Dear friends of GLOBIS & KIBOW,
This is my 4th email to you after March 11th. The reasons why I am sending emails to you are simple. I feel that foreign media are not doing their jobs and I guessed that you would love to hear what an entrepreneur living in Tokyo is thinking about.
One Canadian student who has flown from Toronto on March 13th to Tokyo to join GLOBIS International MBA Program (our academic year starts from April) said to me, “CNN and Fox are disgusting; I thought BBC was fair, but this time even BBC is over exaggerating”.
One female Malaysian student who has flown into Tokyo just two days ago said “If you are in KL, you think that all of Tokyo is contaminated by radiation. My parents strongly begged me not to come to Tokyo. After arriving here, everything is amazingly normal.”
This is the typical reaction you get when you talk to people in Tokyo now.
In this 4th issue, I would like to draw your attention to just 3 points.
1. Fukushima Nuclear Reactor seems to be stabilizing:
Hong Kong Radiation Exceeds Tokyo Even After Nuclear Crisis -Businessweek
If you live in Tokyo, the radiation you get in the air is minimal. The level of the air and water is decreasing and most of us are back in business as usual. My wife who has to take care of 5 kids does not mind drinking tap water now.
2. You get all the attention just being in Japan now!
If you come to Tokyo now, you will get all the attention. After the exodus of foreigners, Roppongi is quite a different place and hotels are filled just with local residence. Shangri-la Hotel has decided to close down for one month. We would just have to question their level of commitment to Japan.
At the last email that I had sent to you, I have criticized French Government for having caused panic in Tokyo by sending chartered flight to evacuate French people out of Japan, but recently French is showing strong sign of coming back. President Sarkozy and CEO of French nuke firm Areva has visited Japan, and vowed to support Japan.
Saudi Aramco has grabbed the headline by CEO Al-Falih visiting Japan on
March 22nd when no foreigner even thought about touching Japan, and offered
a $20 million donation to help Japanese recovery efforts.
Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault- Nissan Alliance, visited a Nissan factory in Iwaki, which is within 40 KM radius from Fukushima Nuclear Reactor on March 29th has gained the support of people in Iwaki by showing his commitment to Fukushima and Japan. GE’s chief executive officer Jeff Immelt is now in Japan.
You will get all the attention just by visiting Japan now. On the other hand, if you do not show your commitment, you will just simply be disregarded after Japan recovers.
I am still shocked with Lufthansa who stops in Seoul-Incheon to allow for crew changes. “That way the crews no longer have to stay in Japan overnight”. What a bad message that Lufthansa is sending to Japan. Japanese people are so frustrated with this policy that some of my friends told me that they would never fly with Lufthansa. After all, we have not heard strong messages from German, yet.
3. Going back to business as usual
Most of the houses in Japan except for the region that was hit by Tsunami have regained electricity, water and gas. The roads have been fixed and trains have gradually started running. The speed of the recovery of factories is acclaimed by an Israeli friend of mine as “amazing”.
As for me, GLOBIS has just finished Entrance Ceremony for newly entering students of International MBA program. We have 12 different nationalities, such as French, Canadian, Thailand, Chinese, Korean, Nigerian, Danish, etc. All together, the number of students who entered GLOBIS MBA in both Japanese and English languages is 348, which makes us as the largest business school in Japan with best ranked by Nikkei Career Magazine for 2 consecutive years.
I have attached a speech memo that I have used today. Japanese are working hard to go back to business as usual, but we still have three issues hanging in front of us.
1) Perceived danger & uncertainties on Fukushima
2) Power shortages caused by the shutdown of most of nuclear reactors in Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area.
3) Supply chain problems: The tsunami has washed out some of the critical factories in Touhoku region, and Radiation is forcing some factories operating within 20~30km radius from Fukushima to cease operation.
However, cherry blossoms have started to bloom, so the mindset of Japanese people is becoming much more positive now. Furthermore, I can feel that there is strong energy coming out from within us. We can say that Japanese people are truly committed not only to rebuild Japan, but to create and innovate something new after this disaster.
So hopefully, you can spread words that Japan is coming back.
【Attachment: Speech Memo】
Entrance Ceremony Welcome Address
Congratulations to all of you. I am very pleased to have 27 of the most talented individuals in the International MBA Program this year. When you look outside from GLOBIS, you can enjoy beautiful cherry blossoms which are welcoming a new era for you.
First of all, I would like to convey my sincere condolences to all the people who were affected by the earthquake and Tsunami in the eastern part of Japan. Now we are facing one of the toughest periods in the history Japan.
However, the toughest time tends to become the best time to improve ourselves
And I am very proud of you for having decided to study at GLOBIS in this timing, confronting fears or uncertainties caused by Fukushima nuclear plants
The founder of Keio University, Yukichi Fukuzawa, (whose face is on 10,000 yen note), who happened to be an uncle-in-law of my great grandfather has kept Keio open even when there was a civil war in Edo (now Tokyo) before Meiji Restoration.
He has shown commitment to teach and educate leaders who would contribute to the new era of Japan.
Now 140 plus years after the Meiji Restoration, GLOBIS is committed to educate new leaders of the World which is confronting dynamic changes caused by various factors, such as revolution in Middle East, unstable economy in advanced nations after the Lehman Shock, emergence of new economies such as India and China, and this natural disaster that happened just recently..
Thinking back, it has been 19 years since I first started GLOBIS when I was 29 years old. I started with little money, little reputation, and virtually no track record.
All that I had at the time was 1) good health, 2) knowledge and skills obtained from my MBA, and 3) the passion and determination that I would do it. That was all I had.
It was virtually a start from scratch like Yukichi Fukuzawa of Keio. With only $8,000. initial capital, I used my apartment room as an office and rented a class room on spot basis for 3 hours with just $200.
I really didn’t have anything when I started GLOBIS, but now we have a total of 348 students including Japanese MBA in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya entering this year, which marks the largest business school in entire Japan.
We have been ranked No. 1 in 2008, 2009 in Nikkei Career Magazine for 2 consecutive years.
In only 19 years after incorporation, all of these achievements have become possible.
This I believe is “the power of education”.
With education, this kind of new creation and innovation could become possible. This notion that the “education has a strong power” is the driving force for us in building GLOBIS.
Our mission is to educate you to become “Visionary Leaders who create and innovate societies”.
I imagine that the majority of you consider our IMBA as your final academic degree in your life.
We feel responsible for fulfilling and exceeding your expectations for this program. We are committed to providing you with the best possible curriculum, contents, and faculty.
Please be assured that your courage and high hopes in joining GLOBIS IMBA program will not be let down.
Equally, you are also responsible for getting the best out of this program. You have been selected from a number of applicants through evaluations and interviews. You are expected to fulfill the roles of “Visionary Leaders who create and innovate societies.”
In order to become Visionary Leaders, you will be asked to follow our educational principle of GLOBIS.
1) Skill Development
You are asked to obtain Knowledge, build conceptual skill, and foster communicate skill.
2) Human Network
You are asked to make Life-long friends who would help and assist you throughout your career and even afterward.
3) Mission in life and personal resolve (or Kokorozashi in Japanese)
You will be asked to pursue your mission statement and your personal vision during this curriculum.
The outcome after 2 years is really up to you. We have extremely talented faculty and staff, providing you with great opportunities to learn. Please take advantages to stretch yourself and grow.
In the next couple of years before you graduate, I look forward to meeting each one of you on campus and in classes.
Congratulations once again, and good luck with your time in IMBA.