Fintech & Regtech Summit

On September 4-6, Kenji Kushida participated in Fintech & Regtech Summit(FIN/SUM) held in Tokyo, Japan.

He moderated a Fintech &  Regtech pain point workshop and also participated in a panel discussion entitled ” Find the People's Pain Points: How to Be a Leader in the Field of Regtech”. 

The workshop aimed to extract pain points existing on the regulated side, non regulated side, and user side, and find solutions that lead action. This session featured Associate Partner of NTT DATA Institute of Management Consulting, Hachiro Kuwajima, Partner of Atsumi&Sakai, Takafumi Ochiai, Partner of Ernst&Young Shin Nihon, Keiko Ogawa, General Producer of Nikkei Inc, Yasuaki Yamada, Commerce supervisor of METI, Yoshihiko Mizuno, Manager of JCB, Akito Fukushima, and Manager of NTTDATA, Tomomi Terashima.

The panel discussion focused on ”Pain Points” as a framework for thinking about how to apply IT to all areas related to working with governments, and activities supported by legal frameworks. This session featured Partner of Ernst&Young Shin Nihon, Keiko Ogawa, Digital Integration Division Director of NEC, Daichi Iwata, Mayor of the City of Chiba, Toshihito Kumagai, Professor of Tokyo University , Hiroyuki Morikawa

About the Fintech & Regtech Summit

FIN/SUM is a fintech summit and conference that connects the global finance and tech industries while promoting disruptive innovation across the globe. It grew to be the largest and most influential fintech summit in Japan and one of the largest in Asia and globally. 

More info:

The essence of the AI Revolution is beyond AI itself (CIGS Seminar 07/23/19)

On Tuesday, July 23, Kenji Kushida gave a talk entitled: The essence of the AI Revolution is beyond AI itself: The history of tech innovation and the core of value adding from the perspective of Silicon Valley. The seminar was hosted by the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS) and was held at the Hitotsubashi Hall in Tokyo.

A full summary of the talk (Japanese only) is made available by CIGS here:


Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2019 Tokyo

On July 1, the Silicon Valley-New Japan Project and Ishin co-hosted the Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2019 Tokyo.

The event featured a keynote on AI given by the SVNJ Project’s Kenji Kushida as well as panels on harnessing Silicon Valley, innovation, start-up collaborations, and design thinking.

A full list of speakers can be found below, and for more information and pictures from the Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2019 Tokyo click here

SVNJ Summit 2019 Tokyo Speakers

Kenji Kushida, Research Scholar, Stanford Shorenstein APARC Japan Program

Tetsuji Ohashi, Board of Directors Chairman, Komatsu

Manji Suzuki, VP of Innovation, DENSO International America

Hiroshi Tamaoki, Manager, Open Innovation Hub Global, FUJIFILM

Ryohei Fujimaki, CEO & Co-founder, dotData, Inc.

Masaru Kusutani, Head of Digital Innovation ,Tokio Marine

Hiroyuki Koyama, Senior Specialist, Yanmar

Tomotaka Inoue, Executive Director, VISITS Technologies

Toshihiko Mori, Manager, Panasonic

Hiroto Sato, COO & CFO, Obayashi SVVL

New Economy Summit Tokyo 2019 (NEST TOKYO 2019)

On Thursday June 20, SVNJ participated in the New Economy Summit Tokyo 2019 (NEST Tokyo 2019). The speaker list featured an impressive lineup of Japanese entrepreneurs and business leaders. The closing reception brought together a particularly illustrious group of attendees, including Minister in charge of IT policy, Takuya Hirai, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Masahiko Shibayama, Minister of Justice, Takashi Yamashita, Cabinet Office Special Mission Minister, Satsuki Katayama, and Yasutoshi Nishimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary.

Kenji Kushida appeared alongside Founder & CEO of Sourcenext Corporation, Noriyuki Matsuda, in a special lunch session entitled, “Silicon Valley at Present: What Tokyo can learn from its business innovation.” The two discussed why Silicon Valley has continuously produced disruptive waves of innovation as a Mecca for tech entrepreneurs, and what Tokyo can learn from Silicon Valley’s history and ecosystem as it evolves into Japan’s epicenter for innovation.

Pictures below.

