The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Our June issue of The Journal focuses on food, travel, and shopping as we explore future ingredients, the social aspects of cooking, and how luxury brands are turning a fresh eye toward Japan.

Technology has given each person a way to share their thoughts with the world. Through social media and app-based platforms, ideas and opinions are just a click or tap away. The same holds true for food. Stalwarts Cookpad Inc. and YouTube provide ways for foodies to share their favorite recipes and show others how to make them. We talk to Cookpad Division Manager of Branding and PR Takako Kotake and YouTube creator Ami Nishimura to find out how tech is transforming the kitchen.

The ingredients used in those recipes could be changing. As the world’s population grows, straining limited resources, new sources of protein are needed to feed everyone. Innovative companies are turning to insects and algae, and finding a way to make them more palatable to the masses. We find out why your next bowl of pasta might be made from crickets, and how alternative food sources can help the environment.

A new opportunity for dining and travel comes in a government initiative to foster work–life balance. The first Premium Friday—which encourages employees to leave the office at 3:00 p.m.—took place on February 24. We talk to travel agencies, hotels, and others about the results they’ve seen. Could Premium Friday be a boost to the well-being of both workers and the Japanese economy?

Also important to the Japanese economy is a stable flow of tourists with money to spend. Visitor numbers are increasing steadily, but the rapid rise in shopping—represented most notably by the explosive spending of Chinese tourists in recent years—is slowing. Japanese developers aren’t resting on their laurels, however. We talk to Mori Building Co., Ltd. Executive Officer Koichi Kurihara and Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. Planning Group Project Leader Aya Sakamoto about how the new Ginza Six complex, Coredo Muromachi, and other properties are attracting the wallets of inbound tourists.

And, if you’re feeling hungry after all this food talk, turn to our cover story for some snack-time inspiration as we talk to Chef Dominique Ansel about his new bakery endeavor in Ginza.
There’s much more in this issue, including insight into data security, tax issues, attracting the right talent, and how to address environmental, social, and governance issues at your company. Plus, get the latest from the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s Tokyo, Kansai, and Chubu chapters.

Christopher Bryan Jones is Editor-in-chief of The Journal. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he has lived in Japan since 1997.