The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan



The Third Pillar

This regular column is devoted to brief advocacy updates from various committees. As one of the three pillars of the ACCJ—along with information and networking—advocacy consistently features prominently in the work of the chamber.

2014 Diet Doorknock
Three principle themes have been chosen this year for the ACCJ’s annual Diet Doorknock. We hope engaging with officials on these topics will help drive the conversation, with the aim of fostering economic growth over the long term, enhancing Japan’s competitiveness, and bolstering Japan’s entrepreneurial spirit.

A healthy Japanese economy is vital to the member companies of the ACCJ as a market for our goods and services and as a platform for our business activities in the Asia-Pacific region, the fastest growing part of the global economy.

Accordingly, the ACCJ is encouraged by the Japanese government’s efforts to achieve sustained economic growth and make Japan the “world’s easiest country” in which to do business.

In particular, the government’s growth strategy initiatives represent an ambitious step in the right direction, with specific progress in important areas including corporate governance, labor, taxation, agriculture, and healthcare.

The ACCJ applauds the government’s commitment to empowering women in the workforce, an effort that in addition to being the right thing to do, will directly contribute to fostering sustainable economic growth in Japan.

Taken as a whole, the government’s overall economic reform program gives the ACCJ reason for optimism that Japan is taking steps to meet the demographic challenge of an aging population and a shrinking work force. The ACCJ urges the government to move forward expeditiously with effective and rapid implementation, to enable Japan to achieve its full economic potential.

This year, the ACCJ has identified three principal themes that we believe will do the most to foster economic growth in Japan over the long term, specifically:

› Conclusion of TPP negotiations;

› Implementation of womenomics and labor mobility reforms; and

› Promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship in Japan.

Steady progress on the above will lead to increased productivity, greater returns on investment, and a more dynamic and nimble Japanese economy.

Internet Economy Task Force
The US and Japanese governments met September 16-17 for the sixth session of the US–Japan Internet Economy Dialogue. This was the second meeting of the dialogue this year, and underscored the growing importance of US–Japan coordination in Internet governance concerns.

The session also included intensive bilateral discussions on the approaches to privacy being developed in the United States and Japan, the opportunities for cooperation on cybersecurity issues, and the facilitation of cross-border transfers.

Our ACCJ taskforce was joined in Washington by a 22-member delegation from Keidanren. The two business communities presented the US government with an updated set of recommendations for joint action and joined a forum on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Mansfield Foundation.

We also attended a symposium on bilateral Internet cooperation, hosted by the Center for American Progress and featuring keynote addresses by Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae and the Department of State’s Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Kathy Novelli.

Viewpoints recently released on the ACCJ website:

Insurance Committee

“Ensure a Level Playing Field between Kyosai and FSA-Regulated Insurance Companies”
“Review the Bank Sales Channel to Further Enhance Choice and Convenience for Insurance Consumers”