Issue 22

Spring 2018

Osaka, the large port city and commercial center of the Japanese island of Honshu has gained popularity over the years as the center of attention in the land of the Rising Sun. Renowned for its hearty and friendly locals, tasty cuisine, colorful nightlife, catchy dialect and modern architecture, it is ranked one of the most visited cities in Japan with a whopping 9.4 million foreign tourists visiting in 2016 – a record announced by the Osaka Tourism Authorities.

But is that all the Kansai-ben speaking city wants to be known for?
Originally, the birthplace of prominent Japanese companies such as Sharp, Sumitomo, Panasonic and several others as well as being once considered the heart of the medical world in Japan, Osaka is aiming to achieve an equal if not better equilibrium independent of Tokyo. In an effort to reinvent itself, Osaka has bid as a candidate to host the World Expo 2025 and it is through such initiatives that it hopes to define itself as a befitting partner in the economic and social growth of the Kansai region and of Japan as a whole.

Hirofumi Yoshimura—Osaka, A Global City

Osaka is a metropolis that takes great pride in its venerable Japanese history and traditions. However, in the recent years, Osaka has undergone a rejuvenation to emphasize its distinctive urban characteristics. In this exclusive interview, Mr. Hirofumi Yoshimura, the second youngest mayor in Japan, shares his views about Osaka, his hometown.



Next Stop: Osaka

Benefitting from its strategic location at the center of Japan, Osaka, and more broadly the Kansai area has a lot to offer. With a GDP higher than Turkey and the 9th most populated area in the world, it is a melting pot of culture and business expertise. Its many state-of-the-art airports and its numerous ports service the area and act as a gateway to Asia.

Coming Soon

Osaka CCI—Grooming Osaka for Success

Mr. Hiroshi Ozaki is the President of Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. He was elected as the President of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry on November 1st of 2017. He aims to pioneer a bright future for Osaka by implementing a three-year action plan to promote growth for the region as well as campaigning actively to host the World Expo 2025.

Coming Soon

Hirofumi Yoshimura—Osaka, A Global City

Osaka is a metropolis that takes great pride in its venerable Japanese history and traditions. However, in the recent years, Osaka has undergone a rejuvenation to emphasize its distinctive urban characteristics. In this exclusive interview, Mr. Hirofumi Yoshimura, the second youngest mayor in Japan, shares his views about Osaka, his hometown.

Coming Soon

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan Invitation Campaign—Depicting an Abundant Future

The World Expo organized every 5 years is based on themes designed to raise awareness of and find responses to universal challenges of our time. Japan is one of the three countries bidding to be host country. Mr. Tetsuya Azuma, Director for International Exhibitions at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), sat down with JAPAN and the WORLD to talk about their efforts behind the scenes in presenting Osaka as a viable candidate for the World Expo to be held in 2025.

Coming Soon

Rui Matsukawa—A Vision for Osaka

Mrs. Rui Matsukawa is a National Diet member of Japan. A strong and experienced advocate of women’s empowerment, Mrs. Matsukawa is famous for being the person behind the WAW! Conference, an initiative to achieve a society where women shine. She has been recently appointed to Committee on Financial Affairs and Committee on Budget by the Abe Shinzo cabinet, where she will play an important role for the Osaka region development. She shared her thoughts with JAPAN and the WORLD on women’s situation in the Kansai area as well as her vision for Osaka’s development.

Coming Soon

The Private Sector of Kansai in Motion for 2025

Osaka is a serious contender in the race to win the World Expo 2025 bid, and many economic and political stakeholders are in motion to support Osaka’s candidacy. JAPAN and the WORLD interviewed Mr. Manatsu Ichinoki, Managing Director of the Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren) and Secretary General of the 2025 Japan World Expo Committee to learn more about their strategy for the regional development.

Coming Soon

Prof. Shinya Hashizume—Osaka, A Hub of Innovation

Mr. Shinya Hashizume was recently appointed to the position of special advisor to the Osaka Prefecture and to Osaka City. He is currently Professor at the Osaka Prefecture University Organization for Research Promotion, and Director of the Osaka Prefecture University Research Institute for Tourism Industry. He also occupies the position of Visiting Professor at the Osaka City University Urban Research Plaza. He holds a Ph.D. in engineering. JAPAN and the WORLD editorial team met with Prof. Hashizume to learn more about his vision of Osaka and the Kansai region as a whole.

Coming Soon


Hotel Ethnography—Awaken your Senses

Kyoto, its streets, the smile of the Geisha, the serenity of the temples and the traditional Japanese cuisine… For the wanderer, the city has been an ongoing experience of amazement and discovery. Could Kyoto be more enjoyable? Well, the answer is yes.

Coming Soon


Real Estate Japan—Thinking Big and Expanding Nationwide

You may want to buy or sell real estate, but you wonder what is the best way or when is the best time to make a move. Real Estate Japan Co., Ltd. has established a solid reputation for being attentive to its clients’ needs and offering the best solutions. We interviewed the company president Mr. Tomokazu Watano at the new office in Akasaka, opened in January 2018, to learn about the company’s history, its distinctive services and its inbound tourism business.

