The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Foreword | Publisher

September 2013


Simon Farrell

Simon Farrell - ACCJ Journal

A warm welcome from a rejuvenated ACCJ Journal. Some readers may remember me as the editor-in-chief during 2006–09.

Well, it’s a great personal and professional honor for me to return, this time as publisher, in an exciting new partnership and era of compelling, creative, and engaging content.

To start, I’d like to introduce you to the ACCJ Journal’s first female editor-in-chief, Megan Waters. She will be implementing new ideas over the next few months, some of which have come from ACCJ members, leaders, and staff. If you have any comments or contributions for editorial, or you would just like to meet or chat, Megan is highly approachable and waiting to hear from you. Email: Tel.: 03-6804-5267

For inspiration—and preparation for next year’s 50th anniversary of the ACCJ Journal—I recently spent a nostalgic few hours thumbing through dusty back issues at the ACCJ office to see what has changed—and what hasn’t—with the magazine, American English, and US–Japan issues. It made fascinating reading.

I soon found the first issue, published in March 1964, with 29 text-heavy black and white pages and a cover image of two ships passing en route between Japan and the United States, to depict two-way trade.

Inside, an editorial laments that, “… cut off by the bamboo curtain from mainland China”, 35 percent of Japan’s imports came from the United States and 25 percent of its exports went there. “You can see from these figures that trade with the United States is a key problem with Japan.”

Japan was then the largest overseas market for US exports and the fastest growing market for US goods.

In a “Message to the ACCJ”, Luther Hodges, the then-US secretary of commerce, wrote that, despite an official ban by Japan on citizens’ “pleasure” travel abroad (which was lifted in April 1964), the number of Japanese visitors to the United States had risen by 49 percent over the previous year. The United States, he said, was thus bracing for an inbound “travel explosion.”

One change has been in the publication’s title—from The Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan to its present form.

But I find that the ACCJ Journal has stayed loyal to at least one key original chamber objective—advocacy.

And to show how far we’ve come and diverse we’ve become, I note that SMEs, entrepreneurs, and businesswomen barely got a mention, if at all, until 20–25 years ago, along with corporate governance, diversity, sustainability, environmental awareness, discrimination, and CSR—most of which feature strongly in this issue.

We’ll have much more along these lines in six months or so, when we celebrate the ACCJ Journal’s golden jubilee with a special issue.

Meanwhile, you are welcome to contact Megan or me with ideas or comments, or just to say hi. •


The ACCJ Journal was first published in March 1964 and today reaches about 30,000 readers.


In August 1968, Townsend Harris, the first US consul to Japan, made the cover.


Businesswomen featured in the lead story in August 1988.


The ACCJ’s 50th anniversary was in 1998.


My first issue as editor-in-chief of the ACCJ Journal (June 2006) also marked the end of Donald Westmore’s reign as executive director and the first column written by Samuel Kidder.