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Aviation policy up in the

AIR

Haneda vs Narita

ALSO INSIDE //

ACCESS ALL AREAS Press club system reform

WOMEN IN BUSINESS Opportunity lag

Otto Benz, chairman of the Airlines Committee of the EBC

01

2010

THE MAGAZINE OF THE EUROPEAN BUSINESS COUNCIL IN JAPAN / THE EUROPEAN (EU) CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN JAPAN


Cover photograph Alfie Goodrich

COVER STORY

FEATURES

8 Aviation policy up in the air

12 Women in business

Air transport policy is a priority for Japan’s new government, with a controversial proposal to turn Haneda airport into an international hub. Julian Ryall reports on the implications for European businesses in Japan.

Japan lags far behind much of the developed world in educational, political and business opportunities for women. Catherine Shaw looks at the challenges for European companies trying to create womenfriendly workplaces in Japan.

CHAMBER SPOTLIGHT 2

January 2010

20

16 Access all areas The DPJ has promised greater transparency, and reform of Japan’s century-old press club system. But is change really on the way, asks Gavin Blair?

The Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce is the foremost network for Irish and Japanese companies wishing to participate in the dynamic Ireland-Japan business relationship.

24 One of the newest chambers, The Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan was incorporated in February 2007. Its aim is to foster economic exchange between Japan and Poland, particularly in the area of trade.


34

19

37

12

COLUMNS 7 From the Editor 19 Talking EURObiZ EBC Chairman Tommy Kullberg talks about the mission of the European Business Council, the challenges facing Japan, and his hopes for the new DPJ administration.

23 Upcoming Events Europe and Japan business-related events.

27 Event Report From farm to fork: food safety administration in the EU and Japan, 18 November 2009, EU Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation.

28 Q&A Hidenori Sakanaka, director of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute, tells Julian Ryall why Japan needs to accept 10 million immigrants over the next 50 years.

30 In Committee

39 Green Biz

Europe has some of the world’s finest rail technology but only a tiny fraction of Japan’s huge rail transport market. Geoff Botting talks to the EBC Railways Committee.

Norway’s Tomra Systems sells “reverse vending machines” that collect and recycle all kinds of containers. Christopher Thomas visits a company that makes cash out of trash.

33 European Business Council

41 Who’s Who Directory

The EBC and its 29 committees aim to play a critical role in effecting change in Japan.

Media and Communications

34 Investing in Japan Justin McCurry discovers that UK home appliance maker Dyson is the number one seller of premium vacuum cleaners in Japan.

37 Culture Shock Alena Eckelmann meets Jacques Payet, a Frenchman who has spent three decades studying the martial art of aikido.

38 Executive Notes

48 Lens Flair Photographer Rob Gilhooly’s take on Sapporo’s famous Snow Festival.

50 Who’s Who Directory HR and Recruitment Consulting

56 EBC Personality Erik Ullner first arrived in Japan in 1965. He talks to EURObiZ Japan about four decades in Japanese business.

The Economist Group’s Dan Slater offers management tips for Japan.

The Mission of the European Business Council To promote an impediment-free environment for European business in Japan.

January 2010

3


EUROBIZ ONLINE!

Publisher Vickie Paradise Green

European Business Council in Japan (EBC)

paradise@paradigm.co.jp

The European (EU) Chamber of Commerce in Japan

Editor-in-chief Tony McNicol

The EBC is the trade policy arm of the seventeen European National Chamber of Commerce and Business Associations in Japan

tonymcnicol@paradigm.co.jp

Senior Editor David Umeda Creative Director Richard Grehan Art Director Paddy O’Connor Graphic Designer Akiko Mineshima

Chairman Tommy Kullberg Senior Vice-Chairman Arno Tomowski Vice-Chairman Duco Delgorge Treasurer Erik Ullner Executive Director Alison Murray Policy Director Bjorn Kongstad

Advertising Sales Sarit Huys, Helene Jacquet, Leai Kubotsuka, Ralph Saunders Production and distribution Yumi Mitsuyama Herman Francesca Penazzi eurobiz@paradigm.co.jp

Published by Paradigm 4-18-12 Takanawa, Minato-ku Tokyo, Japan 108-0074 Tel: 03-5447-8831 Fax: 03-5447-8832 www.paradigm.co.jp Published monthly in Tokyo. All rights reserved. The views and opinions expressed herein (other than editorials by the EBC ) are solely the opinions and views of their authors. The EBC is not responsible or liable for any portions thereof.

Subscription is free for members of the EBC and national European Chambers of Commerce. Subscription rates are: One year ¥9,000; two years ¥15,000; three years ¥22,000. ¥800 per copy. Rates include domestic postage or surface postage for overseas subscribers. Add ¥7,500 per year if overseas airmail is preferred. Please allow eight weeks for changes of address to take effect. Subscription requests should be sent to eurobiz@paradigm.co.jp If you prefer not to receive this magazine, and for all matters related to distribution, please send an email to eurobiz@paradigm.co.jp EURObiZ Japan welcomes story ideas from readers and proposals from writers. Letters to the editor may be edited for length and style.

Contributors Julian Ryall Julian writes about Narita and Haneda airports – page 8 Julian Ryall never expected to still be in Tokyo 18 years later when he first arrived, although

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Geoff Botting is a Canadian who has worked in Japan for the past two decades. A former newspaper and wire service reporter and copyeditor, he now works freelance out of his lair in Nakano ward, Tokyo. “In Japan, trains are more than just a way of getting around; they’re a powerful symbol of national pride. The postcard that really captures the essence of modern Japan is the one showing Mount Fuji in the

he quickly realised its advantages over his native London. He is the Japan correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and writes for publications around the world. “As a frequent traveler, I guess I have a stake in improved airport facilities serving Tokyo. Speaking to people who really know their stuff about this long-running issue has given me a better understanding of just how much better our air links could be.”

Geoff Botting Geoff writes about the EBC Railways Committee – page 30 background and a bullet train racing past in the foreground.”

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Alena Eckelmann Alena speaks to aikido master Jacques Payet – page 37 Alena Eckelmann came to Japan from East Germany to join an executive training program in Tokyo. At the same time she began

to explore and write about Japan’s rich traditions and regional heritage. She enjoys research and discovery. Her articles have appeared in a number of lifestyle magazines in Japan. “As an aikido practitioner myself, I often wonder what this traditional ‘way’ can teach us for modern life. Listening to Jacques Payet’s story made me think that training in a dojo and training in a company in Japan are not that different after all.”



FROM TH E EDITOR

Best of times ... worst of times “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. As we launch this new publication for the members of the European Business Council we look back on one of the toughest years for business in living memory. Yet, here we are with a new year, new magazine and a new start. The DPJ-led administration has proclaimed nothing less than “revolution” in business and society. Whether that really happens

remains to be seen, but the Japanese economy is growing again. And we have already experienced a measure of something oddly unfamiliar to long-term observers of Japan – optimism. That’s not to ignore the massive challenges facing Japan, many of which we highlight in this issue. Japan faces a low domestic demand, a shrinking, greying population, and gargantuan public debt. The structural barriers to EU-Japan business are equally formidable. But together Japan and the EU account for 40% of world GDP. For European companies entering the Japanese market or already here, the opportunities are

huge. It is the mission of both the EBC and EURObiZ Japan to help those companies do business effectively and profitably. This new magazine is a tale of 31 countries, 640 million people and the determined work of 17 chambers of commerce and business associations here in Japan. We hope you will join us as we focus on the many important issues, companies and people at the crux of the EU-Japan business relationship. Tony McNicol Editor-in-Chief

tonymcnicol@paradigm.co.jp

Rapid pre-approval No permanent residency required

Call “Mr. Real Estate”, Richard Henderson and his team, on 03-3241-8923 or email MrRealEstate@nabasia.com For more information visit us at www.nabasia.co.jp


Aviation policy

air up in the

Haneda vs Narita

TONY MCNICOL

Text JULIAN RYALL

8

January 2010


COVER STORY on changes to safeguard and protect our own interests,” said Otto Benz, chairman of the committee and general manager for Japan of Lufthansa German Airlines. “We aim to see things in a larger context and a more comprehensive way,” he said. “We are trying to reach solutions that are market-oriented. As the European airline industry has undergone a quite remarkable process of liberalisation in the last 15 years, we are hoping to share both the positive and negative experiences with the Japanese authorities.”

A turbulent history The first commercial aircraft touched down at Narita airport on May 20, 1978, bringing an end to a 16-year search for a state-of-the-art facility to share the burden of increasing air transport services using Haneda. Originally, the plan was for three runways and a highspeed rail link to central Tokyo, 57km to the west, although two of the runways were immediately put on hold so as not to further antagonise landowners who had been forced to give up property for the airport to be built. Despite the hitches, the amount of passenger and cargo traffic using Narita has grown in recent years. According to the global rankings of the Airports Council International, 35 million passengers passed through the airport in 2007, making it the 24th busiest airport in the world. Meanwhile, Haneda was in fourth place with 66 million passengers. For the following year, Narita had dropped out of the top 30 but Haneda was still in fourth place. Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing’s airports are firmly ahead of

ALFIE GOODRICH

A

ir transport policy is clearly a priority for Japan’s new government. Within weeks of the election, Minister Seiji Maehara was creating turbulence with plans to turn Haneda airport into a 24-hour international hub. But whether or not European executives will soon be able to fly to their home HQ from the centre of Tokyo, there is much room for improvement to Japan’s air transport policy. A lack of capacity in and out of the Kanto area, and high charges used to pay for near empty local airports, have long made Japan a difficult market for European airlines. EURObiZ Japan spoke to the market participants who have most to gain from an improved and effective air transport policy. They stress that if Haneda is to be opened to international traffic, it must be to ensure fair competition, rather than protect domestic carriers. The Airlines Committee of the European Business Council in Japan emphasises the need for enhanced efficiency – for both airlines and consumers. It wants the DPJ government to provide new economic opportunities and to stop the gradual erosion of Japan’s significance to major airports in the region. In November, the committee released its annual report on the state of the industry here, pointing out that while there has been “substantial progress” in the area of price liberalisation, and a degree of progress on the way in which Japan manages its airport infrastructure, there is no sign of a change to the high costs for air-transport companies operating in Japan – the most expensive place in the world for airlines. “For the council, it is very important that the Japanese government understands that we are not making proposals

WE ARE TRYING TO REACH SOLUTIONS THAT ARE MARKET-ORIENTED. Otto Benz Narita in the popularity stakes. “One of the biggest problems for the airline industry in Japan and for this country’s position in a regional context is the high cost of the infrastructure,” said Benz, pointing to the use of a “special account” into which all landing fees – among the highest in the world – are pooled before being allocated to airportrelated infrastructure expenses, such as the construction of small regional airports across the country. And while many small cities now have shiny new airport buildings, albeit rarely used, the high landing fees, combined with navigation costs as well as common user and security fees, mean that more and more foreign airlines are choosing to land at Beijing, Shanghai and South Korea’s Incheon instead of in Japan.

January 2010

9


© AIRBUS S.A.S

COVER STORY

Airport Passenger Traffic Rank

City (Airport)

Passengers

Only one of Narita airport’s two runways is long enough for the Airbus A380.

“The EBC urges the new government to consider a new set-up which does not force airports to contribute to politically driven development of new airports of little or no public value,” the committee states in its 2009 report. “In the long term, the government of Japan needs to reduce the costs associated with the provision of air transport in Japan by as much as 50% in order to remain competitive with other hubs in Asia.” Equally, the committee believes it would be a mistake for the Japanese government to focus all its aviation efforts on Narita and Haneda to the detriment of other major airports in Japan, such as Nagoya and Osaka, as that would limit those cities’ access to overseas markets. Another area of concern is the regulation of landing times at Narita and, when it is fully opened up to international traffic this year, Haneda. Not satisfied with the planned limitation of departure and arrival times for flights to and from Europe and the United States to the period between 10pm and 7am at Haneda, Benz is calling for a “level playing field” with Japanese and Asian operators by extending the operational hours. Ultimately, he points out, the consumer will benefit from the introduction of new, commercially reasonable flights by European and US airlines.

