The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan



Providing Greater Access and Highlighting Key Autumn Events

As a means of providing you with access to more Japanese government leaders and leaders of Japanese companies, we are piloting a new simultaneous interpretation program starting now through the end of the first quarter next year.

The ACCJ will subsidize the cost of providing simultaneous interpretation for up to four speaker events in an amount equal to ¥400,000 per event. If you have any questions about this pilot program, please do not hesitate to contact Humza Ahmad, ACCJ Programs Manager.

2014 Diet Doorknock
We held our 19th annual Diet Doorknock (DDK) on October 28–30. For those of you unfamiliar with our DDK, it is a Government Relations Committee (GRC)-organized initiative in which Chamber representatives from a wide array of committees and industry sectors meet with senior officials of key ministries and Diet members from various parties to raise issues of import to the Chamber and US business interests in Japan.

This year about 60 ACCJ members met with over 50 officials.

Each year we select three or so key themes for the DDK. This year we decided to focus on:
(i) Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a means of allowing the United States and Japan to work together in areas of common interest such as IP rights, investment protection, customs reform and free data transfers,
(ii) greater labor mobility, including greater female work participation, as a means of increasing productivity and further stimulating economic growth in the face of a declining population and
(iii) adopting measures that will create a more conducive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in Japan.

A tremendous amount of work goes into preparing for the DDK. I would like to thank all our volunteer leaders who have prepared viewpoints and white papers so far this year. We presented a full set of the Chamber’s current viewpoints and white papers at each meeting. (This year we had almost 35 viewpoints active at the time of the DDK, more than any year in recent memory.)

A very special thanks to Arthur Mitchell and Larry Greenwood, GRC Co-Chairs, for all their hard work in organizing the DDK, and to Sam Kidder, Noriko Ijichi, Asami Ide and Ethan Schwalbe for their invaluable support.

Very special thanks as well to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy for graciously hosting a reception at her residence on October 30 for all the ACCJ members and Diet members who participated in this year’s DDK.

If you have any questions about the Chamber’s advocacy initiatives and how you can get involved, or if you need assistance preparing any advocacy documents, please do not hesitate to contact Andy Conrad and Eric Sedlak, Co-Chairs of the External Affairs Advisory Council, or Ethan Schwalbe, ACCJ Associate Director for External Affairs.

2014 Ordinary General Meeting
I hope to see many of you at this year’s Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) on November 5, starting at 6:30pm at the ANA InterContinental Hotel. There is no charge for attending. For the first time in ACCJ history, a live streaming video on the ACCJ website will also be available for ACCJ members who are not able to attend in person.

The OGM includes a presentation by the Nominations Committee on the slate of candidates for this year’s annual election (and approval of such slate by the Chamber’s voting members), a State of the Chamber report by the President and Reports by the Treasurer and Executive Director.

There will also be time for your questions and comments. This year light refreshments in addition to coffee and cookies will be provided so that those attending in person will have a chance to network and catch up with other members.

The Nominations Committee puts a lot of time and energy into preparing the slate of candidates and meets weekly over the summer months to complete this very important process on behalf of the Chamber.

Please join me in thanking Royanne Doi for serving as the Chair, Harry Hill for serving as the Vice-Chair and Allan Smith for serving as the Board Liaison, and all the dedicated members of the 2014 Nominations Committee: Ryan Armstrong, Mark Baldwin, Scott Bower, Ben Fouracre, Shugo Fujioka, Piyasena Perera, Ruth Jarman Shiraishi, Mitsuyo Teramura and Ryann Thomas.



Jay Ponazecki