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A long-term outlook for decisions here and now

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December is usually a month of reflection and review of the passing year and the outlook and expectation for the upcoming year. Though many of us follow this routine process almost every year, 2019 and 2020 have special features that make this routine activity special.

2019 marked the beginning of new imperial era of Reiwa with the enthronment of the new emperor in May. The year may also be remembered for Japan hosting the first Rugby World Cup in Asia — with almost unexpected enthusiasm of Japanese fans as well as visitors from overseas. 2020 is expected to be even more significant as the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are scheduled to take place, providing a great opportunity for Japan to inform and display its new image to the world.

How can we take an advantage of this special feature of 2019/2020 and make this routine activity different and relevant?

My suggestion is to go both ways — to extend the time horizon a decade to 2030 and focus on what we do here and now to address not-so-favorable overseas perception of Japanese companies.

My first suggestion is to set the target year at 2030, not 2020, as we look forward. Hopes for the Olympics and Paralympics next year have increased after the very successful Rugby World Cup engaged more people than had been predicted. But my concern is that too much focus has been placed on 2020 with little thought or planning after the games — as shown in the absence of after-event planning for the use of the new National Stadium that has just been completed. I fear that infrastructure buildup for wi-fi, etc. — to keep up with technological changes that will continue after the Olympics — may peter out unless we deliberately plan for activities after the games.

Extending the time horizon to........

© The Japan Times