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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.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner. The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER
Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge in an attempt to prevent a ship from heading to the Arctic.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY
Ben Kaiser holds his ground.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.