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December 16, 2008 U.S. Treasury Department’s Under Secretary for International Affairs David H. McCormick discussed U.S.-Asia Economic Relations at the Asia Society in New York. A transcript is available here.
December 15, 2008 METI Minister Toshihiro Nikai released a statement supporting the successful conclusion of the DOHA Round and pledged to continue efforts to ensure that the Ministerial meeting be held as early as possible. His statement is available in PDF here.
December 12, 2008 Prime Minister Taro Aso discussed government efforts to address Japan’s economic slowdown, which is being adversely affected by the global economy, and answered questions on a range of economic issues, including the consumption tax and social security costs. The transcript is available here.
December 2008 In the December edition of Economic Trend, Tamotsu Nomakuchi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Councillors of Nippon Keidanren and Chairman, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, wrote an essay strongly supporting Japan’s efforts to harmonize domestic industries with international standards. The article is available here.
November 23, 2008 Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso held a press conference to discuss the outcome of the 16th APEC Leaders Meeting in Peru; after giving a statement on Japan’s role within APEC, he took questions on a range of issues, including Japan’s role in the DOHA Round, and the importance of stimulating Japan’s domestic economy. The transcript is available here.
November 15, 2008 Upon his return to Japan from the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington DC, Prime Minister Taro Aso held a press conference on the summit and Japan’s role in addressing the global financial crisis. The transcript is available here. The text of the Summit declaration is available in PDF here.
November 15, 2008 Nippon Keidanren joined other leading international business organizations in releasing a statement of principles for the leaders of the G-20 nations as they met in Washington DC to address the global economic crisis. The statement is available here.
November 13, 2008 The Japan-U.S. Investment Initiative's annual "Invest Japan" seminar took place on October 30 in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka. Among many speakers and panels, Ambassador to APEC Patricia M. Haslach and JETRO Chairman and CEO Yasuo Hayashi addressed the seminar. This year’s event was hosted by Shizuoka Prefecture, with support from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, and the U.S. Embassy. An event report is available here.
November 10, 2008 Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Ichiro Fujisaki, gave a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, where he discussed the importance of the United States and Japan working together to address global financial, economic and environmental challenges in the coming year. The speech text is available here.
November 6, 2008 U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer held a post-US Presidential election press conference at the Tokyo American Center, and answered a range of questions on prospective changes in US trade and foreign policies. The transcript is available here.
November 5, 2008 Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso released a statement on the election of Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States of America, congratulating Senator Obama and stating he is looking forward to working with him to strengthen the Japan-US alliance. The statement is available here.
October 29, 2008 At a meeting in Tokyo, the Japan-United States Bilateral Investment Working Group, co-chaired by Deputy Director-General Makoto Shiota (Trade Policy Bureau, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) and Ambassador Patricia Haslach (U.S. State Department), issued a Joint Statement noting, "a positive trade and investment agenda will contribute to rapid return to prosperity and economic growth." The full text of the statement is available here.
October 27, 2008 The Bank of Japan released results from its 27th survey measuring public opinion on domestic economic conditions, covering the period of August 14 to September 8, 2008. The results, in PDF, are available here.
October 22, 2008 Japan was re-elected as a member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations at the elections held during the 63rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly. Japan will serve its sixteenth term as an ECOSOC member from 2009 to 2011. An announcement released by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is availale here.
October 16, 2008 Akinari Horii, Assistant Governor of the Bank of Japan, gave a speech to the Global Operations Managers' Conference in Tokyo, the first Conference meeting to take place in the Asia region. The Conference’s primary focus is to exchange information and opinions on the recent evolution of the foreign exchange market and the common challenges faced by players around the world. In his remarks, Mr. Horii encouraged participants to have a frank exchange of views on ways better manage the foreign exchange markets and to discuss the Tokyo foreign exchange market’s role relating to developments in the global markets.