Traffic jams And it is not just economic issues that are cause for concern among European companies. According to Michel Theoval,

president of Thales Japan, an air traffic controls system supplier, there were at least three occasions in the last six years when the air traffic management system covering flights in and around the greater Tokyo region broke down. During one such incident – unreported by the Japanese media – air traffic controllers’ screens were reportedly blank for a full day, hundreds of flights were delayed or diverted, and the only way controllers had to converse with pilots in the air was by radio. “The industry here has been convinced by the argument that the more runways that are built here, the more capacity they have,” says Theoval. “That is absolutely wrong. An airplane may only be on the runway for a couple of minutes, but sky occupancy and the failure of the air traffic management system here is the real issue.” And while there is less threat of an accident involving aircraft passing through Japanese airspace, as they can be monitored by air traffic controllers in neighbouring regions, Theoval believes the lack of an integrated system with adequate back-up at Narita poses a genuine risk to aircraft. “The situation is critical,” he said. “The safety of airline passengers is the main issue for the entire industry.” Thales, one of the biggest electronics groups in Europe and a world leader in air traffic control systems, has offered to work with Japanese companies here. But Theoval believes the lack of a transparent bidding system for providing

1

ATLANTA (ATL)

89.4

2

CHICAGO (ORD)

76.1

3

LONDON (LHR)

68.1

4

TOKYO (HND)

66.8

5

LOS ANGELES (LAX)

61.9

6

PARIS (CDG)

59.9

g

g

g

24

TOKYO (NRT)

35.5

AIRPORTS COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL (2007)

(millions)

equipment to airports and the cosy relationship between the authorities and industry mean it has little chance of being able to bring its advanced technology into the Japanese market. And with the growth in the number of flights when Haneda adds an expected extra 60,000 slots a year next year, the risk rises exponentially. “Haneda airport will open a fourth new runway this year and have an extra 40% capacity,” said Masatoshi Otani, business development manager at Thales. “That increase will be a serious challenge to the existing air traffic management system and we strongly believe that a new system should be introduced as soon as possible to cope with all those additional flights.” Benz said that while the average traveller would probably prefer to fly to or from Haneda airport, primarily because of its convenient proximity to central Tokyo, if the new slots are distributed equally and fairly then customers will have greater choice and there need be no discussion of Haneda replacing or superseding Narita. Initial contacts between the European airlines here and the new administration were made November 24, allowing the European carriers to present a perspective on further steps towards the future development of aviation in Japan. “The government has heard our opinions and we are looking forward to finding out more about their position,” Benz said. “Something is clearly moving now.”

January 2010

11


Women in business European companies lead the way in tapping one of Japan’s most neglected business resources.

A

Text CATHERINE SHAW Photos TONY MCNICOL

s the new DPJ administration struggles to bring Japan out of its deepest economic recession since WWII, it would do well not to overlook one of Japan’s most neglected resources: its women. Compared with much of the developed world, Japan has few women in senior business positions, and some point to Japan’s exceptionally low birthrate as evidence women are effectively being forced to choose between family and career. Japan lags far behind other developed countries in terms of economic, educational and political opportunities for women: The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2009 ranked Japan 75th among 134 countries, and last among the seven major developed economies. Newly appointed minister, Mizuho Fukushima, whose portfolio includes consumer affairs, population and gender

12

January 2010

equality, is well aware of the challenge she faces: “It’s been very difficult for both men and women to combine a career and family and to work out a work-life balance. When women return to work after having children they tend to accept temporary positions and there is a big wage gap.” “Childcare is the most challenging problem for women,” says Taeko Ohya, customer management director at METRO Cash & Carry Japan. “These days more men are supporting their wives with household tasks, but children have to be properly raised. If you want to develop a career at a senior level you need to devote time to work. What we really need is affordable childcare with flexible hours. ” “So many talented women in Japan are losing the opportunity to work because there is nowhere for their children,” agrees Reika Izumikawa, a store manager for retailer IKEA Japan. Seventy percent of the 400 employees she oversees at the company’s Shin-Misato store in Saitama are women. The store hopes to cooperate with other companies in


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

SO MANY TALENTED WOMEN IN JAPAN ARE LOSING THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK BECAUSE THERE IS NOWHERE FOR THEIR CHILDREN Reika Izumikawa, manager of IKEA Japan’s Shin-misato store

a nearby shopping centre and set up a crèche for employee’s children. Richard Mason, a director of Human Resources at TÜV Rheinland Group Asia, warns that it is not always easy to simply import international practices. “About 80% of European companies in Japan are staffed by Japanese natives so the everyday working environment can be quite Japanese. I’ve seen how the rigid labour laws do not make it easy to sell a true Western image in the workplace.” Mason says discrimination towards women in the workplace is best illustrated by the pay gap statistics where the annual income of female executives is 30% to 50% lower than their male colleagues. “Only around 10% of females hold executive positions in Japan compared to about 40% in European nations. It is obvious that Japan has extremely well educated but under-utilised female talent,” he says. “Some European companies have introduced childcare facilities and flexible work options in Japan, but many of these

measures are superficial and don’t address the real issue. The biggest hurdle to overcome is the long-ingrained societal attitude of Japanese society towards the role of women,” says Mason. “Companies need to focus on their corporate cultures and management mindsets and convince their male managers that it is in their own best business interests to have a better gender balance in leadership.” Practical support, like flexible hours and mentoring, also make all the difference, encouraging women back into the workplace after giving birth, says Yoriko Ijuin, human resources director at Tesco Japan. “We are planning to have a session for talented women about female leadership by our Asia regional leadership development director [a woman] this year.” “It’s very important to have more women at a senior level and definitely easier if there is more than just one,” adds Mariko Kawaguchi, a human resources manager. One of the most senior women at Chanel Japan, Kawaguchi decided to work for the company as she had heard the president was

January 2010

13


WOMEN IN BUSINESS

WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON PROMOTING WORKING ENVIRONMENTS CONDUCIVE TO TAKING CHILDCARE OR NURSING LEAVE AND RETURNING TO WORK AFTERWARDS. Minister Mizuho Fukushima

IKEA store manager Reika Izumikawa with staff

looking for a woman to head the human resources department. “Ninety-two percent of Chanel employees are female so he wants more women in his senior management team,” she says. The Japanese retail sector has been particularly successful in employing women at more senior levels, says EBC Retail Committee Chairman David Buckley. “Females are their primary demographic target so this has long made the retail industry worldwide more receptive to career-minded women, as they identify with their customers. Perhaps this has helped influence the increasing openness of Japanese retailers to working women.” Companies offering a more equal workplace reap other advantages. The Japanese media are quick to report the best companies to work for and word spreads quickly. Such businesses attract the very best talent and, more importantly, keep them long term – a significant business advantage. Those with a more equal work culture in their homeland bring invaluable experience.

Gender gap – room for improvement According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2009, Japan ranks 75th among 134 countries for gender equality. Nordic countries have the smallest equality gap between men and women, while the Philippines remains the leading Asian country in the rankings. Japan’s ranking improved by 25 places from last year largely due to an increase in the number of women in professional and technical positions, as well as legislators, senior officials and ministers. The United States is placed 31st and China 60th. The index assesses countries in four categories: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political environment.

Rank

Country

1

ICELAND

2

FINLAND

3

NORWAY

4

SWEDEN

5

NEW ZEALAND

g

g

73

TANZANIA

74

CZECH REPUBLIC

75

JAPAN

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

Global Gender Gap Index 2009

The early signs of a change in Japan’s male-dominated work culture are cautiously encouraging. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s new government saw a record 54 women win parliamentary seats in the recent lower house elections, and Hatoyama quickly appointed Keiko Chiba as the new justice minister, one of the most senior roles available. New measures specifically to benefit women include giving cash to families with children, subsidising higher education and changing the law that requires Japanese women to take their husband’s surname after marriage – a change blocked for more than two decades by the previous LDP-led government. “I think it is also important to improve the working environment through the expansion of daycare services and to promote women’s social participation to managerial levels,” said Fukushima when asked, for this article, about her priorities in promoting equality. “Consequently we are going to focus on promoting working environments conducive to taking childcare or nursing leave and returning to work afterwards,” says Fukushima. “We will look more to the work-life balance as a way for men and women to reconsider the way they work.”

January 2010

15


Access all areas? New DPJ administration promises transparency and media reform. Text GAVIN BLAIR

A

mong the many reforms hoped for from the new administration headed by the DPJ is a commitment to increase transparency and improve media

16

January 2010

access. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada took one big step in that direction by opening up a ministerial press conference at the end of September to some overseas media, freelancers and writers for online outlets. Other ministers have followed suit. “This is a matter of the public’s right to know,” declared Okada at the press conference.

Much attention is now focused on the continued reform of the kisha clubs or press clubs: associations of journalists attached to specific ministries, companies, industries or other institutions. Defenders claim press clubs are a way for journalists to band together to obtain information, while critics point to restrictive membership practices and overly collusive relationships with sources. Originating in 1890 from a single club to help reporters gain access to parliamentary business, press clubs are estimated to number somewhere between 800 and 1,500, and are still the conduit through which the majority of news in Japan passes. Failure to understand how they work can be a considerable disadvantage in doing business, and in the worst case, potentially disastrous. Long dominated by the major domestic newspapers and broadcasters, the kisha clubs have begun opening up to freelancers, magazine reporters and overseas media in recent years. Accredited European journalists were admitted in 2002 after pressure from the Delegation of the European Commission to Japan.


ACCESS ALL AREAS? Just being a member, however, is rarely enough to gain full access to the inner workings and unofficial briefings of the clubs. This requires spending all one’s time at a club and taking over administrative duties in rotation – a luxury few foreign media organisations can afford. Yet, the kisha clubs have not prospered and grown for so long without offering benefits to many of the participants, and even some outside the system. “Press clubs are a very efficient way of disseminating information and a very powerful tool,” suggests Jochen Legewie, president of CNC Japan consultants and chairman of the EBC Media and Communications Committee. “For certain companies, they can go there and do a press release, and with one stroke, they have all the important media covering them.” But Legewie plays down the importance of kisha clubs for the day-to-day business of most firms, which are mainly interested in getting into the trade media – not usually to be found at press clubs. “The press clubs come into the game when: one, it’s an industry in which regulation or government has a good deal of importance in it; or two, when a company is under special scrutiny following a product recall or some form of scandal,” notes Legewie. “Then a press club becomes very important, and it is usually to the detriment of the company.” Many foreign firms lack the expertise to leverage the system past simple press conferences. “For example, when you go to a press club and do a press conference there is usually a tabako beya (smoking

room), where either prior to or after the formal press conference, additional information and guidance are given,” explains Legewie. If a global company finds itself facing a potential scandal, even with the best advice it may still be at a disadvantage because the press clubs will be looking for a Japanese-style reaction – immediately announcing pay cuts for all involved, or having the president step down.

IF A GLOBAL COMPANY FINDS ITSELF FACING A POTENTIAL SCANDAL … THE PRESS CLUBS WILL BE LOOKING FOR A JAPANESE-STYLE REACTION

“A foreign company struggles with these gestures as they have global rules and codes of conduct. So the foreign firms are very reluctant to do what the press club system often demands – this ritual of purification,” adds Legewie. Industry kisha clubs are often hosted by the ministry overseeing that sector, which can cause conflicts of interest for reporters. In the scandals involving

Schindler and Mitsubishi Fuso, there were suggestions that tacit ministerial approval of industry-wide practices had contributed to the fatal accidents. However, the close relationships between bureaucrats and the journalists made it far easier to go after the companies. Individual journalists cannot afford to upset the wrong people and risk losing access, explains Jake Adelstein, author of Tokyo Vice: An American reporter on the police beat in Japan and the first Westerner to join the Tokyo Metropolitan Police press club. “You can write scoops and you may rise up the food chain, but what will kill your career is toku-ochi (special drop); that’s where every other newspaper writes a story and you didn’t. This is the whip that the kisha club uses to keep reporters in line. They basically threaten to block you and keep you out of the loop when a major story breaks.” Though the DPJ is getting credit for opening up some ministry conferences to the wider media, thus weakening the kisha clubs, it looks like it might take a little while longer for change to work its way through to the business world. At a November press conference on the kisha club system at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Hiroshi Aida, a senior writer at Kyodo News, put it very simply, “For private businesses: things are still going on the way they were before.”

January 2010

17


TA L K I N G E U R O B I Z

Tommy Kullberg Chairman of the EBC

THE EU AND JAPAN TOGETHER REPRESENT OVER 40% OF THE WORLD’S GDP. TONY MCNICOL

ARE WE REALLY IN RECESSION IN JAPAN? Look at the 48 million households in Japan: they have the most savings in the world. Compared with countries where consumers have spent other people’s money, or the bank’s money, they are using their own money here, and still have piles of cash in the bank. So how can we increase consumption? To do that we need more excitement, we need more product development, because Japanese consumers … they basically have everything. After all, we need to think about the recent trend towards seeking value for money. The EBC is the regulatory arm of all the European chambers. Our mission is to take on tasks that cannot be addressed by individual companies and chambers. We aim to reduce all the trade obstacles and regulatory issues that EU companies face in Japan. I hope this magazine can reach out to the members of the EBC and that they will let us know about the issues that matter to them. The EU and Japan together represent over 40% of the world’s GDP. What we need is an economic integration agreement to let people, products, services and goods move freely over our borders. Just think about the dynamic developments we could see in Japan. Perhaps we could reactivate and revitalise the whole Japanese economy. As well as economic integration, a top priority for us is mutual recognition of product certification standards and labeling laws. In a sense, that is a low hanging fruit. Many standards are so similar in Europe and Japan that I feel it would be a simple matter for the Japanese government to recognise these European standards and vice versa in Europe. We could release enormous competition, lower prices, support product development, and bring much needed dynamism back to this society. After all, the prosperity of Japanese people is just as important as of people in Europe.”

