The Graduate School of Management has been addressing important issues in “service value creation”, and has held the Service Innovation International Symposium since 2008. The 4th symposium took place this year on November 19, 2011 (Saturday) at the Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall with the theme, “Japan’s High Quality Services – The Forms and Spirit of “Wa””, and covered topics in the globalization of high quality services only seen in Japan, recent issues, and possibilities for development in the future.

   The Graduate School of Management Dean, Professor Kiyoshi Kobayashi, gave an opening speech regarding the movement towards the globalization of Japan’s services and expressed his hopes to make this event one worthy of an international symposium.

   The keynote address was given by Nanzenji Temple head monk, Bunpo Nakamura, who spoke about the original austerity of Japanese hospitality, also referring to the calligraphy scroll which he presented with the characters “shin-ji-tsu-fu-ko”.

   Panel Discussion I had the topic of “Kyoto Hospitality”, with 3 panelists, Koraku Ogawa of the Ogawa School of Tea, Masataka Hata of the Shoyeido Incense company, and Mineko Tanaka of the Nishijin Machiya Lifestyle Musium Tondaya, and was coordinated by Professor Koichiro Hioki. The discussions showed the various worldly perspectives of the panelists, and it was almost as if one can imagine the aroma of burning incense or green tea and the soft sound of a nursery rhyme from a small alleyway.

   Panel Discussion II had the topic, “Internationalization of Japanese (“Wa”) Services”, with panelists representing 5 Japanese companies that have entered the global market. The panelists were Mr. Yuiken Tsutsumi of AEON Delight, Mr. Hirofumi Ishikawa of Kumon Educational Japan, Mr. Masahiko Ogame of Shiseido, Mr. Hideo Ninomiya of Japan Airlines, and Mr. Takafumi Saito of Uniqlo. Professor Akira Kamoshida served as the 6th panelist, and Professor Naoki Wakabayashi coordinated the discussion. The various obstacles and actions that the companies faced when they advanced into the global market were introduced, and there were also discussions regarding what aspects of Japanese business were strengths and what should be reevaluated.

   GSM Vice Dean, Professor Yasunaga Wakabayashi, closed the symposium by quoting the Bhutan king who recently gave an inspirational speech upon visiting Japan, “the values and qualities of the people which have been developed over hundreds of years will surely bring a splendid future for Japan”.

   This symposium was attended by many participants from diverse industrial and technological fields and most showed active interest in the symposium’s program. There were also many positive comments from participants, such as comments about the impressive panelist members, and comments that they wished that they could hear more discussions.


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