The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Our December issue of The ACCJ Journal brings you an exclusive interview with US Ambassador William F. Hagerty IV, who arrived in August and has already been busy strengthening the relationship between our two countries. We also explore lifestyle topics heading into the holidays and recap this year’s successful Women in Business summits.

Former US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy’s departure in January marked the beginning of a long wait for the next envoy to arrive. Tennessee native Hagerty has now filled this important post, and he is one of our own: a former member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ).

In addition to serving as the highest-ranking US representative to the country, Hagerty has also eagerly accepted the role of Honorary ACCJ President. We sit down with him at his residence for an exclusive interview in which we discuss his love of Japan, the importance of diplomacy, the key role the ACCJ plays in US–Japan business relations, and his goals for the future of the bilateral relationship.

Japan’s slopes offer some of the world’s best snow, but a global downturn in winter sports tourism has caused concern in Hokkaido. We talk to local resort operators and industry experts about government initiatives to boost the allure of the region and increase the number of inbound skiers, and why Southeast Asian investors see prime opportunities on Japan’s northern island.

To warm up after a day on the slopes, you might enjoy a glass of Cabernet. But should you save it instead? Wine is becoming a popular alternative investment for those looking to diversify their portfolio, so we talk to experts about how to choose vintages with the best potential to increase in value and how to maximize your return.

The ACCJ’s efforts to bring change to the workplace and open doors to women leaders got a big boost this year through the annual Women in Business Summit. Highly successful events were held in Chubu, Kansai, and Tokyo, and we have extended coverage of all three. From Mayor of Yokohama Fumiko Hayashi to 3M Japan Limited President Denise Rutherford, find out what this year’s lineup of all-star speakers had to say.

There’s much more in this issue, including final words from outgoing President Christopher J. LaFleur, who has guided the ACCJ with great skill and passion over the past two years. We hope you enjoy this issue, and wish you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful start to the new year!

Christopher Bryan Jones is Editor-in-Chief of The ACCJ Journal. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he has lived in Japan since 1997.