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Making History and Being a Part of It

A PIECE OF HISTORY. That is what you are holding right now inyour hands as you read Japan’s first-ever bilingual human resources (HR)-focused quarterly publication, The HR Agenda Magazine, proudly published by The Japan HR Society (JHRS)—a community of Japan-focused HR professionals worldwide.

This magazine has taken nearly four years to come into fruition. With its simple beginnings as a membership-only newsletter, The HR Agenda has now grown and evolved into a full-pledge magazine with a simple editorial mandate:

“…to provide up-to-date and relevant sources of HR information and resources affecting and influencing the HR profession in Japan, and to become a bridge between Japanese and non-Japanese HR management systems so that we can facilitate the exchange of information and HR best practices, standards, and HR body of knowledge.”

Interestingly, the launching of this magazine also marks the 4th year anniversary of JHRS since its founding in June 2007 in a restaurant in Tokyo. JHRS, as a community itself, has evolved with the times and needs of our members and the HR profession in Japan. Starting off as a LinkedIn Group, JHRS has now grown to over 500 registered members across the globe. It is considered as this country’s fastest-growing bilingual HR association with the lofty mission of helping advance the practice of the HR profession in Japan. We are hopeful that, with your support and patronage, The HR Agenda Magazine can help us achieve that mission.

In putting together this magazine, we have encountered many challenges and difficulties along the way. A lot of them! Some said it can’t be done. But we persevered. We have invested not only time and money but also blood, sweat, and tears,and we remained determined and focused on our goal in fulfilling our promise to our members, friends, and supporters. However, the biggest motivator for us to go ahead and do our best to come up with Japan’s first and only bilingual HR publication was, ironically, the Great Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake that hit Japan last March 11, 2011.

We are living witnesses to this unimaginable tragedy,and,truth be told, Japan is still trying to come to peace with it. But instead of letting this disaster put us down, we decided to use this as an inspiration to push ourselves and come up with this publication as a testament of our firm resolve to show to the world that Japan HR professionals are moving forward. It is in this light that we are dedicating this maiden edition to Japan and her people especially to Japan HR professionals and aptly naming our maiden title as “Rise Up, Japan!” (Ganbare, Nippon!).

Although this magazine is still definitely a work-in-progress, we do hope that you will find this initial attempt to be worthy of reading and recommending to your other HR colleagues and winning your and your companies’ support to help us sustain this initiative through sponsorships, advertisements, or subscriptions. We invite you to take part in continuously improving our magazine by sharing your honest feedback, comments, or suggestions with us ( After all, this is your HR magazine.

We have made history. But let’s not stop there. Let’s make The HR Agenda Magazine a living proof that Japan HR professionals can do it. And do it well.

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