APRIL 2019 / INTERVIEW
As the EU’s commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström lives to strengthen connections and increase prosperity. She oversaw negotiations on the EU–Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the world’s biggest and most comprehensive trade pact, which came into force on 1 February.
“we are building closer ties with major trading partners”
Also featured this month
APRIL 2019 / FEATURE
For more than a decade, it looked like pirates might sink the music industry. After annual physical album sales peaked in 1999 at $25.2 billion globally, the rampant spread of online piracy nearly halved the industry’s revenue, bringing it down to $14.3 billion in 2014.
MARCH 2019 / INVESTING IN JAPAN
Sporting IWC timepieces at the annual tradeshow were celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Dev Patel, James Marsden and Ryohei Suzuki. They were there to promote a new line of 14 IWC Pilot’s Watches, including seven revamped Spitfire watches that are meant to evoke the overall aesthetics, as well as the cockpit design, of the storied British aircraft.
MARCH 2019 / THE INTERVIEW
Sports fans around the world are getting excited about the major sporting events set to take place in Japan this year and next: the Rugby World Cup will be held this autumn and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics next July, August and September. British Ambassador to Japan Paul Madden spoke with Eurobiz Japan about the importance of these events to the UK and the new opportunities they will bring.
MARCH 2019 / FEATURE
Many business operators in Japan have a stake in the continuation of a smooth trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, but as the UK draws closer to its scheduled departure from the EU at the end of this month, firms are still struggling to assess the potential impact of Brexit on trading conditions and their supply chains.
FEBRUARY 2019 / INVESTING IN JAPAN
America may be a republic, but there the customer is king; Japan’s emperor may not be divine, but here the customer is God — wherever you go, businesses stress the absolute primacy of the customer. But as firms the world over compete for those same kings and gods, attracting people to your brand takes more than just a mindset that puts them in a place of prominence, it takes a plan.
FEBRUARY 2019 / THE INTERVIEW
After working as a lawyer at an international law firm in Brussels from 2002 to 2012, Brent Van Tassel joined Belgium’s foreign service. His first posting was to Burundi, a former colony, as consul of Belgium. Since 2016, he has been serving as first secretary and head of economic affairs at the Embassy of Belgium in Japan.
FEBRUARY 2019 / FEATURE
A slew of horrifying statistics — and a video of a turtle with a straw stuck in its nose — have helped raise awareness of the danger posed by disposable plastic over the past few years. Some 275 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced annually around the globe, with an estimated eight million tonnes of that ending up in the oceans. One report forecasts …
JANUARY 2019 / INVESTING IN JAPAN
If you’ve ever wanted to have a truly presidential experience, try driving a DS, the official car of France’s President Emmanuel Macron, as well as several of its past presidents, including Charles de Gaulle. First introduced in 1955, the DS was an immediate, popular success, recognised for its unique technology, novel design and high-quality performance.
JANUARY 2019 / THE INTERVIEW
After Cecilia Öberg Leiram started her career as a trainee at the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, she came to Tokyo with the Swedish Science & Technology Office. There, she covered technical developments and advances in Japan’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector …
DECEMBER 2018 / INVESTING IN JAPAN
Legend has it that Sunomata Castle in Gifu Prefecture was built in only one night, by soldiers during a siege. It’s said they used pre-built castle parts and fit them together under cover of darkness. While the account of such swift construction is an exaggeration, there are many who — knowing how long it can take to build a property — would covet the expertise of Sunomata’s 16th century builders. Today there is a global firm that is rivalling this legendary efficiency — only this time, it has roots in the Philippines and a serious real estate pedigree.
DECEMBER 2018 / THE INTERVIEW
Born in Tokyo, Georg Löer moved to Bonn — in the German state of North Rhine–Westphalia (NRW) — at the age of five. In 1974, a visit to Japan rekindled his interest in the country, so he decided to study at the International Christian University and later at The University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Economics.
DECEMBER 2018 / FEATURE
As you look out across the Tokyo megalopolis from the viewing platform of any skyscraper, open-mouthed wonder at the city’s sheer scale all too often gives way to sadness when you realise that the buildings within this cityscape, laid bare below, are unlikely to win awards for aesthetic beauty.
DECEMBER 2018 / WORK PLACE
Kienbaum is one of Europe’s leading executive search firms, operating on the belief that human capital is the decisive factor for success when faced with global competition. “Our comprehensive consultation approach ensures that, together with our clients, we secure the optimum deployment and development of people who will bring success to an organisation.”
NOVEMBER 2018 / INVESTING IN JAPAN
“The times change, and we change with them.” While the truth of this proverb is evident, Japan can sometimes seem determined to stay the same. Even as the government promotes the idea of an “ageless society” — in which workers are encouraged not to retire at 60, but to continue as long as they are healthy and want to work — businesses in Japan are reluctant to think beyond their longstanding hiring practices, rooted in the lifetime employment system.
NOVEMBER 2018 / EBC PERSONALITY
Picture a sunny, cloudless day at the beach with a steady breeze blowing along the shore and waves rolling across the water. These are the ideal conditions for kiteboarding, a water sport in which you are harnessed to a kite and pulled along on a small surfboard by the wind.
NOVEMBER 2018 / FEATURE
It has taken a while to get used to the idea that Japan — long considered an expensive destination only for the truly adventurous traveller — is now a global tourism hotspot. The evidence is impossible to ignore: the fleets of coaches depositing parties of travellers outside their hotels, the proliferation of English-language menus, and the stream of business initiatives aimed at luring even more visitors.
NOVEMBER 2018 / WORK PLACE
“Leschaco [www.leschaco.com] is a global logistics service provider that combines Hanseatic tradition with cosmopolitanism and a spirit of innovation,” says Hans Werner Burg, representative director of Leschaco Japan. Today, the owner-managed, medium-sized group — headquartered in Bremen and founded in 1879 — has 72 offices with more than 2,500 employees in 22 countries.
OCTOBER 2018 / INVESTING IN JAPAN
While we know we could probably eat better, drink less and exercise more, many of us go on happily believing that we’re actually quite healthy. Or, perhaps, we look at the cost of health food or gym memberships and think that they’re too expensive — and, anyway, can’t that wait until New Year? We all know these attitudes can be bad for us in the long run, but what could compel us to live healthier? John Mok of reinsurance firm Swiss Re believes that now, more than ever, not only is it possible to change our attitudes towards health — it’s necessary.
OCTOBER 2018 / THE INTERVIEW
For the past year, Pekka Laitinen has served as commercial counsellor at the Embassy of Finland. He first came to Japan in 1987 as a representative of a Finnish bank and has lived here for a total of 20 years. His career in banking has also taken him to the Netherlands and Russia.
OCTOBER 2018 / FEATURE
The impetus for Japanese companies to expand operations overseas continues to strengthen in light of the grim long-term prospects for domestic growth — despite the current relative boom times. And while projects abroad are nothing new for Japan’s firms, there is a growing trend of joint ventures with European companies in third markets.
OCTOBER 2018 / WORK PLACE
ECN Hospitality — which has had success in Tokyo with TWO ROOMS GRILL|BAR and Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse & Bar — recently opened SEPTIÈME Brasserie & Bar in Nihombashi. “Focusing on the flavour of seasonal ingredients, the fare at SEPTIÈME is simple yet delicious, with a contemporary Paris brasserie feel,” notes Matthew Crabbe.