The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan



Welcoming New Members

Please join me in welcoming nearly 250 new members who joined the Chamber during the two-month Entrance Fee Waiver Campaign that took place immediately after the Women in Business Summit. This year we received more than double the number of new applications we received during the three-month campaign after the 2013 Summit.

Earlier this year, 21.3 percent of ACCJ members were women, and, as of August 1, 24.1 percent of ACCJ members were women.

As we were still processing all the new applications when this month’s ACCJ Journal went to print, we expect that percentage to increase to at least 25 percent.

We are well on our way to having women comprise at least 30 percent of ACCJ members by 2020 (if not before), in support of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s goal of having women in 30 percent of management positions by 2020. Many thanks to everyone who helped make this campaign a success.

Increased Media Coverage Across More Varied Platforms
I want to share some exciting developments regarding the ACCJ’s media presence. The Chamber has been ramping up its social media presence through increased posts with more varied content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

With the increase in platforms that enable video content, we also are continuing to explore how best to convey our messages to members, potential members, the public and key stakeholders in the government, industry and academia.

In addition to the new video blog I recently launched (, we continue to update our YouTube channel ( as we develop new content. Please subscribe to get alerts when new content is available.

In addition, the Chamber has been featured in video by some prominent news outlets. Nick Benes, Chair of our Growth Strategy Task Force, was featured in early July on NHK World’s Asia Business Forecast. (

I also appeared on BS Fuji Prime News in July to discuss some of the challenges Japan faces in attracting FDI, with Japanese Diet Member Daishiro Yamagiwa.

It was a lively and thoughtful discussion, and a great opportunity to broadly disseminate some of the ACCJ’s core messages developed by our dedicated committee leaders on how to create a more inviting environment for FDI into Japan (

Earlier this year, I discussed similar issues on behalf of the Chamber in video content by Reuters and Dennis Wholey’s “This Is America & the World.”

This year the ACCJ has received more mentions in traditional media than in the past, due in part to the wide acclaim of the Women in Business Summit and the hard work of, among others, the Growth Strategy Task Force and the Healthcare Committee.

US-Japan Healthcare Dialogue and Advocacy Best Practices
The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) plan to continue their bilateral discussions on healthcare issues. These talks go back more than 30 years, and most recently under the framework of the Economic Harmonization Initiative.

After a period of inactivity, Commerce is looking forward to these important discussions this month in Tokyo, in preparation for a visit by the Secretary of Commerce in October.

The ACCJ’s activities related to this development are fine examples of what ACCJ committees can do in terms of advocacy. In preparation for these talks, Commerce asked the ACCJ Healthcare Committee, chaired by Bill Bishop, to prepare an industry submission of issues we would like Commerce to raise with the MHLW.

The core issues that members want to raise are primarily positions currently being advocated in ACCJ viewpoints. This underscores the importance of having up-to-date viewpoints reflecting issues of concern to committee members, as well as information sharing and networking. Not all Chamber committees focus on advocacy.

By reaching out to its members, the committee also identified additional recommendations for Commerce to discuss with the MHLW, including allowing new drug submissions in English and increasing the transparency of biennial pricing research into actual market prices, which is used to guide price revisions but is not shared with industry.

If you have any questions regarding the Chamber’s advocacy initiatives, how you can get more involved in these efforts, or how to prepare a viewpoint, please speak with Sam Kidder or Ethan Schwalbe.



Jay Ponazecki