Trustees and Auditors
Co-founder and Chairman
Yoichi Funabashi , Ph.D.
Former Editor-in-Chief for the Asahi Shimbun (2007-2010)
Yoichi Funabashi is an award-winning Japanese journalist, columnist and author. He has written extensively on foreign affairs, the US-Japan Alliance, economics and historical issues in the Asia Pacific.
He has a distinguished career as a journalist. He served as correspondent for the Asahi Shimbun in Beijing (1980-81) and Washington (1984-87), and as US General Bureau Chief (1993-97). In 2016 he became the first Japanese laureate of Stanford University’s prestigious Shorenstein Journalism Award. In 2013 he won the Oya Soichi Nonfiction Award for his book on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident ‘Countdown to Meltdown,’ he won the Japan Press Award known as Japan’s “Pulitzer Prize” in 1994 for his columns on international affairs, his articles in Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy won the Ishibashi Tanzan Prize in 1992 and in 1985 he received the Vaughn-Ueda Prize for his reporting on international affairs.
His books in English include: The Peninsula Question (Brookings Institution Press, 2007); Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific, ed. (USIP, 2003,); Alliance Tomorrow, ed. (Tokyo Foundation, 2001); Alliance Adrift (Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1998, winner of the Shincho Arts and Sciences Award); Asia-Pacific Fusion: Japan’s Role in APEC (Institute for International Economics, 1995, winner of the Mainichi Shimbun Asia Pacific Grand Prix Award); and Managing the Dollar: From the Plaza to the Louvre (1988 winner of the Yoshino Sakuzo Prize).
As Co-founder and Chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation he oversaw the “Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident” (Routledge, 2011) that was ranked in the top 24 policy reports produced by a think-tank in the ‘2012 Global Go-to Think Tank Ranking.’ Since its establishment in 2012, RJIF has published several influential reports on a broad range of key policy challenges facing Japan and the Asia-Pacific. These include: Japan’s Population Implosion: The 50 Million Shock (Shinchosha, 2015); Examining Japan’s Lost Decades (Routledge, 2015); The Decline of Postwar Moderate Conservatism in Japan (Kadokawa Shinsho, 2015); Anatomy of Yoshida Testimony (RJIF, 2015); Quiet Deterrence: Building Japan’s New National Security Strategy, (RJIF 2014); Japan in Peril? 9 Crisis Scenarios (CLSA, 2014); DPJ Administration: Challenges and Failures (Chuokoron Shinsha, 2013).
He received his B.A. from the University of Tokyo in 1968 and his Ph.D. from Keio University in 1992. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University (1975-76), a visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Economics (1987), a Donald Keene Fellow at Columbia University (2003), a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo Public Policy Institute (2005-2006) and a distinguished guest professor at Keio University (2011-2014).
He serves as an active member of several boards, advisory committees and communities. These include: former board member of the International Crisis Group, and a current member of the Trilateral Commission; the World Economic Forum; the Committee for Reforming TEPCO and Overcoming 1F Challenges; the expert committee to discuss the mid-long term direction for the Japan International Cooperation Agency; and the Cabinet Office’s Disaster Risk Reduction 4.0 Future Framework Project. He has been a member of the selection committees for the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities since 2001 and for the Jiro Osaragi Prize since 2010; in 2016 he joined the interview panel for the second class of the Schwarzman Scholars program. Previously he was a member of the Committee to Reform the Foreign Ministry (advisory board to Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi) from 2002-2003, and a member of the “21st Century Japan’s Goal” commission (advisory board to Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi) from 1999-2000. He regularly writes for the opinion sections of the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post and the Japan Times. He is a former contributing editor of Foreign Policy, and sits on the editorial board of The Washington Quarterly.