October 14, 2008: Nippon Keidanren released an executive summary of a report, “Future Directions of Accounting Standards in Japan,” which proposes steps Japan should take to harmonize national accounting standards with global standards, including adopting IFRS or International Financial Reporting Standards. The executive summary is available here.
October 6, 2008: Hirofumi Nakasone, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), spoke at the 45th Annual Japan-U.S. Business Conference in Tokyo. Mr. Nakasone emphasized the importance of Japan-U.S. cooperation in a range of issues, including tackling climate change, liberalizing bilateral and regional trade and responding to the current global financial crisis. The text of his speech is available here.
October 6, 2008: At the 45th Japan-U.S. Business Conference in Tokyo, Nippon Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai discussed domestic and global economic challenges facing Japan and Keidanren’s efforts to help address them. His speech transcript is available here.
October 2, 2008: Nippon Keidanren released an economic reform proposal, with policy recommendations that specifically address needed reforms in taxation, fiscal policy and social security programs. The full text of the report is available here.
October 2, 2008: Wendy Cutler, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Affairs, was keynote speaker at a seminar hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Cutler said that although Japan and the United States have developed a “stable and mature economic relationship” since 2000, the two countries should consider ways to take the trade relationship to a new level, addressing such areas as food and energy security, considering a bilateral free trade agreement, and providing leadership in APEC.
September 25, 2008 Japan’s new Prime Minister, Taro Aso, addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, citing a number of international policy priorities, including moving forward on climate change, and reinvigorating Japan’s domestic economy to help stabilize the global economy. His address is available here.
September 16, 2008 The U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) drafted an overview of the current political situation in Japan in the wake of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s September 1 resignation announcement, and implications for US-Japan relations and US policy. The report is available in PDF here.
September 9, 2008 The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced that a Japan-U.S. investment seminar will be held in Shizuoka prefecture on October 30. The U.S. and Japanese governments and Shizuoka Prefecture will jointly host the seminar, which aims to educate U.S. companies on foreign direct investment in Japan, provide information for foreign firms considering doing business in Japan and Japanese companies considering business partnerships with overseas companies. Shizuoka is one of Japan's leading manufacturing and agricultural regions. For additional information, please click here.
September 8, 2008 At a Nippon Keidanren press conference, Chairman Fujio Mitarai commented on the upcoming LDP election and the need for policy leaders to address economic challenges. A summary of his comments is available here.
September 4, 2008 James Slutz, Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy delivered keynote remarks at an international Clean Coal Day symposium in Tokyo. The symposium was sponsored by a coalition of coal-related organizations to examine global trends on coal use and related technologies.
September 2, 2008 At a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference, Deputy Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura discussed, among other issues, the effect of the resignation of Prime Minister Fukuda on Japan’s foreign relations, and Japanese participation at the fall UN General Assembly. The press conference transcript is available here.
September 2008 Nippon Keidanren Vice Chairman and President of Hitachi, Ltd. Kazuo Fukuhara emphasized the importance of Japan’s e-government implementation efforts, to help strengthen Japan's international competitiveness, achieve economic and social growth, and build public confidence through increasing government transparency. The full article, which appeared in Keidanren's Economic Trend, is available at: “Reshaping Japan with Electronic Government.”
August 22, 2008 The government of Japan has expanded export controls on non-listed items for military end-uses. In addition to the existing government controls on exports related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, conventional weapons are now covered. A total of 32 items specified in the government release will be subject to export controls.
August 22, 2008 Japan extended countermeasures, originally initiated in September 2005, against the United States in connection with the Byrd Amendment, which has been ruled as inconsistent with WTO Agreements. As the United States continues to perform distribution measures ruled illegal, the Japanese Cabinet approved a one-year extension of the countermeasures. More information is available here.
August 8, 2008 The Japan Patent Office released the final version of the Policy Committee on Innovation and Intellectual Property’s recommendations to promote innovation through a pro-patent policy. More information is available here.