When we look back at the LDP, we can say they protected Japanese business from foreign competition. But the new word from the DPJ is very promising. They are committed to supporting the Japanese consumer – as is the EBC. If we increase competition, for example with more foreign direct investment, quality will increase and prices will go down. At the end of the day, the consumer will be the one to benefit.”

January 2010

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Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce TK Horidome Bldg. 5F, 1-11-12 Nihonbashi Horidomecho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0012 Tel: 03-6272-3794 Fax: 03-5695-0271 E-mail: secretariat@ijcc.jp

www.ijcc.jp

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Patron:

H.E. Mr Brendan Scannell (Ambassador of Ireland to Japan)

President:

Mr Seiji Kasama (CEO of Dimplex Japan Ltd.)

Vice-President: Mr Philip Greenan (President of JI Technology Ltd.) Vice-President: Mr Kikuo Kuroiwa (Former president, Bank of Ireland Asset Management (Japan) Limited

The the IJCC is the foremost business network for Irish and Japanese companies wishing to participate in the dynamic Ireland-Japan business relationship. The Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce (IJCC) was formally established in January 2008, succeeding the 35-year old Japan Ireland Economic Association (JIEA) as the networking and lobbying body for the Ireland-Japan business community. The IJCC currently has 77 members; including 27 corporate members and 50 honorary, professional, associate and student members. It has a close working relationship with both the Embassy of Ireland and Irish government agencies in Japan. The chamber’s patron is Irish Ambassador Mr Brendan Scannell. The IJCC is mandated by its members, through its articles of association, to represent and express the various opinions of the Ireland-Japan business community regarding trade, commerce and finance, and related matters. The IJCC organises events of interest to its members which seek to further the objectives of the Chamber. The Chamber also commits to associate and cooperate with other organisations – Irish, Japanese and other – which share mutual interests. Our objective is to promote friendship and understanding between 20

January 2010

Director:

Mr Shinichi Nishikiori (Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing Co., Ltd.)

Director:

Mr Haruo Tanaka (Uchiya Thermostat Co., Ltd.)

Director:

Ms Rieko Motegi (Azayaka Consulting Co., Ltd.)

Director:

Mr Takeshi Tsukii (CT Brand Inc.)

Director:

Mr Matthew Connolly (EIRE Systems K.K.)

Director:

Dr Rene Duignan (Bank of Italy)

Auditor:

Mr Conor Canavan (Shinsei Bank Ltd.)

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CHAMBER SPOTLIGHT

Ireland and Japan to build on existing business relationships or develop new ones in a context in which all participants have the same goal: starting or growing their business in Ireland or Japan. The IJCC president, Mr Seiji Kasama, CEO of Dimplex Japan Ltd., says that the

and joint events with other chambers, but also premium receptions involving visiting delegations both political and corporate, as well as periodic briefings by the ambassador of Ireland to Japan. For example, our guest speakers in 2009 included Mr Tommy Kullberg, the

Mr Seiji Kasama, President of the IJCC (left) and Taioseach, Mr Brian Cowen, during an official visit to Japan in January 2009.

IJCC is the foremost business network for Irish and Japanese companies wishing to participate in the dynamic Ireland-Japan business relationship. The IJCC works to promote the interests of its members through the development of commerce between Ireland and Japan and is another bridge of friendship between the two countries. The IJCC offers a range of opportunities and services to its members that simply cannot be found elsewhere. Not only do our members have access to the Guest Speaker’s Evening addressed by VIP speakers, regular networking evenings

EBC chairman; as well as Mr Koichiro Naganuma, president of ADK; and Ms Mari Christine, the UN-HABITAT goodwill ambassador. The IJCC also hosts a prestigious business dinner and reception each year. Our past guests have included the Irish Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Eamon Ryan in June 2008 and the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), Mr. Brian Cowen, during his official visit to Japan in January 2009. The annual Ireland-Japan Golf Challenge is another popular offering. Participants enjoy the event in a

relaxing and informal atmosphere for the Ambassador’s Cup. The 4th Golf Challenge was held in November 2009 at Hon Chiba Country Club and about 35 people joined the event. The tournament was a great success with many smiles and prizes.

Irish Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Eamon Ryan presenting a keynote address at the IJCC business dinner in June 2008.

H.E. Mr Brendan Scannell, Ambassador of Ireland to Japan giving a speech at the Annual General Meeting in April 2008.

January 2010

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TOKYO s SINGAPORE s HONG KONG s SHANGHAI


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French Chamber of Commerce of Japan www.ccifj.or.jp/

Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Japan www.nccj.or.jp/

“Cloud and Net Computing — the next big thing or new hope to transform IT, consumer, and business practices”

Norwegian Club Evening (1st Tue)

Jan 22, 12:30 to 14:00 Speaker: Vasile Radoaca, Chief Technical Officer, Alcatel Lucent Japon Venue: French Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCIFJ) meeting room Limit: Reserved for CCIFJ members Detail: At the crossroads of emerging new technology trends in computing: software and network virtualisation, optical transmissions, new emerging business trends and practices in the enterprise and consumer market, and a new model of services revenue. Language: English Fee: ¥2,000 at the door (bento and drink) Deadline for registration: Jan 19 Contact: reservation@ccifj.or.jp

Japanese Advertising & Media: “Is there a Coca-Cola Secret Formula?” Feb 1, 12:30-14:00 Speaker: François Gay-Bellile, Senior Vice President, Marketing Operations, Coca-Cola (Japan) Company Limited Venue: French Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCIFJ) meeting room Limit: Reserved for CCIFJ members (one person per company) Detail: Sharing how Coca-Cola has evolved its approach to communications in Japan to re-connect the world’s most valuable brand to the discerning Japanese consumer. Also taking a look behind the scenes at how CocaCola measures the return on its marketing investments, especially in these challenging economic times. Language: English Fee: ¥2.000 at the door (bento and drink) Deadline for registration: Jan 27 Contact: reservation@ccifj.or.jp

Jan 12 Venue: Masukame in Kanda* Feb 2 Venue: Andy’s Shinhinomoto in Yurakucho* * Subject to change Contact: Tel. 03-3440-9935 Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan www.pccij.or.jp/

“Polish Day in Sapporo” Year 2010 — Chopin Feb 5, 19:00-21:30 Venue: Reception at the Sheraton Hotel Sapporo Detail: Part of a series of Polish Days organised by PCCIJ with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, its Trade and Investment Promotion Section, and the Polish Tourism Organisation’s Bureau in Tokyo. Part of the PCCIJ Chopin Project to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Poland and Japan, especially in the trade and business sector via promotion of Polish culture. Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fryderyk Chopin, one of Poland’s greatest composers. Contact: Tel. 03-5793-7902 The Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan www.sccj.org/

Knowledge Evening: “Growth strategies for small and mediumsized companies in Japan” Feb 3 Venue: Embassy Auditorium, followed by buffet at the Hall. Contact: sccj@twics.com

January 2010

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Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan Polska Izba Gospodarcza w Japonii S&L Bldg., 8F, 1-10-8 Higashi-gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0022, Japan Tel: 03-5793-7902 Fax: 03-5793-7903 E-mail: info@pccij.or.jp

The aim of the Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan is to foster economic exchanges between the nations of Japan and Poland, particularly in the area of trade.

www.pccij.or.jp

Chairman:

Mr. Piotr R. Suszycki-Tanaka Board of Governors Member, EBC

Honorary Chairman:

H.E. Jadwiga Rodowicz, Ph.D. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland

BOARD MEMBERS Deputy Chairman:

To be elected

Managing Director:

Mr Stan Werkowski

Treasurer:

Mr Michal Grzybowski

Director:

Mr Marek Polanski

Director:

Mr Masanori Tonegawa

Director:

Mr Shiro Matsuo

AUDITING COMMITTEE Mr Pawel Komender

Auditor:

Mr Katsuyoshi Tsuchiya

Auditor:

Mr Jerzy Zemela

PCCIJ ADVISORS Mr Piotr Grudzien, Counselor - Head of Trade and Investment Promotion Section, Embassy of the Republic of Poland PCCIJ Warsaw Representative, Mr Arkadiusz Izdebski The Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (PCCIJ) works closely to establish ties with the governments of Japan and Poland, key parties in the EU and prominent business leaders. The main activities of PCCIJ are as follows: 1. Promote economic exchange between Japan and the Republic of Poland. 2. Collect and analyze relevant materials, analyze the Japanese economy, economic trends and dynamics, collect and edit materials significant for the economic development of both countries. 3. Conduct educational activities. 4. Conduct political activities targeting the governments and economic organisations of Japan and the Republic of Poland. 5. Promote the mutual exchange of information with other chambers of commerce in Japan regarding economic conditions and market environments. 6. Provide Japanese economic organisations and corporations with information about trade with the Republic of Poland. 24

January 2010

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CHAMBER SPOTLIGHT

Year 2010, Chopin’s Year—as it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fryderyk Chopin, one of the greatest Polish composers—will be a great opportunity to strengthen bilateral co-operation between Poland and Japan. The PCCIJ has launched the “CHOPIN Project” which is aimed at promoting the economic as well as cultural exchange between Poland and Japan. A series of events called “Polish Days”, a part of the “CHOPIN Project”, have been held on a regular basis in Tokyo in 2009. The last one took place on Nov. 25, 2009 at the Westin Tokyo. It was combined with a Christmas Party and the Japanese annual Bonen-kai, and attracted many distinguished guests. In 2010 more events are scheduled in such places as Sapporo and Osaka. The events are organized with the support of the Polish Embassy, its Trade and Investment Promotion Section, and

Polish Tourism Organization’s Bureau in Tokyo. Among other events, in April of 2009, the PCCIJ held a Business Luncheon on the topic, “State of commercial relations between Poland and the Far East”, which was presented by Mr Ludwik Sobolewski, LLD, President of the Management Board of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. In July a joint event by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and the European CCIs in Japan was held. In October 2008, Mr Radoslaw Sikorski, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, paid a visit to Japan to meet with various dignitaries starting from Crown Prince Naruhito, the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Hirofumi Nakasone, and others. He also took part in a working breakfast with representatives of the Japanese Federation of Business (Nippon Keidanren), followed by a meeting with representatives of the media

The 1st PCCIJ Annual General Meeting, March 23, 2007 at the Polish Embassy in Tokyo.

in the Japanese International Press Center, and academic and business representatives of the local Polish community. In December 2008, Mr Lech Kaczynski, President of the Republic of Poland, came to Japan on an official state visit. President Kaczynski also joined in the Polish Christmas Night party at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo, organised by the Polish Embassy together with the PCCIJ, where where our Members had a great opportunity to interact with representatives of Poland at the highest level. Currently, the PCCIJ has 49 members, both corporate and individual. Regular membership is open to all corporations, economic organisations and individuals, both inside and outside Japan, which support the aims of the Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Representatives of corporations and organisations in both Japan and Poland are particularly welcomed.

Mr Lech Kaczynski, President of the Republic of Poland, accompanied by the First Lady and Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado enter the event hall. December 2, 2008, Hotel New Otani in Tokyo.

January 2010

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EVENT REPORT

From farm to fork Food safety administration in the EU and Japan 18 November 2009, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation Text TONY MCNICOL

T

he new DPJ administration has pledged to revise Japan’s food safety administrative structure. In a seminar held at the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, speakers from Japan and the EU introduced their food safety systems and discussed current developments. Opening speaker Patrick Deboyser of the European Commission to Thailand noted that the EU is the world’s largest importer of agricultural and fisheries products. Following the BSE and other scandals, 2002 saw both the EU’s General Food Law Regulation entering into force, and the establishment of the European Food Safety Authority. In a sign of food safety’s huge importance to the EU, the legislation was passed in record time. Japan has been through a similar process, but according to Ichiro Fujita of the Department of Food Safety, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, until a

spate of serious scandals, the food safety issue was barely on the table. “Although Japanese consumers were very demanding in terms of food safety, there was very little understanding of risk,” he said. “It was just assumed that food was safe.” That has certainly changed now. Like the EU, Japan has some of the strictest food safety rules in the world. “Both Japan and the EU stand out as leaders in the world of food safety,” said Duco Delgorge, vice-chairman of the EBC.

