Public Affairs

We provide consulting and solutions which help our clients to communicate with key stakeholders regarding policy and regulatory changes. Our clients range from public bodies to private companies and industry organizations. With many years of experience and a proven track record working with the Japanese government and public sector, Dentsu PR has both deep knowledge and an extensive network.



Dentsu PR’s extensive track record in strategic public affairs:


  • ICT policy recommendations; support in developing presentations to advisory councils, etc.
  • Promoting regulatory relaxation and tax reform; enabling dialogue with experts
  • Shaping local consensus on the establishment of a large-scale facility/plant in the area; risk assessment research
  • Guiding CSR initiatives after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 (support in finding the right NPO/NGO partner)
  • Facilitating public affairs activities for a business association
  • Assisting a BtoC firm in its response to antitrust laws
  • Laying the groundwork for partnerships between NGOs and private enterprises
  • Stakeholder relationship building for  pharmaceutical companies
  • Research on excise tax policy and support with advocacy campaigns against proposed tax hikesetc.


Public affairs in Japan

Nowadays, in Japan as in many other countries and regions, the know-how of the private sector is often required in public policymaking. And the resulting need for policymakers to talk with businesses as part of the policymaking process means there are extended opportunities for corporations to share their opinions. It is essential that foreign corporations, too, follow developments in policy formation and engage in efforts to ensure their voice is heard in the policymaking process.


Though Japan has its own unique policymaking system which has long been dominated by a central bureaucracy, the current administration has been trying to seize control of the helm since coming to power in late 2012. Lobbying is not conducted on the same scale as in United States or Europe, and there is no regulatory system in place to supervise such activities. Generally, in order to influence the policy planning process, individual corporations petition politicians and make statements through industry associations and economic organizations. A high degree of importance is placed on generating advocacy through partnerships with NPOs and NGOs, and on communicating businesses' position to the public through the news media. Indeed, when seeking to shape public opinion in Japan, it is important to be aware of just how big an influence on the general public can be achieved through communications that secure publicity via the media.


Accordingly, it is necessary to select a partner that has a strong relationship with the media, as well as with NGOs and NPOs. As a communications pioneer in Japan, over our 50-year history Dentsu PR has engaged in many  public affairs campaigns. Our team is comprised of staff with an in-depth knowledge of policymaking, including former journalists, consultants from the non-profit sector, and former aids to lawmakers and government officers. Moreover, Dentsu PR has a track record that is well-respected both in and outside of Japan.


Dentsu PR Approach to Public Affairs

Our public affairs activities focus on first identifying social value, and then developing evidence to support the proposal of that value with an emphasis on interconnectivity with the public sphere. Then, through engagement with influencers, public opinion and policy are formed. These three steps are essential to formulating innovative public policy.




Dentsu PR Services


Step 1: Social Value

Social value that leads to a better society and the strategy behind it is vital in shaping both public opinion and policy. We provide in-depth analysis and strategy proposals through services including the following:


  • Media and lawmaker audits
  • Developing key messages for the media
  • Social listening
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Identifying the right influencers
  • Creating social stories



Step 2: Evidence

After identifying social value, evidence such as third-party research data gives credibility and is a crucial driver for formulating both public opinion and public policy. Dentsu PR develops three key types of evidence (data, success stories, and testimonials) through services including:


  • Public surveys and questionnaires
  • Expert audits
  • Content development
  • Research tie-ups with universities
  • Case studies and success stories
  • Public official and lawmaker audits




Step 3: Engagement

Engagement involves leveraging data and materials created during the evidence-gathering stage, and presenting them to policymakers and influencers in order to develop trust-based relationships that can lead to results. Our services for driving engagement include:


  • Organizing press conferences and PR events
  • Promoting coverage on TV and in newspapers, online media etc.
  • Outreach to Diet members
  • Outreach to public and administration officials
  • Support for participation in research committees
  • Provision of evidence (facts) to relevant parties
  • Building third-party partnerships and engaging in dialogue with stakeholders



Please see the Public Affairs Services PDF file for further details.

Communicating: A Guide to PR in Japan

The latest edition of our award-winning handbook, Communicating: A Guide to PR in Japan, offers valuable insights into conducting public relations in Japan, including practical information on the regulatory environment that should inform any public affairs effort.