August 13, 2008 US Ambassador Thomas Schieffer visited Fukuoka to address a group of high school students participating in the Japan Future Leaders' School, an annual program supported by Nippon Keidanren and the Fukuoka prefecture. Ambassador Schieffer discussed rapidly changing global trends and the importance of meeting its challenges.
August 8, 2008 Richard A. Boucher, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, briefed press on current situation of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India and U.S. foreign policies toward those countries. With regard to Pakistan and Afghanistan, he emphasized the United States and Japan have a shared interest in regional stability. Regarding the India civil nuclear initiative, he noted that this eventually benefits Japan through enhancing the nonproliferation. The transcript is available here.
August 7, 2008 U.S. President George Bush, during his final visit to East Asia as President, gave a speech on US-Asia relations in Thailand. He noted that trade is one of the most powerful drivers of liberty and prosperity and hope in East Asia, reaffirming the U.S. commitment to free trade agreements with a number of Asian countries and the vision of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific. The speech transcript is available here.
August 5, 2008 Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced creation of a Consortium for Sophisticated Trade Practices for Information Systems and Software. The Consortium will aim at improving information systems for business transations. More information is available here.
August 1, 2008 Nippon Keidanren issued comments on a proposed rule (File No. S7-11-08) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Keidanren asked the SEC to apply this rule for all foreign public issuers from 2010, as in the case of those with financial statements prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, regardless of its amount of worldwide public common equity float. The full text, in PDF, is available here.
August 2008 Terunobu Maeda,
Nippon Keidanren Vice Chairman and President & CEO of Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., commented that recent Diet passage of civil service reform legislation is a welcome step toward creating a system able to successfully address future challenges. His statement is available here.
July 29, 2008 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a summary of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s comments regarding the unsuccessful conclusion to the Doha round Ministerial negotiation in late July. METI Minister Akira Amari also issued a statement which reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to strengthening the free trade system and concluding the Doha Round.
July 25, 2008 The Bank of Japan issued a summary of a speech given by Masaaki Shirakawa, Governor of the Bank of Japan, to the Research Institute of Japan in Tokyo on July 18, 2008. IHe emphasized that the current environment of Japanese and global economy is uncertain, and suggested that future monetary policy should not be predetermined and should be implemented in a flexible manner. The summary of his speech is available here.
July 15, 2008 The Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan announced the release of its annual White Paper on International Economy and Trade for 2008, presenting it to the Cabinet on July 15. This is the 60th edition of the White Paper, which analyzes global economic trends and recommends domestic and international economic policies to meet them.
July 9, 2008 Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the transcript of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s press conference as Chair of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, where he discussed, among other issues, the results of the discussions on climate change, the global economy and the WTO Doha Round. A transcript is available here.
July 8, 2008 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan issued the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Leaders Declaration, which stated support for the successful conclusion of the WTO Doha round and reaching a global agreement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process by 2009. Reaffirming Heiligendamm commitments, the G8 pledged continued promotion of increased Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), through encouragement of voluntary adherence to relevant international standards and principles. The transcript is available here.
July 7, 2008 Nippon Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai, at a July press conference, discussed the global economy, his expectations for the G8 summit, and factors that should be considered with regard to revisions to the temporary day laborer law. A summary of his remarks is available here.
July 6, 2008 Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a press briefing which included highlights from a Japan-U.S. summit meeting between Prime Minister Fukuda and President Bush, where they discussed a range of security and economic issues, including the Japan-US security alliance, increased investment between the two economies, energy security and climate change. The transcript is available here.
July 6, 2008 On the eve of the G8 Summit, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and US President George Bush participated in a joint press availability where they discussed economic and security issues raised in a bilateral meeting. The transcript is available here.
July 5, 2008 The U.S. and Japanese governments announced the 2008 Report to Leaders summarizing this year's work of the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative. US Trade Representative Susan Schwab’s statement on the report is available here. A fact sheet is available, in PDF, here.
July 3, 2008 The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Investment (METI) announced the release of the 2008 US-Japan Investment Initiative Report. A METI executive summary is available here. The joint report is available, in PDF, here.
