Back in 2013, the Japanese government appointed me as a member of the "Creative Industries Internationalization Committee" (CIIC) which was an initiative by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry).
Today I'm pleased to let you know that the Japanese Cabinet has now appointed me as a member of their "Cool Japan Strategy Committee" - a larger scale initiative that involves many more ministries including MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology), MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Japan Tourism Agency, MOF (Ministry of Finance) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The new committee involves many more ministries and members from the private sector. Selected members are asked to give a talk (my talk will be uploaded to the Cabinet website later) and each member should share experience and advice with other members and the government on what Japan should be doing to promote and monetize Japan and its culture especially before the Olympics in 2020.
The Japanese government then implements new measures based on our feedback.
One of my main focuses is as always to change the visa requirements for undergraduates - folks who for various reasons have not been to university but want to work in Japan.
A Japanese working visa usually requires applicants to either have graduated from university or have 10 years of expertise in a particular field.
Japan needs young folks who are passionate to come and help spread the culture. By the time they graduate, many folks forget about what they used to love because they have been so engrossed with their uni studies and when they do graduate - many just end up staying in their country as they need to either pay off loans or have lost their passion for Japan etc. This also means that Japan has less "ambassadors."
Having the university degree requirement does not guarantee Japan that only top class folks will enter the country - I presume thats why the requirement is in place. On the contrary, there are so many gaijin morons who live and work here who run amok and do bad things which makes the rest of us gaijin look bad.
There are also many (not all) disgruntled gaijin who hate living here - they form websites dedicated for gaijin to rant together at how much they hate Japan.
In my eyes - the degree requirement must be removed in order for Japan to be able to rally the help of young folks who love the land of the rising sun.
I will also work to implement platforms that help connect the Japanese government and private sector businesses to folks who seek opportunity to not only work in Japan but to also help spread this rich and unique culture.
I feel very strongly about this as I was once somebody who longed to live and work in Japan and will persistently bring up this visa requirement topic in this and future committees that I am on.