NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series 24 
Portland, Oregon
Minoru Wakabayashi, Associate Director, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
Ulrike Schaede, Director of Japan Forum, UC San Diego

May 11, 2017

The NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series was held in Portland, Oregon on May 11, 2017 in cooperation with the Japan-America Society of Oregon. Mr. Minoru Wakabayashi, Associate Director in charge of StanCorp Financial Group of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company and Dr. Ulrike Schaede, Professor of UC San Diego were invited as speakers.

Mr. Wakabayashi discussed the decision-making process Meiji Yasuda uses to determine possible purchases, the strengths and weaknesses of different marketplaces, challenges versus opportunities in developing and developed marketplaces. He went on to explore the parameters of corporate culture that Meiji Yasuda looked for, relative size and position in the marketplace, consistency of overall performance to investors.

Dr. Schaede delivered a presentation on the contemporary corporate global strategies of Japanese business. She gave an illuminating insight into modern-day Japan, challenging attendees to think beyond the well-known corporations of the 1980’s. Attendees were left with the ideas that, while Japan has been facing a less than ideal demographic future and debt burden, companies have undergone fundamental changes since the 1990s in order to survive and continue thriving. She leaned heavily on several examples, including the iPhone, whose LDC screen is made up of 25 layers consisting of diriment high-tech chemical and manufactured elements, where Japanese companies now thrive, leading to 34% of the sale of every iPhone going to a Japanese business.