Latest Articles and Insights

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.

Webinar with Yoshimasa Hayashi, Chair of the Liberal Democratic Party Headquarters for Economic Growth Strategies

GR Japan was honoured to host a webinar with Yoshimasa Hayashi, Chair of the LDP Headquarters for Economic Growth Strategies, the body setting Japan’s economic policy responses to the coronavirus crisis.  Mr. Hayashi shared invaluable insights into Japan’s economic response and its impact on businesses and individuals.  The webinar was hosted by GR Japan’s CEO, Jakob Edberg. 

Japan Prime Minister Abe says postponing Olympics may be unavoidable

Japan’s response to COVID-19

The world is grappling with the rapid spread of COVID-19 and Japan is no exception.  The World Health Organization has stated that Europe is now the world’s COVID-19 pandemic epicenter. But Japan is in a delicate position as the country is gearing up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the timing of which is becoming increasingly uncertain.

GR Japan IPF Report: Mr. Shigeru Ishiba on the shift from Heisei to Reiwa Era

Ishiba’s three observations on the meaning of the change from Heisei to Reiwa

The beginning of the Reiwa era marks the end of Japan’s post-war era;
Japan’s thinking needs to react to the fact that the nature of capitalism has changed, including an increase in economic inequality;
Japan’s democracy needs a new vision and new goals, in keeping with these changes and the end of the post-war era. 

Ishiba speaking at GR Japan

Keynote of former US Vice President Al Gore

GR Japan was honoured to worked with former US Vice President Al Gore

GR Japan was honoured to work with former US Vice President Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project to help organise the first ever Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Japan on 2-3 October. The event saw more than 1,000 participants, from academia, government and business learn how they can lead the global fight for climate solutions.

Ordinary Diet Session Closed - PM Abe Focuses on G20 and the Upper House Election

The extraordinary Diet session was ended on Wednesday, 26 June, as scheduled.  Now Prime Minister Abe focuses on the success of the G20 summit that is held today and tomorrow.  It is crucial for him and his administration to appeal his diplomatic skills for the upcoming House of Councillors election scheduled on 21 July, aiming to win more than half of the 124 seats to be contested.

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