10 years, 120 issues, one major milestone
A decade of Eurobiz Japan
January 2020 Feature / Text by Andrew Howitt
January 2020 Feature / Text by Andrew Howitt
“The value of this publication, both in terms of its content and its quality, is evident,” says Michael Mroczek, chair of the EBC. “It is the only English-language magazine with a focus on European business in Japan. This uniqueness makes it irreplaceable.”
Every month, the magazine reaches tens of thousands of readers across more than two dozen industries. In addition to being delivered to all members of Japan’s Diet, Eurobiz Japan is distributed to the members of 15 European chambers of commerce, EBC members, European embassies and the Delegation of the European Union to Japan. It is also available at exclusive clubs such as the Tokyo American Club and the Roppongi Hills Club; the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan; luxury hotels; serviced offices and apartments; and in an American Airlines’ VIP lounge.
“Eurobiz Japan has been a vital tool to reach out to a wider audience and communicate trade policy advocacy in an engaging and easy-to-understand way,” says Bjorn Kongstad, policy director at the EBC. “It raises the profile of the EBC and complements the other activities of our organisation very well.”
The EBC launched the magazine in January 2010 with the goal of communicating its message more clearly to the Japanese government and deepening connections among its members. The Eurobiz Japan project was initiated by Tommy Kullberg, a former chairman of the EBC, who felt deeply about the importance of strong communications and PR.
“Our mission is to take on tasks that cannot be addressed by individual companies and chambers,” Kullberg wrote in the inaugural January 2010 issue. “We aim to reduce all the trade obstacles and regulatory issues that EU companies face in Japan. I hope this magazine can reach out to the members of the EBC and that they will let us know about the issues that matter to them.”
Paradigm, a digital creative agency based in Tokyo, created Eurobiz Japan and has published it since the beginning.
“How the world communicates has changed a lot since Paradigm was founded as a print publishing company 28 years ago, and the volume of print media being produced has dropped dramatically,” says Vickie Paradise Green, president of Paradigm. “But print was my first love, so having the opportunity to successfully publish Eurobiz Japan for the past 10 years has been a joy for me.”
Over the magazine’s 120 issues, there are countless highlights worth mentioning. Feature articles have included interviews with politicians, diplomats and entrepreneurs from both Europe and Japan, as well as CEOs from industries as diverse as automotive, liquor, pharma, hospitality, retail, construction, cosmetics and telecommunications.
“Securing Rakuten founder Hiroshi Mikitani for the cover in March 2010 — only our third issue — is certainly memorable,” states Green. “In April 2011, we had a writer travel to Fukushima to photograph and write a feature about the earthquake as our cover story. No other English-language magazine published in Japan did this. Getting Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on the April 2017 cover was a real coup, as was getting Cecilia Malmström, former EU commissioner for trade, in April 2019.”
Since its launch, Eurobiz Japan has been committed to producing a publication that is visually striking and has excellent design. In April 2016, the look of the magazine underwent a transformation when it was redesigned. Every visual element, including the magazine’s logo, colour palette, grid and typography, was rethought to create an even smarter and bolder design
But, in spite of the changes to the magazine over the past decade, Eurobiz Japan has stayed faithful to its mission to inform and advocate.
An experienced group of professional writers, who work for a variety of respected global publications, and gifted photographers ensure that it maintains a very high standard in the content it brings to its readers. And, as Eurobiz Japan is wholly dependent on ad revenue, the magazine is indebted to its advertisers and dedicated sales team who make the magazine possible month after month.
The EBC is eager to see the magazine continue in its mission for many more years to come.
“It’s my hope that Eurobiz Japan will keep raising the profile of European businesses in Japan and, at the same time, speak as the official voice of the EBC in the context of greater and greater cooperation between Japanese and European companies here and in third markets,” says Mroczek. “With the conclusion of the EPA, and Europe’s renewed interest in Japan, I’m very optimistic that the magazine has the potential for another ten successful years — and milestones beyond.” •