The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan



Kyoto Café Opens in Boston
A Japanese coffee shop is opening its first branch in the United States, (The Boston Globe, October 23).

Ogawa Coffee is known for the artistic glassware used to present its beverages, as well as intricate latte art. The 2010 World Latte Art champion, Haruna Murayama, works for the chain, and is moving to Boston to oversee Ogawa café’s menu.
The site will be multifunctional, including a brewer’s lab, a training studio, and an event space.

This is the first American debut by a Japanese roaster. The choice of location also signals Boston’s growing reputation as an international coffee scene. Japan is the world’s third-largest coffee-consuming country, after the United States and Germany.

Legislator Earns High Foreign Honors

Press4A Wisconsin Congressman has received Japan’s second-highest civilian honor, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star (, November 3).

US Representative Tom Petri received the commendation from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Petri is one of two House of Representatives members appointed to the Japan-US Friendship Commission, an independent federal agency. He has been involved with the Congressional Study Group on Japan, as well as other programs in cooperation with Japanese Diet members.

There are six levels of the Order of the Rising Sun, which was established in 1875. Two other US congressmen received the award in 2000 and 2012.

Survey Shows Country’s Popularity

According to a recent poll, many US citizens believe Japan is the United States’s most important ally in Asia (Wall Street Journal, November 9).

Some 46 percent of the general public and about 58 percent of opinion leaders supported this statement. The survey, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, was conducted with some 1,000 adults and 200 opinion leaders in the United States.

The poll shows that a majority of respondents believe Japan should strengthen its defense capability, and that Tokyo is a “dependable partner.” Japan’s traditions, economy, technology, and reverence for peace were cited as images that best represent the nation.

MOU Inked for New Energy Source

Tokyo and Washington have agreed to begin joint research on “burning ice” (The Japan Times, November 6).

The five-year program will start in Alaska in 2015, and involve studies on mining technology that could drive commercial production of methane hydrate.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in Tokyo by Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. and the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Energy Department.

Legal Jobs Lose Appeal

Prospects are dim for new graduates of Japanese and US law schools (The Japan Times, November 2).

In Japan, the cutoff mark for the bar exam has been adjusted to lower the passing score. Nevertheless, there has been a sharp increase in the number of lawyers, many of whom cannot find work in their field.

A similar scenario is seen in the United States, with only 57 percent of law school graduates employed in full-time legal positions in 2013, according to the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.