JFTC Essay Competition 2016

Publish Date: Aug 01, 2016

Deadline: Sep 09, 2016

Event Dates: from Dec 09, 2016 12:00 to Jan 05, 2017 12:00

About JFTC

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.

Essay Topic

"Searching for a New Initiative in Global Trade and the Role of Japanese Companies."

The global economy has achieved a high rate of growth, due mainly to positive capital investment and the expansion of production capacity based on growing demand from emerging economies, along with the development of resource-producing economies and rising resource prices. The growth, however, has been sluggish for several years as a result of various factors including the structural slowdown of the Chinese economy. In fact, the slowdown of global trade, which has served as the driving force for the growth of the global economy, is notable, and even manifests itself today as a situation referred to as “slow trade,” in which the growth rate falls below that of the global economy itself.

Meanwhile, in recent years, the development of information and communication technologies utilizing the Internet has brought about a variety of innovations in production and marketing, application, and function of commodities, and is leading to the creation of increasingly more value including the advancement of services. Trade in services such as intellectual property, tourism, and services not previously presented has grown steadily, although the increase in commodity trade has slowed down in the current global economic climate. Thus, it is very important to reexamine the state of trade and grasp the global economy from a new viewpoint.

From this standpoint, Japan turns out to be no exception. The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan recently has increased significantly and trade in services including the travel balance has expanded rapidly, while commodity trade has been stagnant. For Japan as a trade-oriented country, facilitating trade not only in commodities but also in services could contribute to maintaining the global environment, developing technologies, and creating a market for new services. This is a policy challenge when considering the future growth of the Japanese economy.

In order to grow steadily trade in services such as intellectual property and achieve development of the global economies as well as that of Japan, what kinds of efforts and initiatives would be required of trading activities going forward, in addition to the expansion of conventional commodity trade? Moreover, under these circumstances, how can Japanese companies, in particular, shosha that develops businesses in various places around the world, adapt themselves to trade in services; and how can they play their part in trade expansion while working out innovation?
Please send us your constructive suggestions from a global viewpoint based on innovative ideas for a new meaning of “global trade and the role of Japanese companies” which would enable sustained prosperity in the world.


  • One Grand Prize of ¥1,000,000
  • Three Prizes for Excellence of ¥200,000 each
  • The award winners from abroad will be provided with a round-trip air ticket to Tokyo, Japan to attend the award ceremony to be held on January 5, 2017.


  • Chair - Mr. Atsushi Nakajima, Chairman, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, IAA
  • Vice Chair - Ms. Kaori Iida, Senior Editor, Economic News Division, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
  • Vice Chair - Dr. Keiichiro Kobayashi, Professor, Faculty of Economics, Keio University


Anyone can apply for the essay competition, regardless of nationality or age.


English (4,000 words) or Japanese (10,000 characters). Each essay MUST BE accompanied by an essay summary of no more than 400 words in English or 1,000 Japanese characters.

Please Note:
One diagram or chart is counted as 200 words. If the number of the words, including diagram or charts, is less than half of 4,000 words or more than the limitation, such work could be disqualified.


September 9, 2016 at 24:00 (JST)

We CANNOT accept any essays after this time. The entry page will be really congested at around the deadline time. It is recommended to apply earlier to avoid technical difficulty accessing the page.

Terms of Reference

  • Essays must be submitted in the specified format sheet downloaded from our website. Unless both essay title and summary are presented, such application shall be deemed incomplete and will NOT be evaluated.
  • All submissions must be original and should be submitted with an entry form completely filled out.
  • When you indicate sources cited, please put them concisely. Submitted work will not be returned.
  • Essays developed by teams will be accepted under the name of the representative of the team. Please be noted that when an essay developed by a team were awarded, only the representative of the team would be invited. When the result of the evaluation is announced, the name of the team is publicized.


Award winners will be publicly announced on December 9, 2016.
The award winners from abroad will be provided with a round trip air ticket to Tokyo, Japan to attend the award ceremony to be held on January 5, 2017.

Contact Address

Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc., Public Relations & Research Group
6th Floor, World Trade Center Building, 2-4-1, Hamamatsu-cho, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-6106, Japan
Tel: +81-3-3435-5964

For more information please click on "Further official information" below.

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