The problem, however, is that uncoordinated rules obstruct food trade in both directions. Delgorge lamented the fact that even shipments of “the safest possible imaginable organic food” require extra paperwork at customs. He described mutual recognition of food safety rules as a “dream scenario.” The speakers also discussed how food safety scandals are handled as they break, with Fujita emphasizing the importance of timing announcements to avoid panic. But with such a visceral subject as food – even within the EU – cultural differences can make the work of food safety experts even more difficult. An example that Deboyser gave participants is the BSE scare. When beef on the bone was banned in the UK, British people rushed to stock up their freezers with beef. Yet, in Germany – where there hadn’t been a single case of BSE – veal sales went down dramatically.

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Opening the doors

Julian Ryall speaks to Hidenori Sakanaka, director of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute Photo IVAN HUGO

An estimated 2.2 million foreigners had settled in Japan as of 2009, but Hidenori Sakanaka, director of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute, believes that if Japan is to avoid a crisis caused by a shrinking workforce obliged to support a rapidly ageing population, the country needs to open its doors to many more people from overseas. While one in every 10 people p in countries such as Germany, Germa France and the United Kingdom are originally from account another country, foreigners foreign for a mere 1.74% of the population of Japan. Sakanaka is calling for a public call debate on the issue of foreigners coming here to work a and says Japan needs to learn from tthe experiences of Europe. Question: Japan w welcomes fewer immigrants than other advanced nations; why is that? industrial nation Answer: Prior to 1990, few foreigners were a accepted to come 28

January 2010

and live in Japan because we already had an enormous population. At that time it was the same as the populations of Britain and France combined so there was no need to bring people to Japan to work. From the 1950s, France and Germany had “guest workers”, but if some localities in Japan had a shortage of labour, then the government was able to move people to that area from other parts of the country, or introduce women into the workforce. But with the arrival of the “bubble years”, we suddenly had a shortfall in workers and the rules were relaxed for skilled immigrants.


Q&A

WE NEED AN EDUCATION-RELATED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM, SUCH AS IN GERMANY AND SWEDEN. Q: Why are you so strongly in favour of increased immigration? A: Of the world’s most developed nations, Japan’s population is contracting the most rapidly. We are also ageing at the fastest rate of all the OECD countries. I have believed for a long time that in order to deal with the problem of a shrinking population, we should accept a lot more immigrants. In 50 years, the Japanese population will have shrunk by 40 million people; that’s one-third of the present population. I feel that in the next 50 years we have to accept 10 million immigrants as part of a national policy. At the moment, the Japanese economy and every aspect of life here is being affected by the problem of population. Japan’s strength in the world is waning. Q: But haven’t policies been introduced to encourage Japanese to have more children? A: Japan’s policies to encourage people to have more children are very similar to those in France, such as supporting families with extra benefits. However, they appear to have had no effect on total fertility rate trends. One estimate puts the [birthrate per woman] at 1.21, a fall from the 2007 figure of 1.34. I believe the campaign to encourage people to have more children has already come too late for Japan. Q: What will be the economic benefits of mass immigration? A: I don’t want to emphasise the economic benefits of increased immigration, but I do want to underline the benefits of an increase in the working population. In areas outside the big cities in Japan – Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku – small communities are shrinking and people are ageing rapidly. They have no one to run their businesses, no young people to contribute to the local economy. I want to open up this country, not simply relax the rules. Over the next 50 years we will lose one-third of our population, and in 100 years we will have just one-third of our current population. I want to increase the number of people between the ages of 15 and 45. Thirty years ago, the demographics were such that 10 young working people supported one person over the age of 65 through tax payments. That figure is presently three to one. In 50 years, that will drop to about one to one. Q: How might immigration be achieved most effectively and harmoniously?

A: Incorporating immigrants into the population can cause problems – such as the issue of religion – and we are learning about these things from Europe’s experiences. There has been a large fall in the number of people attending universities in Japan and that means there are a lot of places available for foreigners to study at our universities. We should accept them into our schools and this will help to educate them about this country, making it easier for them to fit into Japanese society. We need an education-related immigration system, such as in Germany and Sweden, where foreign students are taught the language, the culture and the local way of life. The Japanese government could then take on these people as workers when they have finished their training, and even grant them Japanese nationality. Q: How can we overcome domestic reservations about your proposals? A: I want to reduce the chance of a negative impact on the society that already exists here to near zero, and we are learning a lot from Europe’s experiences. Those include the problems Germany has had with Turkish workers, such as the issues of social integration. One big thing is language and cultural differences, and we know that Germany and France do a lot of work on education and integration of immigrants. There have been many problems among second-generation immigrants, such as the high crime rate, but that is the result of low levels of education, and of discrimination, leading to poor job opportunities and increased unemployment. If we can develop immigrants’ talents here, then they will be able to integrate. If they have stable jobs, then they are already integrated and should be able to avoid problems and the issue of discrimination. Q: How are you encouraging the public and the authorities to re-think their position on immigration? A: At the moment, the government fears the Japanese people are against accepting immigrants. But by having these things aired in the media I believe we could begin to see a very positive movement in the debate. This is a process, not a single action. Public discussion will make the issue a lot less scary.

January 2010

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Getting on track Text GEOFF BOTTING

T

he year 1964 was a watershed year in Japan’s postwar history. Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games, and the country was keen to show the world its immense technological and industrial progress achieved during the early postwar years. The brand-new Shinkansen bullet train had just been rolled out. Ready, too, for the Olympics was the Tokyo Monorail, the space-age-looking elevated rail system that shuttled foreign visitors into downtown from Haneda airport. But the monorail wasn’t actually an indigenous product. Rather, it had been designed in Germany by a now-defunct company called ALWEG and built in Japan under licence. So the first encounter by many overseas visitors with Japan’s impressive civil engineering was actually with

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January 2010

something designed in Europe. Nearly half a century later, however, the monorail remains one of very few vestiges of European involvement in Japan’s railway industry. Foreign rail manufacturers have failed to make the slightest dent in the Japanese market. Even upgrades to the monorail have been made by Japanese manufacturers. Asked to cite current market share figures held by European rail manufacturers in Japan, Kai Taylor, chairman of the EBC’s newly formed Railway Committee, says: “Without having firm data, I think it’s fair to say European manufacturers have less than 1%.” Fellow committee member Kurt Sieber points out that only about 200km out of the total 32,000km of track in Japan is partly equipped with European products. Europe has some of the world’s best train technology. France’s TGV is, after all, the fastest regular train service on the planet. At the same time, Japan is

a massive and lucrative market. Fully 68,000 train carriages run along the nation’s rail network. Each year, about 2,500 new cars are manufactured. So why hasn’t some of the world’s best train technology managed to make contact with one of the world’s most developed and extensive markets? In answer, the committee points to the very structure and habits of Japan’s rail industry. In a nutshell, since 1987, this vast industry market has been dominated by the Japan Railways Group, successor to stateowned Japan National Railways. JR companies now operate about 70% of Japan’s rail network. The rest of the network is run by 85 private companies. Although Japan and Europe arguably have the world’s best railway infrastructure and railway manufacturers, there is no common approach to standards between them. This is further complicated by Japan’s use of a safety clause allowing Japan to


IN COMMITTEE

exclude non-Japanese manufacturers from government procurement contracts. This issue is at the crux of the committee’s grievances. “There’s an almost invisible pressure to follow the JR way, even if you’re not a JR company,” says Taylor. The situation in Japan contrasts sharply with overseas, where manufacturers are free to develop their own trains and systems, which they then market to rail operators. Such arrangements allow the creation of increasingly open, non-propriety rail systems, based on industry-wide technical standards. In Japan, on the other hand, any specifications tend to be the ones dictated by JR. “JR wants systems developed according to their own recipes,” says Sieber. “It doesn’t matter whether or not these systems are the best in the world, and that leads to the lack of a competitive position for railway systems overall on the world market.”

The other practice the committee would like to see end is the use of recommendations – rather than binding directives – by government regulatory authorities. This often leads to the prolonged use of obsolete systems which can have harmful environmental effects, such as when operators refuse to install anti-noise or anti-vibration technologies unless they’re forced to. “[When] there’s only a recommendation, no one is going to follow it if it’s going to cost them money or make their life a little more complicated,” Taylor says. The committee, formed in September, aims to promote standards that span Europe, Japan, and if all goes well, beyond. The idea is not merely for the benefit of European companies eager to crack the Japanese market; potentially, the adoption of standards could spur collaboration between Japanese and foreign companies, and open international markets for Japanese companies.

“If you have the ability to cooperate and work together on a level playing field, you can create new business, new ideas, new possibilities and more efficient technology. Whereas, if you lock things out by default, where is the incentive?” Taylor says. Still, the committee faces an uphill task to shake up a cozy, protected system. At the same time, change may come anyway, given the powerful external forces of globalisation, argues Sieber, who cites the case of the ill-fated development by state broadcaster NHK of a high-definition TV system still using analog technology. “Ultimately, Japan had to give in and had to admit to itself that, yes, the rest of the world was going digital, and that it couldn’t just go it alone with analog,” he points out. “Japan will have to adjust its standards to the rest of the world, and it’s a process that will continue with globalisation.”

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How to join and support the EBC Visit http://ebc-jp.com/index.php/about-the-ebc/join-the-ebc


ABOUT THE EBC

European Business Council (EBC) 37 years of redefining and improving the business and trade relationship with Japan. The idea of the European Business Council (EBC) as the unified trade policy arm of all the European National Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations in Japan was conceived in 1972 at a time of fast-growing investment into the EU economy by a rapidly industrialising Japan. Despite the keen interest of European companies in the Japanese market, the high level of regulatory and non-regulatory barriers impeded market entry, business development and investment. The result was trade and investment balances that were very much skewed in favour of Japan, a situation that the EBC has worked hard to redress. Some 37 years later, the EBC, now registered as the European (EU) Chamber of Commerce in Japan, has witnessed significant changes in the EU-Japan relationship and improvements in the Japanese business environment. Yet European companies are still trading well below their world market shares in Japan and a trade imbalance persists. When the combined economic strength of the EU and Japan accounts for 40% of world GDP, the question is: why? The core of the problem lies in Japan’s reluctance to shrug off its once effective post-war growth model. While the central government guides industry in the search for global market share and then redistributes the resulting export profits at home, it protects domestic industry from global competition with prohibitively complex rules and regulations to the final disadvantage of consumers. This situation has led to Japan having the lowest level of inward foreign direct investment of all OECD countries.

The EBC is a major player in the Japanese trade and investment policy arena with the core mission of promoting an impediment-free business and investment environment to make it less difficult and costly for companies to operate here. The advantages to Japan are obvious – an impediment-free market will create a business environment that stimulates economic growth and investment, encourages competition, benefits consumers and creates new jobs. Japan’s decade-long economic slump, globalisation, regulatory reform and ageing population have been slowly forcing welcome changes in the Japanese market. European companies now have greater opportunities for direct investment, strategic alliances, and other tie-ups than at any other time. This makes the EBC’s work to encourage beneficial structural and regulatory changes focused on mutual recognition of each other’s standards and certification processes even more important, not only for European companies doing business here, but for Japanese consumers as well. The EBC represents over 2,500 affiliated local European companies and individuals. Some 300 of these companies participate directly in one or more of the EBC’s 29 industry committees, the work of which covers a wide variety of economic sectors. In a nutshell, EBC committees identify the issues that keep companies from achieving their full potential in Japan, and use the vast array of the EBC’s lobbying tools to bring change by resolving those issues.

COMMITTEES • Aeronautics, Space & Defence • Airlines • Animal Health • Asset Management • Automobiles • Automotive Components • Banking • Business Aviation

• Construction • Cosmetics • Environmental Technology • Food • Human Resources • Insurance • Legal Services • Liquor

By participating in EBC committees, companies have the opportunity not only to learn about the important changes taking place in Japan, but also to play a critical role in influencing the change themselves. Joining an EBC committee can give you access to highly relevant information in your sector, valuable contacts with

• Logistics & Freight • Materials • Media & Communications • Medical Diagnostics • Medical Equipment • Organic Products • Patents, Trademarks & Licences

• Railway • Retail • Shipping • Tax • Telecommunication Carriers • Telecommunication Equipment

other European professionals, an opportunity to have your voice heard through various channels, professional help in formulating and promoting your regulatory concerns under the EBC umbrella together with other member companies, and a direct channel to Japanese government officials and politicians.