July 3, 2008 The U.S. and Japanese governments announced the launch of a pilot project, the Megaports Initiative, in Yokohama, Japan. It is aimed at promoting secure and efficient trade as well as nuclear non-proliferation and enhancing counterterrorism measures. A joint announcement is available here. A fact sheet is available, in PDF, here.
June 30, 2008 Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a document on climate change in advance of the G-8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit on July 7-9, 2008, outlining Japan’s proposals on efforts to develop the post-2012 framework. A pdf copy is available here.
July 3, 2008 U.S. National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Dennis Wilder, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Dan Price, and James Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, briefed the press in advance of President Bush’s trip to Japan and the G8 Summit. A transcript is available here.
July 2008 Hiromasa Yonekura, Nippon Keidanren Chairman of the Board of Councillors, discussed the global food shortage, noting that Nippon Keidanren is cooperating with the agricultural industry through various efforts made by member companies. The full text of his article is available here.
June 27, 2008 The G8 Foreign Ministers held a joint press conference at the conclusion of the Ministers’ Meeting, where they discussed a range of issues, including the DPRK and Iran from the perspective of non-proliferation; Afghanistan and the Middle East; and Myanmar and Zimbabwe from the perspective of democracy. The transcript is available here.
June 27, 2008 Nippon Keidanren and the Business Roundtable issued a joint statement expressing support for the successful conclusion of the Doha Development Round in 2008. The statement is available here.
June 23, 2008 Japan’s Ministry of Finance released its business outlook survey for April-June 2008, including information on business and domestic economic conditions, sales and employment. It is available here.
June 18, 2008 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addressed the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. on US policy toward Asia. Secretary Rice stated, "Since 2001, one of our Administration’s highest priorities has been to deepen the prospects for peace and security in Northeast Asia, and I believe we are succeeding in that effort. We have reaffirmed and modernized our historic alliances with fellow democracies, Japan and South Korea." The full text, including Qs&As, is available here.
June 17, 2008 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the release of its annual Diplomatic Bluebook, the 51st edition. It includes a review of the international situation and Japan's diplomatic efforts in the year 2007, regional diplomatic efforts and Japan's foreign policy in major diplomatic areas. Chapter 4, "Japanese People Active in the International Community and Roles of Diplomacy," focuses on Japanese nationals and Japanese companies active around the world and MOFA’s efforts to support them. A summary is available here.
June 14, 2008 The G-8 Finance Ministers issued a joint statement in Osaka, Japan, in preparation for the upcoming summit in Hokkaido-Toyako. Among other things, the statement supported the launch of the new Climate Investment Funds, including the Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund, and highlighted the critical role of the private sector in providing large-scale investment into low carbon activities. The statement is available in PDF here.
June 14, 2008 The G-8 Finance Ministers also issued a joint statement supporting greater private sector engagement to address the climate change challenge. The PDF statement is available here. They issued a separate statement welcoming the launch of the new Climate Investment Funds, including the Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund, to help developing countries address climate change in ways consistent with the development needs of their people. That statement is available in PDF here.
June 12, 2008 The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment held a hearing on US-Japan relations. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Alexander Arvizu testified on the state of bilateral security and economic relations. His testimony is available here.
June 9, 2008 In a major policy speech at the Japan National Press Club, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda outlined Japan’s mid- and long-term goals in addressing climate change. His speech, in pursuit of "Japan as a Low-carbon Society," is available here.
June 9, 2008 Nippon Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai, in a press conference, discussed the slow-down of Japanese economy, a Keidanren mission to central and eastern Europe and Keidanren members’ contributions to assist the earthquake victims in China. A summary of his remarks is available here.
June 3, 2008 Masaaki Shirakawa, Governor of the Bank of Japan, gave the keynote speech on Japan’s economy and monetary policy at the 2008 International Monetary Conference in Barcelona, Spain. While expressing concern about the temporary slowdown of the Japanese economy due to soaring energy and raw materials import costs, for the next one to two years, he suggested that that Japan’s economy will grow. A PDF transcript of his speech is available here.
