The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Our April issue of The Journal focuses on the evolution of energy, travel, and finance as we visit solar farms, explore concierge services, and learn how technology is changing the flow of money.

As companies expand their reach around the globe, making sure they play by the rules is no easy task. When Japan’s economic bubble of the late 1980s collapsed, responsibility for regulation shifted from the Ministry of Finance to a new organization—the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC). As part of the Financial Services Agency, the SESC oversees legal compliance in Japan’s capital markets. As the commission marks its 25th year, The Journal sits down with Secretary General Kiyotaka Sasaki on page 10 for an enlightening conversation about the challenges of market oversight in the 21st century.

Another event that shook up the status quo in Japan was the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. The resulting meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant forced the country to reassess the use of nuclear power, and opened the door to more investment in renewable energy. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has fixed Japan’s renewable energy target at 22 to 24 percent by 2030. On page 14, we look at some of the ambitious projects that are harnessing the power of the sun to meet these goals.

The increasingly international nature of business—and the enduring importance of face-to-face meetings—have many businesspeople spending extensive time on the go. It’s a lifestyle that can be challenging, but many companies are stepping in to lighten the load with concierge services tailored to each traveler’s unique needs. On page 18, we look at some of the offerings that can help make your trip more comfortable.

Technology has disrupted many industries in recent years, and payment services may be next. Financial technology—or fintech—is changing the way people shop, transfer money, and track their accounts. Japan is an attractive market for many fintech start-ups, and support from the Japan External Trade Organization is helping them make inroads. On page 22, we explore the various ways in which fintech is changing Japan’s finance and banking sector.

There’s much more in this issue, including insight into the airline industry with ANA Holdings Inc. President and CEO Shinya Katanozaka and a glimpse at the future of integrated resorts in Japan with MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Morren.

Christopher Bryan Jones is Editor-in-chief of The Journal. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he has lived in Japan since 1997.