Japan's Recent Disasters, Recovery and Implications for the Global Business Future
Mr. Junichi Ihara was appointed consul general of Japan in Los Angeles in April 2008. Prior to this appointment, he served as deputy director-general of Asian and Oceanic Affairs Bureau. His recent positions include minister at the Embassy of Japan in the United States (2004-2006), director of Financial Affairs Division (2002-2004), director of the WTO Division (1999-2002), director of the First Southeast Asian Division (1997-1999) and director of the Office of the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs (1995-1997). Mr. Ihara graduated from Kyoto University.
In his presentation, Mr. Junichi Ihara discussed how the recent earthquake and tsunami affected Japan’s infrastructure and international business community. Mr. Ihara compared the tragic events of September 11,2001 to the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. Mr. Ihara went on to say that Japan must learn from this humbling disaster by studying the past. He also addressed the anticipated trajectory for the ongoing recovery in Japan. Mr. Ihara pointed out that the reconstruction of the affected area is of the upmost importance, and that it should provide as a catalyst for further revitalization of the area. Part of this reconstruction, he stated, is the abandoning of nuclear energy throughout the country. But, as Mr. Ihara points out, this is a process that takes time, and nuclear energy is responsible for 26% of Japans electricity. Lastly, Mr. Ihara illustrated some positives that can be taken from the disaster. For instance, he points out the increased solidarity and unity between two allies, the United States and Japan. And he also mentioned that the young Japanese people, many of whom volunteered to help in the recovery process, are becoming more socially aware and more active in political life. Mr. Ihara ended his lecture by telling the audience that Japan is in a time of transformation, politically and socially, as Japan’s political infrastructure is in constant flux. Mr. Ihara concluded by saying that he has hope for the future of the Japanese people and country.
Ihari, Junichi, "Japan's Recent Disasters, Recovery and Implications for the Global Business Future" (2011). Y.B. Min Lecture Series. 16.