On March 15th, 2021, the Centre for the Study of Global Japan welcomed Ulrike Schaede, Professor of Japanese Business at the University of California, San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy and Director of JFIT (Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology), to present her book The Business Reinvention of Japan – Why it Matters for Global Business and Politics.

The presentation explored the business reinvention of Japan and its implications for global business and politics. Over the past 20 years, Japan’s leading companies have seen their former competitiveness in the mass manufacturing of high-quality consumer products competed away, first by Korea and Taiwan, and then by China. How have Japanese companies responded to the rise of China and the globalization of supply chains?

During the presentation, Schaede laid out important aspects of Japan’s business reinvention and highlighted their significance for global business and politics. As outlined in her book, the new Japanese business strategy seeks to anchor Asian supply chains and stay ahead of China by occupying critical deep-tech niches. As Japanese companies have refocused, they have attracted foreign capital and reorganized internal processes of innovation. Schaede highlighted that South Korea and Taiwan both have a trade deficit with Japan, and China has a trade deficit with both South Korea and Taiwan, while Japan does not have deficits with either. Dynamic Japanese businesses remain crucial in global supply chains.

The presentation was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Phillip Lipscy (Director, Centre for the Study of Global Japan). During the session, Schaede addressed important questions surrounding Japan’s business reinvention which included the sources of financing for innovation, the main drawbacks of society 5.0 in Japan, and the impact of Chinese industrial espionage in Japanese businesses.

The Centre would like to thank Ulrike Schaede for delivering a fascinating presentation and the global audience in attendance for their engaged participation.

To view a full video of the presentation, CLICK HERE.

About the Speaker:

Ulrike Schaede is Professor of Japanese Business at the University of California, San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy. She is the Director of JFIT (Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology) where she organizes a weekly “Japan Zoominar” on current issues on Japan. Schaede works on Japan’s changing corporate strategies, including business culture, change management, employment practices, the rise of private equity, corporate governance, and manufacturing and innovation under the digital transformation. She has written extensively on Japanese business organization, and is the author of The Business Reinvention of Japan: How to Make Sense of the New Japan (Stanford University Press, 2020) as well as Choose and Focus: Japanese Business Strategies for the 21st Century (Cornell UP, 2008). She holds a PhD in Japan Studies and Economics from Marburg University, Germany, and has been invited to visiting professor and scholar positions at UC Berkeley, Harvard Business School, Stanford University in the U.S., as well as Hitotsubashi University and the research institutes of The Bank of Japan, various Ministries, and the Development Bank of Japan. All told, Schaede has spent over nine years of research in Tokyo and is an advisor to two startup incubators in Japan. See more at www.TheJapanologist.com.