Event Details

The Japanese government has been promoting e-government for the last 20 years and the results have been at best hit and miss. There are some legitimate reasons for the slow pace, such as the size of the population and legal constraints on privacy, but covid-19 has reemphasized the necessity of digital transformation of the public sector if Japan is to maintain welfare for its citizens, both individuals and corporate.

Will Prime Minister Suga's digital initiative succeed? What are the areas business leaders should focus on to find opportunity and reap benefits in Japan's effort to digitize itself? Could the global pandemic be a catalyst for Japan to speed up its digital efforts as we see in abolition of hanko culture and deregulation of tele-medicine? In this panel, we like to evaluate the status of DX efforts in the public sector in Japan and abroad to understand the opportunity the digitization of the public sector brings to the economy and corporate stakeholders.


  • Tagui Ichikawa (Professor, Institute of Innovation Research at Hitotsubashi University)

    Tagui Ichikawa

    Professor, Institute of Innovation Research at Hitotsubashi University

    Tagui Ichikawa is a Professor at Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University. After joining the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1990, he served at a various role working on technology and innovation policy planning, including a role of Cabinet Counselor at the Office of Information and Communications Technology (IT) Strategy Office, and Director of the Department of Artificial Intelligence Research Strategy at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). His main areas of research interest are on technology and innovation policy from the perspective of institutions and organizations, especially in the field of advanced technologies such as digital and artificial intelligence.

    He has a master's degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, a master's degree from the Technology and Policy Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a doctoral degree in the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in 2013.

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  • James McCready (President at Adobe KK)

    James McCready

    President at Adobe KK

    James McCready was appointed as President of Adobe Japan in April 2018 with the mission to further enhance Adobe’s business in Japan, one of the company’s most important markets. From December 2018, he also serves as President of Asia-Pacific region.

    Prior to joining Adobe, James worked at Dell EMC for more than 2 decades. James brings with him extensive experience in enterprise and commercial sales and management in regions across the US and Asia. He most recently served as Vice President for Converged Platforms and Solutions, leading Dell EMC’s Asia Pacific and Japan market operations from the company’s base in Singapore. James also spent four years in Tokyo as Chief Sales Strategy Officer and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of EMC Japan.

    James brings with him a wealth of experience and insight gained from serving customers in the IT industry. At Adobe Japan, he leads all functions ranging from sales and marketing to customer support, focused on providing innovative solutions and industry-leading services and support to all customers. McCready’s distinctive background, integrity, and intense customer focus is the perfect combination to both lead the Adobe Japan team as well as collaborate and design the best solutions for customers in Japan.

    Before joining Dell EMC, James was a professional baseball pitcher from 1991 to 1997 with the New York Mets organization.

    James has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Bentley University.

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  • Kazumi Nishikawa (Director, Information Technology Industry Division of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

    Kazumi Nishikawa

    Director, Information Technology Industry Division of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

    Prior to current appointment, Mr Nishikawa held various positions in METI over a period of 20+ years, including Director for Trade Strategy to cover trade strategy and global growth strategy of Japan, Executive Director of JETRO Singapore/Special Adviser to the Minister's Secretariat of METI to cover Asian economic integration, Director for Policy Planning in the Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau to coordinate the Growth Strategy of “Abenomics” Policy, Principle Deputy Director of Minister’s Secretariat, World Trade Organization negotiator, and Deputy Director for SME Finance. Has also worked in the Defence Ministry and Cabinet Office. Holds a law degree from the University of Tokyo, an LLM from Northwestern University School of Law, and an LLM in International Studies from Georgetown University Law Center. Attorney at Law in New York State, USA.

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  • Shinya Suda (Senior Vice President of the Information Systems at Astellas Pharma Inc.)

    Shinya Suda

    Senior Vice President of the Information Systems at Astellas Pharma Inc.

    Master's degree in Pharmacology. Joined Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals (current: Astellas Pharma Inc) in 1992. Participated in the Merger Preparatory Committee as a co-secretariat of IT integration in 2004. Seconded to the Information Systems in the regional HQ in the UK from 2008 to 2010 to take part in IT planning and control and participated in the regional IT service outsourcing project in EMEA. Assigned as the Corporate Vice President of the Information Systems to manage the Information Systems in Japan in 2011. Restructured service providers (2012) and the IS organization (2015) from regional basis to global. Senior Vice President of the Information Systems to lead the global Information Systems division at present.

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  • Takuji Okubo (Director, Corporate Network, North Asia of The Economist Corporate Network)

    Takuji Okubo

    Director, Corporate Network, North Asia of The Economist Corporate Network

    Takuji Okubo is the North Asia Director of The Economist Corporate Network, managing the Networks in Japan and in South Korea.

    Prior to joining The Economist Group, Takuji was the Managing Director and Chief Economist at Japan Macro Advisors, serving global fortune 500 companies and financial institutions in Japan and abroad. In his past career, Takuji was a Chief Economist at Societe Generale, in charge of Japan and of South Korea, and a senior economist at Merrill Lynch and at Goldman Sachs. Outside his role at ECN, Takuji also serves as a non-executive director at Japan Risk Forum, an association of Chief Risk Officers among Japanese financial institutions.

    Takuji holds B.A in Economics from Tokyo University and while at the university he was a recipient of prestigious INOUE scholarship. He holds MBA from INSEAD and Msc. In Economics from UPF in Barcelona. Apart from work, he enjoys motor-cycling, scuba-diving, cooking as well as worrying about the future of the Japanese economy.

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