The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


April 2014
Celebrating Our Successes

The fifth round of the Internet Economy Dialog was held in Tokyo the second week of March.

ACCJ leaders were the prime movers in initiating this dialog that includes government and business participants from the United States and Japan.

The ACCJ was led by Governor Yoshitaka Sugihara, and the Keidanren delegation was headed by Yoshio Takeyama, Chair of the Keidanren’s ICT Sub-Committee. On the government side, Yasuo Sakamoto, Director General of the Global ICT Strategy Bureau at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, chaired the Japanese team, while Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, who is responsible for international telecommunications policy, led the US interagency delegation.

This dialog has proved to be a highly successful mechanism for addressing bilateral concerns faced by member companies in the Internet space and also facilitates Japanese and US cooperation in international bodies where we share many common positions.

Through intense but cordial and productive discussions, we worked out a joint statement with the Keidanren presenting our common aspirations and concerns to our governments. The statement affirms our joint commitment to preserving an open Internet, promoting greater use of data while respecting privacy and improving cooperation on cybersecurity.

As areas where Japan and the United States can cooperate more closely, the joint statement lists delivering healthcare services via ICT and using these platforms to support advanced international cities; an area of cooperation that will be particularly important as Japan prepares for the 2020 Olympics.

The joint statement also addresses cooperation in advancing cloud computing, promoting e-government and communicating Japan’s Internet policies to the world. This is an exciting area of the economy and one in which the opportunities for the United States and Japan to collaborate and cooperate, in both the private and public sectors, abound.

At the ACCJ, we look forward to furthering the engagement on this front and to facilitating the opportunities that enhancing the role of the Internet in the economy will provide for companies in all sectors across the Chamber.

Recent meetings with the Keidanren, the Keizai Doyukai and the JCCI also reinforced that we share many goals particularly pertaining to reducing the corporate tax rate, improving access to global talent and promoting more women in the workplace. There are many opportunities for the ACCJ to further collaborate and cooperate with these organizations.

Supporting TPP
About 60 US lawmakers have formed a Congressional Caucus on Japan and, prior to its first meeting in late March, the ACCJ sent a letter to the Caucus Chairmen, Congressmen Devin Nunes and Joaquin Castro, indicating the ACCJ’s strong support for the conclusion of a high-standard TPP and that such an agreement will help boost productivity, foster economic growth, create jobs and allow the United States and Japan to work together to create a rules-based trading system in the Asia–Pacific region, consistent with our shared interests and values.

This will be part of our messaging throughout the year to key US and Japanese stakeholders, including during our annual DC Doorknock later this month.

Please Save the Date
On May 27 the ACCJ and the U.S.–Japan Council will be co-hosting the second annual Women in Business Summit. This year’s theme is “Womenomics: Engine for Economic Growth.”

The Summit is designed to bring professionals, businesses and women’s organizations together to meet and exchange ideas on how to foster economic growth in Japan through the empowerment and promotion of women in the workplace.

Last year’s Summit exceeded expectations with nearly 400 participants. This year we are targeting at least 700 attendees. Men are invited and encouraged to attend as well.

The Summit will be an all-day event with informative sessions for all attendees as well as several breakout sessions covering a wide range of topics from professional skills building workshops to the importance of diversity on boards of directors. There also will be time for networking and a cocktail reception. I hope to see many of you at the Summit.

The ACCJ’s Edible Shikishi
In January, U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy hosted the 2014 Entrepreneur Awards Japan ceremony and reception. The 2014 ACCJ Executive Director’s Award was presented to Takako Endo, who purchased a senbei manufacturing facility in Niigata with the goal of producing modern senbei.

Her business, called TWHY TWHY to capture the sound of what one says in Japanese when one cannot stop eating something, is flourishing with sales to Isetan Department Stores, JAL and other businesses, at shops in Kita-Senju and Roppongi Hills, at temporary kiosks at places such as Tokyo Station and online (

We collaborated to produce an ACCJ branded senbei, which we will give to guest speakers and Japanese and US government officials.


DividerJay Ponazecki