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Japan’s Business Reinvention: How Leading Japanese Companies are Anchoring Global Supply Chains

August 26, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

Japan's Business Reinvention: How Leading Japanese Companies are Anchoring Global Supply Chains - Hero Image

Over the past two decades, Japan’s leading manufacturing firms have made a quiet transformation, away from mass-producing household brand names and towards global leadership in deep-tech, highly advanced materials and components. While this has made them less visible to the average consumer, it has also turned them into technology anchors of many Asian and global supply chains. Learn about the new “Japan Inside” approach in this conversation between Ulrike Schaede, author of recently published Japan’s Business Reinvention, and Toshihiko Omote, Senior EVP at Nitto Denko Corporation, one of Japan’s top “stealth” innovation leaders.

In 1918, with the aspiration to achieve domestic production of electrical insulation materials, Nitto Denko was founded in Osaki, Tokyo.  The Nitto Group will continue to walk with its customers and provide various products and develop their business globally, and see changes in society as opportunities and create surprises and excitement one after another.



For more information about Nitto please watch this video HERE.



Date and Time:

August 26th, 2020 @ 4:30 PM (PDT)



4:30-4:35: Opening Remark Tracy Gopal | Program co-chair, Japan Society of Northern California & Principal, Third Arrow Strategies

4:35-4:55: Ulrike Schaede | Professor of Japanese Business at UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, Director of JFIT (Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology)

4:55-5:00: Toshihiko Omote | Senior Managing Executive Officer and Chief Engineer, Nitto Denko Co.

5:00-5:12: Caitlin Billow | Marketing Coordinator, Nitto, Inc.

5:12-5:20: Panel Discussion

5:20-5:30: Q&A

5:30: Closing remark, Takahide Akiyama | President, Japan Society of Northern California



Japan Society Member: Free

Non-Member: $10


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Ulrike Schaede Photo

Ulrike Schaede 

Ulrike Schaede is Professor of Japanese Business at the University of California, San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy. She is the Director of JFIT (Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology) and runs a weekly “zoominar” on current issues on Japan. Schaede works on Japan’s changing corporate strategies, including business culture, change management, employment practices, the rise of private equity, corporate governance, and manufacturing and innovation under the digital transformation. She has written extensively on Japanese business organization, and is the author of The Business Reinvention of Japan: How to Make Sense of the New Japan (Stanford University Press, 2020). Schaede has spent over nine years of research in Tokyo and is an advisor to two startup incubators in Japan. See more at www.TheJapanologist.com.


Toshihiko Omote

Toshihiko Omote

Toshihiko Omote, PhD. has been working for Nitto for 26 years as a Researcher, a General Manager of R&D, and a General Manager of Business.  In 2009 he become a Company Officer. In addition, he has performed missions deeply related to Nitto technology as CTO and CIO from 2009 to 2018. Two years prior to working in the United States, Toshihiko Omote promoted business structure reforms in Japan as a General Manager of Corporate Management Promotion Division.  His specialty is functional polymers.  In particular, he developed a new heat-resistant photosensitive resin which is an alkali development type and commercialized HDD suspension blanks using it, with a recent global market share of 90% or more. As of May 2018, he has been stationed in San Jose, exploring and implementing new business opportunities by fusing strong internal and external technologies by using the past experiences of CTO and CIO in Nitto Denko Co.


Caitlin Billow Photo

Caitlin Billow

Caitlin Billow is a Marketing Coordinator at Nitto, Inc. With a B.S. in Chemistry and a Master’s in Business, she has a unique background that has allowed her to experience different opportunities throughout her 7 years with Nitto, Inc. With positions ranging from Quality Engineering to her current position in Marketing with the Americas Growth Division, she can turn the complex simple. In her current role, she works in the award-winning Nitto Americas Discovery Center. This interactive exploration center takes a novel approach to translate Nitto’s corporate strategy and highly technical offerings to customers. Nitto’s Americas Discovery Center utilizes proven innovation methods that keep a 100-year-old company agile and successful in rapidly changing markets.


August 26, 2020
4:30 pm


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