About The New Economy Summit (NEST)

The New Economy Summit (NEST), is a global conference organized by the Japan Association of New Economy (JANE). After 150 years from the Meiji Restoration and 75 years since the post-WWII reforms, Japan is now undergoing another period of transformation. JANE positions this as the third “kaikoku,” or opening of the country to the outside world. NEST was established to show how Japan is transforming itself by learning from the advanced practices of the world, bringing together talent from around the world to discuss innovation. This year, NEST will be held in two individual events as “NEST TOKYO” (on June 20) and “NEST KANSAI” (on Nov. 5).

More info

Annual Meeting of the Trilateral Commission Paris, June 14 -16, 2019

On June 14-16 SVNJ was at the annual 2019 meeting of the Trilateral Commission in Paris, France. In a presentation entitled “A De-Globalizing World: What’s Next?” Kenji Kushida, alongside RAND corporation analyst and fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security Ali Wyne, discussed framing the issue of “de-globalization” by considering the various aspects of globalization itself—particularly on the digital world that intersects with, but is not adequately captured by measures of traditional trade.

Pictures below.

Nikkei AI/SUM Photos

On April 22-24 SVNJ participated in the 2019 Nikkei AI Summit held in Tokyo, Japan.

Kenji Kushida moderated two panels. The first panel “How Do AI Startups Solve Societal Issues in Japan” looked at how Japanese entrepreneurs and investors are leveraging AI solutions to address issues including aging, labor shortages, and widening regional disparities. This session featured Japan Venture Capital Association Chairman and Globis Capital Partners & Co. Managing Partner, Soichi Kariyazono , Managing Partner of UTEC, Tomotaka Goji, CEO of Idein Inc. Koichi Nakamura, Founder and CEO of Araya Inc. Ryota Kanai, and WiL General Partner and CEO, Gen Isayama.

The second panel, “AI x Enterprise”, featured Ryohei Fujimaki, founder and CEO of data science automation and machine learning platform, dotData Inc. DotData is a spinoff of NEC Corporation, and is based in Silicon Valley.

Photos from the sessions below.

About the AI/SUM

AI/SUM is the largest artificial intelligence summit in Japan to date. It brings together the variety of stakeholders from academia and the public sector to corporates, investors and startups from all across the globe. AI/SUM brings together participants across a multitude of industries and unifies them under the impact that Artificial Intelligence will have on our societies in years to come. AI/SUM is organized by Nikkei with support from METI, and special partner, Mitsubishi Estate.

More info:

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligence Augmentation (IA), Human Machine Interfaces (HMI): Frontier Research and Policies for Navigating the Future Together

On Tuesday, May 21, the Stanford Silicon Valley - New Japan Project hosted “Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligence Augmentation (IA), Human Machine Interfaces (HMI): Frontier Research and Policies for Navigating the Future Together” at Stanford University.

This conference was a joint production with Japanese venture community, Mistletoe, Inc. — the second jointly produced conference centered around the topic of machine intelligence, and the socio-economic impact of new technologies (Human Autonomy in the Age of Automation: Envisioning 2045 Full Final Report).

The conference featured three roundtable sessions throughout the day. Each session began with presentations, followed by discussion (see full agenda).


The diffusion and deployment of technology is not simply shaped by the technology itself. Complementary technologies are often required to derive value from the technology, and other factors such as business models for which the technology solves significant “pain points,” business organizations that can harness the set of technologies, along with societal factors such as regulations, employment regimes, demographics, social norms, and political dynamics can critically affect how technologies diffuse.

This conference centered on the technological development, deployment, and diffusion of various forms of human-machine interfaces. In the morning, the speakers and discussants examined technologies utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), IA (Intelligence Augmentation), VR (Virtual Reality), and pushing human-machine interfaces (HMI) to the next level of commercial development. The first session featured Komatsu, which has a track record of working closely with Silicon Valley startups to deploy services that create value in new ways. To enable remotely operated construction equipment, they are working with Lim Innovations, which specializes in custom prosthetics, in order to develop haptics and real feedback. SE4 is a new startup that has developed remote operation with virtual reality-based manipulation, but with the remote robots taking care of the detailed actions themselves. The second session introduced three entities facilitating cutting edge technological breakthroughs and university-industry collaborations to bring new technologies to the world, featuring Mistletoe, the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, the UC Berkeley Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), and research that is in the initial phases of spinning out of a research lab into a commercial deployment. The afternoon focused on discussion of policy dynamics and considerations surrounding the use of AI and IA, particularly in broad societal deployments.

