Kansai International Airport

Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of the Airport’s Opening

Kansai International Airport–or “Kankū” in its familiar abbreviation–celebrated its twentieth anniversary on September 4. When the airport first opened, it mainly served domestic business customers and tourists. Nowadays, overseas tourists from Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan and elsewhere account for 40% of its international airline passengers. Twenty years have passed since the airport opened. Kankū had aimed to become the “hub airport of Asia,” but it has stepped up its presence to become a “gateway airport of Japan.”

Kankuu-Singapore Airlines

“Inbound” is the Key Word

Kankū lagged behind its rival airports for a considerable period of time. Last year, however, a record high of nearly five million foreigners used the airport. Two years ago, Kankū successfully brought in one of the low-cost carriers (LLCs), Peach Aviation. Subsequently, the Chinese LCC Spring Japan decided to set up a base in Kankū. Given such successful strategies to introduce LCCs, Kankū has experienced a surge of inbound travelers from overseas, primarily Asian.

The strength of Kankū is its location. The choice of Kankū as a base allows proximity to not only Kyoto and Nara, which are Japan’s dominant tourist spots, but also Mount Kōya, which has received great attention as a World Cultural Heritage site, and Nanki Shirahama, which is a popular coastal scenic destination and hot-spring site. Kankū has successively developed its twentieth-anniversary collaborative projects with railway companies and travel agencies, trying to boost the number of tourists who utilize the airport.

From a Hub Airport to a Gateway Airport

The Japanese government has set a target of attracting 20 million tourists annually by 2020, the year when the Tokyo Olympics will be held. In addition to Narita Airport and Haneda Airport, the plan is to beef up Kankū’s function so that the increase in visitors can be accommodated. The Tokyo metropolitan area will not be big enough to receive 20 million overseas visitors on its own. Kankū will therefore assume an important role, as it is approximately an hour closer from Asian countries than Narita and Haneda are.

Kankū has seized its opportunity to emerge. By absorbing the remarkable growth in travelers and cargo from Asia (in comparison to Europe or the United States), Kankū will enhance its value, transitioning from a hub airport to a gateway airport. Leveraging its 20 years of experience, Kansai International Airport will continue to thrive.

The key is to bring in travelers from Asia.

Kankuu - Thai Airways

Shibusawa Memorial Museum

Tracing the Footsteps of Seien

Seasonally different appeals of Shibusawa Memorial Museum Exhibitions

Eiichi Shibusawa, also known as Seien, is considered the father of capitalism in Japan. He was instrumental in the country’s economic growth, having persuaded Japan to adopt Western cultures and systems following the Meiji Restoration. As we welcome the new year, it is time for us to think of the future and renew our ambition. As I write this, it may be a good idea to reflect on the great accomplishments of Shibusawa and get in touch with his ideas.

Memorial Museum on Former “Aii Sonsou” Site

Shibusawa Memorial Museum is located in a corner of Asukayama Park in Kita-ku, Tokyo. Shibusawa Shiryokan


Eiichi Shibusawa was born on March 16, 1840 in Fukaya-shi, Saitama Prefecture. He came from an affluent farming family that not only grew crops but also produced and sold indigo (leaf) ball (dye). Young Eiichi advocated reverence to the Emperor and plotted with his comrades to attack the Takasaki Castle and burn a settlement in Yokohama. However, he realized that bloodshed was not the best way to realize his vision of “changing the world” and decided not to execute the plot. Thereafter, Eiichi traveled to Europe as a vassal of the fifteenth shogun, Yoshinobu Tokugawa. Upon his return to Japan, he was recognized for his achievements of establishing a business that became a model for joint stock organization, and was thereby appointed as a government official. Eiichi initiated various institutional reforms and later accomplished numerous feats as a private citizen and businessman, including the establishment of a bank.

150-Year-Old Soap

The museum has interesting exhibitions where you can learn about Eiichi. Eiichi quickly adopted the Western clothing he saw in Europe. The first area displays the old books Eiichi reportedly read when young, as well as accounting records showing that he helped the family business. The next area showcases the records of his attendance at the World Expo in Paris as a vassal of the shogun. Particularly, the photographs of Eiichi with a topknot reminiscent of the Edo period and wearing a tuxedo to attend the World Expo lead one to think. We realize how flexible he was in trying to assimilate foreign culture, and we see how advanced the Western world was compared to Japan at the time. We also see the actual soap Eiichi brought back to Japan. When Shibukawa arrived the West, instantly he chaged his dress

Eiichi the Government Official

The third area compiles the documents and items from the time Eiichi worked for the government. He handled the affairs of the state together with Shigenobu Okuma, Toshimichi Okubo and Hirobumi Ito. There is also evidence showing that Eiichi worked as an administrative supervisor at the government-operated Tomioka Silk Mill, which is now a world heritage site.

