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|Sunday, November 22, 2009|
Q Welcome to Oregon. Thoughts so far?
A I can understand why there are so many people attracted to Oregon because of the lifestyle here. To my excitement, just some weeks ago, Japanese-American people here kindly invited my wife and me to go matsutake mushroom hunting at the foot of Mt. Hood. Unfortunately I could not find a single matsutake, but my heart was filled with happiness and gratitude to them.
Q What is your primary focus?
A Our main duties are wide ranging, and include political, economic, cultural and consular matters. In short, our offices are a mini embassy rather than a mere consulate office, and our ultimate goal is to make the relationship between Japan and this state much closer in every aspect.
Q Who have you been working with so far?
A The state government and the Portland city government are quite serious about developing bilateral ties with Japan. We are closely collaborating with these governments for better ties with Japan. In mid October, the mayor of Portland and his team headed for Japan seeking a new area of investment and collaborative relationships. We are prepared to collaborate with anybody who is seeking better ties with Japan. I wish to meet people — anyone who wants to see me. I want to learn from as many people in this state as I can. That is my job.
Q What are the strong points of Oregon and Japan’s business relationship?
A Oregon has become an important export base of agricultural products like grains to Japan. Many major Japanese trading houses own gigantic grain elevators in this state. Since the 1980s, Japanese IT-related companies have made forays into the U.S. market and established manufacturing bases here. Some companies succeeded, and some others withdrew after intense competition with American IT companies.
Q Any emerging areas?
A The new focus is on clean and green industries. Japanese eco-businesses, like solar panels or EV [electric vehicle] makers are attracted to this state, thanks to the strong and innovative initiatives of the state and the municipal governments. I am happy to know that Oregon is one of the most advanced states in the whole U.S. in terms of ecological awareness. These are exactly the fields Japanese industry has a strong competitive edge in and can contribute to the future U.S. economy. We think it’s important for our office to play a catalytic role to encourage such mutually beneficial trends.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
As retailers consolidate and newspapers fold, the business of modeling shifts to ad agencies, apparel companies and new media.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
SEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO). Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BY MARK BLAINE | OB BLOGGER
The publisher of the Emerald Media Group moves on, leaving a cutting edge media group that depends on business acumen for its survival.
Friday, February 28, 2014
The 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Health care and vacations rule. That’s the consensus from our reader poll on workplace benefits that help retain and recruit employees.
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