Japan's investment scene is fueling excitement across the business media. On June 13th, the Nikkei 225 crossed the symbolic milestone of 33,000 yen during trading hours, the first time in 33 years. By early July, the index value was holding steady. Semiconductor and electronics companies are driving the upward trend as lavish public spending in the high-tech industry starts to pay dividends. Under PM Kishida, 2 trillion yen over two years has been earmarked for chip technology support, including a 476 billion yen subsidy for TSMC's new facility in Kumamoto.
There are other factors at play that have sparked this renewed interest in investment in Japan. A cheap yen - once again approaching the 150 per dollar mark - makes acquiring Japanese stocks a tantalising prospect. Western capitalists, such as Warren Buffet, have drawn attention to the long-term stability of Japanese assets, especially as the US once again dodged an otherwise catastrophic debt-ceiling collapse.
What are the implications for businesses already on the ground of this newfound enthusiasm for investment in Japan? How will it benefit country heads in Tokyo who can now justify the claim that growth is in sight? As Japanese assets are purchased by foreign investors, will this trickle down to long-overdue improvements in corporate governance, such as the seniority promotion system and tepid wage growth?
Japan could be on the cusp of a promising decade of increased FDI, supported by resilient domestic consumption, political effectiveness, and technological readiness. Join us at this event to hear more about what we see as one of the most promising developments in Japan's business world.
8:00 AM - 8:20 AM
Registration and Networking
8:20 AM - 9:30 AM
Panel discussion and Q&A
Director, Chair of the Board at Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc.
Seiji Inagaki is the Chair of the Board of Dai-ichi Life Holdings (DLHD) and Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co Ltd (DLIC) since April, 2023. He joined The Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Company (currently DLHD) in April 1986. He had been the President of both DLIC and DLHD since 2017, before he took his current position in 2023. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Keio University in Japan.
Director of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan
Fujiko Amano is Director for Investment Collaboration at the Investment Facilitation Division, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan ("METI"). She handles policy-making for foreign direct investment promotion jointly with the "Invest Japan" Office of the Cabinet Office and undertakes deregulatory projects, serving as a contact point for foreign corporations and foreign entities in Japan. She brings a unique mixture of public and private sector experiences in trade and investment as well as public policy and regulatory fields.
Prior to joining METI, she has served as a trade negotiator for the Japan-EU EPA and the Japan-China-Korea FTA at the Economic Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and has held management positions at multinational corporations and international organizations, including Vodafone and Japan-ASEAN Centre. As a New York licensed lawyer, she also has practiced law at Shearman & Sterling, Jones Day and Sidley Austin. She holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College, a law degree from the University of Oxford, and a Msc. from the London School of Economics.
Representative Director of The Board Director Training Institute of Japan
Nicholas Benes is head of a special type of government-certified non-profit, "The Board Director Training Institute of Japan" (BDTI), which provides director training and "big data" for corporate disclosure in Japan. He has served as an investment banker at JP Morgan, founder of his own M&A advisory firm, and has 15 years of experience as an independent director on a number of Japanese corporate boards. Mr Benes holds a JD-MBA degree from UCLA and is an inactive member of the bar in California and New York. In 2010, he led a project at the ACCJ which laid the analytical and policy groundwork for Abenomics' "third arrow", structural reform. In 2013, he proposed that the creation of a corporate governance code be included in the LDP’s growth strategy, to be implemented by the Financial Services Agency (FSA). He then advised members of the diet and the FSA, with regard to the content of Japan’s first corporate governance code
Nicholas Smith has ranked No.1 for Japan strategy in Asiamoney’s Brokers Poll eight years in a row from 2013 to 2020, then again in 2022. He writes a popular weekly strategy report called Benthos, which means the creatures that live at the bottom of the sea - bottom-fishing - reflecting a focus on not overpaying for growth, as well as his passion for deep trimix rebreather diving. Nicholas has been in Japan since 1986, covering Japanese equities since 1990. He first came to Japan as British Universities and Royal Navy & Royal Marines judo champion, before joining Jardine Fleming Securities in the tumult of 1990. During his 10 years there, he ranked No.1 in the chemicals & oil sector and was head of the global chemicals & oil team. He then worked for four years in hedge funds, making investments across all sectors. Nicholas joined CLSA in 2011. He has a BSc in Physics from London University and is fluent in Japanese.
Director, Tokyo of Economist Intelligence Corporate Network
Rodrigo González is the Director for Tokyo of Economist Intelligence Corporate Network.
He works closely with regional business leaders to assist them in economic and market trends, business competitiveness, monetary and fiscal policy and general economic advisory to help them optimise their business strategies and further enhance their connections to their c-suite peers.
He has vast experience in statistical analysis, strategy consulting and market research in different industries in and outside Japan. Rodrigo is a published author in environmental and transport economics and has spoken at international conferences in global warming and fiscal policy throughout the world.
Rodrigo holds a PhD in Economics from Keio University and is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Japanese.