Event Photos

Nikkei AI Summit

On April 22-24, Kenji Kushida participated in the 2019 Nikkei AI Summit held in Tokyo, Japan. He moderated several sessions including a session entitled, “How do AI Startups Transform Japan’s Societal Challenges into Opportunities” that featured Japan Venture Capital Association Chairman and Globis Capital Partners & Co. Managing Partner, Soichi Kariyazono , Managing Partner of UTEC, Tomotaka Goji, CEO of Idein Inc. Koichi Nakamura, Founder and CEO of Araya Inc. Ryota Kanai, and WiL General Partner and CEO, Gen Isayama.

For more info visit:

Kushida AI Summit April 2019.jpg

Silicon Valley D-Lab Report on MaaS

In a new “Silicon Valley D-Lab Report,” Toshihiko Mori, Hirokazu Shimoda, Masayuki Kimura, and Tomotaka Inoue, examine MaaS (mobility-as-a-service) from a Silicon Valley perspective. The report discusses the evolution of MaaS, its value creation, as well as the rise of MaaS in Japan.

Kenji Kushida contributed to this project, and his comments are featured in the report.


US Democracy and Recent Trends in US Politics Full Presentation Report Now Available Online

On December 12, Kenji Kushida spoke at a seminar organized by the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo on the topic of US democracy. The full summary of this presentation is now available online (in Japanese only).

In this discussion, Kushida discusses the controversial 2016 US election, and the unexpected results that led to a deeper investigation of our current political system. This presentation looks at the inequalities and contradictions in our political system, many of which Americans had not even been aware of, and the future of the American democracy based on historical precedents.


Seminar at Egg Japan

On Thursday, Kenji Kushida gave a presentation entitled “The Essence of the Silicon Valley AI Revolution and How to Avoid Worst Practice Strategies of Japanese Firms Trying to Harness Silicon Valley” at Egg Japan by Mitsubishi Real Estate, in Tokyo.

During this seminar, Kushida discussed the evolution of the AI revolution and its broader impact. He also discussed ways in which Japanese firms are successfully and unsuccessfully harnessing Silicon Valley.

A full event report by Egg Japan is now available.

AI, Silicon Valley-Style Value Creation, and Japanese Companies (CIGS Seminar 4/16/19)

On Tuesday, in a talk entitled “AI, Silicon Valley-Style Value Creation, and Japanese Companies” Kenji Kushida discussed the essence of the AI Revolution, how its evolved, and the impact that its had. The current AI Revolution isn’t just a story of what AI itself can do, but rather, it matters who does what with AI. Historically, technological revolutions have happened when a number of complementary factors align. In other words, the AI revolution has emerged out of a complex interaction of political and economic dynamics.

Kushida also discussed how value is created in Silicon Valley, and why Silicon Valley-born technologies have been so successfully disruptive.

The seminar was hosted by the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS) and was held at the Hitotsubashi Hall in Tokyo.

Canon Ideathon 2019

Last Friday, SV-NJ hosted the second annual Canon Ideathon, jointly organized with Canon USA and DNX Ventures. This year, participants were asked to envision and innovate products and solutions to elevate the use of images in people’s lives. 8 teams of undergrad and graduate students from Stanford University and UC Berkeley gathered at the Encina Hall Bechtel Conference Center to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, including venture capitalists and Canon executives.

Pictures from the event:

Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2018 English Report Now Available

The Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2018 english conference report is now available!

On November 5th and 6th 2018, Stanford SV-NJ and Ishin hosted the third annual Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit at Stanford University. This year, 85 Silicon Valley startups met with 400 people from 150 Japanese companies, with about half of the Japanese participants coming directly from Japan for this event.

This year’s summit brought together speakers from Panasonic, Fujifilm, ITOCHU, Rakuten, Obayashi, Nomura, Dreamers Fund, Sourcenext, Komatsu, HAX, StartX, Osaro, IHI Inc., SMBC, and TRI, to speak about Silicon Valley strategies, lessons learned from past “worst practices”, and large firm-startup collaboration experiences. 

This conference report provides an overview of the conference, and highlights from the panels and fireside chats throughout the day.



