Research Commitee Report
2003 Fiscal Report of the Research Committee on "Global Strategy for Japanese Eco Businesses"
This article is to outline the summary of the captioned committee report upon its completion.


Japanese eco-businesses have lost profitability due to the excess competition among Japanese companies, and severe price competition with Korean and local companies. Their business practices also tend to concentrate on the sales of hardware, while holding weaker foundation to compete in software. They are apt to rely heavily on the availability of public funds such as Yen loans, and as a result have developed the tendency to take in higher costs and excess specification. Their ability to transmit information, to conduct local survey, and to manage risks are weaker. While European and American eco business companies are trying to conquer East Asian market through strategic approaches, Japan remains with underdeveloped system to cross-cuttingly aggregate, mutually link, and mobilize the broader range of measures, including study and survey, technology transfer promotion, human resource development, and financial assistance.

What Japanese eco-businesses need to do is to improve profitability by developing product qualities conforming to the local needs, promoting localization, and increasing product marketability with enhanced customer satisfaction, with the consideration to the national situation of each country in a different developmental stage. It will be also important to share the vision and strategic significance of the technological cooperation with the East Asia as a whole. Moreover, Japan needs to secure the trust of other countries by presenting an "all Japan" proposal to solve issues covering system software export and the issues of upstream..

Furthermore, Japan must cooperate with universities and aid agencies, recruit local experts, obtain information through the support for local survey activities and decision-making on environmental policies, and educate people who may have know how on environmental service sector. If Japan is to export the tools of environmental marketing using IT, business models for environmental burden reduction, the methods of environmental education, and a model for environmentally conservative lifestyle, thereby providing the benefits of environmental burden reduction and the improved quality of life for developing countries, then it will be the greatest contribution to the international community. In addition, one must not forget that that the greening led by the private companies, the fundamental review of management policies, and the concept of business executives will accelerate the reform.

Environmental cooperation is a key element of efforts to develop closer partnership between different nations. It is preferable to further promote exporters' efforts for market development by stressing the importance of national interests in aid policies. Concerning the governmental development aids, Japan should design and develop projects conforming to the needs of Japanese companies. Deregulation to enable the shift of focus from request-by-partner type to Japanese-Government-proposing type aids will be preferred to allow Japan play a leading role in JI and CDM. The greening of financial functions to value environmental conservation and to promote environmental consideration among companies will have a significant role, also. moreover, it will be essential to fully publicize information at every level, and to make it clear to developing countries the availability of Japanese environmental technology, for which Japan has the strongest edge. Today, Japan is at the turning point in review of its total strategy, from the pursuit of individual appropriateness to the adoption of overall appropriateness.

List of Research Committee members

Dr. Ryoichi Yamamoto Professor, Center for Collaborative Research, University of Tokyo
Committee Members
Dr. Terue Ohashi The International School of Economics and Business Administration, Reitaku University
Junya Kisanuki Director, International Projects Department, NEDO
Michikazu Kojima Research Fellow, Development Studies Department, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
Hideki Nakahara Professor, Faculty of Environmental & Information Studies, Musashi Institute of Technology
Yoshio Nakamura Director, Asian Cooperation Division Trade and Economic Cooperation Department, JETRO
Atsuro Ban Deputy General Manager, Electric Machinery Plant & Project Business Unit, Mitsui & CO,LTD
Norihisa Hoshino General Manager, Plant Coordination Group International Trade Administration Division, Japan Machinery Center for Trade and Investment
Masanao Maeda Director General, Policy Planning Department, Development Bank of Japan
Toshiya Murata Deputy General Manager, Business Development Planning Office, Chiyoda Corporation
Yoichi Morita Managing Director, Fujikasui Engineering Co, Ltd.
Eisuke Kumano President, Amita Co., Ltd.
Hirotochi Kunitomo Director, Environmental Industries Office, Environmental Policy Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Hisanori Nei Director, Technical Cooperation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Tsutomu Murasaki, Director, International Projects Promotion Office, Industrial Machinery Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Kotaro Kimura Executive Director, Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute
Shozaburo Honne Director, Secretary General, Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute
Hiroshi Odawara General Manager, Global Environment Department,
(As of March 31, 2004)

Contents of the Report

Chapter 1 Summary by the Chair (Chairman Yamamoto)
Chapter 2 Contribution to International community through environmental marketing using IT (Committee Member Ohashi)
Chapter 3 NEDO's international projects and global strategy of eco businesses (Committee Member Kisanuki)
Chapter 4 Human resource development to carry out the collaboration between industries, government, academics and NGOs (Committee Member Kojima)
Chapter 5 For building a circular society in Asia - Mainly with recycling (Committee Member Kojima)
Chapter 6 Environmental measures of private companies and their social acceptance (Committee Member Nakahara)
Chapter 7 Support for system introduction - Cases of Thailand and Indonesia (Committee Member Nakamura)
Chapter 8 Project Risks - Their analysis and countermeasures (Committee Member Ban)
Chapter 9 Waste Treatment in Asian region (Committee Member Hoshino)
Chapter 10 Greening of financial functions and environment-considerate finance (Committee Member Maeda)
Chapter 11 To build infrastructure to create eco market (Committee Member Murata)
Chapter 12 Overseas deployment of environmental engineering (Committee Member Morita)
Chapter 13 Treatment Companies in the South East Asia (Lecturer Kumano)