The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


MARCH 2015

The Importance of Sharing Success Stories

We were very fortunate to have Yoshiaki Fujimori, president and CEO of LIXIL Group Corporation, as a special guest speaker last month.

In sharing how he has globalized a Japanese business through a series of overseas acquisitions, we learned the importance of finding ways to distinguish a business in the marketplace, understanding the realities of local market limitations and changing the operational mindset of a company.

Fujimori’s presentation was a terrific example of just how quickly change can occur. We also applaud his commitment to equal opportunity, meritocracy and diversity.

Fujimori previously said that 2015 is a critical inflection point, as LIXIL will begin growing as “one LIXIL”—a global company with a highly integrated operating model that streamlines and fully leverages its global scale, innovation and technology leadership across key segments of the housing and building materials industry.

These objectives are not exclusive to a global Japanese company; many ACCJ members have the same objectives.

We are striving this year to have more special guest speakers from global Japanese companies, so that we can celebrate and learn from their successes in realizing these and other important objectives.

For example, on March 9, we look forward to welcoming Genichi Tamatsuka, CEO of Lawson Inc., as our special guest speaker.

In recent years, Lawson has made an aggressive push into Southeast and East Asia, and has pioneered the use of solar panels at its convenience stores to increase renewable energy usage and to create revenue by selling excess power generated by the panels. Special thanks to Thomas Shockley for arranging this event.

If there are any business leaders in Japan who you would like us to consider inviting as special guest speakers, please talk to Laura Younger or me. We understand that many members are interested in topics related to operating and working for a global business.

Please also let us know whether there are any particular business trends about which you would like to learn more. We always welcome your suggestions and ideas for future speakers and events.

Member Spotlight
Information sharing is one of the three pillars of ACCJ activity. I believe we can do more to share information about our members, their businesses and their successes.

For example, we can introduce our new members and member companies, celebrate member promotions and milestones, share information about new products and services being offered by member companies, share press releases issued by member companies, share links to articles written by members, and describe the volunteer activities of our members and member companies.

I am currently having discussions with Laura and the Communications Advisory Council on how we can effectively make this kind of information available to ACCJ members.

Before we roll this out, please let me or Laura know whether you like this idea. Would you like to share this type of information with other members? Would you like to have access to this type of information?

Five-Year Business Plan
2015 is a “pivot to the future” for the ACCJ. One of this year’s goals for the Board of Governors is to develop a five-year business plan for the Chamber. To facilitate this, last month the Board held a strategic planning session and considered a number of questions, including:

    What operational investments should the Chamber prioritize?
    How is your business staying on top of the technology/digital communications wave?
    What new trends are you seeing and what changes have you been making to your business in response to these trends?
    How can the Chamber better address issues that impact a broad spectrum of member companies rather than a particular industry or committee?
    What resources do we need to further support our anticipated future advocacy initiatives?

We welcome your feedback in response to these important questions as well. If it is easier, please share any feedback by using the ACCJ member idea/suggestion box (



Jay Ponazecki