ABOUT

Heartland JAPAN

for Businesses

"Heartland JAPAN" is an international information and products solutions vendor (and trading company) that aims to connect rural Japan to the rest of the world. We have alliances with many domestic and foreign top players who also want to help open up this most authentic part of Japan and share it with the world. Together we are producing regional tourism, property, and products solutions.

The name "Heartland JAPAN" refers to our focus on Japan’s rural sector and the values this represents.

These values undergo subtle changes depending on the eyes and cultural experience of each beholder. For Japanese, the feeling is one of warmth and nurturing, a giving from the heart (= mother, core family, caring, stoic and practical, authentic country lifestyle).

But for non-Japanese, with a different set of cultural references, rural Japan is perhaps more typified by the food, samurai traditions, and technical mastery of artisan crafts. Therefore, we want to add back in the perception of warmth and character, by letting foreign travelers experience for themselves how welcoming and friendly rural Japanese folk can be.

* Cross Cultural Innovation = to apply innovation by applying differences (nationality, ethnicity, religion, culture, etc, i.e., the culture gap). Breaking down existing preconceptions by introducing completely new values.

Tours and Consumer Sales

While most of the world knows Japan for its colorful contrast of modernity versus tradition, there is yet another more introspective side to this fascinating country – a quieter side, where the people are still connected to the land, its harvest, and ancient belief systems. This road less traveled leads you to rural and coastal communities in the heartland, to a wellspring of the nation’s core beliefs and values.

To truly understand Japan, you need to experience this quieter place, where you can feel the sea breezes of summer as the fisherman bring in their hauls, or enjoy crisp frosty mornings while watching rice milling machines spit out perfectly white grains, or smell freshly turned earth during the daikon harvest, or listen the bubbling of fish in nuanced sauces in an generations-old kitchen hearth. Welcome to the nation’s bread basket, its heartland.

Our goal is to help non-Japanese visitors discover the hidden tourism assets in Japan’s regional areas. We open up Japan’s beautiful and bucolic countryside with such tools as digital information, fulfillment technology, unique tours, interesting activities, and improved physical access. In so doing, we hope to reinvigorate Japan’s local economies, improve cultural exchange and internationalization, and create centers of tourism excellence that will serve as models for other countryside communities as well.

FOUNDER

Heartland Japan representative CEO
Founder Representative Director, Liberta Corporation

Keijiro Sawano

Born in Hagi city ,Yamaguchi Prefecture (formerly Susa-machi, a small fishing village in the San-in region, pop. 3,600 people). Visited 32 countries around the world.
Career: After graduating from university, recruited by Shinko Music to sell magazine advertisements. Walkerplus(KADOKAWA), launched "Gourmet Walker" as a sales manager, and "Wedding Walker" as a business manager. 2005 joined Yahoo! Japan. Initially sold digital marketing and payment solutions then moved to producing popular web production projects and eventually was promoted to Team Leader for companywide services. In 2013, still with Yahoo! Japan, was assigned as the JV establishment project manager in Southeast Asia, where I led overseas business development both for products and business deals.
2014, left Yahoo! to establish Liberta Inc. as the first Representative Director. Started "Heartland JAPAN" to promote regional activity from 2017, working on web content, accelerator program mentoring, supporting start-up business, and other activities. From April 2015 also serving as an advisor for Tokyo sales of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Government.

ADVISER

Heartland Japan Advisor
Representative Director of Japan Travel Co., Ltd.

Terrie Lloyd

New Zealand/Australian serial entrepreneur, 34 years living in Japan.
Career: Serial entrepreneur, having founded 17 companies in Japan and 5 others overseas. As founder and CEO, I oversee overall management and operations of our travel portal, travel agency, and travel software solutions business. My start-up/corporate experience includes IT, software, HR, publishing, advertising, incubation, market entry consulting, M&A, and investment. I regularly lecture on Entrepreneurship in Japan at the request of foreign and Japanese government organizations and companies. After the Great East Japan Earthquake of 3/11, I decided to dedicate myself to helping Japan recover economically by promoting inbound tourism. In 2013 this business grew enough that I set up Japan Travel and I continue to disseminate Japanese information overseas using technology and the internet (whether web or mobile, I don’t have a preference).

MISSION

Revitalize local communities through product development and tourism, with an emphasis on maintaining global perspective.

VISION

Strengthen the pride Japanese rural people have in their communities and cultures, and connecting them to foreign travelers to share lifestyle and goodwill. We hope to contribute to a world without boundaries, using Japan as a role model.

PHILOSOPHY

Society: Redefining the image and efforts of rural communities by using foreign perspective, and as a result, creating a globally-minded practice in which to introduce experiences and products to foreign tourists and consumers abroad.

Customer: We strive to satisfy our customers through sincere and open communication (communication from the heart), and thereby give those customers an impression and memories from Japan that can honestly be considered one of the highlights of their lives.

Employees: By making friends all over the world and creating opportunities to grow, we can learn to know ourselves more deeply, become more creative, and achieve true happiness.

VALUE

・Finding ways around hurdles, while respecting regulations and laws
・Thinking freely and acting actively
・Making people around us happy
・Focusing on things from a global perspective at all times
・Respecting differences
・Staying true to the mission

STRATEGY

Refining and developing the individual characteristics of a given rural area from a global perspective (genuine foreigners perspective), polishing its assets and values and connecting these to the world.

TACTICS

・Regional branding from a foreigner experts perspective
・Development of tours for foreign travelers
・Utilizing a foreign contributor network of more than 22,000 people
・Research and planning by native foreign nationals all over the world
・Promotion using Japan’s largest domestic inbound media sites
・Global PR activities and sales activities, using our overseas networks
・Outstanding technology (Web, system, application, etc.)
・Inbound human resource development to encourage autonomous self-sustaining activity
・Product development for local products and worldwide marketing support
・Inheritance of culture, history, crafts through foreigners who love Japan
・A foreign customers involvement in the retail equation can significantly change the value of culture assets, as global demand grows

Foreign perspective is important to raise value

Realization of local value

・Maximize the value of the region from a global perspective. We will develop an "Heartland Alliance", to creates an open zone to global thinking.
・Work in cooperation with non-networked inbound and outbound top players in Japan and overseas, to use Inbound Tourism and local product exports to help solve the national rural area depopulation problem.
・Incorporate foreign perspectives to help produce improved returns on land and investments that locals are unaware are possible
・Diversify the nation’s tourism assets so that tourist flow can be sent to less-traveled areas, thus creating enhanced rural value

【Ehime Kurushima-kaikyo-ohashi Bridges, from Mt. Kiro】【Gunma Carp Streamers, Akaya Lake】【Yamaguchi Farmer in Higashi-ushirobata Rice Terrace】
【Hiroshima Streetscape of Yutakamachi-Mitarai】【Niigata Wakabayashi-tei House】©経済産業省、【表示4.0 国際】ライセンス https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/