June 3, 2008 During his address at the High-Level Conference on World Food Security in Rome, Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda discussed emergency as well as long term measures needed to address food shortages and soaring food prices, and pledged to discuss underlying causes at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in July. His speech is available here.
May 30, 2008 Akira Amari, Minister of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, responded to a document addressing zeroing which was released on May 28 by chairman of the WTO’s Negotiating Group on Rules, Guillermo Valles Galmés. While supporting the progress made in the newly released document, Minister Amari points out that November 2007 draft text on the issue has not been revised, and pledges to continue to work toward the release of revised text. His statement is available in PDF here.
May 30, 2008 Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer discussed U.S.-Japan relations in an online State Department forum, taking a range of questions on the bilateral trade relationship and regional security issues. The text is available here.
May 28, 2008 Nippon Keidanren adopted FY2008 General Assembly Resolutions, “Turning Adversity into an Opportunity for Progress.” An provisional translation of the resolutions is available here.
May 28, 2008 Japan and the United States requested a WTO consultation seeking a negotiated settlement of the charge that the European Union’s tariff on IT equipment imports violate the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). A transcript of U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab’s remarks on the request are available in PDF here.
May 23, 2008 The Government of Japan announced it will implement grant food aid of five billion five-hundred and seventy million yen (approximately 54 million dollars) to eleven countries and one region through the UN World Food Program (WFP) and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as an emergency measure in response to the global rise in food prices. A press summary is available here.
May 22, 2008 Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan gave a speech on Japan’s diplomacy and priorities in the Asia region at the 14th International Conference on The Future of Asia. He pledged to help reinforce the Japan-US relationship as a regional public good, combat climate change and support ASEAN’s efforts to realize a community. The speech text is available here.
May 16, 2008 Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a May 19 high-level officials group meeting under the auspices of the “Japan-U.S. Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative.” Under the auspices of the Initiative, government officials exchange views on regulatory reform; an annual report outlining the discussion results is released annually. The announcement is available here.
May 15, 2008 The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) held a round table conference on petroleum product trade (“Japan-US Product Trade: Enhancing Global Energy Security”) in San Francisco, California. The conference, attended by representatives of Japanese and US oil companies, discussed the possibility of increasing petroleum product trade between the two countries. A conference summary is available here.
May 12, 2008 Nippon Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai, in a press conference, commented to the press about the PRC President Hu Jintao’s successful visit to Japan and expressed confidence that Prime Minister Fukuda will provide strong leadership on meeting the challenge of global warming at the upcoming G-8 meeting in Japan. A summary of his remarks are available here.
May 8, 2008 Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry released its annual report identifying trade measures and policies adopted by major economies that do not comply with WTO agreements or other international rules and should be corrected. The 2008 Report on Compliance by Major Trading Partners with Trade Agreements is available in PDF here.
May 1, 2008 Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the results of an annual Gallup poll conducted to determine the American perception of Japan by both the general public and opinion leaders. The “2008 Image of Japan Study” reflected positive views of Japan and of Japan-U.S. relations generally, a trend that has continued for several years. A MOFA press release on the poll results is available here.
May 1, 2008 Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura discussed ongoing government studies on the introduction of incentives to acquire Japanese-language proficiency for foreign nationals seeking long-term residency permits in Japan. The transcript of the press conference is available here.
May 2008 Sadayuki Sakakibara, Vice Chairman of Nippon Keidanren and President, CEO & COO, Toray Industries, Inc., issued a statement urging the Japanese government to support policies that will encourage innovations in technologies that would address climate change and other global challenges. A summary is available here.
April 25, 2008 A report on trends among Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan during FY 2007 and SME policies in FY 2008 was issued by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and approved by the Cabinet. A METI press release is available here.