Achievements in the Business World

After retiring from the Finance Ministry, Eiichi promoted banking in Japan as the president of First National Bank. Subsequently, he established or nurtured approximately 500 companies. The fourth area contains a panel exhibition depicting some of the 500 companies. We see a list of companies that still have significant influence today, and the depth of impact Eiichi made on the Japanese economy is very clear. Exhibitions in other areas tell stories about Eiichi, who was not only a businessman but also a devotee to civil exchange with other countries and a contributor to education and welfare. When he died at the age of 91 (November 11, 1931), newspapers and radio stations ran headline stories about him, and many people gathered at the funeral service to bid him farewell. We also see photographs and other records of his funeral.

Important Cultural Properties of Japan

Bankoro and Seien Bunko are the must-see buildings in the Old Shibusawa Garden. Bankoro integrates Japanese and Western architectural styles. Primarily made of chestnut, the building, which appears very Japanese from the outside, contains a fireplace and other features characteristic of Western houses. On the other hand, Seien Bunko boasts beautiful decorative tiles and stained glass featuring “crossed oak leaves in a circle,” which was the emblem of the Shibusawa family. Standing inside the building, one is overwhelmed by deep emotions, knowing that Eiichi entertained Chiang Kai Shek and other foreign dignitaries here. Shibusawa Memorial Museum periodically organizes special exhibitions in addition to its permanent exhibitions. In visiting this personal museum, each of us–including business owners–can learn a thing or two from Eiichi Shibusawa. Shibusawa Memorial Museum - Exhibition room [Facility Information] Shibusawa Memorial Museum, 2-16-1 Nishigahara, Kita-ku, Tokyo; TEL: 03-3910-0005

It’s not just Udon! Kagawa’s Little Known Specialty Product

Kagawa Prefecture rose to fame for its “Sanuki udon,” and is also known as the smallest prefecture in Japan, but there is another product made here that accounts for 90% of domestic production volume. There is always at least one present at the home or work place, and it’s something everyone has used at some point to start a charcoal fire at a barbeque or to keep cool. It is the “Uchiwa” fan. They are produced in Marugame city of Kagawa Prefecture, and it is said that approximately 90 million fans are shipped annually.


The Uchiwa Business that Supported Marugame

Uchiwas have a long history, first mentioned in ancient text as a referee’s fan during the era of Prince Shotoku, as well as in legend as an item brought back from Tang by Jianzhen.

Uchiwas were first produced in Marugame City during the Edo period.

In 1633, the chief priest of the Konko-in Temple of Kotohira-gu Shrine suggested the uchiwa, which was a novelty at the time, as a souvenir for the Konpira Pilgrimage to the Ikoma clan, who had been governing Marugame at the time. The lord then invited artisans from Nara Prefecture, known as the uchiwa’s place of production, and began to create uchiwa with a bamboo frame and encircled symbol for “gold.” This is said to be the origin of uchiwa production.

Financial circumstances were tight when the Kyogoku clan took over, and uchiwa making was promoted as an industrial development to establish a financial base. During the Ansei era, it is said that 800,000 uchiwas were manufactured annually. In the Meiji Era, the first corporate organization in the uchiwa industry was established, transitioning the business from a home industry to mass production. In the Taisho era, the invention of machines to cut and pierce bamboo dramatically increased production, bringing recognition to the region as the top uchiwa production site in Japan. After the World War II, a machine to manufacture plastic uchiwa frames was invented, transitioning the product from bamboo to plastic. As more households began to use electric fans and air conditioning systems, uchiwas evolved from a household item to an item used for a variety of things such as promotional items for businesses and props used to cheer on popular idols.

The Traditional Marugame Uchiwa

Spreading Tradition with the “Winds” of the Times

Business performance worsened after the bubble economy period, and as uchiwa uses for marketing and promotion decreased, unit price was negatively impacted. The uchiwa industry had entered a period of winter. However, due to the nuclear accident caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tokyo implemented planned power outages in response to the power shortage caused by the shutdown of nuclear reactors. At the same time, awareness of energy-saving measures

heightened. Uchiwa were brought into focus at that time, and production could not keep up with the number of orders that were coming in. The uchiwa industry in the region was revitalized.

