BACKGROUND ON THE USJBC
The U.S.-Japan Business Council (USJBC) is a Washington, D.C.-based business association whose mission is to support U.S. business interests in Japan and promote stronger economic ties between the United States and Japan. USJBC member companies collectively account for a substantial share of overall U.S. economic activity with Japan, and place high priorities on doing business in Japan and helping forge the most cooperative and mutually beneficial economic relationship possible between the two countries.
The U.S. – Japan Business Council (USJBC) released an update to the 2013 and 2015 Pacific Partner paper entitled: Japan’s Economic Importance to the United States. The report provides an assessment of Japan’s importance to the U.S. economy and measures the economic contribution of Japanese firms in the U.S. This snapshot provides clear and compelling evidence of the significant contribution Japanese companies make to the U.S. economy. The 2017 Report can be found by clicking HERE.
U.S. – Japan Ties at a Critical Juncture
The 54th U.S.-Japan Business Conference took place on November 2-3, 2017, bringing together business and government leaders from both countries to discuss issues of mutual interest such as trade, economic, and security policies.
The conference was led by U.S.-Japan Business Council Chairman and Cisco Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins (pictured left) and his counterpart from Japan, Japan-U.S. Business Council Chairman and Counsellor of Tokio Marine& Nichido Fire Insurance Company, Kunio Ishihara.
On the first day, conference members received an overview of political and economic issues from U.S. and Japanese experts, followed by discussions on how to increase collaboration in trade and investment, workforce productivity and integration of both nations’ advancing digital economies.
The conference included a number of keynote speakers who lent their experience and expertise to make discussions informative, relevant and productive for all participants. Speakers included Mr. Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors; Mr. Kazuhiro Suzuki, Minister for Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan; Mr. Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman of Japan’s KEIDANREN; His Excellency Tim Groser, New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States; and the Honorable Joaquin Castro, U.S. House of Representatives and Co-chair for the U.S.-Japan Congressional Caucus.
- The 54th U.S. – Japan Business Conference Joint Statement can be viewed here. For the Japanese version, click here.
- The Joint Statement on Digital Economy can be viewed here. For the Japanese version, click here.
- A sample of U.S. media coverage of the conference can be viewed here.
Industry Working Groups
On the second day of the conference, members broke into smaller groups do discuss industry-specific issues in health care, financial services, energy and travel/tourism/transportation.
- Health Care Innovation: Representatives from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes for Health (NIH), Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, and other experts discussed pertinent issues such as the Affordable Care Act, regulatory trends in both countries, and the importance of rewarding innovation and value with respect to healthcare reimbursement in Japan. Click here for the Joint Statement on Health Care Innovation.For the Japanese version, click here.
- Financial Services: Business leaders from the U.S. and Japan discussed ongoing progress in the administration’s financial regulation regime, the importance of striking the right balance between regulation and economic growth, and the transformative role that financial technology (Fin-Tech) has been playing in the financial sector. Click here for the Joint Statement on Financial Services. For the Japanese version, click here.
- Energy: Business and government officials from the U.S. and Japan discussed both countries’ shared energy security concerns, policy priorities in the Asia-Pacific region, and trade and investment opportunities in fossil, low-emission and renewable energy sources. Of note, Japanese energy-mix goals for 2030 hope to leverage abundant U.S. shale gas and LNG resources, though a bottleneck in permit approval for additional U.S. LNG export hub and pipeline projects is a key constraint. Members also discussed opportunities to cooperate on improving Japan’s nuclear power generation infrastructure, and the importance for both governments to renew the Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation. Click here for the Joint Statement on Energy. For the Japanese version, click here.
- Travel, Tourism, and Transportation (TTT): Business leaders discussed Japan’s goal of drawing 40 million international visitors to Japan by 2020. In order to accomplish this target, Japan must further enhance tourism resources and expand infrastructure improvements throughout Japan. Such improvements are necessary to attract travelers from Europe, Australia, the United States, and higher-income markets. Looking beyond tourism, growth in international cargo transportation provides another opportunity to positively contribute to the U.S. and Japanese economies. Click here for the Joint Statement on TTT. For the Japanese version, click here.