Thursday, May 28, 2009

The First Attendance to ACCJ Government Relations Committee

I attended the Government Relations Committee for the first time on Tuesday, May 26. This committee is chaired by Mr. Ira Wolf, Japan Representative of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. As I mentioned in the previous post on the CSR Committee, light breakfast was served at this meeting as well.

One of the key agendas at the meeting was the Diet Doorknock, which is lobbying activities to Japanese legislators. The American Chambers of Commerce has been exercising influences through the annual Diet Doorknock. The Government Relations Committee explores small scale and more frequent approaches to the Japanese diet, in addition to the regular doorknock. These doorknocks will be focused on more specific issues.

I leaned that the number of English speaking staff at the Japanese diet is still insufficient, and the language barrier is a hurdle to pursue more frequent and small scaled doorknock. I think it is a pity that Japanese legislators are still inward-looking, and not well adapted to the era of globalism. I hope Nagatacho (Japanese Capitol Hill, or Westminster) will evolve more civilized, as it happened during the Meiji modernization.

The most important point is to find the right Diet members for the doorknock, whether general US-Japanese relations or more specific issues.

I need to understand activities of the Government Relations Committee, furthermore, and hopefully, get involved in policymaking processes. In any case, I must understand the Committee. That is the most important point for a beginner.