Senior Director for International Strategic Marketing and Business Development
Senior Advisor for International Commercial and Investment Affairs
Transnational Strategy Group
For more information on the services TSG can provide, please contact us.
A New Japanese Era
Japan’s trade relations and foreign policy have entered a period of flux in the Reiwa Era at a time of unprecedented challenge to the conduct of international commerce and foreign affairs. The COVID-19 pandemic and concomitant instability in the US-China relationship have disrupted global supply lines and unsettled international markets. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has contributed to further uncertainty. Japan, the US and others are seeking farsighted approaches to bolstering, and even restructuring, economies and ways of doing business. Rising global inflation suggests that Japanese and other enterprises will have to look for increased sales, including abroad, rather than cost cutting as under the prior era of low inflation and interest rates.
A Revitalized Emphasis on the US-Japan Relationship
Moreover, with the emergence of the Chinese economy as a challenge to the economies of the US and Japan, Washington and Tokyo need to be the rule setters in the world economy and to cooperate in the area of cybersecurity. Japan has to rely upon US strength in high-technology goods and services to expand its economy and enhance its sophistication. Japan also has to give up manufacturing standard mass-type production which faces competition from China and must transition to manufacturing higher-value added products which would take advantage of the skills and technologies of its industry.
In response to these trends, the Japanese prime minister and American president have reconfirmed the central importance of the US-Japan foreign policy and economic relationship. Both countries have signed several agreements intended to promote commercial cooperation with a special focus on increasingly important energy/environmental, pandemic-related and other critical industries. They, along with India and Australia, have reenergized cooperative activities among the four nations (the Quad) while the US is accelerating commercial programs across the Indo-Pacific region.
These developments offer both Japanese and American firms, their trade associations and others dramatically new commercial opportunities as well as new challenges. In order to fully capitalize on the opportunities and to navigate and mitigate the challenges, there is an unprecedented need for timely and actionable information, analysis, coordination, advocacy and guidance from an experienced and capable partner. Successfully advancing commercial interests also requires understanding the way these negotiations, and intertwined foreign policy and political relationships, have a direct impact on business opportunities.
How Transnational Strategy Group Can Assist
Transnational Strategy Group’s Japan Practice Group is delivering services at the intersection of public policy, commercial strategy and business development to clients seeking to enter or expand business in the Japanese and American markets or in major third countries in which our firm operates. Our team has worked with and in Japanese and American government, industry, and corporate consulting for decades, and includes experts who live or have lived in Japan and are well versed in Japan’s economy, business operations, language, culture and society. We are familiar with the current political and business dynamics in Japan and the United States, as well as with Japanese-US, Japanese-EU, Japanese-India and other relations and other geopolitical and geo-economic factors that shape today’s trade negotiations and business dealings. We can assist American companies to enter or expand their businesses in Japan successfully.
For newly globalizing Japanese enterprises, our advisors are able to assist firms to enter the US market successfully, including by locating importers, joint venture partners, licensees or other counterparties, to help obtain inbound investment incentives and other trade and investment facilitation services, and to provide political risk identification and mitigation, as well as other strategic advisory and government relations. We are pleased to be able to work with dynamic Japanese middle market firms as well.
More broadly, our global network of senior advisors posted in other major markets around the world is able to assist Japanese and American firms to enter third-country markets, and to seek government support for such ventures. Our team can provide clients in-depth integrated intelligence analysis with actionable recommendations and can advocate for client interests at senior levels in both government and business.