What is “public affairs”?
Why is it necessary for Japan?
We are now experiencing drastic changes in social structure (decreasing birth-rates, aging and decreasing population) which seriously impact government fiscal reconstruction and social infrastructure maintenance.
Since Japan is "a problem-advanced country,” there are no other countries to follow when solving these problems.
In this unprecedented situation, it is difficult to plan and implement solutions only through government agencies. The necessity of adopting vitality and wisdom of the private sector is utterly clear.
On the other hand, in this rapidly changing social structure and market, private enterprises that are tied to short-sightedness hardly generates profits. This causes the loss of large social opportunities from the viewpoint of effective utilization of resources and economic revitalization.
Rather, they must develop business with a long-term vision by proposing new rules that suit the present conditions not by sticking with the traditional industrial structure and regulations.
This leads to the necessity of gathering wisdom and knowledge of public, private and academic sectors to discuss and implement the public policies that solve the social challenges and revitalize the economy. But only few players are provided with such know-hows.
In Japan, a general form of lobbying (by private sector) has been a mere petition called “CHINJO” by using connection with politicians and bureaucrats for the sake of individual companies or industries.
However, this old style is socially no longer acceptable as the public demand for the transparency in the decision making process is rising.
What is needed now is to give a public meaning to corporate activities as a solution of social challenges, obtain the support of public opinion for the policy proposal generated from academic point of view, and then provide fora for transparent discussions and policy planning involving citizens, lawmakers and administrative officials. This series of activities is called "public affairs."
The Japan Public Affairs Association was founded to conduct discussions and research with like-minded players, on a mission to establish the industry of public affairs in Japan, encourage the resolution of the social challenges facing our country and revitalize the economy.