Public Policy & Government Relations Advisers
- GR Japan at a Glance
GR Japan specializes in Japanese government relations and public affairs. We offer a full range of government relations and related services, including policy and issue monitoring, stakeholder mapping, in-depth intelligence, political due diligence, strategic outreach, advocacy, public affairs campaigns and strategic support for public tenders / public-sector sales.
Our team is comprised of experts with direct experience and thorough understanding of Japanese government policymaking and decision-making, including former officials from key ministries and the major political parties. However, we also pride ourselves on our business sense and understanding our clients’ strategic goals and business needs.
The GR Japan team has an unrivalled network of contacts spanning the National Diet, ministries, political parties, local government, as well as in the media and academia. GR Japan is politically neutral and enjoys excellent working relations across the political spectrum.
GR Japan also offers exceptional global support. As a member of the renowned international public affairs networks, we work with partners with local and regional expertise and help our clients success in markets around the world.
- GR Japan Story
In the Beginning
We founded GR Japan in 2010, in pursuit of our shared vision to create more effective channels of communication between government stakeholders and international businesses in Japan on important matters of public policy.
As a result of years of experience working alongside Japanese policy-makers and businesses community, we had felt acutely an unmet need for world-class government relations services in Japan. The lack of strategic interaction between business leaders and government had left us frustrated at the opportunities being missed by both sides, but also inspired us to take action.
From a small corner of a borrowed office, the newly formed GR Japan faced skepticism from old hands who said that Japan’s political system was just too different, and told us that processes that work elsewhere in the world were somehow unsuited to the complexities of decision-making in Japan.
In contrast, we built up the company from scratch based on our belief that constructive and considered dialogue between the public and private sectors acts to benefit all sides – not least the economy and nation of Japan.
Just over one year after GR Japan was founded, and on the eve of the launch of our International Policy Forum, Japan tragically experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Although our staff were unharmed, the business entered a difficult period as many firms, Japanese and foreign, rethought their investment plans for Japan.
But like the rest of the country, GR Japan dusted itself off and sought to turn adversity into opportunity. We knew that we wanted to help Japan rebuild. And through our work with Japanese government stakeholders, that is what we have tried to do so ever since.
In 2012, GR Japan moved into its own dedicated premises – within sight of the National Diet and Prime Minister’s Office. Over time, our ideas about the role and the place of a professional government relations firm in Japan have been confirmed and refined. A growing number of clients, from well-known multinational companies in the fields of energy, healthcare, ICT, transport and finance, as well as major international non-governmental organizations, have entrusted us with the task of providing strategic and practical support for their public affairs activities in Japan.
To meet the needs of this new client base, the GR Japan team has been growing steadily, and is now firmly established as the largest government relations and public affairs firm in Japan. We have been fortunate to be joined by highly talented policy experts with direct experience of policy-making in government ministries and political parties.
Continued growth has seen the GR Japan team establish an unrivalled reputation among international businesses in Japan as Japan’s leading government relations company. Just as importantly, we have established our reputation among Japanese government stakeholders as a trusted advocate for the business community in Japan, and as a channel through which government stakeholders can reach out to the global community, to access global expertise and to learn about policy solutions and practice in other countries.
Into the Future
Despite its delayed start, the International Policy Forum has now run regular events for more than three years, providing senior political figures a forum for informed discussion on matters of topical policy interest with representatives of Japan’s business, diplomatic and academic communities. As well as playing host to Japanese ministers, vice-ministers and party leaders from both ruling and opposition camps, we have welcomed one first lady and a former prime minister of Thailand.
We pride ourselves on constantly proving that far from the stereotype of Japanese policy-making as incomprehensible and inaccessible, Japanese policy-makers welcome and embrace constructive dialogue and informed partnership. Japanese government stakeholders at all levels have shown themselves ready to engage with interlocutors who bring with them well considered and thoughtfully presented policy ideas, and who can present solutions that are politically and financially feasible.
We take pride in GR Japan’s political neutrality and objectivity, and continue to offer ethical government relations services that further our founding principles of supporting dialogue based on the public interest that helps to meet the needs both of our clients and Japan’s policy-makers.
Jakob Edberg and Philip Howard
- Company Profile
GR Japan K. K.
and Public Affairs Consulting
President & CEO Jakob Edberg
info [at] grjapan [dot] com