Diet Doorknock

Source: ACCJ Journal

Each year, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) undertakes its Diet Doorknock (DDK) advocacy initiative, during which chamber leaders meet and collaborate with Japanese govern­ment officials. Described by ACCJ Government Relations Committee Vice-Chair Mark Davidson as “the most important advocacy activity of the ACCJ, year after year,” the DDK allows the chamber to lead conversation on US–Japan relations, speaking with policy­makers and influential government officials who have the power to act on recommen­da­tions. The most recent DDK took place November 13–21.

Davidson said the ACCJ approaches these meetings as a partner of the Japanese government rather than a separate entity. All ACCJ efforts, he added, are focused on the betterment of Japan, anticipating that benefits will flow from the Japanese economy to participating US ventures.

ACCJ President Sachin N. Shah said: “Our message is one of confidence to resolve issues between the two economies today to focus on future value for both partner nations in the bilateral trade discussions. With 70 years of working with both US and Japanese administrations, we are confident to identify opportunities for business to realize significant progress in the economic partnership and strengthen this cornerstone of the US–Japan alliance.”

This win-win approach has allowed the DDK to run effectively for more than 20 years.

The November 2018 DDK marked the 23rd anniversary of the discussions, with 70 representatives of the ACCJ and 38 Diet members taking part. The agenda was guided by the ACCJ’s five advocacy pillars:

  • US–Japan Economic Partnership
  • Health and Retirement
  • Digital Economy
  • Tourism, Sports, and Hospitality
  • Workforce Productivity

As each Diet member is invested in representing the interests of their district, a wide variety of topics were covered. Given Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s goal of 40 million inbound tourists by 2020, tourism and travel were heavily discussed areas. This goal works in the interest of the ACCJ, which …continue reading