SYLA HOLDINGS Co.,ltd. Hiroyuki Sugimoto



Hiroyuki Sugimoto

When I was four years old, my father failed in the real estate industry, and our once peaceful lifestyle has completely changed. From what I could remember most from my childhood years, we lived with extreme poverty in an apartment with no bathroom. During my high school years, I have experienced fights with my father that ended horribly because of getting physical. Not seeing what lies ahead, I guess both of us fought in an extreme situation. Because of that, I had learned to think seriously about the future.I proceeded to a vocational school after graduating high school, got qualified as a real-estate broker, and ventured into the real estate industry just like my father. I was attracted with the words "full commission" in job advertisements.

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Hankyu Toho Group

Hankyu Toho Group


Ichizo Kobayashi

Born in 1873, Ichizo Kobayashi was originally an orphan and raised by his uncle and aunt. During the schooling period in Keio University he was a young literature enthusiast with aspirations of becoming a novelist, but he failed to achieve that dream and became a bank employee instead. At age 34, he was transferred to work in Osaka, and attempted to branch out as manager of a securities company, but this also ended in failure due to depression. Finding himself unemployed with a wife and child, he set out for a future in the railway business, purchasing the stock of "Minoh Arima Electric Railway Co." and focused on duties as managing director there. There was no president at this company, so Ichizo was in actuality in charge of the administration.

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H.I.S. Co., Ltd. Hideo Sawada

H.I.S. Co., Ltd.

Representative Director and President

Hideo Sawada

In the midst of being active in the student movement during my student days, I decided to study abroad. I have toured around various countries during that time. I had fun, I have gained knowledge, and it also widened my field of vision. Had I remained in Japan, the values I would think are right would only the ones I have learned from here. At that time, the cost of an airplane is the same as the interest rate of banks in Japan. But the world is different. I have thought that I could make a business out of this. Coming to Japan from overseas costs 300,000 yen and going to abroad from Japan costs 600,000 yen. Anyone will find this difference strange. And so, I asked myself if there's something I could do to help the young Japanese people travel abroad easily.

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Kota Matsuda

Kota Matsuda

I spent most of my childhood in Senegal, Africa because of my father's work. Then, from 10 to 18 years old, we have transferred and stayed in the US. Throughout my life abroad, I have felt that Japanese culture was not properly recognized. I noticed that gap particularly in food, where I was laughed at for eating raw fish. As a child, I had a lot of unpleasant experiences. My father's work was related to fishing, so I felt that I was made fun of because of that and because of our culture. Because of these experiences, I had a strong desire to introduce sushi and other Japanese food to the world and to let the world know the wonderful side of Japan when I started working. On the other hand, I am also aware that there are other wonderful cultures abroad, so I thought that I wanted to become a bridge between two different cultures.

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Harunori Oda

Ishinkai Oda Clinic

Presidnet and director

Harunori Oda

My father was a physician and my mother was a pharmacist. Naturally, I became a medical doctor. I was interested in preventive medicine before entering university. In China, there is the system in which young people experience agriculture and more for three years while staying in a rural village and living with community members before they go to university. The program tests whether you are qualified to study at university to become a medical doctor. It only permits those who receive recommendations from community members at the end of the program to go to university. It is a very big hurdle—only one out of dozens can enter university. Having a strong sense of purpose about becoming a physician, I took the wellness of community members seriously. I started to think that I should start with the prevention of diseases before treating them after finding that many people have difficulty recovering from chronic diseases. I started to make a decoction of herbs and distribute it to community members under the supervision of the person in charge of the local medical practice. It was my first experience learning about preventive medicine based on Chinese herbal medicine. The idea is to prevent diseases by having decocted seasonal herbs and increasing immunity. Local people said that they became more resistant to disease and even if they became infected, they recovered more quickly. The experience made me recognize the importance of preventive medicine. It was my first encounter with preventive medicine and the starting point of my career as a passionate physician. Three years later, I entered medical school, having received recommendations from community members. Then, I started to study medicine, hoping to work in Japan, the country of my roots.

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Possibility of sharing economy

Throughout history, "markets" have begun due to the need for humans to exchange things, and this process led to the evolution of "currency". However, in modern times markets and currency have completely matured. On the contrary, as we see in income disparity and the doctrine of economic supremacy, the defects of market economies have become apparent. And so a new economic system which is not directly mediated through markets and currencies has arisen, creating great market value internationally. This is the sharing economy.

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Suntory Holdings Limited



Shinjiro Torii

Shinjiro Torii was born in 1879 as the second male child of a money-exchanger in Osaka. Although his family was affluent, at age 13 Shinjiro was sent to a certain mercantile house for apprenticeship. This was because of his parents' belief that "a shopkeeper needs no schooling", deciding that the child should be taught the business from a young age. At his apprenticeship, he handled mostly pharmaceuticals but also imported Western alcohol. And while working very hard Shinjiro learned the tricks of business and knowledge about Western alcohol, before opening "Torii Shoten" at the age of 20 in 1899.

