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Are Japanese corporations lagging behind in inclusive business?

By Masato Okumura

“Why are Japanese corporations behind in inclusive business? Honestly, I am not sure if the question is valid in the first place.”

This was a comment made by a panelist during a February workshop about inclusive business, held in Tokyo and co-organized by the MIF and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It was the first joint MIF-JICA event, and the venue was filled with 50 people from both the private and public sectors, reflecting a high level of interest by Japanese corporations in inclusive business in Latin America and the Caribbean. To our great surprise, during the workshop, many questions were raised by the participants. As you may know, this rarely happens in Japan, where many people still live with a “silence is golden” mindset. This active interaction was another indication of high and deep levels of interest from the participants.