Consul General Muto on Japan: Covid-19, Business and Hydrogen Opportunities

Posted by: Doug Bruhnke - Global Chamber on Saturday, August 1, 2020

We were pleased and honored to host Consul General Akira Muto of the Consulate of Japan (Los Angeles) this week to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on Japan including business and business opportunities - including hydrogen power.

Watch for the recording here.

Consul General Muto shared data from WHO for Covid-19 cases and deaths in key countries including Japan, South Korea, the UK, the US and Brazil.

These latter 3 countries have some of the worst results in the world. For instance, cases per capita in the US are 54 times worse than in Japan, and deaths are 58 times worse. See the data below. For Arizona, cases are over 2000 per 100,000 people versus 24.2 in Japan.

Consul General Muto also shared some of the key aspects of Japan's success including the Japanese recognizing that wearing a mask reduces the chances for the pandemic to spread, and so they universally adopted mask-wearing. In fact, the act of mask wearing dates back over 100 years in Japan as a simple act of caring for those around someone infected with a cold or flu.

Additional actions within Japan have included social distancing where possible, active and expedient testing and cluster management.

Seems like a pretty basic courtesy to wear a mask, doesn't it? The Japanese government did not mandate mask wearing - that would have be against the law per the Japanese Constitution. It's been mostly people caring about other people that has been the key success factor.

Some other aspects of our conversation...

  • Tokyo Olympics 2020 is scheduled to start July 23, 2021. Learn more about how Tokyo 2020 organizers are marking the one-year-to-go milestone with a campaign that will recognize, “the importance of solidarity and unity during these difficult times, acknowledging the power of sport, and in particular the Olympic Games, to bring people together.” - more here.
  • Hydrogen power infrastructure projects are moving forward including one with FEF/Mitsui Group/JBIC.
  • Hydrogen for transportation applications include cars, buses and trains - and includes technology by Toyota.
  • Projects to adopt hydrogen power are underway in the Ports of LA and Nagoya, again involving Toyota.
  • There are also technologies for individual homes to be powered by clean hydrogen.

More news from Japan via the Consulate of Japan in Los Angeles...

  • Creating a society in which all women shine, PM Abe's program here.
  • More details on the Tokyo Olympics 2020, read here.
  • How Japan beat Coronavirus without lockdowns in WSJ here.
  • Tokyo Governor re-elected, recommits to regional safety for the Olympics here.
  • Community service by Consulate General of Japan with Port of LA here.

Special thanks to Kelly Moeur - Honorary Consul of Japan in Arizona for collaborating on this opportunity. Thanks to collaborators Consular Corps of Arizona as well. Also thanks to other collaborating organizations including JAA and Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

Also special thanks to members within Global Chamber® chapters in Tokyo and Melbourne for their support. Shout-out to Matthew Kyle of WeConnect, Catherine O'Connell of Catherine O'Connell Law and Kirsty Wilkinson of Asia Market Makers. Also thanks to members around the world, thank you as well, including Todd Westra of Mokuteki, high in the hills of Utah outside Provo and Salt Lake.

And a special shout-out to Chef Yusuke Kuroda who is moving from LA to Phoenix this week to build a new ramen shop in Arizona, opening soon.

And special thanks to all our members who attended plus everyone involved with collaborating organizations, ありがとうございました!

Doug Bruhnke - Global Chamber®

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