JFTC Essay Competition

JFTC has been sponsoring the JFTC Essay Competition since 2005, to encourage students, young researchers and business people to express their opinions on matters of national and international importance.

  • One Grand Prize of 1,000,000yen
  • Three Prizes for Excellence of 200,000yen each
The award winners from abroad will be provided with a round trip air ticket to Tokyo, Japan to attend the award ceremony

Qualification: Anyone can apply for the Essay Competition, regardless of nationality or age.

Please choose one from the following two topics.

Topic 1 — Future of the “SHOSHA” in the Global Economy
A number of trading companies exist around the world as corporations specializing in intermediating import and export. However, the business style of the Japanese “shosha” is considered to be peculiar to Japan. They not only handle a wide array of products and services, almost to the extent that they are said to handle “anything from mineral water to satellites,” but also pursue the development of resources and the operation of projects as a business management and investment entity. As the singular entity involved in a wide range of businesses in Japan and abroad, the Japanese “shosha” have been evolving along the transitions of the economic environment for more than 100 years.

In the increasingly globalized economy, what kinds of functions are “shosha” desired to perform in the future? In making a contribution to businesses in Japan and abroad, what functions should “shosha” develop even further; and what kinds of business styles are expected of them? Likewise, what kinds of roles “shosha” expected to play, not only for Japanese companies but also for those in countries around the world?

Constructive proposals and opinions from a fresh viewpoint without the constraints of the conventional trading company's business, including future aspects of “shosha”, functions desired to be further enhanced or added, and roles expected to be played by “shosha” in an increasingly intensified globalization of the business environment will be invited.

Topic 2 — Toward Developing Japan’s “Resources” by 2020: A Strategy for Utilizing Them for the Benefit of the World

It is often said that Japan lacks natural resources. But if the word “resources” were broadly defined and human/intellectual resources included, the country would be considered overflowing with undeveloped “resources”.

Tokyo was chosen to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, and it is expected that the global event will become a catalyst for development in various spheres of Japanese society, including industrial promotion, urban planning, and international exchange among other things. It is possible that the economic and social initiatives in making this international event a great success not only will exploit the underlying “resources” in the government, enterprises, and society in Japan but also become an opportunity for these “resources” to be utilized in the world.

What are the “resources” that Japan ought to exploit with a view toward 2020? What should the Japanese government, enterprises, and society do to develop these “resources”? What kinds of roles could Japan play for the benefit of the world by capitalizing on these newly developed “resources?” While defining Japan's “resources” through a new approach without the constraints of the conventional concept of resources, proposals and opinions from a broad standpoint regarding the ways of utilizing these “resources” will be invited.
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