Dentsu Public Relations Inc. held a Global Issue Management Seminar at the Industry Club of Japan in Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward on the 9th of February. The seminar addressed core global business risks facing Japanese multinationals on the world stage, and roughly 100 participants from overseas operations, management, and public relations divisions of Japanese firms were in attendance.
With the globalization of the world economy, Japanese corporations have seen expanded growth in their overseas sales, which has in turn given their overseas operations an increasingly higher level of importance. However, with a worldwide financial crisis in full-swing, companies expanding their business in various locals around the world now face a diverse set of challenges from labor and employment issues to public health and safety concerns. As Japanese corporations internationalize their operations, global issue management has become more and more important. At the seminar, seasoned issue management experts from Europe, North America and Asia presented on global trends and regional issues.
Dentsu Public Relations’ executive director Akio Kikuchi defined issues as “items that may not currently be described as a risk, but that have the potential to seriously affect operations in the future. Issue management is the act of preventing and avoiding risks before they become major problems,” he said.
The latter half of the seminar featured a paneldiscussion focused on how issue management can aid companies in dealing with globalized crises and risks. Panelists also exchanged views on the strategies and structures that Japanese firms can employ to influence public policy in Europe, the United States and China. Tetsuo Saito, chairman of the Japanese Overseas Business Association and former head of Hitachi Europe and Hitachi Australia, noted that what Japanese companies now need is the ability to recognize issues as potential problems and to appoint experts and divisions to respond to the issues that affect their services