However, the uchiwa manufacturing industry does not see this as a long lasting trend. In reality, the orders for uchiwa in 2013 did not surpass the previous year’s. This may be the result of the energy-saving mindset and the novelty of uchiwa gradually wearing off over time.

For some time, the region has been putting efforts into boosting demand by providing various products including completely paper uchiwa, product that uses biodegradable plastic frames, and other environmentally conscious products.


Full Repo Eng

国内外資系企業は 3189 社

~ 6 年ぶりの減少ながら、3 年連続で 3 千社を上回る ~


政府が成長戦略の 1 つとして対内直接投資の活性化を掲げているなか、地方自治体においても外資の誘致を進める動きが広がっている。また、国内で多くの業種と取引を行っている企業にとって、政策への対応や新たなビジネスパートナーとして外資系企業の動向は注目を集めている。 帝国データバンクでは、企業概要データベース「COSMOS2」に収録されている 144 万社のデータを基に、外国資本が発行済み株式の 25%以上を所有する外資系企業の動向を調査した。 調査時点は、2001 年から 2013 年までとし(各年 12 月時点)、「業種別」「売上高別」「都道府県別」に分析した。 1pg graph 1.2013 年の外資系企業は 3189 社、前年比 0.6%減 2013 年の日本における外資系企業は 3189 社あり、前年比 0.6%減と 6 年ぶりの減少となった。外資系企業は 2001 年の 1754 社から横ばい状態が続いていたが、2008 年に 2058 社、2009 年に 2795社と増加していき、2012 年の 3209 社まで 5 年連続で増加した。2001 年(1754 社)と比較すると1.8 倍に増加している。 特に、2008 年は前年までの円安進行にともない海外企業による日本企業への投資環境が改善し、7 兆円を超える対内投資が行われた。北米企業による投資が依然として多いが、中国企業による日本市場への参入が大きく伸びたこともあり、外資系企業数は 30%以上の増加を示した。 pdf_Page_2 2. 業種別 ― 非製造業が全体の 86.4%、「電気機械器具卸売業」が 249 社 製造業と非製造業の比較では、2001 年に 348 社であった外資系製造業者は、08 年まで 300 社台で推移したのち、09 年 485 社、10 年 467 社、11 年 470 社、12 年 467 社、13 年 435 社になったことが判明、前年比で 32 社、6.9%の減少となり、2 年連続の減少となった。他方、外資系非製造業は、01 年の 1406 社から 07 年に 1255 社まで減少したが、08 年以降は、08 年 1674 社、09 年 2310社、10 年 2519 社、11 年 2638 社、12 年 2742 社と推移し、13 年は卸売業、不動産業など増加したことから 2754 社となり、6 年連続の増加となった。 業種別でみると、2001 年以降、卸売業が全体の 50%前後を占めているものの、構成比は 04 年の 56.7%をピークに徐々に下がり続け、13 年は 48.6%となった。逆に、構成比が上昇しているのは 01 年から 13 年までに 3.2ポイント上昇した「広告・調査・情報サービス業」(254 社、8.0%)を含むサービス業が 23.1%と外資系企業の 4 社に 1 社を占めた。 業種細分類でみると、半導体製品・ネットワークシステム等輸入販売のインテル(東京)やサムスン電子ジャパン(東京)などを含む「電気機械器具卸売業(家庭用を除く)」(249 社、7.8%)がトップとなったほか、オンラインゲーム配信のネクソン(東証1部、東京)などを含む「他に分類されないその他の事業サービス業」(139 社、4.4%)や「精密機械器具卸売業」(101 社、3.2%)などが目立った。 3 of 1 3.  売上高別 ― 売上高「50 億円未満」が2417 社でトップ、大企業では製造と卸売で 6 割を占める 外資系企業を売上高別にみると、売上高「50 億円未満」が 2417 社(構成比 76.4%)でトップ。次いで「100 億円以上 500 億円未満」(337 社、同10.7%)が続いた。また、売上高 1000 億円以上の大企業 72 社のうち、製造業と卸売業がともに 23 社で、2 業種で 6 割以上を占めている。 前年と比較すると、2012 年は売上高「50 億円未満」が大幅に増加する傾向にあったが、13 年は逆に売上高 500 億円未満、とりわけ製造業、小売業、医療業などで企業数が減少した。 3 of 2 主な外資系企業(2013 年 12 月時点。金融・保険を除く)をみると、1999 年に仏ルノーと資本提携し、同社の傘下に入った日産自動車(2013 年 3 月期、3 兆 5262 億円)、石油精製業の昭和シェル石油(2012 年 12 月期、2 兆 4578 億円)、ソフト開発に特化している日本アイ・ビー・エム(2012年 12 月期、8499 億円)などがある。 4of1 4. 都道府県別 ― 「東京都」が全体の 7 割 都道府県別に見ると、「東京都」が 2249 社(70.5%)でトップとなり、全体の 7 割を占めた。2位は「神奈川県」(280 社、8.8%)、3位は「大阪府」(150 社、4.7%)。以下、「埼玉県」の 64 社(2.0%)、「愛知県」の 63 社(2.0%)、「兵庫県」の 57 社(1.8%)、「千葉県」の 45 社(1.4%)の順となった。 4of2 5. まとめ 2013 年の日本における外資系企業は 3189 社で 6 年ぶりに減少した。業種別では非製造業、とりわけ不動産業と卸売業で増加した。卸売業が全体の 5 割前後を占めているほか、「広告・調査・情報サービス業」を含むサービス業も外資系企業の 4 社に 1 社にのぼっている。また、日本への進出企業は 76.4%が売上高 50 億円未満であり、外資系企業の多くが徐々に日本市場に対応する方針をとっていることがうかがえる。ただし、地域でみると東京都だけで 7 割を超えるなど、関東圏に集中している。 政府は成長戦略で対日投資を 2020 年までに現在の 2 倍にあたる 35 兆円とすることを目標に掲げている。外資系企業の日本における活動が円滑に進むための整備とともに、活力ある日本経済を示すことが重要といえる。

