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Action 14. The Government Needs to Play a Role In Selling Infrastructure Projects

In 2009 Japan lost out to South Korea in the bid for a project to build a nuclear power station in the United Arab Emirates. Lee Myung-bak, the president of South Korean at the time, personally negotiated with Sheikh Mohammed of the UAE by telephone on six occasions and directed the bidding process from the top. China has also begin competing with Japan for bullet trains construction projects in places like Brazil and California. It is essential to take lessons from the strong political will and policy execution systems seen overseas as these involve the government and private sector working together and have led to the countries concerned winning the international competition for orders.


Jul 06 / 2016
Category
Economics and Industry
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Action 13. Boost the Earning Power of the Entertainment/Culture Industries through the Cool Japan Initiative

The tennis player Rafael Nadal apparently watched the animated series Dragon Ball every day when he was a child. Lady Gaga is crazy about Hello Kitty. Some countries are implementing economic growth strategies in which the whole country is involved in developing and promoting content and brands. South Korea’s Cool Korea initiative ignited the hanryu (Korean) boom, and also helped South Korean automakers, appliance manufacturers, and so on expand their market shares overseas. Japan also needs to make Cool Japan a national strategy.


Jul 05 / 2016
Category
Economics and Industry
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Action 12. Implement an IP Strategy

In 2011 Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s mobile device division made headlines for the high price that was paid. Apparently, Google was after Motorola’s patents and IP (intellectual property). Japan’s strong technology and content capabilities are essential prerequisites for international competitiveness, but alone are not enough. An IP strategy is crucial for advancing the globalization of its technology and content industries.


Jul 04 / 2016
Category
Economics and Industry
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Action 11. Become the World’s No. 1 Internet-using Country by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

SMACS (social, mobile, analytics, cloud, security/sensors) is continuously transforming communications, industry, and education, and even brings major changes to the structure of society. Regarding the adoption of IT in the public sector, Japan has lagged behind other countries for many years, but these last few years have brought dramatic changes. Right now Japan needs to make a big change toward digital standards and rebuild its social structure.


Jul 02 / 2016
Category
Economics and Industry
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Action 10. Nurture an Environment that Produces Startups and Promotes their Growth

“How can startups be nurtured?” The answer to this question is very simple. All you need are people who want to launch a startup (place and attitude), appropriate education for potential startup launchers (people), the inflow of adequate funding (money), an ecosystem that makes it easy for startups to grow (companies and the government). The notion of “supporting” startups doesn’t actually lead to their emergence. The important thing is to nurture the ecosystem.


Jul 01 / 2016
Category
Economics and Industry
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Action 9. Make Japan More Attractive as a Location for Business

Without economic growth, the various problems facing Japan will not be resolved. Without a “strong economy,” the source of a nation’s power, a nation is unsustainable. If the economy weakens, a vicious cycle emerges in which unemployment rises, tax revenue drops, government finances collapse, and investment in technology development and human resources declines. Japanese administrations until now have just been injecting adrenalin into a sick body. But now the money for these adrenalin shots is on the verge of running out. The government needs to stand up and come to grips with implementing structural reform.
 


Jun 30 / 2016
Category
Economics and Industry
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Action 8. Position Free Trade (FTAs/TPP) as part of a Growth Strategy and Assert Leadership through the Creation of Rules

Hirokazu Kiuchi, chairman of Wagoen, an agricultural cooperative based in Chiba prefecture, has declared that the “TPP will make Japanese agriculture stronger.” But the TPP is not just about agriculture. To put a stop to Japan’s economic decline, it will be essential to open up Japan to the world, tap the vitality of the global economy, and promote the revitalization of domestic industry, including agriculture, and strengthen our international competitiveness.


Jun 29 / 2016
Category
Economics and Industry
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Action 7. Balanced Energy Policies and Regulations that Make Diversification, Self-Sufficiency and Clean Energy Possible

Energy problems helped trigger Japan’s participation in World War II. Japan’s energy self-sufficiency ratio is 4% (2006), and if nuclear energy is included—assuming all of it is self-produced—it only reaches 19%. These are the lowest figures among the major advanced countries. Japan is encumbered with the geopolitical risk of depending on certain regions for energy. Each and every citizen therefore needs to think hard for themselves about energy issues.
 

Jun 28 / 2016
Category
Economics and Industry
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