The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

EDITOR | MOVERS AND SHAKERS

MARCH 2015

Marching ahead

With the close this month of the fiscal year in Japan, another busy period has descended on the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and the ACCJ Journal.

The chamber is seeking feedback to implement mid- to long-term strategies on a variety of fronts, with further engagement of members a primary goal. The role of the Journal is to provide business insights relevant to both foreign professionals operating here and Japanese companies looking to globalize.

We’ve had plenty of ideas on how to align the magazine with the aims of the chamber, and to ensure the best product possible, the relaunch has been postponed until April.

Two-way trade
At a recent Leadership Forum, an embassy liaison shared how interest in Japan is riding a high in Washington. Membership in the Japan Caucus, launched one year ago this month, has doubled.

In addition to opportunities surrounding the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo’s approval of arms exports and hopes for the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement are inspiring optimism for US–Japan commerce.

The Furusato Project is a great example of how the chamber can nurture bilateral trade. In partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, the ACCJ Globalization and Labor Diversity Committee is spearheading efforts to introduce Japanese companies to US towns with cutting-edge industrial technology that are seeking foreign direct investment.

US furusato (hometown) visits are currently being arranged in conjunction with the Japanese delegation attending the SelectUSA Summit on March 23-24.

Water and wheels
March 22 marks the United Nations’ World Water Day, under the 2015 theme of “Water and Sustainable Development.” While sustainable energy sources have topped the headlines with implications of the shale gas revolution and renewables technology, this precious natural resource is often overlooked—particularly in a nation that daily enjoys the ofuro (bath).

A February article from The Guardian, “Why Global Water Shortages Pose Threat of Terror and War,” outlines the danger of shrinking liquid resources, an issue likely familiar to readers from California. WaterAid is a charity looking to improve access to water and sanitation worldwide.

Finally, our cover story this month explores how taxi apps are adapting to regulations in Japan and expanding the on-demand market.

During a recent US visit, I gleaned that Uber—a provider just launched in Tokyo—has become so commonplace that the name is used as a verb, as in “Let’s just Uber home after the party.”

More goods and services available on demand raises many questions, but as long as the company keeps up promotions such as Uber Ice Cream Day, it has my support.

Brandi

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Brandi Goode

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Interest in Japan is riding a high in Washington.