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►Coming Attractions, Headline Stats, Highlights -22 January 2014 -Click here

►Exports revenues up 10%, volumes still down -19 June 2013
Depending who you talk to, Japan's export sector is either doing great or it isn't. The overall 15% devaluation of the yen against the dollar has meant that on a revenues basis, the value of exports rose 10% in the year through to May, compared with investor expectations of just 6.5%. On the other hand, by volume, exports were still down 4.8% over the same period last year. ***Ed: Smoke and mirrors?** Reassuringly, analysts are saying that the yen devaluation overall has created more benefit than the extra costs it has created -- pointing to the fact that while fuel for power plants contributed to a JPY994bn trade deficit, earnings on overseas investment income brought the current account back into the black. Exports to the United States rose the most, by 16.3%, while those to China were up 8.3%. (Source: TT commentary from reuters.com, Jun 19, 2013)

►Direct Line for American Business by State Department – Click here

The TOMODACHI Initiative is now accepting applications for the 2013 TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program!

The program will enable ten young Japanese and ten young American leaders from regional business and government sectors of geographically diverse locations to visit each other’s countries to develop greater cross-cultural awareness and build the people-to-people ties that are so important to our two countries. Further details & the link to the application form can be found on the TOMODACHI site: http://usjapantomodachi.org/programs-activities/entrepreneurship-leadership/tomodachi-mitsui-co-leadership-program/

►U.S. administration aims to tap export markets through integration of trade, industrial policies (Nikkei: May 17, 2013 – p. 7)

By Yasuhiko Ota, senior writer

U.S. Under Secretary for International Trade Sanchez’s comments well reflect the growth strategy of the second Obama administration. While working on trading partners through negotiations for the achievement of a high level of free trade, the United States government is making use of an industrial policy that supports corporate investments in order to revitalize domestic industry.

There are three pillars of U.S. trade policy: (1) the TPP, (2) negotiations on a U.S.-Europe free trade agreement (FTA), and (3) the plan to double exports. The U.S. welcomed Japan’s participation in the TPP because it serves as a powerful tool for developing the Asian market. The government is taking the lead in developing export markets, also embarking on negotiations on an agreement with the European Union (EU).

According to Under Secretary Sanchez, “strengthening U.S. companies’ competitiveness in the global market” is the feature of the second Obama administration’s trade policy. The policy will focus not only on reducing tariffs on goods but also non-tariff barriers that restrict U.S. companies’ activities.

The challenge for trade policy is to make use of the U.S. corporate business model, which adds value through original technology and functions and associated new services, and to create

a business environment that confers an edge in competition. It is for this reason that weight is placed on the making of the next generation of trade rules in the TPP and other negotiations in such areas as intellectual property rights, technical standards, and regulatory reform.

The U.S. has great expectations for strengthening domestic manufacturing through direct investment from foreign firms. The under secretary pointed to the export performance of Toyota and other firms, demonstrating awareness that foreign companies contribute to the achievement of the goal of doubling exports. The U.S. auto industry is reportedly classified as an advanced manufacturing industry. The industry introduces technology via investment by foreign companies while the government helps fund R&D expenditures. The idea is to improve the manufacturing process in order to boost productivity.

►Moldex and Esri who exhibited in RISCON were featured in the satellite TV program


► “Vaccine Policy Exchange IV Further Opens Japan Market to U.S. Pharma Firms” -- May 9, 2013

CS Tokyo, working with MAC’s Office of Japan and Korea and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), supported the fourth annual visit of the vaccine expert, Dr. Melinda Wharton, of the U.S. Center for Disease Control  (CDC).  The visit seeks to inform Japan’s vaccine policy, where many vaccines that are widely used around the world receive very little, if any, national government funding, despite the fact that Japan has a national health insurance system. The Japanese government has approved a supplemental budget that provided $1.3 billion to fund several vaccines, all of which have U.S. manufacturers.  CS Japan actively supports PhRMA and its efforts to grow U.S. brands in the $100 billion Japanese drug market.“

►The Business of Art
A small business is always a creative endeavor. But Nikolas Weinstein Studios is literally a business built on creativity. Since teaming with the U.S. Commerce Department, their international business has increased more than four-fold. See the video and blog.

Japan urged to send out global SOS over No. 1 plant Japan Times, Mar 14, 2013

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