• German Japanese business relations go with the flow

January 2020

The fifth German-Japanese Business Dialogue, which took place on 4 March 2020 in the Berlin residence of the Japanese ambassador, saw Deutsche Bank (among other sponsors) supporting German-Japanese business entente

Left to right: Takeshi Yagi, Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Japan to the Federal Republic of Germany; Kenichi Igarashi, (Deutsche Bank Tokyo) Anke Ullrich-Schulz (Deutsche Bank); Mark Hauptmann (Member of the German Parliament) with Deutsche Bank Corporate Bank’s flow magazine

Set up in 2015, the event offers a top-level platform for German and Japanese corporates to discuss opportunities for further cooperation and to liaise with stakeholders in the political and diplomatic circles.

Japan is one of Germany’s most important and reliable trading partners. The free trade agreement between the European Union and Japan, which came into force on 1 February 2019, is an important economic and political signal, both in times of global trade crises, increasing protectionism and Brexit, noted Hauptman at the 2019 Business Dialogue. “We strengthen multilateralism, set common standards and commit ourselves to value-based free trade with Japan, a country that is important to us and is close to us,” he said. 

A year on, at the time the event was held both the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games as well as the Asia Pacific Conference of German Business (APK) were still scheduled to take place in Tokyo later in 2020 despite the ravages of the Coronavirus – although measures to control the epidemic may ultimately thwart these plans.

Discussions at this year’s Business Dialogue centred around the issues common to both countries, such as demographic change due to an ageing society and the realignment of traditional industries towards the digital revolution. “Developing innovative solutions to these challenges will be essential to secure our future prosperity and competitiveness,” says the Ambassador’s website. It goes on to explain, “Key areas such as hydrogen applications, autonomous driving, healthcare and high speed networks (5G), integrated into the "Society 5.0" initiative, have enormous potential to boost the German-Japanese economic cooperation in the future.”

Kenichi Igarashi, Branch Manager Deutsche Bank Tokyo and Head of Corporate Coverage Japan (pictured second left) reflected, “It was particularly fitting for Deutsche Bank Corporate Bank to represent as a sponsor of the event, given the commitment proven by the longstanding history of the Bank’s business and partnership with Japanese corporates in Germany. The feedback I receive is that these countries’ governments, as well as the key participating companies were impressed and pleased with the broad and strong network of Deutsche Bank in Japanese business communities in Japan and in Germany.”

He concluded that both the Member of Parliament Mr. Hauptmann and the Japan Ambassador Mr. Yagi had “collectively asked for the continued partnership and support by Deutsche Bank for Japanese business to further invest in Germany”.