message from ACCJ President Christopher LaFleur

Beginning April 14, a series of powerful earthquakes devastated areas of Kumamoto Prefecture. Learn how the ACCJ is helping the recovery efforts and how our members can contribute.

Visit https://www.youtube.com/user/AmChamJapan
and subscribe today!

Christopher J. LaFleur