The Institute

Research Projects in 2003

(PART 2)

I.  Global Strategy of Japanese Eco-Business

II. Assessment of Corporative Performance in Environmental Issues

III. Industry Measures to Enhance the Competitiveness of Tourism Industry

I.Global Strategy of Japanese Eco-Businesses

1. Background

As the technology transfers to developing countries have shown unsatisfactory progress, the presence of Japanese eco-businesses is shrinking in overseas market.  In order for Japan to regain the top position of eco-businesses in the East Asian region, we need to build a global strategy.  The Committee was established in December 2002 to study this subject, and its members had many heated discussions throughout five sessions held in the fiscal 2002, culminating to several excellent proposals.  The Committee addressed mainly the agenda such as: the ways to localize, to solve issues completely, to study needs, to improve the presence of Japan, and to promote governmental aids.  The study of these agenda was made in views of outer circumstances and inner situation, while reviewing the existing problems.
2. Contents of research activities in fiscal 2003

The Committee is to study different approaches that will contribute to the sustainable development of the East Asian region.  In addition to the surveys conducted in the last fiscal year, the Committee will further deepen the studies in view of the following items: environmental networks, greening of financial institutions, public-private coordination in capacity building activities, greening of supply chains, public relationship strategies, cost reduction, and the establishment of relevant markets.

3. Outline of the Committee and Committee meetings

The Committee is chaired by Prof. Ryoichi Yamamoto, Director of Center for Collaborative Research at the University of Tokyo, and consisted of eco-business experts from private companies, including trading companies, manufacturers, and plant business companies, government institutions, and research institutes such as universities.  Meetings will be held five times from November 2003 till February 2004.

4. Output of the Committee

The Committee will prepare its report of fiscal 2003, by summarizing the result of this year’s study on top of the contents of last year’s report, for the purpose of submitting policy proposals to relevant authorities.

II. Assessment of Corporative Performance in Environmental Issues

1. Brief history

To indicate the corporative performance in environmental issues, few indicators are available such as ISO 14000 series and “Environmental Performance Index,” and we find the increasing number of companies starting to introduce environmental management based on these indicators.  The move toward the environmental rating of companies is gaining momentum, also.  For example, in Japan, there are “Environmental Management Rate Assessment” by Nikkei, and the “Assessment Rating of Environmental Management” by the Sustainable Management Rating Institute (SMRI), and similar ratings are done by Innovest Co., and Dow Jones Co., in the US and Europe.  However, the ratings done by these organizations tend to cover only a part of corporative performance in environmental issues, and not necessarily provide comprehensive assessment.  Therefore, GISPRI conducted the comparison study and current status analysis of these existing standards of environmental performance assessment.

2. Study contents for the fiscal 2003

For the fiscal 2003, the Committee for the above study is to review the standards that can provide the comprehensive and equitable assessment of corporative environmental measures based on the analysis, and make a policy proposal for determining the way of assessment standards on environmental performance, which can become a driving force for promoting environmental measures in industries, such as machinery industry.

3. Committee members

Hisashi Ishitani, Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University

Committee members:
Shuzo Aoki, Director, Sustainable Management Forum of Japan

Hirotoshi Kunitomo, Director, Environmental Industries Office, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Masamitsu Furumuro, President, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Yoshito Nakamura, Manager, Environmental Management Department, Asahi & Co.
Mitsutsune Yamaguchi, Professor, Faculty of Economics, Keio University

Hiroshi Yokoyama, Chief Engineer, Research and Development, Hitachi Ltd.

4. Committee’s output

In its Fiscal 2003 Report, the Committee will summarize its findings including the contents of Fiscal 2002 Report, and plans to provide a policy proposal.

III.Industry measures to enhance the competitiveness of tourism industry

In the 21st century, the tourism industry is expected to grow into a market of a significant scale, leading the world into the age of fierce global competition over this market.

Tourism (receiving visitors = attracting and gathering tourists) will bring economic vitality to rural and urban areas as well as nations.  How each nation or region explores such business opportunities may determine the vitality of that nation or a region.

Under such global trend, we have seen many policy proposals for the last few years on how to promote sightseeing and tourism in Japan, and the Government of Japan itself is developing and implementing the Action Plan, which aims to attract 10 million foreign guests by 2010, and to realize Japan as the tourism country in the future.

Japan only started to address the measures to promote tourism in this new era, and there still remain many issues, which must be addressed and reviewed in the future.

This Research Committee will examine these measures of tourism promotion in the future, in terms of enhancing the competitiveness (power to attract visitors), with a focus on the ways of industry measures (industry strategies) to support tourism from business aspects.

(Major review items)

1. Tourism competitiveness (power to attract visitor) in this new age
  (i) Bases of competitiveness – What attracts people (magnetism)?
  a. Attractiveness of contents
  b. Tactics (stage effects, presentation of themes, etc.)

(ii) Related factors affecting the competitiveness and infrastructure requirement – socio-economic infrastructures to support tourism competitiveness
  a. Pricing (costs of transportation and accommodation), regulatory and institutional factors
  b. Infrastructures to support smoother transportation, public infrastructure for safe and comfortable accommodation, etc.

(iii) Abilities to commercialize, and marketize tourism
Abilities to design and develop attractive commercial products, to marketize, and to provide quality services, will support tourism competitiveness from business aspects.

2. Current situation and problems in Japanese tourism industry’s competitiveness (power to attract visitors)
  (i) Current situation of Japanese tourism industry’s competitiveness in views of locality and regions (as urban and rural areas, and a nation)
(ii) Weak points of Japanese industry’s competitiveness from business aspects
  a. Supplier-oriented and not customer-oriented (insufficient measures in response to increasingly diversified needs of tourism)
  b. Prioritize tour business for Japanese guests
  c.Lack of market-oriented marketing strategy
  d.Weaker ability to remit information to potential foreign tourists (Does Japan have potentials for attracting foreign visitors?) etc.

3. Key points of industry strategies to enhance competitiveness in tourism (power to attract visitors)
  (The Committee will select themes from those listed below.)
(i) The (brand) image of Japan’s attractiveness
  a. Increasing the values of the region through the strategies to emphasize uniqueness and differences
  b. Creating new values of Japan as a nation by the fusion of modern culture and traditional customs

(ii) Developing the functions to convey the message of Japan’s attractiveness
  a. Emphasize customer-oriented marketing strategies
  b. Develop sophistication in expressing Japan’s attractiveness
  c. Association with the emerging “contents” industry

(iii) Power-up the responsiveness to the diversified needs of today’s tourism and address social issues, such as environment and aging society
  a. Tourism for everyone (focus on the tours of individuals, families, aged people, and handicapped)
  b. Sustainability in tourism industry (eco-tourism and green tourism)
  c. Tourism for experiences and learning

(iv) Closer association with event/conventions
Measures to enhance the synergy effects in attracting guests

(v) Innovative tour businesses in Japan
  a. Building a new and more competitive business model (use of IT etc.)
  b. Revitalizing the tourism industry by new entries from other industries and venture businesses

(vi) How to develop human resources who can support sustainability in attracting visitors
  a. Human resource development to support new tourism industry (more hospitality-oriented industry)
  b. Development of human resources who can convey the attractiveness of Japan to foreign visitors (making good use of volunteers and NPOs).