DECEMBER 2017  /  INVESTING IN JAPAN

Pole position

Get behind the wheel of a Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and you’ll notice a small wheel within the steering wheel. Turn this driving-mode dial to Sport Plus and your seatbelt will automatically tighten, and the engine will growl when you give it gas. It’s as if this hybrid hatchback is daring you to question its sports car credentials.

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“The philosophy of our founder, Ferdinand Porsche, was to always see the future”

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DECEMBER 2017 / THE INTERVIEW

An advocate of diversity

For nearly four years, His Excellency Dr Hans Carl von Werthern has been ambassador of Germany to Japan, working to strengthen political dialogue, economic cooperation and cultural exchange between the two like-minded nations. He spoke with Eurobiz Japan about new collaborations in high-tech between Germany and Japan, the importance of marching in this year’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade, and the best response to rising populism.

DECEMBER 2017 / FEATURE

First to 5G

One numeral. One letter. But combined, they stand for a revolution in wireless communication, lavishing smartphones with high-speed connections and changing the way we watch, listen and interact on the go. But fifth-generation mobile technology — or simply 5G — is about more than personal entertainment.

DECEMBER 2017 / BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

On a quest to meet unmet needs

King Arthur sought the Holy Grail; Captain Ahab the White Whale; and Dorothy the Wizard of Oz. German pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Ingelheim is also on a quest, or, rather, a number of concurrent quests — to find unmet medical needs and develop effective treatments for them.

NOVEMBER 2017

NOVEMBER 2017 / INVESTING IN JAPAN

The gateway to Europe

At the turn of the millennium, then-president of Finnair Keijo Suila made a bold — and risky — decision to invest seriously in routes to Asia. It was a time when traffic from the continent only accounted for 6% of the airline’s revenue. But he believed there was great potential in the region and, in 2005, placed an order for 11 of the yet-to-be-built Airbus A350 aircraft — wide-body planes designed for long hauls. Suila’s sagacity has paid off.

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NOVEMBER 2017 / THE INTERVIEW

Doing diplomacy differently

On 6 December, Finns around the world will celebrate Finland’s 100th anniversary as an independent nation. Ambassador of Finland to Japan Jukka Siukosaari has been celebrating this historic occasion all year long. He spoke to Eurobiz Japan about some of the centenary events held in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Finland, and the embassy’s animated mascot, Fintan.

NOVEMBER 2017 / FEATURE

The genuine article

Would you offer your dinner guests some pungent cheese, a couple slices of dry-cured meat and a postprandial glass of blended brandy? Or, more likely, would you rather forego those prosaic descriptions and tantalise their tastebuds with the more appealing Roquefort, Parma ham and Armagnac?

NOVEMBER 2017 / EBC PERSONALITY

Pawel Komender

“In a way, business is all about pricing,” says Pawel Komender, founder of PJK Strategy and Marketing Specialists. “Companies need to manage their prices wisely to stay profitable.” The profit-maximising price for a product can be calculated mathematically. But price management is more than crunching numbers.

OCTOBER 2017

OCTOBER 2017 / INVESTING IN JAPAN

A new path

If you’ve ever wondered about the tools needed to bore through mountains, wonder no more. Atlas Copco, Sweden’s biggest industrial group, is currently using its hydraulic drilling rigs to help carve out the maglev line — a public train route that will use magnetic levitation technology — from Tokyo to Nagoya through the mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture.

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OCTOBER 2017 / THE INTERVIEW

The tools of the trade

Finland joined the EU in 1995, the same year Marjut Hannonen completed her post-graduate studies in EU law. The next year, she became one of Finland’s first EU officials and has spent her career at the European Commission, holding roles in three different Directorates-General (DGs), the longest stint being with DG Trade since 2002.

OCTOBER 2017 / FEATURE

Building a hydrogen society

If you want to get a glimpse of the future of transport in Tokyo, hop on one of the hydrogen buses at Tokyo Station. Not only do they let you enjoy the scenic route to Tokyo Big Sight — the capital’s premiere exhibition venue — these buses are helping make the city cleaner.