If you are interested in joining an EBC committee, please contact the EBC Secretariat for more information: Alison Murray, EBC Executive Director. Tel: 03-3263-6222. Fax: 03-3263-6223. E-mail: ebc@gol.com January 2010

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Cleaning up UK home appliance maker brings European innovation and design to Japan.

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hen his company began selling vacuum cleaners in Japan’s overcrowded market a decade ago, British entrepreneur James Dyson likened the venture to “selling coals to Newcastle”. It is about time he thought of a new metaphor. Since arriving in Japan in 1998, the British firm has established itself as a leader in high-end vacuum cleaners, sparked a technological revolution and changed the way consumers view what was once considered the most humdrum of household gadgets. Dyson’s stellar performance in Japan followed a rapid expansion in sales beyond its traditional territory in the UK, where a third of all households own one of its machines. In 2005, it overtook Hoover to become the market leader in the US. In 2008, about 80% of its cleaners were for export, compared with just 30% four years earlier. When Dyson started selling its products in Japan in 1999, received wisdom had determined that the market was already saturated. Dyson challenged that notion with a bold marketing campaign, often 34

January 2010

Text JUSTIN MCCURRY

featuring its star founder, which for the first time highlighted cleaners’ performance, design and technological prowess. Ten years on, Dyson has secured 13% of Japan’s vacuum cleaner market in terms of value, according to the research firm GfK Marketing Services Japan. It is number one in the premium segment (machines costing ¥40,000 and above) with a 38.5% share, and holds 22% of the market in handheld cleaners. It reached the milestone of 1 million units sold in Japan in 2007. Dyson owes its success in Japan and 48 other countries to the vision and engineering acumen of its founder. The industrial engineer is behind his company’s most successful innovation to date: cyclone technology that solved the age-old problem of vacuum cleaners losing their suction as they picked up dust. The use of centrifugal force to suck up particles spelled the beginning of the end for the dust bag, at a time when the global market for cleaner-bag machines was worth US$500 million. Using the same principle as the industrial cyclones he had seen at a sawmill in the UK, Dyson created vacuum cleaners that didn’t clog with dust, maintained powerful suction and could be emptied in seconds with the push of a button. Fifteen years of failed attempts to sell his idea and more than 5,000 prototypes later, Dyson in 1993 launched the DC01, the world’s first vacuum cleaner without a bag. Within 18 months it was the best-selling cleaner in the UK.

The company began its Japan venture with logistical help from JETRO and the British Embassy, and at first employed fewer than 20 people. Now the operation boasts about 100 employees, and an office, showroom and call centre in the Hanzomon district of Tokyo. Its breakthrough came in 2004 with the launch of the DC12, the firm’s first Japan-specific cleaner whose compact size and wrap-around hose for easy storage made it ideal for cramped homes. Sales of the DC12 rose by 177% in the year to December 2005, bringing in earnings of ¥9.6 billion. Two years after its launch, it enjoyed brand recognition in Japan of around 60%. “Before Dyson arrived in Japan, no one really took much notice of the make of their vacuum cleaner,” says Noriko Kohyama, the firm’s PR manager in Tokyo. “It wasn’t considered a sexy or luxury item. But because of Dyson, couples decide together what kind of cleaner they want, in much the same way as they choose other electrical products together.” They have a huge choice now that rivals such as Sharp and Hitachi have confirmed that imitation is the highest form of flattery by releasing models incorporating versions of Dyson’s cyclone technology. A Dyson purchase also comes with an impressive after-sales-care package: a two-year warranty and a freedial troubleshooting service that promises speedy repairs and replacement parts. The cleaner heads are made of plastic rather than steel to prevent damage


I N V E ST I N G I N J A PA N

to tatami-mat floors, and its powerful suction has won over pet owners and allergy sufferers. Its more recent handheld versions clearly have the burgeoning retiree market in mind. Maintaining its presence in Japan requires constant vigilance. In March 2009 Dyson released the DC26 cylinder cleaner, just after it suffered the shock of briefly relinquishing its spot at the top of the Japanese premium cyclone market to Sharp. The cylindrical cleaner, a third of the size of previous machines and with

the highest dust pick-up of any Dyson cleaner, was the culmination of intensive research. Engineers spent two years studying the layout of Japanese homes, noting that not only were they smaller than those elsewhere, but also more likely to be filled with objects. Lightness and manoeuverability were of the essence. “Japanese people really appreciate forward thinking technology that works better, hence the success of DC26,” says Dyson’s international managing director, Michael Ioakimides.

“Dyson engineers realised they needed to create a vacuum cleaner that was small, light and had high performance. And they couldn’t just shrink everything. They had to painstakingly compress and rebuild every single component to create the DC26.” But Dyson’s emphasis on technology, style and performance would have come to little in Japan were it not for a willingness to enter uncharted territory. “Dyson’s company philosophy is about embracing risk,” says Ioakimides. So far it has been one worth taking.

Jaan Jan January nuar uaa y 2 uary 2010 0110 010 0

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C U LT U R E - S H O C K

A life in

Aikido Frenchman Jacques Payet came to Japan in 1980 searching for a martial arts master he had seen only once on a video. What he found was his destiny. There was no internet to do a quick search and he spoke neither Japanese nor English at the time. It took him one month to find this master, Shioda Gozo, founder of Yoshinkan aikido. To his surprise, he was given a chance to stay as uchi-deshi (live-in-student) at the master’s dojo, and this is when his real journey began.

Text ALENA ECKELMANN Photos TONY MCNICOL

Speed, timing and intuition were essential elements of Payet’s aikido training. “I would always be alert and compete with my fellow uchi-deshi; for example, to open the door for Shioda Sensei. We would not know when and which door, “Suddenly thrown into this strange but had to be there first and open it just world where I had to guess what was on time. When helping Sensei with his expected of me, I needed to react quickly, bath, I had to feel but did not know how – the right moment and I made many mistakes “My body became like a when to step and got shouted at. Yet, I sensor, in tune with my forward and help, did not understand why.” teacher. If he needed to and when to step It was extremely rare for tell me what to do, back and wait. My a foreigner to be accepted I was too late.” body became like a as an uchi-deshi. Daily life sensor, in tune with was less than glamorous. my teacher. If he needed to tell me what Payet describes it as pure survival at the to do, I was too late.” bottom of the dojo hierarchy. Now aged 53, and a 7th Dan black belt, “Imagine, I was not allowed to leave Payet has his own dojo in the serenity of the dojo without permission. On my days a Kyoto shrine. And he is still passing on off I went to teach French to earn my those hard lessons learnt some 30 years bread. For me it was such a treat to slip earlier. back into the ‘normal world’ and relax a little. Meanwhile, my superiors went out drinking and locked the dojo. I had to See the full set of photographs at www.eurobiz.jp wait for their return outside and got so Mugenjuku Dojo www.aikidomugenjuku.com cold in winter that I started training just to keep warm.”

January JJa an anu uaaarry 2010 uar 2 2010 01110 010 0 January

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EXECUTIVE NOTES

Treading

carefully to success

Management tips for Japan Text DAN SLATER, THE ECONOMIST GROUP

It is an honour to be associated with EURObiZ Japan, the magazine of the European Business Council. The EBC has a clear agenda relating to trade and regulations for improving the EU-Japan partnership. For my part, I will focus on the dayto-day experiences of foreign executives in Japan. Alongside that, I will be discussing macro-economic and political trends, and assessing how they impact the operational side of foreign businesses in Japan. You may be wondering about my qualifications for this job. Well, my job as director of the Economist Corporate Network involves meeting a great number of executives working at foreign firms, while economics and politics is the backbone of The Economist newspapers and its research arm, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). That is a superb platform from which to relate macro-economic issues to firm-level issues. One thing is for sure: executives arriving in Japan in 2010 will need to hit the ground running, and exploit their business and social skills to the utmost. With the economy contracting at 6% in 2009, Japan is more challenging right now than any other market in Asia. Even senior Japan hands are being replaced; sometimes with a nod to localization (this sometimes seems to be a substitute for the hard thinking you need to re-craft your strategy). Not surprisingly, in my discussions with my members – especially the new arrivals – I frequently come across the need for operational advice. There is a real sense of urgency amongst executives in terms of getting actionable tips, especially on HR issues. The other recurrent theme is managing the relationship with the firm’s head office. When the global CEO comes through Tokyo, it can be difficult to explain to him that the splendid buildings of Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown and Akasaka are not easy to translate into surging revenue. Yet despite the CEO’s disappointment, this is just the time you need a rock38

January 2010

solid ally: internal company politics are notoriously complex in Japan. One country CEO told me jokingly that the key to success in Japan is choosing who will be supervising you back in Europe. Another solution – admittedly not easy to achieve – to ensure that you have the necessary authority to push through your Japan strategy is to be a member of the board back home. There are, nevertheless, plenty of reasons to believe the well-prepared executive can succeed in Japan. Managers and consultants I have spoken to are confident that agriculture worldwide is set for a revival, and that Japanese agriculture will build on its traditional expertise to become a profitable industry. The recession means that the internet is strengthening its grip on people’s shopping habits, and companies which can provide the right combination of product and price will thrive. A major European manufacturer of running shoes has done extremely well with the launch of a special type of exercise shoe aimed at women. The provider of sophisticated dioxin-detection machines (which test for environmental poisons) also reports booming sales in Japan and other countries in Asia. It is the lessons of these various ventures that I will be presenting to you, the reader. Foreign businesses have a huge amount to offer, and to learn from, Japan. By blending the best parts of their collective experiences, we can push forward the whole EU-Japan project. danslater@economist.com www.corporatenetwork.com

One country CEO told me jokingly that the key to success in Japan is choosing who will be supervising you back in Europe.


GREEN BIZ

Making

cash out of trash Tomra Japan Text and photo CHRISTOPHER THOMAS

Japan has a massive recycling system for beverage containers, with high recycling rates, but it is far from perfect. The collection system is low-tech, not to say “no-tech”. Curbside collection sites are often unsightly and the system is very expensive, due to little or no compaction of empty containers before transportation. Surely there’s a better way? Norway’s Tomra Systems has a nifty solution. Its reverse vending machines (RVMs) collect and process all kinds of containers: from glass, aluminium and steel, to PET and other kinds of plastic. Tomra’s RVMs are safe, reliable and fun to use, and they look good. But a key element of the competitive edge, helping Tomra machines maintain their 80% global market share, is the software, notes Tomra Japan President Trond Varlid. “Getting all the sensors and machinery working together, reliably and quickly and with a minimum of errors – this is not easy to do.” The RVMs sense the container’s material and weight, its colour and shape, whether it has liquid still inside it. Then they accept or reject it within half a second, and move it along to meet its fate – shredding for the plastic, crushing for the metal – and bundle the result in tidy sacks for recycling. In return for the containers, the RVMs dispense coupons, tickets or points for point cards, popular incentives for

Japanese consumers. Some can even dispense coins. Business has been picking up here. The company now has 250 RVMs up and running nationwide, 130 of them in Tokyo. A recent tie-up with Sumitomo Corp. is providing sales momentum and some innovations for the Japanese market are generating interest. Tomra has developed a new machine, the City, which is lower and shallower to better fit narrower Japanese spaces. The company has had to overcome challenges, including one fundamental truth about green technology: “No matter how beneficial something is for the environment, it must have commercial merit for businesses for them to take it on,” says Varlid. “It has to save them money or boost their image or somehow generate sales, or they won’t do it.” Recently some firms, particularly beverage makers such as Kirin, have started to pay for RVMs to be set up in private and public spaces. In return, they get space for their own drink machines. Tomra’s RVMs in Japan process more than 50 million containers a year – still a mere drop in the PET bottle sea compared to the estimated 90 billion thrown away in Japan every year. But that just means there is huge potential for this technology to make a dent in the Japanese recycling market.

