NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series 23 
Kansas City, Missouri
Kunio Watanabe, Executive Managing Director, Nomura Holdings, Inc.
William R. Farrell, Adjunct Professor of Japanese, Naval War College

February 27, 2017

The NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series was held in Kansas City on February 27, 2017 in cooperation with the Heart of America Japan-America Society. Mr. Kunio Watanabe, Executive Managing Director of Nomura Holdings, Inc. and Mr. William R. Farrell, Adjunct Professor of Naval War College were invited as speakers.

Mr. Watanabe described Nomura’s global presence and zeroed in on its recent purchase of 41% of Kansas City-based American Century Investments (ACI). He emphasized the complementarity of the two companies’ product offerings as a major opportunity for both companies. Nomura has a non-controlling interest in ACI, meaning that collaboration, rather than integration, is the focus of the relationship. This was evident in the structure of the relationship and the emphasis on creating value for both organizations.

Dr. Farrell’s theme was the status of the U.S.-Japan relationship under the new U.S. President. He described the history of the U.S.-Japan relationship through the 20th century, concluding that it has reached a level of depth and durability, despite recurring tensions, which few other bilateral relationships can match. He noted that the election of Donald Trump, a relative unknown to Japanese, has caused uncertainty and some concern in Japan, but predicted that the two nations will work together well. He also reviewed the overall strategic situation in Asia, including the rise of China and the threat from North Korea, predicting that this will bring the U.S. and Japan closer together.