The video clip below provides excerpts from a conversation with executive and former diplomat Mark Davidson.

In a wide-ranging interview, executive Mark Davidson surveys the society and business world of Japan, pinpointing its key strengths and challenges. With the benefit of extensive diplomatic service worldwide and in-country, Davidson does not hold back on recommendations as to how Japan can "tool up" and speed up in its quest for "global standard" excellence.

Mark Davidson is Director of Government & External Affairs for Amway Japan, a US$ 1-billion company based in Tokyo. Previously, he was a Senior Foreign Service Officer (career diplomat) with the U.S. Department of State, with a rank equivalent to a two-star general in the military. As a diplomat, Mark served four times in Japan, as well as in Islamabad, Asuncion, Madrid, Caracas, and Washington, DC. He taught U.S.-Japan relations and strategic leadership at the U.S. National Defense University, worked on Capitol Hill as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, and has published numerous articles, columns, and book chapters on U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy. He serves on several educational and charitable boards in Japan and the United States. Fluent in Japanese, Spanish, and French, Mark holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. (Law and Diplomacy) from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Embracing the challeng of diversity and observations of Japan with Mark Davidson <Set B>

Set B, Clip 1:
Mark Davidson on his background and observations of Japan

Set B, Clip 2:
On embracing the challenge of diversity

In clip Set B, Mark Davidson recounts his years of diplomatic service in Japan, and discusses the difficulty of assessing any overall mood for this complex society. Davidson describes some of Japan's internally diverse aspects including geography and cultural heritage, then reviews advantages to be gained as Japan welcomes foreign workers. As the workplace in Japan also gradually accommodates female leadership, Davidson notes, the diversity of new ideas will contribute "added spark." The result, nascent but already being felt, is not only greater employment opportunity, but a sense that "Japan is back" with stronger international engagement and confidence.

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