News & Highlights

  • MARCH 2021

Japan Immersive Field Course Virtual Reunion

The Japan Immersive Field Course (IFC, formerly known as IXP), led by Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi, has been offered as part of the elective curriculum within the MBA program for nine consecutive years since 2012. It started as a course that introduced students to the Tohoku region and the impact of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. This year marked the 10th anniversary, however because the course was canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Professor Hiro Takeuchi and JRC hosted a Virtual Reunion of past program participants. Approximately 130 people joined the session including past participants from around the globe, program partners and supporters from the Tohoku region, and HBS alumni.
  • DECEMBER 2020

Virtual Case Discussion with Professor Tomomichi Amano

On December 2, the JRC hosted an online case discussion with Professor Tomomichi Amano for HBS alumni and friends in Japan and other parts of the world. Professor Amano led a discussion on the case, Othellonia: Growing a Mobile Game, which he co-authored with Professor Eva Ascarza and Professor Sunil Gupta. Over 40 people joined the session and enjoyed a lively discussion.
  • NOVEMBER 2020

Webinar with Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi: The Strategy of the Wise Company in a Post-Coronavirus World

Last November the JRC organized a webinar with Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi in collaboration with Academy Hills, introducing HBS to a broad audience in Japan. Professor Takeuchi discussed the strategy of the Wise Company in a post-Coronavirus world based on his new book, The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation. Nearly 300 people joined the session and enjoyed an energetic talk by Professor Takeuchi.
  • October 2020

24 Hours of Harvard

Worldwide Week at Harvard showcases the breadth of Harvard’s global engagement through academic and cultural events with global or international themes. On October 7th-8th, Harvard broadcasted 24 Hours of Harvard, which featured 24 consecutive hours of around-the-clock and around-the-world events and activities. The Japan Research Center contributed a program titled “Introduction of Japan through a Very Popular Course at HBS.” Nobuo Sato, Executive Director, introduced the activities of the JRC, and Hirotaka Takeuchi, Faculty Chair of the JRC and Professor of the popular course, Japan IFC, discussed the valuable lessons HBS students learn from the program; not only in culture or business but human experience.

New Research on the Region

  • January 2021
  • Case

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (A)

By: David J. Collis, Nobuo Sato and Akiko Kanno

This case follows Christophe Weber, President and CEO of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, as Takeda considers acquiring Shire Plc, a biotech company based in Ireland. The acquisition would turn Takeda into a top ten global pharmaceutical company; however, other pharma companies were showing initial interest in acquiring Shire, and the acquisition would require a large amount of funding. Other concerns about the bid were nonfinancial. Over the last two decades, Takeda had aggressively pursued globalization and was now a global company with two thirds of revenue raised outside Japan and a diverse management team. What was the implication of acquiring Shire? Was now the right time to take such a big step? Was the acquisition in line with the company’s goals? How would the combined company be managed? Would the acquisition put an end to Takeda as a Japanese company?

  • January 2021
  • Teaching Material

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (B)

By: David J. Collis, Nobuo Sato and Akiko Kanno

This case is a follow up to HBS Case No. 721-373, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (A). Following the events of the previous case, Takeda reached an agreement to acquire Ireland-based Shire Plc. The case follows some of the achievements and challenges Takeda and its employees face following the acquisition. It outlines the company's situation in 2019 and raises discussion about its future prospects.

  • December 2020
  • Case

VIA Science (A)

By: Juan Alcacer, Rembrand Koning, Annelena Lobb and Kerry Herman

Via (a) captures the early days of the data analytics startup as founders Gounden and Ravanis considered which markets offer the right opportunities for their firm and what kinds of experiments will help them narrow their choice. Supplement Via (b) reveals the experiments they ran, and what they learned. Via (c) explores the strategic choices they face about product and service offerings once they determine which market(s) to target.

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Tokyo Staff

Nobuo Sato
Executive Director
Akiko Kanno
Assistant Director
Akiko Saito
Senior Researcher
Yukari Takizawa
Office Manager