Busy (media) week!

I don’t know what happened, but what started as a slow, hot and muggy summer week in Tokyo ended up being a media frenzy for me. Since this is a first for me, I thought I’d blog about it.

On Monday (7/11), The Nikkei Weekly published my opinion piece on “Entrepreneurs: Japan’s hidden resource” (pg. 26) where I talk about how governments have an opportunity to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

On Tuesday (7/12), McKinsey held the launch party for their book, “Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works”, in which I contributed a chapter entitled, “Venture and Social Capital: A Vision for Japan” (pgs. 318-323).

On Wednesday (7/13), the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (SCCIJ) invited me to speak at their July luncheon where I spoke about “Reigniting the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Japan: Now is the Time.”

On Wednesday (7/14), the magazine Think! by Toyo Keizai published my Reimagining chapter in Japanese titled “日本に提案する未来像” (pgs. 90-93).

On Friday (7/15), The Economist quoted me in their print publication about “Innovation in Japan – Samurai go soft: Japan’s preference for hardware over software is fading.” Later, I was interviewed on The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 where I spoke about the future of Japan and the opportunities that abound here. (rescheduled for later due to breaking news)

Today, Monday (7/18), I got interviewed by TV Tokyo’s World Business Satellite (WBS) to talk about young (20-something) entrepreneurial ventures and the importance of them going after global markets. This was one of my first long interviews in Japanese so it was definitely not my best performance – need a lot more practice!

Phew … what a week. I wonder how long this will keep up! For those who read, saw or listened to any of this, please feel free to send me any comments.

William Saito
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming in elementary school and started his own company while still in high school and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today). As one of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm. In 2011, he served as the Chief Technology Officer of the National Diet’s (Parliament) Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Later that year, he was named as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member for World Economic Forum (WEF) and subsequently been named to its Foundation Board. In 2012, Saito was appointed to a council on national strategy and policy that reported directly to the Prime Minister of Japan.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has served as an advisor to Japanese ministries; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPAS); the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, among others. He is currently the Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry (METI) and the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

He went to medical school at UCLA and Harvard Kennedy School; serves on various boards of Global 2000 companies; frequently appears as a commentator on TV and is the author of seven books in addition to writing several weekly newspaper columns. His management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP and became a best-seller in 2012. In 2016, Saito received the Medal of Honor from the Government of Japan for his work in the field of education.

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