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The debate on allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense under specific conditions had its most recent highlight on Thursday. Prime Minister Abe gave a well-prepared press conference on the topic, another display of professional communications of the Abe government.

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Tokyo Selected as Smartest City of the World

May 16th, 2014 - 0 Comments

Tokyo has come out on top in the selection as the smartest city of the world done by the Spanish business school IESE. According to the IESE Cities in Motion Index Tokyo came in first followed by London and New York. Living in and loving this amazing city it comes not as a too big surprise to me. But I had thought that the world will take note of Tokyo's benefits only around 2020, the year of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Tokyo was chosen to be best for "human capital," but came in 20th in terms of "the environment" and only  125th for "social cohesion" -- a dimension in which half of the world's top 10 cities fall short. But the ultimate message remains the same - No. 1 overall - Congratulations!



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My Thoughts in Japan Times on Industry 4.0

May 11th, 2014 - 0 Comments

Please find my most recent column in today's Japan Times. I argue that recent changes in German (and global) manufacturing summarized under the term Industry 4.0 are of enormous significance for Japan, both as an opportunity and as a threat.

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Abe Talks Big on Defense Exchanges in Europe

May 10th, 2014 - 0 Comments

Prime Minister Abe just finished his week-long trip to six European countries. Probably, his biggest achievement was the agreement to further speed up talks of the EU-Japan economic partnership agreement. In addition, he invested most of his energy to explain the Japan position in the regional conflict with China. But, or should I say and, there was also major talk on future defense equipment exchanges.

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Dubious Testimonial over Nanjing

May 10th, 2014 - 0 Comments

The Japan Times just reported a major dispute over former New York Times Tokyo Bureau Chief Henry Stokes' recent Japanese book on Nanjing. It appears that the book on the British journalist's view on what happened in Nanjing 1937/1938 contains outright right-wing positions, which have been ""smuggled"" into the book and attributed to Stokes by his Japanese collaborators on the book, in particular translator Hiroyuki Fujita.

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Gearing Up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

May 6th, 2014 - 0 Comments

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will probably become a milestone for the international re-positioning of Japan. For sure, they will give a prominent platform for single industries and companies to demonstrate their power.

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Industry 4.0 - Japan Might Miss the Train

April 23rd, 2014 - 0 Comments

The fourth industrial revolution that merges the industrial infrastructure with the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing will come. Nobody knows exactly when and how. But over the last weeks, I have noticed a rapidly growing interest in Japan about what Germany is doing in this area.

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I have written a lot about Japan's foreign policy and its perception abroad in this blog. I also strongly recommend another piece by Robert Dujarric published in The Diplomat. While I don't subscribe to all arguments presented here, there are many good and interesting ones. The most important one probably is that Japanese politicians should listen more to real friends, especially to those who also offer critical opinions.

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You/I might not like it. But China is doing a better job than Japan in winning over global public opinion in the ongoing two countries' regional conflict. Please find some of my brief thoughts on this topic in the most recent issue of Eurobiz.

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Japanese Buying Spree Abroad Continues

April 7th, 2014 - 0 Comments

Another record: Never before Japanese companies have bought as many foreign firm as they did in 2013. And there is no end of this trend in sight.

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