Table Speech


Initiation Speech

January 21, 2009

Mr. Ryoki Sugita,
Mr. Yasuo Hayashi

“The Turbulent Media Industry and the Nikkei Newspaper’s Response”

Mr. Ryoki Sugita,
Chairma & CEO of Nikkei Inc.

 The impact of the global financial crisis that was triggered by the subprime loan problem in the United States has dealt a serious blow to the Japanese media industry. In particular, the impact of the decline in advertising has been significant. In addition, the structural change taking place in the advertising market has been a contributing factor. The first such change is the loss of advertising share by existing media to the emergence of internet advertising as well as reduction of advertising expenses. The second is the change in the corporate focus toward Asia. This is an outflow of advertising overseas associated with globalization. These changes will continue even if the current recession ends. Over the next 5 to 10 years, there is the likelihood that a wave of reorganizations and weeding out in the newspaper industry will take place.
 To respond to the above changes, the Nikkei Newspaper has been active in starting operation of an electronic newspaper but we remain confident that our position as the principal media source in the paper-based newspaper business will remain unchallenged.
 A particularly significant feature of the Japanese newspaper industry is the readiness of an individual door to door paper delivery system. This system provides newspaper companies with a stable revenue base.
 Readers’ confidence level in newspaper-based information remains strong, and nothing will shake that confidence easily. The issue to be reckoned with is the relationship between newspapers and digital media. Reading the news is the objective of many viewers of major internet sites. Most online articles are those that have been purchased by the major internet providers from newspaper companies and news agencies. These news sources provide the articles at a relatively low price, and in return appear to be encouraging the shift to newspaper advertising.
 The Nikkei Newspaper does not have any intention in the future to provide major online media companies with articles. We would like to think about our digital strategy toward readers as not the simple choice between paper and digital media, but one in which fee-based digital media will complement paper newspapers.
 If we can successfully exploit the emergence of the internet, I think we can present the new appeal of newspapers as an intellectual infrastructure supporting the lives of the people. This is the mission that has been put forth for the newspaper industry.

“JETRO’s Measures for the Vitalization of the Japanese Economy”

Mr. Yasuo Hayashi,
Chairman of JETRO

 Today I would like to talk about JETRO’s “Promoting Foreign Investment into Japan” and “Protection of Intellectual Property Rights”.
 Supported by many large M&A transactions, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into Japan during fiscal 2007 recorded a historical high. The fiscal-end balance of FDI into Japan has risen from 2.5% in the preceding year to 2.9% as a percentage of GDP. However, since entering 2008, FDI has declined through November by 27% year-on-year. The share of the FDI’s balance to GDP is low and ranks 195th among 200 countries in the world, which is at almost the same level as Iran or Iraq.
JETRO is the only agency that possesses the capability of providing a one-stop center for the promotion of investment into Japan. Over the past 5 years, JETRO has provided support to over 500 companies in establishing their Japanese business bases. JETRO has also begun to attract Middle Eastern investment funds as part of our activities for the future.
  On the other hand, the issues of infringement of intellectual property right are most prevalent in China. They involve a wide variety of areas, including general consumer goods such as daily sundry items, foods, and agricultural chemicals. The “International Intellectual Property Protection Forum (IIPPF)”, for which JETRO serves as the secretariat, is the largest intellectual property protection group in Japan, and has had a series of discussions with the Chinese government over the past several years based on the basic stance of “cooperation and request” regarding improvements in the two countries’ relationship.
 Since there is “Regional Protectionism” in China, a diplomatic approach at the regional government level is required as well as at the central government level. This is likely to be a time consuming exercise. Recently, the distribution channels for forged goods have been expanding. Therefore, we request the physical distribution bases of India, the Middle East, and Africa to combat the illegal activities with the help of local law enforcement authorities.
 In addition, domestically JETRO holds seminars to educate and spread knowledge about forged goods. Overseas we have been providing counseling services to companies through establishing counseling centers for damages suffered because of forged and pirated versions of articles. At the individual level, JETRO provides financial support to companies who have suffered damages because of expenses involved in the investigation and identification of manufacturers or distribution routes of forged products.
 JETRO provides support to Japan’s corporate activities and makes contributions to the vitalization of the Japanese economy.