Innovative Japanese Companies Harnessing Silicon Valley - Part 2

Monday, January 28, 2019
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

This is part 2 of a talk presenting how innovative large Japanese companies are harnessing Silicon Valley. It is a review of the fireside chats and panels presented at the Silicon Valley – New Japan Summit last November at Stanford, which was in Japanese. The talk adds some historical context, and introduces through many of the company cases from the summit, including Panasonic, Fuji Film, Itochu, Rakuten, Obayashi, Nomura Holdings, Sourcenext, Komatsu, SMBC, and Toyota Research Institute.

The current surge of large Japanese companies into Silicon Valley is focused on firms aiming to identify new opportunities to collaborate with the startup ecosystem in order to understand future technological and industry trajectories, to facilitate new forms of “open” innovation within the company, and in some cases to even redefine how to add value to their core offerings. However, given a vast differently economic context from their core operations in Japan, many of the large Japanese firms’ initial forays tend to fall into patterns of “worst practices” that are ineffective. Yet, a small but growing number of innovative Japanese companies are producing novel and valuable collaborations with a variety of Silicon Valley firms, investors, and ecosystem players. The talk will survey a range of strategic options available to Japanese companies, with implications for how to better adapt companies from Japan to Silicon Valley, and more broadly from different political economic systems.


Kenji Kushida, Research Scholar, Shorenstein APARC Japan Program and Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project Leader


Kenji E. Kushida is the Japan Program Research Scholar at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University (APARC), Project Leader of the Stanford Silicon Valley – New Japan Project (Stanford SV-NJ), research affiliate of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE), International Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS), and Visiting Researcher at National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA). He holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA in East Asian studies and BAs in economics and East Asian studies, all from Stanford University.

Kushida’s research streams include 1) Information Technology innovation, 2) Silicon Valley’s economic ecosystem, 3) Japan’s political economic transformation since the 1990s, and 4) the Fukushima nuclear disaster. He has published several books and numerous articles in each of these streams, including “The Politics of Commoditization in Global ICT Industries,” “Japan’s Startups Ecosystem,” “Cloud Computing: From Scarcity to Abundance,” and others. His latest business book in Japanese is “The Algorithmic Revolution’s Disruption: a Silicon Valley Vantage on IoT, Fintech, Cloud, and AI” (Asahi Shimbun Shuppan 2016).

He has appeared in media including The New York Times, Washington Post, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkei Business, NHK, PBS NewsHour, and NPR.

He is also a trustee of the Japan ICU Foundation, a fellow of the US-Japan Leadership Program, an alumni of the Trilateral Commission David Rockefeller Fellows, and a member of the Mansfield Foundation Network for the Future.


4:15pm: Doors open
4:30pm-5:30pm: Talk and Discussion
5:30pm-6:00pm: Networking


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For more information about the Silicon Valley-New Japan Project please visit: