Issue 14

January 2016

In the January issue, JAPAN and the WORLD magazine will include stories of women from many professions and nationalities to seek the answer to the question of ‘what does it mean to be a woman’? The magazine will showcase some of key Japanese women-leaders to develop a debate on the topic.

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for communities.

Rui Matsukawa—The Women behind WAW!

Matsukawa-san, a wife and a mother, is a successful woman who actively promotes and believes that women can shine all around the world.

COVER STORY | Women Empowerment


Introduction—There is no development without empowerment of women

Rui Matsukawa—The Women behind WAW!

Matsukawa-san, a wife and a mother, is a successful woman who actively promotes and believes that women can shine all around the world.


Kazuko Shiraishi—Ambassador for Women

JAPAN and the WORLD magazine presents an exclusive interview with Ms. Kazuko Shiraishi, Japanese Ambassador for Women, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and Ambassador in charge of Arctic Affairs about a historical overview of women struggling for their empowerment based on her life experience.


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—The first female elected head of state in Africa

5 questions to Her Excellency President of liberia, the first female elected head of state in Africa.


Victoire Tomegah-Dogbé—Togolese youth to carry out change

Interview with Victoire Tomegah-Dogbé, Minister of Grassroots Development, Craft Industry, Youth and Employment of the Youth.


Samina Baig—A woman who reached the impossible!

Pakistan is a country where there is strong heritage of strong women. Whether it is education, inheritance rights or their democratic right to vote, Pakistani women struggled to the top. This struggle has led Pakistani women to unprecedented positions: Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Speaker of the National Assembly, from business leaders to airline pilots. In this tradition, Samina Baig has taken her quest further in fact to the roof of the world.


Sawako Nevin—Working to make a difference in Malawi

Sawako Nevin accompanies her husband Michael Nevin, a British diplomat, in his post to Malawi. She undertakes many activities in order to promote national development.


Around the World—What does it mean to be a woman?

Women from different parts of the world, with a different professions and different experiences answer the same question: what does it mean for them to be a woman?

Kyoko Spector—How to be both a successful woman and entrepreneur

Her days are full of activity; in addition to being a TV personality, a producer, an advocate for many causes, a wife, Kyoko Spector is also Honorary Consul of Albania since 2015. Always busy, actively attending official functions, charity events, work meetings, Kyoko Spector takes to heart everything she undertakes.


Mariela Castro—An advocate of gender equality

Mariela Castro was born on July 27, 1962, to a couple of Cuban revolutionaries: Raul Castro and Vilma Espin—also a prominent guerrilla who later became president of the Federation of Cuban Women.


Empowerment for all!—When education meets indigenous women

Four women from an Aeta indigenous group in rural Philippines were trained as solar engineers in India. This has changed everyday reality in a small village in the Philippines, were these women bring the light to many lives.


Amas—Symbol of women’s independence and vigor

Amas, female divers, harvest shellfish and seaweed from the sea floor without any diving equipment.There are still about 2000 ama divers in Japan. Mie prefecture has Japan’s largest population of amas. Most ama divers are over 40 years old. Like many traditional occupations in Japan, it is hereditary. Fishing rights are passed from mother to daughter. More young people gradually get involved.


Sweden—The first feminist government

JAPAN and the WORLD magazine conducted interview with Sven Östberg about the first in the world female government recently established in Sweden.



Yamagata Prefecture—The Voice of Experience


Mie Prefecture—Getting ready for G7


Angola celebrates 40 years of Independence

On November 11, 2015 in Tokyo, the Embassy of Angola celebrated 40 years of Independence. JAPAN and the WORLD magazine covered the event. His Excellency, João Miguel Vahekeni, shared with us his proudest moments as the Ambassador to Japan and ambitions for the years to come.


A new Workstyle for the MIC—When simple changes lead to better communication, efficiency and collaboration

Since 2015 the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication has started to implement a trial of a new Work Style model to achieve a better work-life balance. This means less paper work, less overtime work, less time spent on commuting, but more communication, more telework, and more flexibility. Mr. Susumu Kamimura, Director General of Administrative Management Bureau shares the motivations for these changes and what are the outcomes.


