News & Highlights

  • October 2020

24 Hours of Harvard

Worldwide Week at Harvard showcases the breadth of Harvard’s global engagement through academic and cultural events with global or international themes. On October 7th-8th, Harvard broadcasted 24 Hours of Harvard, which featured 24 consecutive hours of around-the-clock and around-the-world events and activities. The Japan Research Center contributed a program titled “Introduction of Japan through a Very Popular Course at HBS.” Nobuo Sato, Executive Director, introduced the activities of the JRC, and Hirotaka Takeuchi, Faculty Chair of the JRC and Professor of the popular course, Japan IFC, discussed the valuable lessons HBS students learn from the program; not only in culture or business but human experience.
  • December 2019 – June 2020

Professor Ramon Casadesus-Masanell in Tokyo

From December 2019 to June 2020, Professor Ramon Casadesus-Masanell stayed in Tokyo under the HBS Global Research Fellowship , a fellowship for HBS faculty to pursue in-depth research or course development outside the United States. Professor Casadesus-Masanell was interested in companies with an innovative business model for writing cases and his new book. The Japan Research Center, Asia-Pacific Research Center and Harvard Center Shanghai worked closely with Professor Casadesus-Masanell to suggest companies and visited them on an exploration basis to lead to future research opportunities.
  • June 2020

Virtual Event with Professor Rebecca Henderson

On June 20, Professor Rebecca Henderson discussed Reimagining Capitalism after COVID-19 and how to find a “new normal” both in our daily lives and among the Japan business community. Professor Henderson teaches Reimagining Capitalism in the MBA Program and Sustainable Business Strategy at HBS Online. This event was organized by the HBS Online Tokyo Chapter in celebration of her new book: Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire. More than 50 people including former HBS Online participants and alumni from the region enjoyed the lively discussion.
  • June 2020

Why Japanese Businesses Are So Good at Surviving Crises with Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi

As demonstrated after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japanese businesses have a unique capability for long-term survival. In this article, Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi explains Japan’s strategy of investing in community over profits during turbulent times. He provides examples of several well-known Japanese companies and the positive impact they had on the recovery efforts.

New Research on the Region

  • December 2020
  • Case

Komatsu and Smart Construction

By: Rajiv Lal, David J. Collis and Akiko Saito

Komatsu, Japan's leading construction equipment manufacturer, is considering investing in a digital platform "Smart Construction" that will digitise the entire work process on a construction site, allowing for substantial reductions in cost and time while improving safety. The platform will combine data from drones, automated construction equipment, subcontractors etc on a single integrated online website. However, there are many impediments, both internal and external, to the adoption of "Smart Construction" and takeup of the initiative has been slower than hoped even in Japan. The case describes the origins and development of "Smart Construction" within Komatsu as well as the advantages to its useage, and a description of the construction industry in Japan and the possible causes of its slow adoption.

  • December 2020
  • Teaching Material

Komatsu Smart Construction: Launch Video

By: Rajiv Lal, David J. Collis and Akiko Saito

short video of the concept of "Smart Construction" that was shown at the launch of the business by Komatsu. Illustrates what the automated construction site might look like in the future.

  • December 2020
  • Teaching Material

Komatsu: Video of Future Building Site

By: Rajiv Lal, David J. Collis and Akiko Saito

Short video that illustrates how an automated construction site would operate

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Tokyo Staff

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