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Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. Yoshiharu Ueki

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

Representative Director and President

Yoshiharu Ueki

My father was a movie actor in Toei. When I was a child, my brother and went frequently to a Toei studio near our house during vacations and pretend being in a sword fight. It was the best playground ever. My mother was not the type who would object on what I wanted to do. She would always support me as long as I would not break any law or cause trouble to anyone. When I said that I wanted to learn the violin, she brought me to an instrument shop on the same day. However, once I have decided to do something, I had to promise to continue doing it for three years. Because of this, the habit of preparing and taking responsibility on my own decisions has been deeply ingrained in my being. It was summer of my second year in high school when I suddenly thought of going to Europe alone. My mom bought me an open ticket, stayed there for three months, and made a lot of friends. I wanted to reunite with them someday, and I thought that the best profession that will enable me to do it was to become a pilot. When I told my mother about it, she assured me saying, "It would be tough, but I know you are serious about it". That weekend, I went to an aviation school in Miyazaki and aimed for admission.

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Bridgestone Corporation Masaaki Tsuya

Bridgestone Corporation

Chairman, CEO

Masaaki Tsuya

My father was a salary man, and we were relocated so many times. As a child, I kept transferring to different elementary schools. Because of that, I became a keen observer to everything that is going on around me. My ability to see through the eyes of people also developed naturally, which made me become discerning even up to this day.Although I studied hard when I was still a student, I was the type that read a lot of books and spent time as I wanted, rather than being very serious about taking my classes. It may sound audacious, but from that time, I have always been thinking about what I want to do and how I would want to live my life.

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Successful habits

It is said that the billionaires of the world seize the world before the common people drink coffee. Morning habits are said to be important often by business persons. However, there is another "time of day" that plays almost as important a role as morning. It is, "what you do before sleep". The 4 world-class famous successful people I will introduce today have simple habits enough for you to copy before bed. The secrets to business success might be hidden within the habits of successful people.

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Tesla, Inc.

Tesla Motors


Elon Musk

Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 under the leadership of an entrepreneur, Elon Musk. Differing from most manufactures that start with "an affordable car with low specs", based on the idea to "release an expensive car but with excellent style and functionality realized by new technology”, they took the strategy to maximally show the potential of EVs. And in 2008 they released Tesla's debut product, the “Tesla Roadster”. This car sold out immediately after release, and it was so popular that there was a flood of orders thereafter.

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Barclays Securities Japan Ltd. Kentaro Kiso

Barclay’s Securities Japan, Ltd.

Representative Director and President

Kentaro Kiso

In the recent years, AI (artificial intelligence) and other cutting-edge technologies have been introduced in the financial world, limiting the things that can only be done by humans. Even jobs that require experience and know-how that our pioneers have acquired for about 10 years, can now be achieved by young people nowadays in tremendous speed.In order for me, who has become part of the so-called veteran generation of the finance world, to survive, I would like to provide an environment for the young to be able to accelerate further rather than slowing them down, and for me to be to continue mastering my craft with a humble attitude. In order to move forward, I must remain humble. Otherwise, they may no longer need me tomorrow. I put that sense of danger in consideration as I do my job. And in order for one to remain in demand in the society, it is important to continue trying new things. It is because a person can grow regardless of his age.

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United Nations Information Centre Kaoru Nemoto

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) – Tokyo


Kaoru Nemoto

UNIC Tokyo plays a role in translating various information in Japanese so that we can help them understand what the United Nations is aiming. The most noteworthy among these is the SDGs (Sustainable Development Target). This is an international goal aimed at sustainable development to address poverty, hunger, energy, climate change, and to attain a peaceful society. There are 17 goals listed in SDGs, and one of which is [5. Gender equality]. However, it does not simply stop there. That goal is also the tool that supports all the 17 goals.

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A.T. Kearney, Inc. Masahiro Kishid

A.T. Kearney, Inc.

Japan Representative

Masahiro Kishida

Employees working at our company not only have a unique individual personality, but also are connected with a strong partnership. That is the foundation of our consulting farm, creating unique ideas that cannot be imitated by other companies, and enabling us to provide full corporate backup. As such, in order to lead a collective of employees who possess both partnership and ownership in one direction, working top-down or by giving orders are never effective. So for me, as the leader of the organization, the most important thing is the leader image of a servant leadership. In other words, it is important to have the capacity to genuinely accept, while listening to the opinions of various people. This is my management style.

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LEGO Group

President & CEO

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp

Created in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, Lego company has never ceased its technological innovation as a company since its founding, investing its two years’ worth of profits in 1946 to become the first toy manufacturer in Denmark. Then in 1958 from among a large number of prototypes we finally came up with the system called "stud and tube" which allowed blocks to be snapped together. This led to the birth of the Lego block which would come to symbolize the Lego company.

