WMU News

Expert discusses Japanese economic reforms

Oct. 28, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Japanese economic reforms will be the topic when an executive from the Japanese External Trade Organization speaks at Western Michigan University next month.

Tomoharu Washio, chief executive director of JETRO's Chicago office, will present "Globalization: Public Policy and Trust" at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Room 2000 of Schneider Hall. An informal reception will follow his presentation, which is part of WMU's Japanese Business Speaker Series. Washio's talk is free and open to the public.

Washio's current assignment with JETRO is his third in the United States. He served as director of research at JETRO's New York office from 1981 to 1984 and as executive director of that office's Research and Planning Division from 1991 to 1995. He also has been a senior research fellow at the Institute for International Policy Studies, a Tokyo think tank.

Born in Kobe, Japan, Washio graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University. He is at home in the university environment, having spent some five years lecturing on American trade policy, overseas investment, and American politics and economy at three Japanese universities: Toyo, Chuo and Aoyama Gakuin. A well-regarded author, Washio has written a number of books, including "Domestic Determinants of Japanese Foreign Policy," "Industry and Employment Under the Globalization Age," and "Japanese-American Relations in the Power Portfolio Era."

The Japanese External Trade Organization has 80 overseas offices in 59 countries. The U.S. offices seek to help American firms export to Japan and develop and expand their business in that country. JETRO Chicago coordinates those activities for 11 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Japanese Business Speaker Series is one of seven key elements of Focus Japan, a WMU project funded by a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Led by Dr. F. William McCarty, professor of finance and commercial law in the Haworth College of Business, and Dr. Hideko Abe, assistant professor of Asian and Middle Eastern languages, Focus Japan aims to strengthen the University's study of Japan's language, culture and business environment.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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