Cities matter. They are flag carriers for nations, centers for universities and cultural influences, attractors for investment and tourists, as well as experiences for people living and visiting them. In other words, cities are brands. Thus explained Ian Rumsby, Chief Strategy Officer of Weber Shandwick Asia Pacific in a panel discussion entitled “The Growing Strength of Tokyo as a Global Brand”, on September 11, 2015.
At this talk for the American Chamber of Commerce Japan, Rumsby went on to explain that cities have assets, which contribute to their reputation over time. These assets sub-divide into two attributes: hard and soft power. Hard power is the military complex, the political stability and strength and the economic horsepower that support a city. Soft power is made up of attributes that encourage an environment of openness, diversity, livability, growth, sustainability, and creativity.
If Tokyo in 1964 was a successful opening act for Japan on the world stage, will Tokyo in 2020 be a thrilling revival?
As is cited in Weber Shandwick’s report, Engaging Cities – The Growing Relevance of Soft Power to Cities’ Reputations in Asia Pacific – the Tokyo Olympics will be the pinnacle of all the great investments Japan is making to build its brand.
In anticipation of the 2020 Olympics, “Tokyo is delivering on a number of smart investments that will enhance the sense of occasion for those visiting the city as much as the 13 million people who currently live there. Innovative sustainability initiatives are high on the agenda with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government laying out a clear 10-year plan to reduce