January Jan Januar anuar uaary 2010 ua 2 2010 010 010 0 January

39 39


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Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Who

Media + Communications in Japan

January 2010

41


Who’s Who // Media and Communications

THE ART OF CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS IN JAPAN Communicating during a crisis is a challenge everywhere. But in Japan it is even tougher. Because the media simply works differently here compared to in the U.S. or Europe, foreign firms often struggle in the market. Companies from industries as diverse as finance, automobile, lifts, food, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods have learnt the hard way – with British stroller-maker Maclaren one of the latest to suffer back in November. So what is different in Japan? It all starts with the unique press club system. There are about 800 press clubs nationwide attached to all ministries, national and local government departments, as well as to industries. It is here where up to 90% of reported news emerges. Members of press clubs include the large newspapers, the two news wires, NHK and the major TV stations. All other media – including magazines, internet and free press, freelancers and most international media – are usually barred access to the press club’s press conferences. Even under the new DPJ government, changes have yet to be made. A crisis can be triggered by a variety of scenarios: an accident, a product malfunction, whistle-blowing, a misleading news report or even rumours. Whether any of these events will lead to a media crisis – i.e., long-term negative media coverage damaging to corporate reputation – all depends on the company’s behaviour during the first hours and days. This is no different in Japan than anywhere else. What distinguishes Japan is the press club’s close ties to the ministries and agencies that oversee industries – e.g., Transport Ministry for automobile, airline, lifts industries; Financial Services Agency and Tokyo Stock Exchange for finance industry; Health Ministry for pharmaceuticals industry. Since all briefings to the media are given at press clubs, by the companies and also by the ministry and public agency officials, the press clubs essentially monopolize reporting and greatly influence public perception. Reporters at press clubs typically stem from the social departments within their media and lack industry-specific knowhow. They are neither interested in, nor able to thoroughly analyse underlying industrial problems and offer suggestions for a solution. They monitor accidents and scandals with painstaking attention to detail and often focus on punishing the wrongdoers. When a crisis arises, a company first should express remorse about the situation regardless of whether it must bear responsibility. This form of an apology is essential in Japan. Any firm involved in a scandal has to convince the relevant press club reporters that it is taking the case seriously and taking all necessary measures to prevent reoccurence. During this process, the firm deals exclusively with social press club reporters. Even colleagues from the business section of the same newspaper, say Asahi or Yomiuri, will not touch this topic until the company has been “cleared” by the social reporters. This

42

January 2010

Dr. Jochen Legewie President of CNC Japan, the only European communications consultancy in Japan.

A crisis can be triggered by a variety of scenarios: an accident, a product malfunction, whistle-blowing, a misleading news report or even rumours.

explains why technical explanations – often given by Western firms in such situations – fail to impress journalists and get reported. Act fast, show honesty, be transparent, provide info – all of this is true around the world. The difference in Japan is that you have to do it with a very distinct part of the media, i.e., the press club, and cannot count on help from your usual media contacts in the business and trade press. Headquarters back in Europe tend to demand “to get our message out with the right media”, but this does not work here easily. Until the recent establishment of the Consumer Agency, makers of consumer products did not have a single overarching ministry. But with this development, companies must take heed and prepare to deal with the press club of the Consumer Agency in all complaint cases or problems with their products. The lesson is clear: no company will overcome critical media reporting in Japan without clearing the biggest hurdle, the media in charge at the relevant press club, be it at the Consumer Agency, the Transport Ministry or any other public institution.


Who’s Who // Media and Communications

SUCCEEDING IN THE PARTICIPATION ECONOMY Everyone in marketing now knows that companies are no longer in control of their brands. Of course, the general public has known this for quite some time. But the past 18 months of economic turmoil has brought this point glaringly to light. The combination of tougher economic times combined with the myriad of ways people now have of connecting with each other to voice their opinions, entertain and learn valuable information has created an environment that we refer to as the Participation Economy. Marketers can no longer control what is said to vast amounts of the population about their brands. The proliferation of communication channels and screens (TV, Computer, Mobile) has also given the world of marketing an intractable case of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Where should brands be spending their budgets? How to measure success? How to generate efficiencies? These old marketing questions now take on new meaning in the Participation Economy. Perhaps the starting place is to re-think and re-frame marketing communication in general. We’ve evolved from “marketing to” to “communicating with” to “creating with”. And it’s no longer about a “return on investment”. Instead, think “return on involvement”. The combination of tough economic times and loss of control of brand-related content has also contributed to the polarization of consumption patterns. If your brand can’t truly differentiate itself and find an emotionally compelling reason for people to purchase, the decision to purchase will simply be a logical one, built on a decision-making framework of features, cost and accessibility compared to your competitors. But if your brand can create an emotional reason to connect with people, they will be willing to pay a premium for it, to seek it out, will remain loyal and may even become an advocate for you among family, friends and co-workers. Now which consumption pattern would

you prefer your brand to play within? And which do you think is more economically sustainable? Brands need to evolve beyond “branding”. We refer to this as creating Lovemarks. Lovemarks are products, services, countries, people – really anything – that a person can love beyond reason. We all have them. Our favourite shampoo, car, vacation spot, watch, ice-cream, coffee, school, movie, neighbourhood, laptop, mobile phone and so on that, regardless of their quirks or cost, we simply can’t do without. I’ve witnessed polite dinner conversations turn into thirty-minute gushing conversations about why someone loves their Dyson. And don’t ever try to tell me that you don’t like my favourite brand of briefcase. Or how about a football fan’s favourite team? Or in my case, a hockey team that hasn’t won the cup since 1967. Lovemarks, the ultimate destination of a sustainable brand. I would like to leave you with three questions I believe you will need to answer in order to create your own Lovemarks in the Participation Economy: 1. How can your brand help shape rather than follow popular culture? 2. Why would someone become an advocate of your brand instead of your competitor’s? 3. What sisomo (Sight, sound and motion) neutral ideas does your marketing plan contain to spark the imagination, stir the hearts of, and start a conversation among, people?

Phillip Rubel CEO Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Tokyo

Brands need to evolve beyond “branding”. We refer to this as creating Lovemarks.

In the Participation Economy, it’s not about spending more, disrupting the status quo or even integrated communications. It’s about transparency, an ongoing relationship and using creativity as an economic multiplier to build a Lovemark, supported by advocates beyond your marketing and sales departments.

January 2010

43


Who’s Who // Media and Communications

GLOBAL STUDY:

HOW THE JAPANESE CHANGED IN THE POSTLEHMAN CRISIS ERA Changing values give rise to new marketing opportunities The need for marketing indices that reflect worldwide consumer behavior during the economic recession is strong. A 15-nation survey, which included Japan, has shown that the Japanese are the most pessimistic people regarding the recession. Six-tenths of the Japanese respondents answered that their “lives will get worse”; this is the lowest confidence rating among the surveyed countries. Furthermore, as shown in the chart, the Japanese surveyed have adopted an extremely pessimistic posture, reflected in “low security in their current jobs” and “low confidence in their ability to find new jobs.”

Confidence in finding a new job

70

Nobuyuki Kobayashi Executive Director, Head of Planning, I&S BBDO

Indonesia

60

China

India

Malaysia

50

Thailand Taiwan

40

Singapore

outlooks are beginning to emerge, which includes a grand sense of responsibility toward future generations and the Earth, along with a future-oriented mindset.

South Korea

30

20

JAPAN

10

0 0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

Insecure about current job

Japanese consumption behavior was observed by contrasting where customers increased their consumption with where they decreased spending. In measuring such “trading up” and “trading down,” the following changes were noted after the Lehman crisis: > 42% responded that their “monthly savings” had decreased, while 38% responded that “waiting for sale campaign periods and special sales days” had gone up. It can be inferred that the Japanese have a fairly strong desire to sustain their circumstances. > 82% responded that there was no change or increase in “continuing to use brands that one trusts, or is favorably disposed to or familiar with.” 16% responded that “family get-togethers” had increased. Such behavioral patterns demonstrate a growing predilection for a sense of security. > 26.5% responded that “time used for work” had become less, while 22% responded that “occasions for thinking and talking about the current state of the economy and its consequences” were on the rise. An “attitude showing a loss of self-confidence” – while time for work decreases and people lament the economic recession – can be detected here, > On the other hand, 33% and 42% responded that “educational expenditures for children” and the “use of eco-friendly shopping bags and tote-bags,” respectively, had increased. Even amidst pessimistic attitudes – such as a preference for being thrifty, a sense of security and the loss of self-confidence – positive 44

January 2010

The results of the survey and the application of a variety of qualitative approaches – such as interviews with sociologists, psychologists and other experts – offer an in-depth exploration of what the Japanese today have lost. Most importantly, there are indications of how their values have changed. Behavioral changes in consumption and pessimistic attitudes reveal how the Japanese harbor a sense of loss. Their “need for safety*” (through possessing such items as clothing and shelter) and the “need for esteem*” (through recognition and respect by their group as a person of value) are not being satisfied. In a nutshell, the Japanese have lost “security” and “self-confidence” – two major comforts that had been taken for granted. *Maslow’s five-level hierarchy of needs The Japanese have acquired, as an alternative, several psychological needs and a consumption drive of new values. By understanding such specific changes and responding appropriately, brands can become more appealing to the Japanese consumer and, eventually, gain greater market share. Solid media and communications require an understanding of the consumer. Drawing on study results to define marketing strategy can help meet the requirements of individual clients. The economic downturn need not mean a loss of opportunity. Rather, survey results indicate that the Japanese consumer requires products and services that strengthen their sense of security and self-confidence. For further details, please go to www.isbbdo.co.jp


Who’s Who // Media and Communications

A DIFFERENT KIND OF COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY For a company selling to other companies The business-to-business (B2B) market in Japan is usually valued to about three to four times the consumer market. Strangely enough, there are very few specialized B2B advertising agencies helping these companies selling to other companies. Leading advertising agencies say they can serve both consumer companies and industrial enterprises. They cannot, and more about that later. Truth is it’s nearly impossible to find an agency that clearly differentiates itself as a B2B agency in Japan. Probably there is fewer than a handful. In Europe and North America, on the other hand, there are many successful, sophisticated, differentiated B2B agencies. So why not here—the home of, perhaps, the greatest concentration of world-class industrial companies? There are two reasons. First is the unique structure of Japan’s advertising industry, which is dominated by a small number of very large agencies with a big stake in media planning and media buying. You could easily say their main business is media, not advertising. This affects B2B companies directly, as they don’t need broad media, but specialized, narrow media. Secondly, most Japanese B2B companies are far less sophisticated in communications than their international counterparts. They put an overwhelming stress on engineering and product development, leaving the sales process to personal sales calls. However, B2B advertising lowers the transaction cost dramatically both for the seller and the buyer. And, contrary to consumer advertising, it’s relatively straightforward to calculate the return-oninvestment for most B2B ad campaigns. Within the ad industry, this has been a point of disagreement; many of the large consumer-focused agencies argue that there is no major difference between B2B and B2C advertising. Corporate buyers, they

say, are only human and, therefore, can be counted on to act just as emotionally and irrationally as any other consumer. But they don’t. Selling stationery to a business may not differ much from selling to a consumer; but selling a production control system to a pharmaceutical firm requires a completely different skills set at the agency: > B2B buyers are well-educated, busy professionals who need relevant, in-depth, focused information about the product, its value, and also about the company that is selling it. > Consumer products are simple; products and services for businesses can be immensely complex. A good B2B agency must have strategists and creative people who understand industrial products and processes, and are passionate about communicating these. Perhaps no other advertising copy is read by as knowledgeable an audience. > Business markets are often very complex, as different segments, even in the same industry, have very different needs, demands and restrictions. The B2B agency must understand how to bridge the differences and create effective advertising. > Consumer products are sold; business products are bought. The agency must understand the buying process, with advertising that reflects the buyer’s specific needs and place in the purchase cycle. > Consumers basically know what they’re buying and how to evaluate it, so advertising can be quick, fun and superficial. Professional buyers need more information, not less; it should be serious, relevant and detailed, not laden with general promises. > Consumer products are usually bought by one person; business products are bought by purchasing teams representing different perspectives and interests.

Kjell Fornander President & CEO Next Inc. (B2B specialist)

Leading advertising agencies say they can serve both consumer companies and industrial enterprises. They cannot.

> If

you don’t like a burger or a beer, you’ll buy another next time. A professional buyer risks both his company and his career by the wrong purchasing decision. Trust in the seller is a major component; it’s vital that B2B advertising delivers this. > For consumer products, the buyer and the user are the same person, whereas a business product may have hundreds of users, who all need to understand and accept it. It’s important that advertising, sales literature and websites accommodate this need. These factors illustrate how B2B advertising is radically different from consumer advertising. To inform and persuade in the complex corporate world, a specialized B2B agency is much better equipped than any generalist counterpart. January 2010

45


Who’s Who // Media and Communications

Destination West CNC Japan KK

#205 Chateau Polaire Shibuya, 22-20 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0031

Sanno Park Tower 26F, 2-11-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6126 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Contacts: Established: Staff:

03-5156-0185 03-5156-0188 tokyo@cnc-communications.com www.cnc-communications.com Jochen Legewie, President; Kozo Iino, Senior Consultant 2004 100+ worldwide

Notable Clients Lufthansa; Panasonic; TPG; Mitsubishi Fuso; Daimler; Allianz; Komatsu; Siemens; Bayer; Sanyo; Coller Capital; Vnesheconombank; Asahi Kasei; ThyssenKrupp; European Delegation, SAP, Swiss Business Hub Company Activities Communications consultancy services in the areas of corporate, financial, brand and crisis communications and public affairs. Headquartered in Germany, CNC has 13 offices worldwide and is the only European communications consultancy present in Tokyo. In Japan we have offered crisis communications counsel to clients involved in some of the country’s most high-profile corporate scandals. Here we also advised on several corporate positioning programs and major cross-border transactions. In 2008 CNC was among the Top 10 financial PR global advisory firms according to mergermarket.