April 22, 2008 MOFA Vice Minister Masakatsu Koike emphasized the importance of improving energy efficiency and diversifying energy sources to ease the tight balance of global energy supply and demand at the 11th International Energy Forum in Rome. His statement is available here.
April 21, 2008 At a Nippon Keidanren press conference, Chairman Fujio Mitarai commented on a recent business community meeting with President Lee Myung Bak of South Korea; Japanese and Korean business leaders asked him to resume FTA/EPA negotiations. A summary is available here.
April 17, 2008 L eaders representing the major business organizations of the G8 industrialized countries gathered in Tokyo for the second G8 Business Summit, and exchanged views centered on the themes of enhancing competitiveness through innovation, tackling climate change challenges, and developing a partnership with Asia as a center of growth. A joint statement in PDF is available here.
April 15, 2008 Nippon Keidanren released a policy paper supporting creation of a legal framework to help support Japanese companies’ foreign investment. The paper, entitled “On the Improvement of Japan’s Global Investment Environment” is available here.
April 12, 2008 Minister of Finance of Japan and Governor of the IMF for Japan, Fukushiro Nukaga, gave a statement supporting IMF reforms at the Seventeenth Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington DC. The statement is available in PDF here.
April 4, 2008 US Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer, in an address to the Yomiuri International Economic Society, discussed challenges and opportunities in an era of globalization. The speech text is available here.
April 2008 Tomijiro MORITA, Vice Chairman of Nippon Keidanren and Chairman of the Board of Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Company, attributed falling domestic demand in Japan to the declining birthrate and urged consideration of measures to reverse the decline. His statement is available here.
March 28, 2008 The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released its annual National Trade Estimate Report (NTE) for 2008. The NTE report describes significant barriers to U.S. trade and investment, as well as the actions taken by USTR to address those barriers. The report is available here. The chapter on Japan (in PDF) is here.
March 27, 2008 U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs, David H. McCormick, addressed the Japan Society in New York. In his speech, entitled "U.S.-Japan Relations: An Essential Bond in a Changing World," he noted that "the U.S. and Japan share a unique responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the global trade and financial system." He called for "committed, comprehensive, and energetic cooperation" to realize this goal. A copy of the speech is available here.
March 26, 2008 The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) released the results of its latest annual survey on the international operations of Japanese firms. The survey, conducted between November 2007 and January 2008, received replies from 733 firms in manufacturing, trading (imports/exports) and wholesale/retail. Firms were polled on their international and domestic operations, plans to expand business in China and views on business environments in Asia. JETRO’s press release summarizing the survey results is here.
March 24, 2008 Chairman Fujio Mitarai of Nippon Keidanren gave a press conference in which he discussed the weak dollar, the tentative “road tax,” and the possibility of government financial support for the ShinGinkou Tokyo. A brief summary can be found here.
March 19, 2008 Nippon Keidanren released a summary of views regarding the
G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit climate change negotiations. It is available here.
March 19, 2008 The Foreign Press Center in Washington DC hosted Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill for a briefing with the foreign media entitled "Moving Forward in 2008: The U.S.-East Asia Relationship." A copy of the transcript is available here.
March 11, 2008 The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) issued a press statement announcing that the Cabinet had submitted legislation to reform the Antimonopoly Act Amendments to Japan's Diet. A summary in PDF is available here.
February 27, 2008 Foreign Minister Koumura of Japan and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave a joint press conference where they discussed the continued importance and strength of the US-Japan alliance. Minister Koumura stressed Japan’s role as a “peace-fostering nation” and an ally in the war on terror. A transcript can be found here.
February 25, 2008 Nippon Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai gave a press conference where he discussed global warming issues, the new South Korean government and the question of a Japanese version of a Sovereign Wealth Fund. A short transcript can be found here.
February 21, 2008 Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the US State Department, Christopher Hill, gave a press conference in Tokyo. A video clip of his remarks can be found on the US State Department website.
