The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) will hold its 20th Diet Doorknock (DDK) from December 8.

For those of you unfamiliar with our DDK, it is an initiative organized by the Government Relations Committee (GRC), in which chamber representatives from a wide array of committees and industry sectors meet with senior officials of key ministries and Diet members from various parties to raise issues important to the chamber and US business interests in Japan.

We anticipate that around 60 ACCJ members will meet with over 50 government officials.

Each year we select several key themes for the DDK.

At the time of publication, the GRC was still considering this year’s final themes, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and employment reform are likely to be among the main topics.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of our DDK, a special half-day of panel discussions will be held on December 8 to drive thought leadership on some of the most pressing issues facing three sectors of the Japanese economy that are anticipated to spur economic growth: healthcare, financial service, and ICT/the Internet economy.

Experts in their respective fields will engage with each other as well as with ACCJ members, Japanese officials, Diet members and other guests—showcasing how pragmatic solutions are best sought and can often only be achieved through such close collaboration with key counterparts throughout the private and public sectors.

A tremendous amount of work goes into preparing for the DDK. I would like to thank all our volunteer leaders who prepared viewpoints and white papers this year. ACCJ teams will present a full set of about a dozen ACCJ viewpoints and two freshly updated white papers—one on healthcare and one on financial services—at each meeting.

Very special thanks to GRC Chair Arthur Mitchell and GRC Vice Chair Yoshitaka Sugihara for all their hard work in organizing the DDK, and to Noriko Ijichi, Asami Ide, Tougo Kamata and Ethan Schwalbe for their invaluable support.

Very special thanks as well to U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy for graciously hosting a reception at her residence for all the ACCJ members and Diet members who will participate in the DDK.

If you have any questions about the chamber’s advocacy initiatives and how you can get involved, or if you need assistance preparing any advocacy documents, please contact the leaders of the ACCJ’s External Affairs Advisory Council, Chair Eric Sedlak and Vice Chairs Ryan Armstrong and Ernie Olsen, or Laura Younger.

In closing, thank you very much for having had me serve as your president these past two years. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity and inspired by the spirit of service to one’s community that each of you bring to the chamber. As we approach 2016, please consider the advice of William Faulkner: “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”