Where business
and government meet

The International Policy Forum is a network for businesspeople, diplomats, and academics in Tokyo, holding regular breakfast and lunch meetings on matters of policy interest to businesses in Japan. All events host speakers from Japan's political and administrative elite, are run in both Japanese and English and on an invitation only basis. 


Past Events

Breakfast with Keiro Kitagami Vice Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry

Japan and Free Trade Agreements with the Trans-Pacific Partnership and European Union

Our guest speaker for May was Mr. Keiro Kitagami, Vice Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, and Member of the House of Representatives with the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).  Mr. Kitagami is in charge of Japan's negotiations on free trade agreements, including with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the European Union.

Breakfast with Yoshimi Watanabe Party Leader, Your Party

Policies for a new Japan - the emergence of a third force in Japanese politics

Our guest speaker for March was Yoshimi Watanabe, former Minister of State for Regulatory Reform and Financial Services and, since 2008, party leader for Your Party, Japan's third largest political party according to most recent polls. 

Breakfast with Tetsuro Fukuyama Former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (DPJ)

Energy Policy After Fukushima

Our guest speaker for February was Tetsuro Fukushima, Chairman of the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary under Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. 

Breakfast with Kohei Ohtsuka Vice Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare

Prospects of the Noda Cabinet and the views of DPJ on health policy reform (including revision of PAL)

Mr. Kohei Ohtsuka, Vice Minister for Health Labour and Welfare, shared with us his insights on internal DPJ affairs, the prospects of the Noda Cabinet, and how the current changes affect the policies issues he is in charge of – Health policy, welfare reforms, and the upcoming revision of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.

Breakfast meeting with Mr. Banri Kaieda Minister of Economy Trade and Industry

Policies for Recovery

Japan’s GDP contracted by 0.9% in the first quarter following the triple disasters of 11 March. The government has launched a number of initiatives to support the affected areas, including that of establishing a “special economic zone” in Tohoku where regulations will be relaxed to boost business, as one way to stimulate the region out of the current economic crisis.

Breakfast with Yoshimasa Hayashi Shadow Minister of Finance Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)

Combining physical and fiscal reconstruction: the LDP view on 2011 budgets, tax reform, and balancing the books


With gross national debt nearing 200% of the GDP and tax revenue (¥40.1 trillion) predicted to cover just 43% of national expenditures (¥93.1 trillion) in FY2011, Japan was in poor fiscal shape even before the disasters of 11 March.  After the earthquake, a first extraordinary budget of ¥4 trillion passed the Diet on 5 May, and another package – perhaps as big as ¥15-20 trillion - will be debated in coming weeks.