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Japan and EU continue to seek an early conclusion of EPA deal

Upon his visit to Germany for G20 foreign ministerial session, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida reconfirmed with European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom to conclude the deadlock Japan-EU EPA negotiations as early as possible.  The on-going discussion, which begun in April 2013, was originally to reach an agreement in 2016 but carried over due to obstacles in agricultural products and automobiles.

Special Speaker Confirmed! Update on "Strategic Government Relations and Advocacy Seminar"

We are happy to announce that Mr. Hideto Aoki, Operating Officer and Public Affairs Division Head of Randstad K.K., will join us as a speaker for the upcoming "Strategic Government Relations and Advocacy Seminar". Mr. Aoki, who is also Vice Chair (Director) of Japan Production Skill Labor Association, will share his experience in reaching out to the Government of Japan in capacity of  advocacy. The updated program of the event is attached below.

A Current Look at Corporate Public Affairs in Japan

GR Japan contributed an article "A Current Look at Corporate Public Affairs in Japan" to the Public Affairs Council newsletter. Please see the article below which was published on 26 September 2016:

"A Current Look at Corporate Public Affairs in Japan"

by Jakob Edberg, Philip Howard and Mina Takahashi, GR Japan K.K.

Cabinet Reshuffle Likely to Be Drastic

Prime Minister Abe intends to reshuffle his cabinet in early August during the extraordinary Diet session that is scheduled to start on 1 August. According to the media, about the half out of the 19 cabinet members could be changed this time as PM Abe pledged to speed up his economic stimulus measures after the landslide victory in the recent upper house election. For more details, please refer to an article in The Japan News linked below.

LDP to Have a Simple Majority in Both Houses

The media reports that Tatsuo Hirano, Former Minister of Reconstruction and an independent member of the House of Councillors, will join the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). This will make LDP to  have a simple majority in both the upper and lower houses for the first time in 27 years and accelerate PM Abe to endorse his two political priorities - the economic revitalization and the constitutional amendment.  For more, please check a flash report by Kyodo News linked below.

LDP-Komeito Coalition Wins Majority - 2016 HoC Election

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claimed victory in the House of Councillors election held on 10 July. The result is very close to GR Japan's prediction two weeks ago --- the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito won the majority, which will allow the government to move ahead with Abenomics,  the constitutional revision  and other policy discussions with more confident. PM Abe also confirmed that he would reshuffle his cabinet in early August. For further reports by the media, please see an article by Nikkei Asian Review from the link below.

GR Japan Presentation - 2016 Upper House Election Analysis and Predictions

Jakob Edberg, GR Japan Managing Director, presented our analysis and predictions on the upcoming upper house election at "IPF: 2016 House of Councillors Election Special" on 28 June. His presentation is available as attached.  Should you like to know further details, please feel free to contact info [at] grjapan [dot] com.

Japan Gears Up for Stimulus on Brexit

As UK voted to leave EU on 24 June, Japan Time,  Prime Minister Abe said that he would take an action to stabilize the markets and called for an urgent meeting with the Bank of Japan and Ministers this morning. The government has also commented that more than ¥10 trillion could be poured into the economic stimulus measures, which will be presented in this fall.  For more details, please see the article on The Japan News.

2016 House of Councillors Election Campaign Kicks Off

The official campaign for the 2016 House of Councillors election kicked off on 22 June. A total of 389 candidates declared to run in the election that will be taken place on 10 July, vying for half of the chamber's 242 seats. As PM Abe calls economy "the biggest theme of the election", the coalition of the ruling party LDP and Komeito emphasizes the success of Abenomics while the oppositions focus on balancing growth with the distribution of wealth. For more details, please click the link below for the article by Kyodo in Nikkei Asian Review.