It is fair to say that the state of government policy and regulation is having greater effect on the business environment than that of technological development and changes in consumer behavior, influencing more than ever the profitability, value and even continued existence of corporations. The business community has traditionally relied upon relevant business and industry associations to facilitate in communicating with the government on such policy issues, or have approached the authorities directly on regulatory matters. However, drastic changes have taken place to the manner in which corporations can communicate on these policies.

One such change stems from the change in ruling parties, resulting in significant reforms to the decision making processes within government. Under the new administration, the policy decision making process has been entrusted to a core group of politicians, known as the “Seimu Sanyaku” or three key political executives, consisting of the Minister, Senior Vice-Minister and Parliamentary Secretary of each ministry. This is a complete change from the previous model where so-called “Zoku-giin”, Diet members who hold strong ties to a particular policy area, would work in close knit with the central bureaucracy to develop policy. This has in effect taken power out of the hands of the business and industry associations, directing traffic for petition to the ruling party’s Secretary-General.

Further, the direction of individual policies is being increasingly swayed by the way they are presented in the mass media due to the growing influence of public opinion. With the emergence of the internet and increased civic awareness, NGOs and civic groups have come forward as influential new players in the realm of policy creation. Moreover, information on individual policy issues is being pushed out into the public at phenomenal speed due to the advent of social media, with policy debate heating up amongst ordinary citizens.

These recent developments mean that one can no longer rely on a communications strategy hinging on connections to a few target politicians. For corporations to successfully influence policy development in their favor they need to develop clear and logical messaging, that will gain media and constituent support, around a core policy cause or principle, backing it up with evidential data and promoting understanding amongst key government stakeholders and experts. Further, where required, the incorporation of online and other media based approaches form an essential part of an encompassing communications approach.

VOX Global Japan, through its track record within Fleishman-Hillard Japan, has built up a wealth of expertise in public affairs initiatives, and possesses a powerful network across multiple sectors. With a diverse group highly skilled professionals hailing from backgrounds in the public sector, mass media, investment banks, IT entrepreneurship, corporate planning & compliance and legislative field, VOX Global Japan has the ability to meet the myriad communications needs that may confront our customers. In addition to access to the VOX Global and Fleishman-Hillard global networks, VOX Global Japan has solid partnerships with law firms, investigation firms, business consultancies, think tanks, specialist consultants, and advertising agencies, allowing smooth and speedy collaboration to meet clients’ full suite of communication needs through.

To help customers overcome legislative challenges and achieve business objectives by providing the ultimate in strategic communications support. We believe this to be VOX Global Japan’s mission.

VOX Global Japan K.K.
Akihiro Nojiri, Managing Director and Senior Partner