The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Our July issue of The Journal focuses on people. From education and career skills to the role staff play in corporate affairs and security, we visit the classroom, boardroom, and meeting room.

It’s well known that Japan is experiencing a shortage of workers. But it may come as a surprise that programming is a key area of drought. Fortunately, there is an untapped demographic that could flip the bit and put Japan in prime position to compete globally: women. On page 8, we talk to a director of the not-for-profit Women Who Code Tokyo, a co-founder of start-up Code Chrysalis, and the principal at Fusion Systems about the role of women in programming.

It’s never too early to start developing skills for a future driven by technology. Some, such as serial entrepreneur Emi Takemura, feel that current approaches to education have not evolved to meet the needs of our rapidly changing world. On page 12, we find out what she’s doing to champion science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education and to promote new methods for preparing children for 21st-century careers.

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack opened eyes around the world to how vulnerable modern society is to criminal hackers. Companies and crucial services in 150 countries were disrupted in less than 24 hours in an indiscriminate attack. Although the first reaction might be to increase hardware and software security, addressing the human component is an important step in guarding against threats. On page 20, we talk to four experts in the field of cybersecurity about how companies can educate staff on security.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government aims to draw more foreign companies to the city, but how will those businesses adapt their operations to the local culture? Japanese and Western approaches to staff differ, and simply transplanting what works elsewhere isn’t enough. Likewise, Japanese companies are taking cues from their Western counterparts as local corporate culture evolves. On page 24, we talk to McDonald’s Company (Japan), Ltd. and Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. to find out how they create the perfect blend.

There’s much more in this issue, including warm greetings from the Embassy of the United States, Tokyo to celebrate US independence. And don’t forget to turn to page 39 for the latest from the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s Tokyo, Kansai, and Chubu chapters.

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