His articles and papers in English include: “Japan sees an opportunity for a reset with Russia” (Financial Times, 7 December 2016); “A message from Asia-Pacific to President-elect Trump” (The Strait Times, 16 November 2016); “The Trump Effect on Tokyo” (The New York Times, 15 November 2016); “Despite Trump’s wishes, America can’t turn its back on Japan and South Korea” (Washington Post, 18 August 2016); “Japan Trains Others to Enforce Law in East, South China Seas” (Yale Global Online, 19 May 2016); “Japan’s Silver Pacifism” (The National Interest, Jan/Feb 2016); “What will the TPP mean for China” (China File, 9 October 2015); “What is America’s Purpose? (The National Interest, Sept/Oct 2015); “Japan’s Gray-Haired Pacifism” (The International New York Times, 13 August 2015); “Japan needs to think big on Asian strategy” (East Asia Forum, 21 June 2015); “The west can look for answers in Japan’s lost decades” (Financial Times, 1 May 2015); “Japan Must Join China’s Bank” (The International New York Times, 23 April 2015); “A futile boycott of China’s bank will not push Xi out of his back yard” (Financial Times, 9 December 2014); “Fukushima in review: a complex disaster, a disastrous response” (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March/April 2012); “Lessons from Japan’s nuclear accident” (East Asia Forum, 26 March 2012); “The end of Japanese illusions”(New York Times, 11 March 2012); “My findings in Japan’s existential fallout” (Financial Times, 9 March 2012); “Fukushima in review: A complex disaster, a disastrous response” (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” (1 March 2012); “Challenges for Rising Asia and Japan’s Role” (Yale Global Online, September 2010); “Forget Bretton Woods II: the Role for U.S.-China-Japan Trilateralism” (Washington Quarterly, April 2009); “No One Model for Global Economy” (Yale Global Online, March 2009); “Keeping Up With Asia” (Foreign Affairs, September/October 2008); “Power of Ideas: The US is Losing its Edge” (Global Asia, Fall 2007); “Stuck on the Sidelines”, (Newsweek International, 5 March 2007); “Koizumi landslide: the China factor” (Yale Global Online, 15 September 2005); “The world should also have a vote”(International Herald Tribune, 25 March 2004); “Koizumi opens a Pandora’s box”(Financial Times, 7 January 2004); “China is preparing a ‘peaceful ascendancy’ ” (International Herald Tribune, 30 December 2003); “Learning from five years of trialogue” (China-Japan-US: Meeting New Challenges, 2002); “Northeast Asia’s strategic dilemmas” (Assessing the Threats, 2002); “Asia’s digital challenge”(Survival, Spring 2002); “Japan’s unfinished success story” (Japan Quarterly 2001); “Japan’s moment of truth” (Survival, Winter 2000-01); “International perspectives on national missile defense: Tokyo’s temperance” (The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2000); “Tokyo’s depression diplomacy” (Foreign Affairs, November / December 1998); “Thinking trilaterally” (China-Japan-US: Managing the Trilateral Relationship, Japan Center for International Exchange, 1998); and “Bridging Asia’s economics-security gap” (Survival, Winter 1996-97).
President ＆ CEO, Suntory Holdings Limited
Mr. Niinami started his career in 1981 at Mitsubishi Corporation. In 1995, he was appointed CEO of Sodex Corporation, a food service joint venture between Mitsubishi and Sodexho, France. In 2002, he was appointed President & CEO, Lawson, Inc., then the Chairman of the Board in May 2014. Mr. Niinami assumed the post of Advisor of Suntory Holdings Limited on August 1, 2014, then became the President & CEO on October 1, 2014. He has served as Member of the Tax Commission of the Government since 2013, as well as a Member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy since 2014. Mr. Niinami is a graduate with honors from Harvard Business School.
M. James Kondo
Visiting Professor, Hitotsubashi University
Visiting Scientist, MIT Media Lab
Senior Advisor, Geodesic Capital
Selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos), Asia21 Fellow by Asia Society, and Inamori Fellow by the Inamori Foundation.
In the social sector, co-founder of TABLE FOR TWO and Beyond Tomorrow. A trustee of International House of Japan.
Graduate of Keio University and Harvard Business School, and Yale World Fellow.
Nobuyoshi John Ehara
Founder, Partner, UNISON CAPITAL Inc.
Mr. Ehara was instrumental in establishing the Private Equity Association of Japan. Mr. Ehara served as its first Chairman from 2005 to 2007. He was again appointed to the position of the Chairman in July, 2013.
Prior to founding Unison Capital, Mr. Ehara spent sixteen years as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, building its franchise in Japan. In 1988, he became the first Japanese to be selected General Partner of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Ehara worked at Morgan Guaranty Trust Company in New York and Tokyo between 1978 and 1980.
Mr. Ehara holds a B.S. in Architecture and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Forbes JAPAN
Founder & CEO, D4V
Mr. Takano joined Daiwa Securities after receiving his master’s degree from Waseda University and later joined Daiwa Institute of Research where he was head of the strategist team. He was seconded to Daiwa Securities’ United States office in 1991 where he co-developed asset management models with Nobel Economics Prize Winner Harry Marcovitz. He joined Goldman Sachs Asset Management in 1997 and served as Head of Marketing as well as Operating Officer & Chief of Planning and Research before joining PIMCO Japan Ltd. in 2001. Mr. Takano served as President of PIMCO Japan for 13 years. In 2014, Mr. Takano moved on to the publishing industry and became CEO of Atomixmedia Inc. and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes JAPAN. He also co-founded D4V (Design for Ventures, a venture capital formed in partnership with IDEO) in 2016 and currently serves as its CEO.
