The Lean Japan Tour has been an annual initiative of Shinka Management, with support from the Australian Industry Group, since 2007. It is a fully arranged opportunity to experience first-hand the world-class application of lean thinking at some of Japan’s key manufacturers. Generous time is allocated for open-topic discussions with managers of these companies, allowing participants to uncover how the Japanese have approached sustained productivity improvement efforts successfully over many years.
Since establishing formal Australia-Japan trade relations through the 1957 signing of the Agreement on Commerce, Australian exporters have enjoyed a rewarding relationship with Japan. Australian exporters are, however, at risk of forgetting this loyal partner market as the focus shifts to rapidly developing China and its large population. For the best part of four decades, Japan has been Australia’s most important export market, and just because there is a new player in town does not mean that Japan is any less attractive.
FOODEX JAPAN is the largest food and beverage trade show in Asia. Since 1976, it has been providing the opportunity for exhibitors to promote their products to the expanding Asian markets. In 2012, FOODEX JAPAN had almost 74,000 visitors pass through the gates over four days. Over ten per cent of visitors were from overseas, and exhibitors came from 73 countries and regions. It is held at Makuhari Messe located close to Tokyo and Narita Airport.