The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

The Kansai chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ)—along with the ACCJ as a whole—is growing. This can be measured in multiple ways, such as adding AstraZeneca and the InterContinental Hotel Group as corporate sustaining members. But, recently, it is in the education space where we have really been expanding our influence in the Kansai region.

As reported last month in The Journal, Arthur Matsumoto and the ACCJ–Kansai External Affairs Committee concluded a series of three university-based events to help develop global talent at three ACCJ member universities. Together with Dr. Will Baber of Kyoto University, we recently hosted a delegation of MBA students from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Originally planned for 15–20 students, interest in Japan from their MBA students was so overwhelming that the school ended up bringing 48. We also invited a number of local students from Kansai-based schools to this event.

The topic was project management in Japan, and we brought in two speakers: Dr. Matoh Shimizu and Hidenori Suzuki. Shimizu has written several books on project management in Japan, and Suzuki is currently working on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games project. The Darden leaders were grateful to the ACCJ and Kyoto University for organizing this event, and it turned out to be a wonderful collaboration between all involved.

Most recently, the ACCJ Kansai Chapter is endeavoring to work in collaboration with our member hotels in the Kansai area to prepare Japanese graduates to work effectively at a management level in the hotel businesses. This is, of course, of great interest on both the student side and the business side. Finding global talent in Japan is a challenge all industries currently face and, with the recent incredible growth in tourism, the need in the hotel industry is most acute. This is an example of how the ACCJ can both support our members and impact our community in a very positive way.

Lastly, I want to mention the upcoming ACCJ Kansai Women in Business Summit, which is scheduled for September 19 at the Hilton Osaka. The theme for the summit is Workstyle Reform: Meccha Win-Win. This is now the Kansai Chapter’s marquee event, organized by Mary Anne Jorgensen and the Kansai Women in Business Committee. We welcome you all to this event and to engage in this important discussion. This invitation is an open one, but do book your hotel room well in advance!


Connecting Japan and
the U.S. through Innovation

Toshihiko Honkura, president, CEO, and co-founder of Quantum Biosystems and Mitsuru Izumo, president and co-founder of Euglena, discuss their experiences and the opportunities and challenges of working in both the US and Japan.

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Stephen Zurcher is a vice president of the ACCJ Kansai Chapter