The Silicon Valley – New Japan Summit organized by Stanford SV-NJ and Ishin, was first held in November 2016 at Stanford University. The summit has since grown to an annual, two-day, two-country conference that has brought together a large number of prominent Japanese firms, and well-known and fast-growing Silicon Valley startups. 

The aim of the Silicon Valley – New Japan Summit is two-fold: 1) bringing together large firms and Silicon Valley startups to meet and build connections, and 2) highlighting large Japanese firms that have launched innovative initiatives and are successfully building a presence within the Silicon Valley ecosystem. 


Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2018 at Stanford University
New Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2018 Articles by Ishin
Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2017 (Silicon Valley)

CIGS 4 Part Series on Industry Disruption and Value Creation in the Automobile Industry

In a new 4 part series published by the Canon Institute for Global Studies, Kenji Kushida discusses industry disruption and value creation in the automobile industry.

In the first installation, Kushida looks at Uber. What is Uber, and how has it changed the industry?

In the second column, we examine Lyft’s “Green Mode”, a pilot project announced in February 2019 that allows users to call hybrid or electric eco cars.

In the third column, we look at Tesla. Tesla is often misunderstood in Japan, where it has yet to deeply penetrate the automotive market, as a niche luxury car brand. However, in fact, the growth of Tesla presents a real threat to the existing automobile industry, as it is creating new value in a way that we have not seen before.

In the final column, Kushida discusses Aurora, a company that is being driven forth by its exceptional founders, and is a case study that really embodies Silicon Valley.

Article Links (in Japanese):

1. そもそもウーバーとは
2. リフト(Lyft)のグリーンモードの衝撃
3. テスラの「価値」:競争の土俵を変える
4. オーロラ(Aurora):先陣を切る企業を飛び出した起業家たち

Japan in the Bay Area: From Competition to Collaboration

On Monday, the Stanford Silicon Valley - New Japan Project hosted a symposium on “Japan in the Bay Area: From Competition to Collaboration” jointly with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and in cooperation with the Japan Society of Northern California. Leading experts and practitioners from both Japan and the Bay Area joined us for a discussion about the critical transformations underway in Japan’s economy and unique synergies that connect it to the Bay Area. This forum introduced and discussed the high-level findings of a new report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute on Japan’s economic engagement in San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area, and the role the region is playing as California and Japan look to expand trade and investment and accelerate innovation.

Full agenda below.


1:00pm         Welcome

     Jim Wunderman, President & CEO, Bay Area Council

     Hon. Tomochika Uyama, Consul General of Japan

     Takeo Hoshi, Director, Shorenstein APARC Japan Program

1:10pm          Introduction of Bay Area Council Economic Institute Report: High-Level Findings

     Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute

1:30pm          Observations and Silicon Valley Overview

     Kenji Kushida, Research Scholar, Stanford University

1:45pm          Panel 1: The Emerging New Japan 

     Kanetaka Maki, Associate Professor, Waseda University School of Business

     Mio Takaoka, CFO, Medical Note and Partner, Arbor Ventures

     Takeshi Ebihara, Founding GP, Repright Partners

     Emre Yuasa, Principal, Globus Capital Partners

     Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute (Moderator)

2:45pm          Panel 2: Japanese Companies in Silicon Valley Creating Value in New Ways

     Hiroshi Menjo, Managing Partner, Net Service Ventures

     Tsunehiko Yanagihara, Executive VP, Mitsubishi Corp M-LAB

     Gen Isayama, General Partner & CEO, World Innovation Lab

     Dennis Clark, Managing Director, Honda Innovations

     George Saikalis, SVP & CTO, Hitachi America, Ltd.

     Kenji Kushida, Research Scholar, Stanford University (Moderator)

4:00pm         Closing Remarks 

Asahi Shimbun Digital Interview

In a recent interview with Asahi Shimbun Digital and ITOCHU CTC, Kushida discusses how Japanese companies are harnessing Silicon Valley, examples of success stories as well as failures, and some tips for best practices. In the interview, Kushida discusses our mission here at the Stanford Silicon Valley - New Japan Project, our activities including the Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit, and raises Komatsu, Honda, and Sourcenext (all featured in our 2018 Summit) as examples of Japanese companies who have been aggressively pushing forward open innovation initiatives, and are quite active in the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

(Kushida’s interview is followed by a discussion between Scrum Ventures General Partner, Tak Miyata, and ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America Director of Business Development, Wataru Matsumoto)

The video interview is available (in Japanese) here