Chairman and CEO, Asuka Holdings Inc.
Mr. Mamoru Taniya is Chairman and CEO of Asuka holdings Inc. He has broad range of investment experiences, from fixed-income derivatives to private equities. His early career is illustrated by his successful years at Salomon Brothers, which he joined in 1987 and he became the youngest managing director in Asia to lead the proprietary trading division for Japan and Asia as one of the pioneers in financial arbitrage trading in the region. He then joined Tudor Capital (Japan) as one of the founding partners, and led an MBO to found Asuka Asset Management, where he is CEO to date, and has made it a leading independent hedge fund in Japan.
As a venture capitalist, he initiated the launch of Lifenet Insurance Company, the first online insurance company, and invested in the development of “studio yoggy,” a pioneering yoga studio, which contributed to popularize Yoga widely in Japan. He started another venture companies, Campus for H Inc., a health care company that develops and markets innovative corporate wellness programs, and Money Design Inc. which is the first Robo Advisor company as a founder.
As a NGO/NPO,he also serves as Representative founder of International School of Asia, Karuizawa (ISAK), the first international boarding school in Japan since its establishment. In addition, he is Vice Chair Person of Human Rights Watch, which is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights, and Director of Asia Pacific Initiative.
Mr. Taniya received his B.A. in law from the University of Tokyo in 1987.
William H. Saito
President & CEO, InTecur, K.K.
Born in California in 1971, Mr. William H. Saito took up commercial software programming when he was a teenager. Named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he led the development of the world’s first biometric authentication and cryptographic system which was later sold to Microsoft Corporation in 2004.
In 2005 he moved to Tokyo and founded InTecur, a consultancy that helps companies worldwide to identify and market innovative technologies. In parallel, he helps entrepreneurs become successful through his venture capital investments. Saito also advises a multitude of Japanese government agencies, lectures at the nation’s most prestigious universities, and comments on national policy issues.
In 2011, Mr. Saito was named a Foundation Board Member of the World Economic Forum after being honored as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member. He was also CTO of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, the first such commission ever appointed by Japan’s national legislature. In 2012, Mr. Saito was named a council member on National Strategy and Policy for the National Policy Unit, a new Cabinet-level organization that reports directly to the Prime Minister of Japan and his book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP. He was appointed as Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan in December 2013.
Founder and Managing Partner, BEENEXT PTE. LTD.
Attorney, Partner of Nagashima Ohno and Tsunematsu
Mr. Shiozaki is a partner of Nagashima Ohno and Tsunematsu, one of Japan’s leading law firms, Mr. Shiozaki is recognized for his expertise in corporate crisis management, including regulatory investigations, white color defense, product recall, labor/employment disputes, and various corporate governance issues, especially those with multi-jurisdictional or parallel civil and criminal components. In recent years, he has advised both domestic and foreign clients in resolving many high profile corporate crises, including the LIBOR/TIBOR manipulation investigation, FX manipulation investigation, global product recall by a Japan auto-parts manufacturer, international trade secret theft in the semiconductor industry, government investigations against a global pharmaceutical corporation operating in Japan, and his representation of the former CEO of Olympus Corporation who brought light to the company’s recent accounting scandal.
Mr. Shiozaki worked in the Prime Minister’s office as senior policy advisor from 2006 to 2007 and is knowledgeable in Japanese regulations /rules and governmental procedures, as well as having rich experience dealing with the media. He also serves as the vice-chairman of the Anti-Yakuza Committee at the Daiichi Tokyo Bar Association and has authored many related publications. In addition, he served as one of the core working group members in the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident. He graduated from the University of Tokyo (LL.B.), holds an M.A. in international policy from Stanford University, and completed his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he served as class president. In 2017, he was awarded the Compliance / Investigations Lawyer of the Year at the Asian Legal Awards hosted by The American Lawyer, in association with The Asian Lawyer, China Law & Practice and Legal Week. Mr. Shiozaki co-authored “Japan’s Worst Case Scenario – Nine Blind Spots” (2013) , “The Democratic Party of Japan in Power” (2013) and many other articles.