Business Speaker Series 38
Jason Stevens, President and CEO, Mitsubishi International Corporation
Ira Shapiro, President, Ira Shapiro Global Strategies, LLC
June 4, 2019
The NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series was held in Boston, Massachusetts in cooperation with the Japan Society of Boston (JSB). Mr. Jason Stevens, President and CEO of Mitsubishi International Corporation was invited as a speaker and Ambassador Ira Shapiro, Former Chief U.S. Trade Negotiator with Japan and Canada joined the discussion as a moderator.
Mr. Stevens presented an outstanding and extensive overview of why Japanese M&A in the U.S. is of critical importance to both the Japanese and the U.S. He touched on many key points but among those he stressed was an explanation of the critical challenges of post-merger integration, citing several examples from Mitsubishi International’s experience. He also engaged the audience in an intriguing aspect that most had not given much thought, which was that, in addition to fueling top line revenues for Japanese cash rich corporations, the M&A push was resulting in a change in Japanese corporate board compositions, including not only more outside independent directors, but the increasing appointment of non-Japanese directors as well.
After his presentation, Mr. Stevens took questions from the audience, in a session moderated by Ambassador Shapiro. There was a lively exchange from an audience that included many business representatives from the region, as well as Japan experts Dr. Ezra Vogel of Harvard, and Yale scholar Dr. Christina Davis, who has also recently joined the Harvard faculty.