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Advancing HR Journalism in Japan: The HR Agenda Moves Forward

The HR Agenda is a truly groundbreaking platform for bilingual HR journalism in the country, while at the same time putting Japan on the global HR publication map. We’ve published eight issues with 104 articles in both English and Japanese, formed seven domestic and international media partnerships, and held four magazine-inspired panel discussions with Japan’s HR thought leaders as well as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs).

The HR Agenda: An Audacious Initiative from an Unexpected Beginning As you may know, The HR Agenda made its debut a couple of months after the devastating 3/11 earthquake that hit Japan in 2011. We could have postponed its launching and made lots of excuses that would have been forgivable given the chaotic and desperate situation at that time. Instead we forged ahead and used the opportunity to dedicate its premiere issue to Japan and her people, as a “testament of our firm resolve to show the world that Japan’s HR professionals are moving forward.” (See “Publisher’s Message: Making History and Being Part of It,” The HR Agenda, Jul-Sep 2011.)

It has been two years, and indeed we have moved forward, continuing the march toward achieving our mission as a magazine and as a professional organization. We have covered various themes and areas of HR interest from the macro (Japan’s New Global Spirit and Leaders & Leadership) to the legal (Employment Laws in Japan and Governance & Ethics) and to the avantgarde HR approaches (High Performance Organizations, Diversity & Inclusion, and HR Business Partnering). (Link to past issues)

We have interviewed, dialogued with and featured some of Japan’s foremost HR thought leaders and KOLs from academia and industry. We are very honored to have featured the likes of Hitotsubashi University's Dr. Ikujiro Nonaka, world expert in Knowledge Management (See The HR Agenda, Jan-Mar 2012); Waseda University's Dr. Mitsuhide Shiraki for his work in transnational HRM (See The HR Agenda, Oct-Dec 2011); and Tokyo University's Dr. Takashi Araki, the chief architect of Japan’s Labor Tribunal Court (LTC) system that paved the way for a fast and inexpensive way of resolving labor-related lawsuits (See The HR Agenda, Jul-Sep 2012).

Not to be outdone are the contributions of HR practitioners from a wide range of industries, both in Japan and worldwide, who have generously shared their thoughts, ideas and knowledge with our readers. The scope and breadth of HR topics ranged from Leadership, Change Management, Coaching, HR Strategy, Employee Relations, HR Compliance to Talent & Workforce Management. The magazine has spanned the entire HR value chain of recruit, retain and release.

Of course, we have the regular columns such as the Publisher’s Message where we communicate the comings and goings within the JHRS community and Feature Stories which get to the meat of the issue’s theme. We have AskHR where readers can ask any HR-related questions and our two hosts answer independently, giving you a Japanese and non-Japanese take on an issue; HR Legal Clinic where our panel of legal experts give their views/advice on the matter; HR Best Practice where we showcase HR practices worth emulating; HR Tool Box for those useful and practical tips for HR; and HR Maestro where we interview seasoned and rising HR pros. Last, but certainly not least, we have the Editorial where our editor in chief puts her best thoughts and critical thinking into writing in the hope of affecting and influencing the HR profession in Japan. Readers have described these editorials as well researched, balanced, and always challenging the status quo. A must read indeed for the progressive HR professional.

All of these ideas converging into one platform effectively makes The HR Agenda a thought leader in its own right, one that has received domestic and global recognition for this reason.

What Lies Ahead for The HR Agenda Starting with the Jan-Mar 2013 issue, The HR Agenda became available across different platforms from print (Anniversary Issue only) to online and digital delivery such as web, HTML 5, iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod) and Android tablets and smart phones. Magazines can be easily downloaded, printed and shared to others. (See “Walking the Talk: The HR Agenda Goes Hybrid!” The HR Agenda, Jan-Mar 2013.)

To date, the multi-platform delivery model is proving to be very successful as we are now seeing a significant increase in the number of page views, book marks, downloads, sharing and “Likes” status on Facebook and LinkedIn. As more HR professionals go mobile, The HR Agenda will be with them wherever they are.

In our third year, we focus on core HR topics such as Selection & Staffing, Talent Mobility/Expat Management, Rewards & Remuneration, Performance Management and HR2.0/HRIS. If you (or someone you know) are interested in contributing to any of these themes, please refer to the Get Published! ad below and be a part of something truly unique and groundbreaking. Be heard. Influence others. Get published!

The HR Agenda will also continue to be a media partner for domestic and international HR conferences and events, as this is an integral part of our strategy of making the magazine reach a wide HR audience. Please get in touch with us at if you (or someone you know) are interested in having The HR Agenda become your media partner for your own HR event(s).

Moving forward, The HR Agenda will continue to evolve as we are just beginning. There is still much to be done, to write, and to advocate and we hope that you, our reader, will be with us and support us as we continue to advance HR journalism in this country in support of JHRS’ primary mission of advancing the HR profession in Japan.

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