Tel: Facsimile: E-mail: Web: Contacts: Established: Staff:

03-3463-8565 03-3463-7038 naoko@destwest.com www.destwest.com Naoko Suzuki, President 1983 8

Notable Clients Toyota Motor Corp., Tokyo Stock Exchange, Eizo Nanao, Asahi Kasei Medical, New Japan Philharmonic, McGill MBA Japan, Hotel Okura, Simplex Investment Advisors, Sheraton Company Activities English- & Japanese-language corporate & product advertising research, planning, execution & tracking; media planning & buying; Internet & intranet site development; video and commercial film production, brochure & collateral print production.

Hill & Knowlton Japan Roppongi-Yamada Bldg., 8F, 3-5-27 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Contacts:

03-4520-5800 03-4520-5801 HKJINFO@hillandknowlton.co.jp www.hillandknowlton.com/ Kuniko Okuwaki, President; Jesse Green, Executive Director Established: 1958 in Japan Staff: 30+ Company Activities Hill & Knowlton, Inc. is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to domestic and multinational clients. We offer a fully integrated approach to corporate and consumer communications, from media relations, reputation management, thought leadership, crisis and issues management, digital and stakeholder communications, to sponsorship, event management, and crisis and media training. This mix and experience provide clients with the resources and expertise they need to develop and implement an effective communications program while building, managing and protecting brand reputation.

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January 2010

I&S BBDO Inc. Harumi Triton Square X, 1-8-10 Harumi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-6038 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Contacts:

03-6221-8585 03-6221-8791 prdiv@isbbdo.co.jp www.isbbdo.co.jp Hal Ito, Executive Director of New Business Aya Miyashita, Director of Corporate Communication Established: 1947 Staff Size: 543 Company Activities: I&S BBDO is the Japanese arm of the BBDO Worldwide network. With over 500 employees in 10 key Japanese cities, we are the largest multinational agency in Japan. We focus on providing truly holistic communication solutions to our client—solutions we call “TotalWork”. Using our TotalWork methodology, we create world-class content that has one simple goal—to influence Japanese consumer behavior. In an independent survey of leading advertisers in Japan, I&S BBDO ranked number one across all measured categories, and in overall agency satisfaction. In 2009, BBDO Worldwide was the most awarded creative agency in the world according to the Gunn Report.


Who’s Who // Media and Communications

LBS Co.,Ltd. J-Spin Inc. Shinjuku Suzuki Bldg. B, 4F, 1-6-8 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Contacts: Established: Staff:

03-5269-1038 03-5269-1039 david@jspin.co.jp www.jspin.co.jp David Huerta, General Partner 2002 8

Notable Clients VMware, Akamai Technologies, Cambridge Silicon Radio, 3PAR, Bosch, Bridgestone Company Activities J-Spin is an independent public relations firm based in Japan, specializing in marketing communications for technologyoriented businesses and automotive industry-related companies in Japan. We are a one-stop total PR and marketing services provider for companies who want to build a stronger presence in the Japanese market.

da Vinci Tamachi Bldg., 10-5 Shiba 4-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Contacts:

03-3769-1355 03-3769-5181 Takenaka@lbs.co.jp, Tishii@lbs.co.jp www.lbs.co.jp Homare Takenaka, Chairman & CEO Masanobu Chiba, President & COO Established: 1993 Staff: 30 Notable Clients IBM Japan, Samsung Japan, Sumitomo 3M, Stryker Japan, VeriSign Japan, & Others Company Activities The corporate slogan is “To Bring The World To Japan, Japan To The World.” Our major activity is to help foreign-affiliated companies succeed in enhancing its brand image and expanding human network by providing external affairs-related services.

Next Inc. El Alcazar Mita 202, 2-10-5 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Contacts:

03-6436-4270 03-6436-4272 info@nextinc.com www.nextinc.com Kjell Fornander, President Haruko Miyazaki, Account Manager Established: 1988 Staff: 16 Notable Clients ABB, Arla, Atlas Copco, BJB, Grundfos, IKEA, Iron Mountain, Merck Serono, Nobel Biocare, Nuance, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Volvo Company Activities Specialists in business-to-business marketing communications. Next Inc. provides integrated, one-window communication solutions: advertising, corporate communications, custom publishing, interactive, sales collateral, trade show management and public relations. Active in many communication areas, we're at the same time very focused. Our work is mainly with the Japanese subsidiaries of global companies. We are very proud of the long-term relationships we build with our clients; among our current list of clients are many with whom we have worked for 10 or more years.

Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Tokyo KK 4-9-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Contacts: Established: Staff:

03-6438-1255 03-6438-1254 phil.rubel@ssftokyo.com www.ssftokyo.co.jp Phillip Rubel, CEO 2003 50

Company Activities Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon is a full-service advertising and communications company, part of the Publicis Group, and founded on the principal that creativity is an economic multiplier. Saatchi & Saatchi is among the most famous of global advertising agency networks, with ideas based on the brandbuilding strategy known as Lovemarks. Fallon is renown as an agency micro-network based on the singular objective of using creativity to help clients outsmart the competition rather than outspend them. Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Tokyo is the culmination of both sister agencies in Japan, providing global and local clients with world-class network resources combined with bespoke locally rooted creativity. Please visit our website to learn more. January 2010

47


Nice as ice

Sapporo snow festival Text and photos ROB GILHOOLY Each year, around 2 million people visit Hokkaidoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital city Sapporo to see the hundreds of handcrafted snow and ice sculptures that have graced the Sapporo Snow Festival since its inception in 1950. At the inaugural event there were just six sculptures, all handmade by local high school students. But ever since the city hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1972, the event has grown in both size and stature. Its reputation was enhanced a few years later by the introduction of an international snow sculpting competition, during which teams from a number of countries around the globe tried their collective hands at chiselling snow into creative shapes and forms. This year marks the 61st snow festival, which will be held between February 5 and 11 in three main locations: Odori Park, Suskino and Tsudome. 48

January 2010


LENS FLAIR

January 2010

49


Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Who

HR + Recruitment Consulting in Japan

50

January 2010


Who’s Who // HR and Recruitment Consulting

THE TIDE HAS TURNED Recruiting bilinguals in Tokyo’s current economic climate Enough has been said about 2009. There is no need to dwell further, and it clearly seems when looking across half-full restaurants at lunchtime that the only way from here is recovery. But we all know that it is more complex than that – 2010 needs to be handled with great skill before all of our markets return to the alchemy of early 2007. Shrewd managers are already hiring as people crawl from the debris of their crisis-shaken cubicles and start to believe in ideas of career development or work/life balance once again. Clients are competing aggressively to hire the same people. Candidates are confident enough to move on and find new hope, and the last year has culled a great deal of recruiters. The market for bilinguals in Japan has always been small. The number of Japanese candidates studying abroad has consistently fallen over the last 20 years, and English spoken per head is woeful once compared to the international business climates of Hong Kong or Singapore. For companies looking to hire again, the landscape is very different as demand for talent is beginning to outstrip the supply of candidates. Choosing a partner The recruitment industry in Japan is very new, with less than one firm in five having been established for more than 10 years. In 2008, the official figures quoted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare were that 60% of firms have less than five years experience and 75% have fewer than five staff. You can be sure these will have changed radically in 2009. It is true that most clients will choose an individual they trust to assist with their recruitment. It is only natural. These individuals tend to be specialists and to be very confident in their networks when starting out alone. A typical company will need many of these individual relationships to meet its hiring needs across skills such as sales, marketing, purchasing, accounting, IT, HR, production or logistics. That is, unless the purpose is to simplify and work with a more stable, established and capable brand. Clients should consider looking for companies that have weathered the last year, as they will have a substantial history in the market and a great deal of relationships. Even through a downturn, good companies maintain their advertising presence and bring in the best candidates available. Most of these companies have a commitment to behaving ethically, and have recruited and trained their teams with such values. All of these elements will be important in choosing a partner, as much as the services they can offer. Methods of search Recruitment needs vary, and depend on how necessary the role is for you, the consequences of leaving the position vacant, and the availability of individuals who can fill your need.

Sam Bliss Managing Director, The Specialized Group K.K.

The recruitment industry in Japan is very new, with less than one firm in five having been established for more than 10 years.

A good recruitment company offers a variety of solutions, from retained search through to temporary placement. A retained search is perfect for senior or unique positions that need to be filled with the best possible candidate within an agreed timeframe. In so doing, a company gains the commitment to a process and the best possible market knowledge to secure the best individual. An advertised search is great for clients that want to fill multiple positions quickly with widely available skill sets – a number of salespeople or accountants, for example. In effect, this is an ideal solution for a company with little HR support, but whose business is growing quickly. A contingent search is a good fit for mid-level positions, offering a wide range of qualified candidates. A company only pays on success. However, the search requires more effort on the company’s side to co-ordinate, and carries no guarantee. Temporary placement can help employers bring in skills for short periods on one-off projects or increase their effective headcount through outsourcing without taking the full legal responsibility for extra employees. Most recruitment consultants can help you with each of these services. Overall, any recruiter selected should give you a convincing indication of where and how to find the best suitable candidates. January 2010

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Who’s Who // HR and Recruitment Consulting

CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO HAVE A MOTIVATED WORKFORCE? In times gone by, battles were won not by the side with the largest battalion or with the sharpest swords, but usually by the side whose soldiers were hungriest for the fight. The most successful generals were those who could motivate their armies to remain and fight on the battlefield. The same concept applies to business. The success of the products and services a company offers is contingent on the concerted efforts of its workforce. Firms where staff are passionate about maximizing their personal contribution are more likely to succeed than rival firms whose employees may be doing just enough to get by. The recent economic downturn enhances the importance of getting this right. Many companies have been through substantial change recently, and much of it not pretty. Lower bonus payments, elimination of roles and other cost-reduction initiatives carry the potential to damage employee morale. Winning companies have a workforce that understands the changes being made, and are actively committed to helping the organization rebuild and assume market share and gain growth from the new opportunities that emerge. As you enter 2010, as a senior business leader, consider whether your employees are passionate about working at your company or not. Weigh also the possibilities that could unfold if everyone in your firm radiates positive energy and applies this to their activities. The emotional and intellectual commitment to an organization or group is referred to as the level of “Employee Engagement”. Our research indicates that engaged employees: Say good things about the company externally—to friends, clients and potential new recruits. They’re passionate advocates for the business. Stay with the firm. Not because they think it’s the easy life or because there is never an easy alternative. Rather, because they believe that working there allows them

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to make a meaningful contribution and receive a fair return on their endeavors. Strive every day to do their best. They go beyond what is required to deliver extraordinary service and results for customers and colleagues. They create a competitive advantage for the company. Individual responses can range from being very passionate to strongly negative (to the point of being destructive to the organization). While raising the perception level of all the employees is important, some researchers conclude that the best performance is realized by focusing on maximizing the percentage classed as “very passionate”. There is a strong correlation between this group and your highperformers. Traditional employee surveys had focused on satisfaction scores alone. Employee Engagement surveys, on the other hand, provide enhanced insight through an ability to link satisfaction to motivation—two very different concepts. For example, receiving a pay raise generally increases satisfaction, but does not necessarily lead to higher engagement (and, ultimately, greater productivity). Looking deeper into the analysis, it is possible to identify which aspects of a company have the most impact on overall motivation, which helps prioritize attention- and action-related items. Monitoring and reviewing on a regular basis help identify how successful the action steps have been and to aid in refining the analysis. Understanding what drives engagement is critical for talent strategy and workforce management. Organizations, as a result, are more likely to emerge stronger during the economic recovery, and during any further downturn. Our research on engagement in Japan indicates that the performance management process and career aspiration are the factors usually having the greatest impact on overall engagement. This conclusion relates closely to better external opportunities being cited as a top reason for voluntary resignation.

Jee-Young Yang Consultant, Engagement and Rewards Hewitt Associates K.K.

Understanding what drives engagement is critical for talent strategy and workforce management.

Similar to a marketing team that researches and analyzes customer preferences prior to launching a new product, companies should understand proactively what makes their workforce tick. Understanding is a first step toward marketing the organization as an Employer of Choice.


