John Matthews
John Matthews
Born a humble country boy in rural Georgia (USA), I’ve been trying to carve out a unique ‘foreigner-in-Japan’ existence since landing in Tokyo for the first time in 2002 (then 2006, then again to stay in 2008). Today, I walk a line between media and communications, always working to polish technical skill to get the right message out to the right audience. In my off-time, I occupy most of my spare brain-cycles with photography and videography.

As featured on


Your Japan news guy

Hear me on...


NPR’s Newscast, at the top of the hour (and :19 and :42 after every hour), reporting on major issues affecting us over here in Japan.

NHK World

Bridging cultures, on-screen

Journeys in Japan


Taking you out to Japan’s abundant, lush vistas and getting the local stories behind them. Check out my latest episode (link).

NTV (日テレ)

Talkin' 'bout TV - on TV

Sekai Marumie


This is where I first learned how badly studio lights seared my retinas – while talking to Beat Takeshi about American television.

And more!

Let's go to work.

It's not all cameras, microphones, and blinding lights though.

My association with media and journalism came about as a result of the services I offered (and continue to offer) as a bilingual, communications-focused MBA holder.
Let's go to work.

Professional Services

Let’s see – how do I best describe myself in a professional context?

Maybe in two words: ‘aggressively productive’
Maybe in four more: ‘deathly afraid of stagnation’

In any case, I derive great joy from broadening my skillset and juggling multiple responsibilities. There’s a certain very powerful satisfaction in building up a creative side – for example, media production – while polishing more concrete skills – in IT, for example. I’ve been lucky enough to have opportunities that allow me to combine these two lines of talents.

Whatever the work, I look forward to the next challenge.

It’s all about people – and how they understand you. I conduct seminars with companies that face challenges in cross-cultural communication, helping their team (from line staff to C-levels) to craft a coherent message that their foreign counterparts will both understand and find reasonable. Seminars focus on communication style, not language.

Seminars are tailored to a specific client’s needs, and cover the areas of conflict resolution, negotiation, project collaboration, and more.

Conducting in-depth surveys and interviews for a project like a customer service evaluation is not as easy as you may think – your respondents rarely want to give you hours to dig into a specific topic, and your interviewer needs to be able to control the pace of discussion and get to the heart of the matter in the time allotted. Add a language barrier, and you may find yourself in need of services like mine.

Though being bilingual is most commonly integrated with other projects, I do provide document translation and oral interpreting services between English and Japanese. Naturally, being bilingual does not necessarily mean you are a good translator – this is a fact I became painfully aware of when I began translation in 2009.

Years on, it has become a handy addition to my repertoire.

Setting up a new business means you’ve got to get the initial infrastructure done right – and you’ve got to pick the right software to back it up. One poorly-placed purchase, without thought to future-proofing or compatibility, could be fatal down the road. Likewise with an established firm upgrading its networks or workstations, negotiating an entrenched network infrastructure or legacy software can be a serious challenge for compatibility.

I help fit square pegs in round holes.

Get in touch

Need a job done?

I'd be happy to listen to your needs and suggest a solution.
Get in touch


As a comms guy way back when, I found that my employer at the time – a sports and social club – was short on good visuals to tell what continues to be a compelling social and historical narrative.  I picked up a camera, started capturing moments, and haven’t put it down since.

I’m still partial to sports and event photography (maybe because they feel more about technical skill than creativity), but I’d still like to cover that very extensive ground that exists between myself and great portraits and landscapes.

And, of course, there’s always videography on the horizon.