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Link and Motivation Inc. Ozasa Yoshihisa

Link And Motivation Co., Ltd.

Chairman and executive director

Ozasa Yoshihisa

As suggested by the name of this company, it is a consulting business for companies focusing on motivation. When it was established in 2000 there were only 7 employees including myself. At the time it was a small company of 5 men and 2 women. The business subsequently continued to grow favorably, and we immediately started mid-career hires. From that time there were many female applicants, it happening to be the time when women started thinking of forming careers. And currently, 18 years after our founding, we have reached about 1,400 employees, about 650 of whom are women. In my opinion, I feel there are many women who attempt to go to extremes in their own fields of specialization. It also seems that many women are very serious in how they engage in social rules and conventions. On the other hand, men tend to intend more leadership, with more of them working toward improving their careers. For this reason, under the present conditions management and administrative positions tend to be filled more by men.

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LAWSON, INC. Sadanobu Takemasu

Lawson, Inc.

Representative Director and President

Sadanobu Takemasu

If I were to be asked if women are enjoying an environment where they can work freely when I started working in 1993, I would say no. That time, the Equal Employment Opportunity Law was already in full force from 1986. However, we are now in a society where it is normal for women to be able to work in her own ways. A lot of women right now are able to step up in their careers and join companies. This is a very pleasing and a very promising change for the country. Because of that, society is also significantly stepping up as a whole.The ratio of women is also increasing among our clientele, as well as the crews working in our stores. Even owners of our franchise stores do not only consist of men as more and more women are starting to own franchise stores from us.

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Baroque Japan Limited Hiroyuki Murai

Baroque Japan Limited

Representative Director

Hiroyuki Murai

When I was in college, my father suggested that I go and study in China. Although we have experienced a boom in friendliness brought by the recent recovery of relations between Japan and China, I personally did not have interest in China back then. Honestly, I wanted to study in the US or UK that time. Actually, when I arrived in China, I was shocked and I felt as if I was in another era. They did not have any amazing infrastructure back then, and students could not afford paper and writing materials, and some of them were studying under the street lights.Seeing it made me realize how blessed Japan is. At that time, most Japanese like to look at how rich the US and UK is rather than looking at their own country. If you are living an abundant life like in Japan like me, it is difficult to realize what really matters. Fortunately, living in China made me realize these things. All the values I have learned in my entire life have been shaken.

Read more, Inc., Inc.

Chairman of the Board and President CEO

Jeff Bezos

Having placed himself in the world of financial engineering, Jeff Bezos focused on the rapidly growing internet and established in 1994. As everyone knows, the products they first dealt in were books. However, an online book store was not Bezos' final goal. The concept he had since before creating it was to create an "everything store" that sells all kinds of products on a website. The reason he decided to start out with books as the initial products was that after comparing countless candidate products, the ISBN codes being managed by publishers around the world made the mail order sales program easy to create, and there was a lack of variation in quality and formats, making it a perfect type of product to start an initial foray into net shopping.

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FamilyMart Co.,Ltd. Takashi Sawada

FamilyMart Co., Ltd.

Representative Director and President

Takashi Sawada

Before, I used to work for a major trading company as a single player who keeps track of figures all the time. Rather than showing leadership with respect to team play and the organization were in, I wanted to sell more and become at a higher position than anyone. After working there, I joined UNIQLO, which showed a tremendous momentum in the apparel industry at that time. My way of thinking about almost anything has changed when I transferred and met Tadashi Yanai, the owner of Fast Retailing, the company that owns UNIQLO. To be able to contribute as a part of the company, I have realized once again that it is important to value my workplace and our clients’ perspective. Also, I have learned to look at the entire company as a leader, not as a single player.

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The Daiei, Inc. Isao Nakauchi

The Daiei, Inc.


Isao Nakauchi

Nakauchi was born in 1922 to a small drugstore family in Osaka. After graduating Kobe Commercial High School (currently Hyogo Prefectural University) and in the midst of the Pacific War in 1942 he found work in Nihonmenka Corporation, but in the next year he was drafted and sent to fight in the war. In the Bay of Lingayen in the Philippines he was attacked by the enemy and expected to die, and the thought that crossed his mind was "I want to eat sukiyaki to the full one more time", which is said to have later led to the idea for the slogan of Daiei, "make good products cheaper and cheaper, for a more abundant society".

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euglena Co.,Ltd. Mitsuru Izumo

Euglena Co., Ltd.

Representative Director and President

Mitsuru Izumo

Our number one course of action in "Euglism" is to raise diversity and to develop a climate that accepts diverse values. The dynamization of diversity from people from different backgrounds including gender, entry date, type of employment, hometown, and many other factors can create new ideas in the world and bring innovation.These values are taught by the microalgae that were working with, the euglena. As a result of our various research and implementation of the world's first outdoor mass cultivation of this algae, we have come to realize the wonder of its diversity day after day.

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