Who’s Who // HR and Recruitment Consulting

A WORD OR TWO TO THE WISE Ever been asked to summarize fees and the situation in Japan’s labor and executive search market? Too many search firms, and tough competition, can make for some desperate, sometimes unscrupulous operators discounting at a level that drives others out of business. If it’s not the typical up-market fee structure of two 1/3-retainer fees in the first two months, and the final 1/3 upon successful conclusion, modest commitment/retainer fees are certainly prevalent among established executive search firms of reputation. A major IT, hightech specialist is paid on contingency, but at a fee that’s 50% of the salary. A modest retainer fee for a finance industry specialist moved up from the typical 35% to 40% of annual income recently, although on big financial service placements it can be 25% of the salary or a fixed fee. A consensus is developing that we have to hold the line on fees to stay in business. After the Employment Security Law was revised in 1997 to lower the bar to obtain the required recruiting industry license, the number of recruiting companies drastically increased. During 1993 to 1996 (the bubble burst, but not that many managers had lost their jobs yet, thinking to become a recruiter would be nice), the percentage increase from the previous year was almost nothing—0.04%. For three years after the new law was introduced, the increase was about 5% on average. In 2000 the percentage jumped to 25.4%, and since then it has stayed high at an annual average increase of 18.69% per year (2001-2007). In 2007, the number of recruiting offices was 15,453, and the increase from the previous year was 20.7%. My guess would be that the influx of baby boomers retiring from their companies had a lot to do with this. Even though the new law became less strict, to open a business requires all applicants to comply with, for example: 1) Total minimum assets of more than ¥5 million, and cash/bank deposit of more than ¥1.5 million. 2) More than 20 sqm (215 sq ft) of office space. 3) A system to maintain privacy of personal information. 4) Annual reporting to the authorities of applicant numbers, job category of “applicants” (some executive search firms have to scout non-applicants), their employment status, fee level and number of placements. “To keep running the company is much more difficult and a considerable number of companies closed,” said the officer of the Tokyo Labor Department. Although there is no official data, they know this because “so many licensed operators don’t come back for renewal of the license.” The license is initially valid for three years, and renewable every five years. After the first three years, a firm must have a minimum of ¥3.5 million in assets/profits for that last fiscal year. In the case of domestic jobs within Japan, in 2007, about 2,441,075 people applied to these 15,453 recruiting firms (a 42.3%

Thomas J. Nevins Managing Partner, TMT/Glasford International Japan

Clients risk opening up their organizations and their staff to desperate recruiters who have no reputation to lose.

increase), 2,177,882 positions were posted (a 27.9% increase), and 377,647 people found positions. This means only 17% of the applicants were placed by these private firms. As for recruiting for overseas jobs, it is still on a small scale with 8,367 applicants, 6,652 positions, and 5,810 people finding jobs in 2007. However, this shows there is a higher percentage in placement (69% of applicants and 87% of positions) than there is on the domestic scene. To get a license, attendance at a full-day seminar is required, along with considerable paperwork, and modest fees. About 300 people a sitting attend the seminar several times a year. The seminar instructors will actually say, “This business is not as easy as some of you think. Look to your left, look to your right; after one year, one of you won’t be in this recruiting business.” As in any country, clients that may be tempted to hire an actively looking, inventory candidate sold by a recruiter at a low fee may find they have hired a problem. Clients also risk opening up their organizations and their staff to desperate recruiters who have no reputation to lose.

January 2010

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Who’s Who // HR and Recruitment Consulting

Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan K.K. Akasaka Twin Tower, Main Tower 7F, 2-17-22 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052 Tel: E-mail: Web: Established: Contact:

03-3560-1188 Fax: 03-3560-1189 info@hays.co.jp www.hays.co.jp 2001 Staff: 100+ Satoko Ehara, Marketing Executive

Company Activities Hays plc is the leading global specialist recruitment group. Globally Hays employs over 6,500 people operating from more than 340 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms. In the Asia-Pacific region, we operate from 45 locations across the region with 750 consultants and place over 10,000 in permanent jobs each year, and over 8,000 temporary and contract staff are engaged each week. Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan K.K. was established in 2001, and we offer a full range of recruitment services in Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Finance Technology, HR, Information Technology, Pharma, Property, and Sales & Marketing. We have taken the globally successful Hays methodology and localised it to suit the Japanese market. Hays Japan currently enjoys a 6:4 ratio of Japanese to foreign consultants, meaning we are equally capable of working with Japanese and foreign-affiliated companies. As of January 2010, we have a new Managing Director, Christine Wright, who has spent the last 15 years working with Hays in the UK and Australia, and we will continue to work with our customers offering expert advice, and firmly believe that “The right job can transform a person’s life. The right person can transform a business”.

Hewitt Associates K.K. Mita Kokusai Building 24th Floor, 1-4-28 Mita Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Established: Staff: Contact:

03-4580-2360 03-4580-2380 infotokyo@hewitt.com www.hewitt.co.jp 1987 20 employees Jim Humphrey, Representative Director

Company Activities Hewitt Associates provides leading organizations around the world with expert human resources consulting and outsourcing solutions to help them anticipate and solve their most complex retirement, benefits and talent-related challenges. With a history of exceptional client service since 1940, Hewitt has offices in 33 countries and employs approximately 23,000 associates who are helping make the world a better place to work. We have operated in Japan since 1987, and provide Japanese and foreign-owned subsidiaries with a comprehensive range of HR services through professional bilingual staff and reliable data. Hewitt also provides HR Outsourcing services in Japan via a joint venture with HR One Corporation.

Icon Partners Icon Partners K.K. 2F Nikko-bisou Bld., 1-7-6 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0027 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Established: Staff: Contact:

03-5255-3961 03-5255-3980 info@icon-partners.com www.icon-partners.com 2006 12 in Japan Jeremy Sanderson, CEO

Company Activities 2009 was tough, but as we all know, in crisis there is opportunity. If you’re an HR professional or hiring manager then you know that building a leaner, tougher organization is the best way to turn a recession into a competitive advantage. Chances are, you slimmed down your workforce in 2009 and will be ramping up your operational fitness for the year ahead. As the economy picks up, so will the competition for talent. By the time most companies realize how competitive the labor market has become, they will have missed valuable hiring opportunities. Don’t let this happen to you. Icon Partners has made a name for itself sourcing, matching and placing bilingual accounting and finance professionals. For an update on the current hiring environment and honest advice on how to plan your 2010 hiring strategy, call us today for a noobligation consultation. We’re good at this. Let us help.

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January 2010

Legal Futures Japan K.K. Gloria Building, Level 6, 3-6-15 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0013 Tel: E-mail: Web: Established: Contact:

03-3580-3101 Fax: 03-3580-3116 japan@legalfutures.com www.legalfutures.com 1999 Staff: 20 in Japan Damion Way, Managing Director

Company Activities Legal Futures offers legal, compliance and financial services recruitment expertise throughout the Asia-Pacific from our offices in Japan and Hong Kong. Our Private Practice Division sources qualified lawyers and attorneys at all levels from associates through to partners, also patent attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries and business services positions. Our Corporate Division sources qualified lawyers and attorneys at all levels from corporate counsels through to regional general counsels, also corporate compliance officers and commercial/contract managers. Our Banking & Financial Services Division services the full financial services industry with experience in the areas of Asset Management/Trust Banking, Corporate and Retail Banking, Insurance, Investment Banking/Securities, Private Equity and Real Estate. Our Compliance Division services the full financial services industry with experience in the areas of Asset Management/Trust Banking, Corporate and Retail Banking, Insurance, Investment Banking/Securities, Private Equity and Real Estate. We have built our reputation on the quality of our service and our dedication to excellence.


Shibuya Minami Tokyu Bldg. 14F, 3-12-18 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Established: Staff: Contact:

03-4570-1500 03-4570-1599 info@robertwalters.co.jp www.robertwalters.co.jp 2000 1,400 globally Akiko Fujita, Marketing Department

The Specialized Group K.K. Ebisu East 438 Bldg. 7F, 4-3-8 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013 Tel: Fax: E-mail: Web: Established: Staff: Contact:

03-4520-6800 03-5798-5401 contact_us@specialized-group.com www.specialized-group.com 2001 25 Sam Bliss, Managing Partner

Company Activities Since January 2000, Robert Walters Japan has been active in building integrated partnerships with clients and candidates, enabling us to consistently deliver the most relevant match of skills and culture. This is our ultimate goal as a recruitment and sourcing specialist, and the solutions we create are underpinned by a number of essential and defining attributes. Robert Walters Japan has the distinct advantages of size, proven track record, and the capability to tap into an unparalleled global network. Our synergistic application of these unrivalled strengths in the following industries enables us to bring clients and candidates together in the most efficient and productive way: advertising & media, asset management, banking & securities, chemicals, consulting & services, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, IT & telecom, logistics, manufacturing & components, real estate, retail and luxury & consumer goods.

Company Activities Retained, Contingent, Advertised Search and Contracting

TMT Inc.

Way Simmons Partnership

Ichibancho KK Bldg., 13-8 Ichibancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 1020082

Gloria Building, Level 6, 3-6-15 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0013

Tel: E-mail: Web: Established: Staff:

Tel: E-mail: Web: Established: Contact:

03-3261-6471 Fax: info@tmt-aba.com www.tmt-aba.com 1978 20

03-3221-0601

Company Activities TMT Inc.—Technics in Management Transfer—founded in 1978 by Thomas J. Nevins, is a unique human resource consultancy in Japan specializing in: • Executive Search • Labor/Personnel Policy • Rules of Employment (ROE) • Problem-Employee Solutions • Compensation and Benefits • Union and Staff Relations • Staff Reduction/Cost Savings Programs TMT represents Glasford International in Japan. Glasford is a leading strategic partnership of retained executive search firms working together to provide HR/recruiting solutions for global clients. The 32nd conference in Tokyo, hosted by TMT/Glasford International Japan, is from March 26-27, 2010. Partners are in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, UK, Ukraine, USA and Vietnam. Invited Prospective Partners are Australia, Canada, Cambodia, Egypt, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand.

Who’s Who // HR and Recruitment Consulting

Robert Walters Japan K.K.

The Specialized Group places bilingual professionals within the international business community in Tokyo. We have specialist teams in Finance, HR, IT, Accounting, Sales, Marketing, Production and Logistics. Over the last year, we have placed professionals from Country Managers to temporary desktop support positions. The majority of our consultants are Japanese and have significant corporate experience. We can help you with Retained, Advertised and Contingent Searches, as well as interim placement or temporary contractors. The Specialized Group was founded in 2001 and is one of the very few recruitment companies in Tokyo to grow in strength and coverage over the last two years.

03-3580-3102 Fax: 03-3580-3116 japan@waysimmons.com www.waysimmons.com 1999 Staff: 20 in Japan Damion Way, Managing Director

Company Activities Way Simmons Partnership is a boutique recruitment consultancy that partners with organisations and job seekers to add value through innovative and professional staffing solutions. Our consultants work in an entrepreneurial environment and are empowered to provide flexible and bespoke service to our clients. Way Simmons Partnership offers professional recruitment services across a variety of position types. We have experience in the following areas: • • • •

Accounting & Finance • Advertising, Marketing & PR General Affairs • Human Resources Logistics & Supply Chain • Technology Office Administration/Executive Support

We provide industry specific expertise via the following practice groups: • Advertising, Marketing & PR • Consumer Goods • IT & Telecommunications • Professional Services • Logistics, Transport & Supply Chain Way Simmons partnership is a division of Legal Futures Japan K.K. (www.legalfutures.com). January 2010

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EBC PERSONALITY

Erik Ullner Born in Finland of Swedish descent, Erik Ullner first arrived in Japan February 1965. He was nine years old and his father was employed as a commercial counselor at the Finnish Embassy. “Japan was a totally different country to today,” remembers Ullner. “I used to go to school by tram from our home in Roppongi. At that time, the old Almond café was the only concrete building there.” Ullner joined the banking industry at the height of the bubble economy, which he describes as “probably the biggest matsuri there ever was.” One client party in Kyoto, he recalls, cost ¥15 million: “For five people plus the geisha.” That party ended some time ago and now Ullner works to help Japanese companies invest in Europe, and vice-versa. He hopes organisations like the EBC will continue their patient pressure for deregulation. EBC Treasurer Ullner lives with his wife in Karuizawa, one hour from Tokyo by shinkansen, and where he has a wooden house specially imported from Finland – complete with sauna. Temperatures can get down to -15˚C in winter. After nearly 40 years observing the Japanese economy at close-hand, Ullner doesn’t underestimate the problems posed by government debt, the high yen and Japan’s ageing population. Yet he is cautiously optimistic about the new administration. “Everyone is hoping they will do a good job,” he says.

Text TONY MCNICOL Photo ALFIE GOODRICH

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EURObiZ Japan ­ January 2010