Japan’s growing presence in Djibouti’s Free Trade Zone

More than 170 Japanese investors and business people attended a seminar on investment opportunities in Djibouti. The event, held last December in the premises of JETRO in Tokyo, was described as a “great success” by Mr. Abubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of the Port Authority and Djibouti Free Zone.



Towards a sustainable Africa—Japan’s plans for geothermal energy development for East Africa

Japan wants to play a leading role in the development of clean sources of energy in Africa, namely using geothermal energy. Its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reaffirmed his commitment to developing countries at the UN Conference on Climate Change, COP 21, held in Paris last December. He said “We will take geothermal energy from the center of the Earth and deliver clean electricity to people in Africa.”



Gastrodiplomacy—Fostering cultural understanding among countries

In terms of cultural exchange Gastrodiplomacy helps to build bridges. Through food you can understand culture. And when you understand the culture, the understand the people.


Heinz Beck—Food for thinking

JAPAN and the WORLD interviewed Heinz Beck to find out about his food philosophy.


Colombian Gastrodiplomacy—An effective country branding tool

In Japan, and around the world, the image of Colombia is inevitably linked to the aroma and good taste of quality coffee. Colombians feel proud of the fact that the country is associated by millions of people with the ritual of drinking coffee. But what about our food?


Peruvian cuisine—In healthy body, healthy spirit

Peru is known as one of the world’s 10 “megadiverse” countries, for its rich diversity in ecosystems, species, genetic resources and culture. Peru’s biodiversity is one of the pillars of its national economy, which plays a direct role in sustaining a large part of the population, has an important role for culture, science and technology and provides essential environmental services in terms of soil fertility, air quality and water supply.



ECOWAS—The Rise of West Africa

Introductory remarks by H.E. Ms. Youngor Telewoda, Ambassador of Liberia and Chairperson of the ECOWAS diplomatic Group in Tokyo.


Message—President of the ECOWAS commission

Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo has been President of the ECOWAS commission since February 2012. He attended the Forum and told us about the main challenges to overcome to create a successful business environment for Japan and West Africa.


Message—Prime Minister of Benin

H.E. Mr. Lionel Zinsou, French–Beninese economist and investment banker who has been Prime Minister of Benin since 2015 attended the ECOWAS-Japan Business Forum last October. He used this opportunity to urge Japan to invest more in West Africa, saying the region will become a huge growing market.


Message—President of UEMOA Commission

Good Governance—A major challenge for the ECOWAS region

Good governance is both a means and an end to a socio-economic development, which is both sustainable and inclusive. It is even a must. If, despite its uncountable natural resources, Africa has been unable to develop, it is partly because of poor resource governance. West Africa is no exception to this. However, considerable efforts are being taken at ECOWAS level, and nationally, to improve this.


Côte D’Ivoire-Japan—Strengthening the good relation of friendship and cooperation

JAPAN and the WORLD conducted interview with H.E. Mr. Jérôme Klôh WEYA to collect his thoughts about the first ever ECOWAS-Japan Business Forum.


Malawi—Doing business in the right way

Malawi has certainly promising economic prospects and major opportunities to offer, in particular in the areas of telecommunications, agriculture and food processing, transport, tourism, and energy.


Jamaica—Feels alright!

Jamaica’s tourism had its beginning in the nineteenth century when invalids started coming to Jamaica to escape the cold winters in England and North America. The first tourist hotels were built in Montego Bay and Port Antonio in the 1890s. In those early days, tourism was limited largely to rich visitors.


Jamaica’s tourism industry in action!

Aga Charytoniuk sat down with Mr. Paul Pennicook to discuss his unique perspective on what has changed, and about new opportunity for tourism in Jamaica.



Slovenia and Japan—sLOVEnia, the only country where love has been engraved


Raising profile of Macedonia business environment

On October 29, 2015, Aga Charytoniuk sat down with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nikola Poposki to discuss the outcome from his current visit to Japan.


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