News & Highlights

  • AUGUST 2022
  • Case Centennial

In-person MBA Information Session in Tokyo

The Japan Research Center organized an in-person MBA Information Session in Tokyo for the first time in three years. The session was designed for prospective applicants to learn more about the MBA program curriculum, admission process, financial aid, and life at HBS. Several alums in Japan joined as panelists, and they shared their experience at HBS and how it has impacted their lives. The participants enjoyed meeting local alums in person.
  • JULY 2022
  • EVENT

Interactive Lecture with Professor Ramon Casadesus-Masanell: Strategy: Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage

This July, Executive Education hosted a hybrid interactive lecture session by Professor Ramon Casadesus-Masanell in Japan with support from the JRC. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell led a successful interactive session on creating and sustaining competitive advantage for prospects, past Executive Education program participants, and MBA alums from the Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, and European regions. The hybrid event took place simultaneously in-person in Tokyo and live online via Zoom. 175 people joined via Zoom, and 71 people joined in person. Participants came from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, China, and the US. There was a lot of excitement and great feedback from participants who felt inspired by the event.
  • June 2022
  • EVENTS

Case Centennial Webinar: The Case Method in Japan

This June in collaboration NUCB Business School in Nagoya, Japan, the JRC held a webinar to celebrate the HBS Case Centennial. The webinar began with Professor Shinichi Takeuchi of NUCB Business School discussing the history of the case method, including how it started and how it has been developed globally. In the second part, Nobuo Sato, Executive Director of JRC, shared highlights of the case creation process. After that, Professor Hiroyuki Kurimoto, Chancellor of Nagoya University of Commerce & Business (NUCB), and Nobuo Sato discussed successful examples of case method and its introduction at NUCB Business School under the leadership of President Kurimoto. Professor Shinichi Takeuchi moderated the fourth part of the event which featured a panel of professors from across Japan: Professor Koji Mori, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Professor Michiko Shinoda, Nihon Fukushi University, Professor Yukari Takehana, Tokyo Gakugei University, and Mr. Tomohiro Tanno, President of Jikeikai. They shared how they have been making use of the case method in their field. More than 300 people joined the session.
  • JANUARY 2022
  • WORKING KNOWLEDGE

Scrap the Big New Year's Resolutions. Make 6 Simple Changes Instead.

Self-improvement doesn't need to be painful, especially during a pandemic. Rather than set yet another gym goal, look inward, retrain your brain, and get outside, says Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi. In this article Professor Takeuchi explains how business leaders can use the six practices to guide their own self-improvement efforts in the new year.

New Research on the Region

  • September 2022
  • Case

The Pokémon Company: Evolving into an Everlasting Brand

By: Tomomichi Amano and Masaki Nomura

Super Bowl 50, the fiftieth annual championship game of the American National Football League played in February 2016, featured 52 commercials, and brands spent more than six million dollars each for a 30-second commercial slot. Surprisingly, the commercial that garnered the most popularity on YouTube was not one of the regular advertisers. It was an entertainment brand best known for its video games and characters—Pokémon. It reflected twenty years of faithful corporate efforts that had protected and nurtured the Pokémon brand ever since its debut on February 27, 1996, in the form of a video game for handheld devices. Even on this commemorable day, however, Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of The Pokémon Company, was asking his staff and himself a familiar question: “Is that really in the best interest of Pokémon?” This question came out of a sense of urgency that motivated him and his vision for the Pokémon brand, having seen firsthand how rapid growth and record-breaking sales had led countless other games to quick obsolescence. In fact, Pokémon itself had once run a real risk of becoming nothing more than a fad. As he looked to the future, Ishihara pondered threats and opportunities, such as the intensifying competition due to the accelerating development cycle of video games and the maturation of emerging economies. He asked himself how he could make the Pokémon brand one that could endure and continue to grow over the next 25 years.

  • July 2022 (Revised November 2022)
  • Case

Building a Mishap-Free U.S. Navy

In 2021, Kevin “Bud” Couch, a retired Navy captain who was now working as a civilian employee of the Navy Safety Center, was trying to determine how best to reduce the risk of Navy mishaps. The Navy had experienced a series of major mishaps in 2017 that had led to a closer examination of how it operated and what it could improve.

  • February 2022
  • Case

Sekisui House and the In-Home Early Detection Platform

By: John D. Macomber and Akiko Kanno

To address an aging population and sales declines, major Japanese homebuilder considers pivoting to provide and support an in-home health detection platform, in competition with tech companies. This case considers the point of view of major builders regarding how aggressively to adopt smart home technologies as the nature of demand changes and as they navigate the digitalization of a very traditional bricks and mortar industry. The company has to consider its core business of building and selling homes, which is now under pressure in Japan as the creation of new households is slowing and the population is aging. Should the company incorporate smart home components, particularly regarding health monitoring and early response to health crises, and establish an ongoing service relationship with the occupants? How will major building products manufacturers like Toto and Panasonic respond? Health insurance companies? Can the company's health detection service compete with voice recognition offerings like Alexa and Siri from Amazon and Apple? With respect to serving this aspect of an aging population, will expertise in the tangible real property aspects of homes be a stronger or weaker influence than digital services in this evolution of business and global society?

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Tokyo Staff

Nobuo Sato
Executive Director
Akiko Kanno
Assistant Director
Akiko Saito
Senior Researcher
Yukari Takizawa
Office Manager