News & Highlights

  • SEPTEMBER 2021

Growing Home: Yoshito Hori (MBA 1991) on revitalizing his hometown

In August of 2015, Yoshito Hori (MBA 1991) returned to his hometown of Mito, Japan, for a reunion with his high school swimming team. After high school, Hori had gone to Kyoto University and then to HBS, eventually settling in Tokyo to begin his career, which has included founding GLOBIS Management School and GLOBIS Capital Partners, a VC firm. He hadn’t been back to Mito in 34 years. Hori was distressed by what he saw: Shuttered department stores, abandoned buildings, empty streets. It had become a ghost town. “It was a really shocking sight,” says Hori, and one at odds with the bustling commercial hub he remembered. The experience led him to start the Downtown Mito Rebirth Project in 2016, a public-private partnership designed to breathe life back into the city. In this conversation with the Bulletin, Hori talks about his plan to reinvigorate his hometown—and why it's important to save the cities that the global economy has left behind.
  • SEPTEMBER 2021

HBS Online: Tokyo Chapter's winning recommendation for building a global community

Over the last four months, dozens of Harvard Business School Online learners have been brainstorming solutions to connect schools worldwide and build a global community. HBS Online partnered with United Planet for the third-annual Community Challenge and tasked the Community with crafting business plans to improve the reach and scale of the nonprofit’s Virtual Exchange Program. United Planet named the Tokyo Chapter the winner of this year’s Community Challenge. Their proposal detailed strategies for implementing United Planet’s Virtual Exchange Program in Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, and India; suggestions for innovative technology use; and a multifaceted marketing plan.
  • August 2021

Closing the Education Gap with Kei Takatsuka (MBA 2022)

Tapping into the HBS Alumni network, Kei Takatsuka (MBA 2022) leveraged three internships across Africa and Japan to help propel her passion to close the education gap not just in her home country of Japan, but around the world. Read about her path from growing up in the countryside of Japan to interning in Nairobi, Nigeria, and then back to Japan to work on an exciting entrepreneurial venture.
  • MARCH 2021

Japan Immersive Field Course Virtual Reunion

The Japan Immersive Field Course (IFC, formerly known as IXP), led by Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi, has been offered as part of the elective curriculum within the MBA program for nine consecutive years since 2012. It started as a course that introduced students to the Tohoku region and the impact of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. This year marked the 10th anniversary, however because the course was canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Professor Hiro Takeuchi and JRC hosted a Virtual Reunion of past program participants. Approximately 130 people joined the session including past participants from around the globe, program partners and supporters from the Tohoku region, and HBS alumni.

New Research on the Region

  • 2021
  • Working Paper

What Can Stockouts Tell Us About Inflation? Evidence from Online Micro Data

By: Alberto Cavallo and Oleksiy Kryvtsov

We use a detailed micro dataset on product availability to construct a direct high-frequency measure of consumer product shortages during the 2020-2021 pandemic. We document a widespread multi-fold rise in shortages in nearly all sectors early in the pandemic. Over time, the composition of shortages evolved from many temporary stockouts to mostly discontinued products, concentrated in fewer sectors. We show that product shortages have significant but transitory inflationary effects, and that these effects can be associated with elevated cost of replenishing inventories.

  • 2021
  • Working Paper

Trade and the Single Car Market: The EC-Japan Elements of Consensus, 1985–1999

By: Grace Ballor

In 1991, in the midst of the program to create a liberal Single European Market and in the context of a new Joint Declaration for cooperation with Japan, the European Commission brokered a private deal to restrict Japanese imports into the European Community for nearly a decade (1993–1999). These “Elements of Consensus” developed from the collective efforts of European automakers and their business interest associations—the CCMC and ACEA—to shape the Community’s Common Commercial Policy and insulate themselves from the threat of Japanese competition (1985–1991). Drawing evidence from archival documents, this article reconstructs how European automakers lobbied the Commission for protections and how the Commission tried to use these protections as a means for regional market liberalization. As a result, it contributes new dimensions to scholarship on the influence of corporations in politics in general and the relationship between business and European integration in particular.

  • June 2021 (Revised August 2021)
  • Case

Nissan's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Ananth Raman, William Schmidt and Ann Winslow

In January 2020, Ashwani Gupta took over as COO at Nissan Motor Corporation, and several weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic began. Nissan’s Business Continuity Plan (BCP) had been key to the resilience of Nissan’s supply chain. It had enabled Nissan to recover from past supply chain disruptions, mainly natural disasters, sooner than its competitors. This case describes the BCP, within the context of Nissan’s production methods, organizational principles and current financial position. It relates how Gupta managed the rapidly-evolving restrictions that the coronavirus pandemic required as it spread from China to other countries where Nissan’s assembly plants and suppliers were located. Based on his experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, Gupta considers how to improve the BCP. This case also covers a specific situation in India, where Nissan had to quickly find an alternate supplier for a unit of dashboard gauges. The team in India developed four options that can be evaluated by students.

See more research

Tokyo Staff

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