400 Year since Takada Bakufu was Founded

PDF Full Report


Let us introduce you to the city of Joetsu, which this year is reaching a major landmark of the 400 year anniversary since the foundation of Takada Bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). Joetsu is located in the southwestern section of Niigata prefecture (Joetsu region) and has the establishment of Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train coming up in the spring of next year. Joestu is a city that was established when the two cities of Takada and Noetsu merged in April, 1971. With the great merger that took place later on during the Heisei period (1989 – ) , the population grew to approximately 200,000, making Joetsu a central city in the Joestu region, as well as the city that possesses the third largest population in Niigata prefecture.

~Abundant events for the landmark~                   July 5th of this year marks the 400 year anniversary of the foundation of Takada Bakufu, and thus, the city of Joetsu is planning to hold extensive Bakufu foundation commemoration events throughout the year. These events will be held mainly around July 5th.

Takada Bakufu 400 Year Anniversary Festival is planned to have events such as a memorial ceremony, exciting Takada castle town free market, Iroha Hime Princess’ marital parade, Takada Castle Mount exploratory walk, The Tale of Three Castles certification test, and the midsummer snow festival with Takada Park functioning as the main stage.

The Takada Bakufu 400 Year Anniversary Commission perceives the 400th year anniversary of the Takada Bakufu foundation as “a year to start a new city development”, hoping to transmit the appeals of Joetsu to the rest of Japan by having each citizen possess confidence and pride in the region. Furthermore, other objectives are preserving heritages for the future and for citizens to learn about the history of their hometown and tradition.

Since the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train is planned for next year, the city will focus its attention on spreading the information out, seeing the 400th year anniversary as not just a temporary event, but as the biggest opportunity for establishing the city as a center of tourism. It is anticipated that this 400th year milestone will become a beginning of a new chapter for the city.

~Appeals of Joetsu not just limited to the castle~              In addition, Joetsu is famous nationwide for its Takada Castle Cherry Blossom Viewing for a Million People event.  Currently, approximately 4,000 cherry blossom trees bloom in the spring. The beautiful sight of these cherry blossoms lit up by approximately 3,000 lanterns and the illuminated Takada Castle Mie Yagura towers reflected on the moat is praised as one of the three major night cherry blossom viewings in Japan.

This scenery has been certified as 2013’s (the 9th) “Illuminated Night View Heritage “, in addition to being introduced as one of the five major flower festivals by the U.S. broadcasting network, CNN. Many events are expected to be held in Joetsu from the spring through the summer this year.