The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Our February issue of The ACCJ Journal focuses on the future—from how tech­nology solutions are opening new doors in many industries to the potential that new challenges bring the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ).

One of the biggest challenges facing Japan is the aging of society, which is leading to a smaller workforce. Agriculture is one industry feeling the impact, and the changes could threaten our food supply. We talk to farmers and industry experts about how drones are providing a solution from above—and how the technology can not only close the human resource gap but also make it possible to grow more food of higher quality. Read here

Drones are just one driver on the path forward. Companies of all sizes are looking for tech assets to ensure business success, making digital mergers and acquisitions (M&As) one of the hottest areas of growth. Traditional companies, in particular, are turning to startups for the missing pieces of the puzzle needed to bring their portfolio up to date. We speak to experts on M&As about some of the biggest moves of the past few years, the opportunities for those doing business in Japan, and whether it is better to build, partner, or buy. Read here

Once the pieces are in place, how do you get started in Japan if you are coming from abroad? The system is known for being difficult for those who are not Japanese. But the government wants to change that, aiming to attracting ¥35 trillion annually in foreign direct investment by 2020. We explore the programs that have been put in place to make this happen—including tax reform, incentive programs, assistance overcoming the language barrier in legal and accounting services, and an important change to the entrepreneur visa. Read here

All of these developments present opportunities for the ACCJ, and new President Sachin N. Shah shares his thoughts on how the chamber can seize the moment in the first of what will be a monthly president’s column. With the profound changes our society is facing—and so many technologies and innovative ideas being put forth to address them—this is an exciting time for global business in Japan. Read here

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