February 13, 2008 Japan’s Representative to the United Nations, Yukio Takasu, spoke at the General Assembly regarding climate change. He discussed the “cool earth promotion program” as well as the importance of public-private cooperation and financial mechanisms. His statement can be found here.
February 13, 2008 The ESRI published the results of a consumer confidence survey. It can be downloaded in excel format from the following web site.
February 12, 2008 Chairman Fujio Mitarai of Nippon Keidanren gave a press conference on February 12th. He discussed the G-7 meeting of finance ministers, continuing policy-related dialogues with the DPJ, and Japan’s status in the global economic system. A short summary of this conference can be found here.
February 5, 2008 Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura gave a press conference on the Chinese frozen gyoza incident, the continued disputes with Russia on the Northern Territories issue and the refueling mission in Afghanistan. A transcript can be found here
February 2008 The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) released a Viewpoint position paper outlining the potential negative impact of expanded Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) surcharges on competition by deterring firms from aggressively competing. The Chamber suggested that broader implementation of new penalties occur in conjunction with separately recommended reforms to the Japan Fair Trade Commission hearing and investigatory procedures to assure due process for firms and individuals subject to enforcement actions. AMA reform legislation was submitted to the Diet by the Japanese Cabinet office on March 11, 2008; due process provisions were not included. The Viewpoint is available in PDF here.
February 2008 The ACCJ also issued a related Viewpoint position paper urging the Japanese government to establish due process measures in the policies and practices of the Japan Fair Trade Commission in its enforcement of the Anti-Monopoly Act Amendments. That position paper (in PDF) is available here.
January 31, 2008 John Negroponte, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, spoke at the Japan Society in New York where he addressed the continued importance of the US-Japan alliance in addressing global energy issues, terrorism and North Korea. A full transcript can be found here.
January 28, 2008 At a January press conference, Nippon Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai discussed labor-management negotiations, the United States’ subprime mortgage problem and its destabilizing impact on global capital markets; he also expressed support for Prime Minister Fukuda’s remarks at the Davos forum. A summary of his remarks are here.
January 26, 2008 Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda spoke at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where he discussed policy suggestions for curbing climate change, concern about global credit markets and Japan’s limited exposure to sub-prime issues, as well as Japan’s future assistance plans for developing countries. The speech text is available here.
January 22, 2008 Mikio Sasaki, Chairman of the Japan Foreign Trade Council and Mitsubishi Chairman, in his New Year address, emphasized the importance of economic partnership agreements and the WTO in supporting Japan’s continued economic growth. A full transcript can be found here.
January 21, 2008 Japanese and American trade representatives met at the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body regarding Japan’s retaliation request on America’s “zeroing” practices. Key facts and a summary of the dispute is available on the WTO website here.
January 18, 2008 Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda delivered a policy speech at the opening of the 169th session of the Diet, stressing five guiding principles for the future of Japan, including a shift to consumerism, strengthening social security, creating economic growth, playing an active role in global issues and strengthening the alliance with the United States, and converting to a low-carbon society. A transcript of the entire speech can be found here.
January 18, 2008 In a foreign policy speech to the 169th Session of the Japanese Diet, Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura discussed Japan-US relations and the leadership role Japan will take as host of the 2008 G-8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, among other issues. A copy of the speech is available here.
January 18, 2008 Japan’s Minister of Finance Fukushiro Nukaga gave a speech on fiscal policy at the 169th Session of the National Diet. A copy of the speech is available here.
January 15, 2008 Nippon Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai discussed his priorities for his second term as Chairman, as well support for approval of the anti-terrorism legislation. A summary of is available here.
January 11, 2008 Japan's Ministry of Finance released trade statistics for the first twenty days of December 2007. It can be seen here.
January 7, 2008 Nippon Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai, in a January press conference, gave an economic outlook for Japan in 2008 and discussed labor –management negotiations, global warming and the consumption tax, among other issues. A summary is available here.
January 2008 Japan's Prime Minister's Cabinet Office announced an overview of economic conditions for the months of November and December 2007.