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Apr 08, 2014

Automation, artificial intelligence and outsourcing are leading to the rapid disappearance of many traditional jobs. Middle-aged people are worrying if their own job will last them to retirement, and if there will be any jobs left at all by the time their kids join the labor market.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2014 listed “structurally high unemployment/underemployment” as No. 2 on a list of ten global risks of highest concern this year.

No wonder that parents everywhere are asking the same question: How can we prepare our children for this hyper-competitive, globalized world?

read more...“Confessions of a Tiger Dad: Preparing Your Kids for Today’s World”

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Mar 19, 2014

Amid the lingering excitement following HKT48’s performance last night, the second day is under way. First, I attended the Part 4 Breakout Session B, “New Tide of Net Ventures.” The panelists are IREP President Shunsuke Konno, Commerce21 President Yohei Hosoda, and SIIIS President Takashi Sugiyama. The moderator is Mr. Shuji Honjo.

The other session is “The Third Arrow of ‘Abenomics’—Thinking about Growth Strategy from the Perspective of the Regional Economy, from Center to Region, from Region to Center.” The panelists are Mr. Jesper Koll from J.P. Morgan Securities, Professor Noriyuki Yanagawa from the University of Tokyo, and President & CEO Masatoshi Matsuo of Genkai Capital Management. The moderator is Mr. Hiromichi Mizuno, a partner at Coller Capital (UK).

read more...“The first G1 regional meeting “G1 Kyushu-Okinawa” held in Fukuoka! – Part II: Scenes from the Meeting, based on Twitter posts”

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Mar 18, 2014

In the midst of record-breaking heavy snowfall last weekend, the first G1 Region meeting “G1 Kyushu-Okinawa” was held in Fukuoka City. In addition to a speech by Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, this two-day event featured panel discussions on various themes, focusing on case studies of several noteworthy projects including Kumamon (the mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture), Arita Ware, Takeo City Library, Huis Ten Bosch, Yufuin Tamanoyu Hotel, and the Ippudo ramen restaurant chain. Apart from these panel sessions, the program included a variety of activities and entertainment that allowed participants to experience the unique charms of the Kyushu and Okinawa region first-hand. These included a live performance by HKT48, a tour of Nakasu, a tour of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, food stalls, and an event centering on Kuroda Kanbei, a military strategist during the Sengoku period. I will compile an account of the meeting based on my Twitter posts, to make you feel as if you were there. I hope you enjoy it!

read more...“The first G1 regional meeting “G1 Kyushu-Okinawa” held in Fukuoka! – Part I: Scenes from the Meeting, based on Twitter posts”

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Mar 13, 2014

In my last LinkedIn posting, I wrote about how “quiet revolutions” can change society through the sheer force of ideas. I briefly mentioned the G1 Summit, the multi-stakeholder forum through which the ideas and the leaders to help revitalize Japan are being developed.

In this article, I’d like to talk in greater detail about how the idea for G1 came about, and how the project has evolved and grown in size and influence over the last few years.

Let’s start with why I set up the G1 Summit.

read more...“Forget G20. Forget G8. Think G1. — Group of One. Globe is One”

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Mar 07, 2014

Atsushi Kawasaki from Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, who is now working for GLOBIS as a member of the president’s office, read an article about the impending sale of an old thatched-roof house owned by the founder of Kasama-yaki ceramic art, and put a call out on Twitter, saying he wanted to do something to help preserve the house. I responded, suggesting we go visit the house first, and we hastily agreed to make the trip. A few other members of the president’s office also decided to come along, after hearing about it on their lunch break.

I didn’t hesitate, and sent an email to Professor Masaaki Arakawa at Gakushuin University, who is a leading researcher of ceramic art. I went to high school with him. I asked the professor to participate in the one-day trip and adjusted the schedule to fit with him. I also contacted Mr. Eisaku Kikkawa, who belongs to the tourism section of the Ibaraki prefectural government—he is also a former high school classmate. Finally, we made the trip to Kasama on February 11, Japan’s National Foundation Day.

read more...“Trip to Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture: Impressed with the Strong Commitment of Local Artists and Entrepreneurs”

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Mar 03, 2014

Japan, Asia & the World A Quiet Revolution Is Underway in Japan

At the World Economic Forum in Davos this year, Japan attracted unprecedented levels of attention. Prime minister Shinzo Abe gave the opening keynote and Haruhiko Kuroda, the Bank of Japan governor, participated in the closing Global Economic Outlook session.

From this sudden leap to the forefront of the global stage, a sharp observer might guess that a revolution of sorts is taking place in Japan…

read more...“A Quiet Revolution Is Underway in Japan”

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Mar 03, 2014

I have attended the Davos Meeting since 2004 so this marks my 10th year of attendance. The meeting is intended to serve as a “magnetic field” that brings world leaders together. I feel that the Davos Meeting has secured its position as the world’s highest-status forum in terms of networking, learning, and disseminating ideas.

After looking back at this year’s session, I’d like to make five points about the Davos Meeting.

1) Japan is Back!

read more...“World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 (8): Looking back”

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Feb 28, 2014

I woke up at 4 a.m. today. As usual, I turned on my laptop, checked my email, Twitter and Facebook accounts; propped up my iPad; checked NewsPicks, SmartNews and other sites, returned emails and posted comments.

Then I realized that I had forgotten to post a “quote of the day” which I have been posting since the start of this year. So I decided to post three today.

<The quote of the day from the day before yesterday>
"It always seems impossible until it’s done." (Nelson Mandela)

read more...“World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 (7): The Last day”

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Feb 21, 2014

It is the third day of the Davos meeting. I am getting really tired. From 7:30a.m., I took part in a breakfast meeting of Japanese and Chinese business leaders. Attendees from Japan were all prominent figures, including Yasuchika Hasegawa, Chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, Yoichiro Ushioda, Chairman of LIXIL Group Corporation and Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Lawson. As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the World Economic Forum, dialogue like this will create value. I am glad that many Chinese guests attended GLOBIS Night. We want to continue these dialogues and exchanges.

read more...“World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 (6): Day Three”

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Feb 18, 2014

Last night, after taking a bath, I lay down to take a small rest. However, I was soon asleep—I must have been very tired. I woke up at 5 a.m. and charged my iPad right away. Without doing that, I would not be able to report on Davos on Twitter. On the Web, I found a lot of comments on Prime Minister Abe’s speech at Davos, as I expected. I myself feel still excited.

I started up my PC and iPad to do my routine work: sending e-mail replies, posting a tweet, checking for comments on my Facebook page, reading the news on the NewsPicks and SmartNews news curation services and checking my schedule for today. It’s 6:30a.m. local time. I have to leave the hotel in 30 minutes. I want to write a column for my blog, but I am afraid I have no time.

read more...“World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 (5): GLOBIS Night!”

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