OCTOBER 2017 / EBC PERSONALITY

Florian Kohlbacher

It’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more than 1.5 billion people over 65 years old on the planet. Today, in Japan — with its ongoing low birth rate — the issue of the ageing society is particularly pronounced. The over-50 segment already accounts for nearly 50% of the entire population, and the 65-plus age group for more than a quarter.

SEPTEMBER 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017 / INVESTING IN JAPAN

Fixing Japan’s talent mismatch

One man’s feast is another man’s famine. The shortage of qualified workers in many crucial fields in Japan is proving a challenge for companies across the board. With bilingual professionals in ever shorter supply, this is, however, proving a boon for professional recruitment experts as the battle for qualified candidates continues to heat up.

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SEPTEMBER 2017 / THE INTERVIEW

Learning to pilot as he flies

Having won a scholarship to study political science in Bulgaria from 1995 to 1999, Leon Malazogu, today Kosovo’s ambassador to Japan, was safe during most of the Kosovo War.

SEPTEMBER 2017 / FEATURE

A space oddity

In October 2018, an Ariane rocket will blast off from Kourou, French Guiana, taking space exploration into an unknown world, and Japanese-European cooperation into a new era.

SEPTEMBER 2017 / FEATURE

Lighting the way

The gender equality statistics for Japan are not encouraging. The country ranked 111th globally in the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Gender Gap Report. While Japan’s female workforce participation rate is now above the OECD average …

AUGUST 2017

AUGUST 2017 / INVESTING IN JAPAN

Rising to the top

The frozen, ready-to-bake bread and food group Aryzta can trace its history back to the final years of the 19th century, when the Irish Co-Operative Agricultural Agency Society was founded in 1897, renamed that December as the Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society. A century later, the group undertook a major international expansion through acquisitions in Europe and the US.

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AUGUST 2017 / THE INTERVIEW

The negotiator

Mauro Petriccione speaks with the voice and authority of the European Union, and represents the collective interests of its member states during trade negotiations.

AUGUST 2017 / FEATURE

Ahead of the pack

Japan’s love affair with high-end European bikes seems to be unquenchable. The market, once dominated by Italian steeds Colnago, Bianchi and Pinarello, expanded in the 1990s to include French offerings such as Time and Look, and has widened again to make room for German and Swiss brands.

AUGUST 2017 / EBC PERSONALITY

Peter Kronschnabl

“Without change, we would never achieve anything,” says Peter Kronschnabl, CEO of BMW Group Japan. “Maintaining the present will always lead, at a certain point in time, to mediocrity.”

JULY 2017

JULY 2017 / INVESTING IN JAPAN

Creators of convivialité

“We consider ourselves to be creators of conviviality, in French créateurs de convivialité; it is our overarching reason for being,” says Tim Paech, president and CEO of Pernod Ricard Japan, the local operations of the Paris-headquartered global wines and spirits group. “Conviviality is about friendship, hospitality, entertainment and sociability,” adds Paech.

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JULY 2017 / THE INTERVIEW

Raising Ireland’s profile in Japan

This is a year of celebration for Ireland in Japan — 2017 marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and it is the 25th anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Tokyo. Ambassador Anne Barrington also has an anniversary this year. It is 40 years since she entered Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

JULY 2017 / FEATURE

Speed wins

The Luddites who outraged British industry in the early 19th century, smashing Jacquard looms in a bid to protect jobs and workers’ rights, would be horrified at the ubiquity of labour-saving machines today. After all, there are more robots now than there were people in London in 1815. But these machines are smart and getting smarter.

JULY 2017 / FEATURE

A big moment

The exchange of two daruma dolls by EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida on 5 July marked the announcement of an agreement in principle on the Japan–EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Daruma dolls symbolise perseverance and good fortune …

JULY 2017 / ILLUMINATING VOICES

An ally of the LGBT community

The mayor of Tokyo’s Shibuya ward, Ken Hasebe, is responsible for introducing to his district the partnership certificate, a non-legally binding marriage certificate for same-sex couples. Born and raised in Harajuku, Hasebe first worked for an advertising firm …

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