The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being editor of The Journal since April, to cover for the editor-in-chief’s maternity leave, so it’s with great pleasure that I finally write this page for the first time following contributions from others involved in producing the magazine.

The August issue of The Journal is heavy with two themes: women in the workforce and trends in Asia, including Japan.

We go cover to cover with highlights from the 2015 ACCJ Women in Business Summit (WIB Summit) of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), to a new regular column featuring a woman entrepreneur, to the ACCJ Person of the Year Award, which was presented to Fumiko Hayashi, mayor of Yokohama.

Unarguably the chamber’s event of the year, the WIB Summit drew more than 700 participants and keynote speakers including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.

ACCJ President Jay Ponazecki opened proceedings with a stirring call to action, as summarized by WIB Summit Co-chair Elizabeth Handover, who was the master of ceremonies.

A bird’s-eye view of the summit is provided in the ACCJ section, ensuring you miss nothing from the day’s inspiring events—a day in Japan to be remembered as the moment fine words about women in the workforce began to take shape.

We also take a look at the Abe administration’s policy initiatives for a robotics revolution, and the latest from the startup tech scene in Kyoto (page 18). From further afield, we present a summary of the opportunities—and challenges—to be had in the fast-developing Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Still on the theme of Asia, The Journal sat down for an exclusive interview with multiple award-winning editor Ronald Henkoff, who is the executive editor of finance magazine Bloomberg Markets. Henkoff speaks candidly about womenomics, China, ASEAN, and the changing relationship between print and digital journalism.

Full of color and deep insights, Henkoff’s comments—which include an overview of the editorial evolution of Bloomberg Markets—are a must-read that reflect the issues underpinning The Journal’s recent editorial improvements.

At the heart of August’s issue, the ACCJ section not only features news from the WIB Summit, but also dispatches from the Kansai chapter of the chamber and their new initiative for aspiring entrepreneurs.

A key part of the work done by American chambers of commerce in Asia-Pacific is to lead the conversation on business in the region. We hear directly from Jackson Cox, chairman of the Asia Pacific Council of the American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC), on the important roles APCAC and the ACCJ play in Asia and Washington.

To begin though, our lead story for August examines a key pillar of Japan’s economic revival strategy—the country’s national and special economic zone initiatives.

Not just the Kanto area and Tokyo, but also other cities and regions of the country are in the grip of investor excitement—and central and local government support—spurred on by an economy showing real signs of recovery.

This is, indeed, a period of exciting change in Asia and Japan, as well as for The Journal. As always, we wish readers an enjoyable read, and encourage your feedback.