Coming Soon


Transpacific Partnership—An Obstacle Course

Last November, the eleven nations taking part in the Transpacific Partnership finally came to an agreement on the key aspects of the deal. While many thought that the withdrawal of United States from the deal in 2017 would have signed its death sentence, Japan could not afford to see it torn to shreds. Under Japan’s leadership, and after months of negotiations, it seems like the agreement is most likely going to be signed in spring.

Coming Soon

Cool Japan Fund—Making the World a Cooler Place

“Cool Japan” refers to the best of Japanese culture. The public and private sectors in Japan are collaborating to further promote both “Cool Japan” business development overseas and the “Cool Japan” activities of inbound tourists. The Cool Japan Fund was established with the purpose of supporting and promoting the discovery of overseas demand for Japan’s attractions. We asked Mr. Nobuyuki Ota, president of the Cool Japan Fund, to tell us more about the activities of the fund and what needs to be done to make Japan even “cooler” in the future.

Coming Soon

Making Tokyo an International Asset Management Leader

JAPAN and the WORLD sat down with Mr. Keiichi Aritomo, a representative director of the Consortium for Japan International Asset Management Center Promotion. His goal: to make Tokyo a world-class asset management center.

Coming Soon

Danish Ambassador—Promoting his Country, Growth and Happiness

H.E. Mr. Freddy Svane, the Ambassador of Denmark in Japan, spent more than six years in Japan. He refers to this business card as a “ticket for growth”, a motto he uses to brand himself. To say the least, Mr. Svane has a sharp business mind and his achievements on the diplomatic scene have not gone unnoticed. JAPAN and the WORLD had the opportunity to meet him and ask him a few questions.

Coming Soon

Benin—A Beacon of Sharp Public Policies

Benin has been receiving a great deal of assistance from the Japanese government in the recent years, most of which was funneled by the prominent Japanese International Cooperation Agency. In the beginning of 2018, a delegation of Councilors from the upper house of the Japanese Diet flew to Benin to visit the country and assess the potential of the Japan-Benin relationship. JAPAN and the WORLD interviewed Mr. Shigeru Ejima, one of the heads of the delegation to get his feedback on their mission.

Coming Soon

Pushing Boundaries with Bruce Ryde

JAPAN and the WORLD met with Mr. Bruce Ryde, Vice President of Luxury Brands and Brand Marketing, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. Newly appointed, Mr. Ryde, will own the luxury brand strategy in Asia Pacific, driving appropriate representation and brand preference for Marriott International luxury brands which comprises The Ritz-Carlton®, Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, St. Regis®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, W Hotels®, The Luxury Collection® and Bulgari.

Coming Soon

The Diversity of Francophonie

For the month of Francophonie, from March 10 to April 22, 2018, the French Institute of Japan in collaboration with the Council for the Promotion of Francophonie will organize a series of events and activities to celebrate the Francophonie in its diversity. JAPAN and the WORLD met with Mr. Pierre Colliot, Cultural Advisor and Director of the French Institute of Japan, to learn more about his observations on the Francophonie and the future of the French culture in Japan.

Coming Soon


Revealing Benin’s potential to the Japanese Market

South Africa—A World in One Country, Alive with Possibilities!

Nigeria Ready to Dialogue and Share Experiences with the World


A Fresh Impetus in Madagascar-Japan Relations

Last December, Japan had the honor to greet H.E. Mr. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of the Republic of Madagascar, and his wife, Ms. Voahangy Rajaonarimampianina as part of an official visit. Taking place from December 3-5, 2017, it was the first visit from a Madagascar President to Japan in more than 50 years. They ended their trip as guests of Emperor Akihito and his wife, Empress Michiko, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Coming Soon

UK in EU: It’s Over!

In the broader context of the 160th year of diplomatic relations between Japan and France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, visited Japan from January 26-29th. During his short visit, the two countries had the opportunity to reaffirm the solidity of the bond that they have shared for so long. It was also a good occasion for the French Minister to send a strong message to the Asia-Pacific region.

Coming Soon


Empowering Women for the Next Generation

Exclusive interview with Dr. Amany Asfour, President of International Federation for Business and Professional Women (BPW International). She was elected in October 2017 for a 3-year mandate and is the first woman from the Middle East and Africa to have ever been elected to this position.

Coming Soon


Asian Market Gaining Popularity among Spanish Soccer Leagues

In the past years, Asia has positioned itself more and more as a place of opportunities but also a destination for investments. The soccer industry is no different when looking for new markets for growth and Asia might just be it.

Coming Soon


69th Sapporo Snow Festival

Temperature oscillating between 3 and -10°C did not interfere with the 69th edition of the Sapporo Snow Festival that took place from February 1st to 12th. As one of the largest snow festivals in Japan, it welcomed thousands of foreign and domestic visitors in Sapporo City, Hokkaido’s regional capital.

Coming Soon

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