The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


JULY 2014
Exciting Times

By Brandi Goode

Impressed, energized, and hopeful is how I feel after my first month with the ACCJ Journal.

The scope of the chamber’s work and members’ commitment to their causes and committees is impressive. As I work from the ACCJ office two days a week, I see firsthand how the staff work tirelessly to administer the chamber’s day-to-day business.

The Women in Business (WIB) Summit was a momentous undertaking. Truly a labor of love, it was only made possible by these hardworking, then sleep-deprived individuals.

While all-day events can be draining, the summit was different; I felt energized when the day ended. One person I spoke to put it well: “I came intending to drop in for the morning speeches and maybe a breakout session, and ended up staying all day.”

I believe many foreign and Japanese businesspeople sense the Japanese economic tide is turning—for the better. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s message reinforced his commitment to Womenomics.

Plus, the business case is clear; Kathy Matsui’s detailed presentation laid no doubt to this assertion. We are all empowered to be “architects for change” in our society and lives, to borrow a phrase from Ambassador Caroline Kennedy.

It’s a great time to be a woman doing business in Japan.

Fountain of youth
Time spent in the company of today’s budding businesspeople can be a source of hope and energy.

The young women profiled as part of the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program and the participants in the 20th Japan Market Expansion Competition are shining examples of tomorrow’s leaders. I found Misato Oi’s haiku poems particularly inspiring.

This month marks Independence Day for US citizens across the globe, and the beginning of beer garden and barbecue season in humid Tokyo.

Readers wanting more sophisticated and experimental fare should check out this month’s review of the Tokyo American Club’s FLATiRON restaurant.

If it’s pyrotechnics you’re after, don’t miss the annual Sumida River Fireworks Festival in Tokyo on July 26, one of the country’s largest hanabi spectacles.

With a view to future celebrations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Robert Whiting’s opinion column recalls some of the episodes that reportedly occurred in the run-up to the 1964 Games in Tokyo.

Fast-forward 50 years, as the ACCJ’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics Task Force continues collaborating with political and business leaders to help make 2020 the most successful Games to date. The group is currently reaching out to other foreign chambers to get involved; contact Jon Kushner for details.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone. •



Brandi Goode