Latest Articles and Insights

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Yoshihide Suga to succeed Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was today elected leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and will be formally appointed prime minister on 16 September. Suga won with more than 70% of the vote against former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and former Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba. 

GR Japan’s analysis looks at the nature of his victory, what it means for Japan, and where Suga is set to lead the nation. 
 

2020 marks the 10-year anniversary of GR Japan

2020 marks the 10-year anniversary of GR Japan, the leading government relations firm in Japan. Co-founders Jakob Edberg and Philip Howard were interviewed by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and discussed how the company grew from a two-person enterprise to a team of over 70.
 

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GR Japan - Update on succession of Prime Minister Abe

Only days after he became the longest continuously-serving prime minister in Japan, today Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced to resign from his position, saying that he wishes to prevent his deteriorating health to interfere with his duties and judgment.  The candidates for permanent successors include Yoshihide Suga (Chief Cabinet Secretary), Taro Aso (Deputy Prime Minister), Ishiba Shigeru, and Fumio Kishida.  Confronted with a pandemic, economic downturn, and foreign policy challenges, turbulent times lie ahead for the one who takes the wheel after Abe

Rushed-through Japan-UK FTA signals importance of the relationship beyond trade - GR Japan latest report

Following the visit by Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Toshimitsu Motegi, to the UK last week, Japan and the UK have announced that negotiations on their free trade deal will soon reach a conclusion. The two nations went into the talks with distinct objectives - Japan was eager to secure early removal of tariffs on automobile and auto parts, while the UK wants greater access to Japan for its agricultural products.  The intense time pressure, however, has forced both sides to recalibrate their ambitions and shelve many trickier areas for future discussions.

JAPAN COVID-19 UPDATE

Japan’s government lifted the nationwide state of emergency on 25 May but some restrictions remain.  The government is now working to lift border restrictions in phases with business travellers allowed in first, and resumption of tourism later in the year. Following the record-breaking supplementary budget on 30 April, the government is now preparing a second, even larger package to tackle the crisis and support economic recovery.  The crisis has proved a challenge to Japanese leaders, with Abe’s ratings falling below 30% despite the low number of cases.

GR GROUP RESPONSE TO COVID-19

With offices in Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Washington D.C. and London, the GR Group has been working to support employees and clients through the COVID-19 crisis.

To date, there have been no cases of COVID-19 diagnosed among our staff.

The company advised all staff on 24 February to seek medical advice and stay at home if they experienced symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  Staff were encouraged to adjust working hours to avoid commuting during rush-hours and were advised to postpone all non-essential travel.

GR Korea's first International Policy Forum with webinar

GR Korea was honoured to welcome Dr. Jiyoon Kim, a popular radio and TV commentator on Korean politics and elections, as the guest speaker at the first International Policy Forum webinar in Korea.  The subject of the webinar was Korea’s National Assembly Election - Implications for Government and the Economy in the Covid-19 World, and it was hosted by Juyun Moon, Team Leader for GR Korea.

GR Japan Report, "Declaration of State of Emergency in Japan"

Prodded by calls for more decisive action by the government, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in response to the latest spike in COVID-19 cases.  While the declaration does not entail a complete “lockdown” of cities, the government hopes the move will help slow the spread of the pandemic, which has already killed more than 98,000 people worldwide.  But experts question whether this will be sufficient given the lack of enforcement measures and questions about compliance.

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