The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Our February issue of The Journal is full of interesting, inspiring people—many of whom happen to be women excelling at cross-cultural pursuits.

“Breaking the Ice” is the first of what we aim to make a regular series on sports diplomacy. Far from your typical statistics-rich game reports, these articles showcase a more personal side of US–Japan relations, spotlighting athletes from both countries serving as globally minded role models.

Nana Fujimoto, Japanese goalkeeper for a New York women’s ice hockey team, proves that “there is more than just ballet and piano lessons available to young women.”

We’re also continuing our monthly Entrepreneur column, featuring young and/or female business owners. Meet Ami Matsuzawa, who, with her colleagues and “flight crew,” takes Tokyo participants on a lunch “trip” to learn about other nations, by breaking bread together at local venues.

And the award goes to
Leaders and role models can present themselves in many ways. Some people—such as Nana Fujimoto—are more visible, while other unsung heroes work behind the scenes to advance their causes.

In the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) section of the magazine, we acknowledge the 2015 leaders and volunteers of the year, who have helped drive ACCJ agenda items such as the promotion of women in business (WIB).

Six of the 13 award recipients were selected for their tireless efforts toward making both the Tokyo and Kansai WIB summits a success.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing ACCJ Person of the Year Wendy Cutler, who you may recognize as a lead US negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

She has been working with Japan for 20 of her near-30-year diplomatic career. Cutler hopes to continue supporting US–Japan relations and the promotion of women in the Asia–Pacific region in her new private-sector role.

As she aptly explains, “The success of the next generation of leaders is our own success.”

Change is in the air
More than one former diplomat features in our pages this month. Newly elected ACCJ President Christopher LaFleur took time to speak to The Journal about his early Japan days in Sapporo and the struggles entrepreneurs face here.

He also shared his awe-inspiring landscape photography; I am constantly amazed by how accomplished ACCJ presidents are, and how diverse are their many pursuits. They are truly masters of time management.

Our cover story analyzes the current state of the Tokyo property market and its potential for growth.

I am, in equal parts, impressed and frustrated with how quickly buildings are erected—or disappear—in this city, often taking with them beloved restaurants or shops.

But, change is the name of the game in Tokyo, and the article highlights big plans underway for the evolving east side of the capital.

Enjoy the read and the ume (plum) blossoms this month.

Brandi Goode has been the editor-in-chief of The Journal since May 2014, and helped lead the magazine’s relaunch last year.